Prince Edward Island: Places to Explore

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Charlottetown

Prince Edward Island's oldest city, on an arm of the Northumberland Strait, is named for the stylish consort of King George III. The small city, peppered with gingerbread-clad Victorian houses and tree-shaded squares, is the largest community (population 33,000) on the Island. It's often called the Cradle of Confederation, a reference to the 1864 conference that led to the union of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Québec in 1867, a country later joined by other British colonies to become the Canada we know today. In summer, the downtown streets are dotted with people dressed as personages from the past, regaling you with tales about the Confederation debate.

Suburbs have sprung up around Charlottetown, but the core of the city has remained relatively unchanged, and the waterfront has been restored to recapture the flavor of earlier eras. Today the waterfront includes an area known as Peake's Wharf and Confederation Landing Park, with informal restaurants and handicraft and retail shops, as well as a walking path—a painted blue line on the sidewalk—that leads visitors through some of the most interesting historical areas of the Old City. Irene Rogers's book Charlottetown: The Life in Its Buildings, available locally, gives much detail about the architecture and history of downtown Charlottetown.

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