Charlottetown is the capital of Canada’s smallest province, the picturesque Prince Edward Island. Once upon a time, the Mi’kmaq Indians lived here, but in the 18th century, the French Canadians founded the Port La Joy fortress on their lands, later captured by the British. The French repeated the fate of the Mi’kmaks in a milder version (they were deported), and the fort turned into a full-fledged city, named after the wife of George III. See Bridgat for climate and weather information of Canada.
A century later, Prince Edward Island joined Canada and Charlottetown began to prosper. Today it is a popular tourist destination with a relaxed lifestyle (the crime rate here is the lowest among Canadian provincial capitals), a photogenic harbor at the confluence of three rivers, and a kaleidoscope of sights from the 18th and 19th centuries.
How to get there
To begin with, you have to fly to Ottawa: Air Canada and Aeroflot deliver from Sheremetyevo in 15 hours with a change in New York.
Charlottetown Airport is located 6 km north of the center, the city can be reached by taxi or bus number 11 in 15-20 minutes.
Flights from Ottawa to Charlottetown are operated by Air Canada and WestJet, with connections in Montreal or Toronto, travel time from 4 hours. Alternatively, you can rent a car and drive east on the Trans-Canada Highway over the Confederation Bridge (the route takes 13-14 hours).
Once there was a railway on the island, but in 1989 it was dismantled, and cars remained the only available mode of transport for a long time. Fortunately, the roads are good, and large parking lots are equipped in the historical center; taxis with fixed fares for different areas are also popular.
In 2005, buses operated by T3 Transit appeared in the city and run on 6 routes from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, only 3 routes operate, on Sundays – one. Tickets worth 2 CAD are sold from drivers, travel cards are sold at the carrier’s offices. The prices on the page are for June 2021.
Cuisine and restaurants
The basis of the island cuisine is fresh fish and seafood in a variety of interpretations. The signature dish is PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels, but oysters, lobsters, chowder soup, local eco-beef and cheese pies with raspberry cream deserve no less attention. They are also proud of homemade ice cream made from full-fat farm milk.
The potatoes grown on the island are supplied to 20 countries of the world, bringing the economy 150 million USD per year.
Canadian, Asian, Indian and Mediterranean eateries, pizzerias, gelaterias, tea rooms and coffee houses are open in Charlottetown. Lunch in a cafe will cost 20-30 CAD per person, dinner in a restaurant with seafood delicacies – from 50 CAD without alcohol.
Landmarks in Charlottetown
The main sights of Charlottetown are the newly reconstructed waterfront and the beautifully preserved architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. After walking along it, tourists first of all go to Provincial House, a solid Georgian mansion built by Yorkshire-born Isaac Smith in 1847. It was here that the fateful decision to create the Canadian Confederation was made, which will be discussed in detail on a tour of the historical halls.
Today, the Legislative Assembly sits in the Provincial House.
Colonial buildings are concentrated on Great George Street: for the completeness of sensations, we advise you to ride in a stagecoach. The 1888 Romanesque Revival red-brick Town Hall on the corner of Kent Street is easy to find thanks to its belfry tower, while the ornate Beaconsfield Residence hosts guided tours, lectures and concerts. The Gothic Basilica of St. Dunstan is famous for its stained-glass windows and the best organ in the whole province, while St. Paul’s Church (1747) is the island’s first Anglican church.
The most famous museum is the Confederate Arts Center: its art gallery contains 17,000 works of contemporary Canadian masters (paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, installations), classical musicals and avant-garde are staged on several stages. Worthy of attention are also the Mackenzie Theatre, the Guild of Arts and the Pilar Shepherd Art Gallery.
From June to August, theaters are sure to play Anne of Green Gables, Canada’s longest-running musical. The farm museum that inspired author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s iconic Anne Shirley book series is located in nearby Cavendish.
Victoria Park has walking paths, playgrounds, children’s areas and an outdoor pool, while Confederation Park has impressive views of the ocean and old lighthouses along the coast.
In September, the waterfront hosts an international shellfish festival with cooking competitions, concerts and master classes, in June – a jazz and blues festival, and in August – a fair week with entertainment for the whole family.