Charlottetown History - The Post-War Years



the Armoury is where PEI's soldiers trained for the two world wars

By 1921 Charlottetown's population had grown to 10,814, and in 1957 the neighboring municipality of Spring Park became part of Charlottetown.

In 1964, The Confederation Centre of the Arts is built as the National Memorial to the Fathers of Confederation, who met at the 1864 Charlottetown Conference to discuss the idea of Confederation. The Centre is home to the world-famous Charlottetown Festival, as well as Canadian musical theatre and comedy, art, exhibitions, music, dining, shopping and free guided tours.

In 1983 the federal Department of Veteran's Affairs was relocated to Charlottetown, as part of the Trudeau government's efforts to decentralize the federal government to be moved out of the Canadian national capital of Ottawa. This was followed a decade later by the location of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) offices under prime minister Mulroney.

In 1992 Charlottetown was the site of the signing of the Charlottetown Accord, an agreement between Canadian federal and provincial governments designed to amend the Canadian constitution. Charlottetown was chosen for the signing because of its significance as the Birthplace of Confederation. The accord was defeated in a national vote on October 26, 1992.

Charlottetown's Confederation Centre of the Arts

In 1993 Great George Street is designated as a National Historic District, graced with the splendor of Province House National Historic Site, which is both the seat of Island government and the location of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference. From late June to late September from Founders' Hall, you can take walking tours of Great George Street National Historic District with the Confederation Players (actors in period costume).

In 1997, the 13 km (8 mi) long Confederation Bridge became the first highway link between Prince Edward Island and the mainland. It is the world's longest multispan bridge over salt water, and replaces a ferry service along the same route. Visitors can still take a ferry acorss the Northumberland Strait from Wood Islands, east of Charlottetown, to North Sydney, Nova Scotia.

In 2001, Founders' Hall and Canada's Birthplace Pavilion, celebrates its grand opening. The 1906 building was originally the CN railway car repair shop and is now a 21,000 square foot heritage attraction, restaurant and retail boutique.

Victoria Park's scenic waterfront

The early period of settlement had a dramatic impact on the island's ecology. From the mid 1700s to the late 1800s, the original Acadian hardwood and mixed wood forests were harvested for home construction, ship-building, and for export. Throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, much of the land was cleared for agriculture, along with the construction of an elaborate network of rural roads. In the mid-1900s, land abandonment led to an increase in forest cover, from 30.9% in 1900 up to 48.6% in 1990, which was dominated by white spruce (Picea glauca) and some hardwoods that invaded former fields.

Environmentally conscious Islanders have been opposed to absentee landlord development and formed watchdog groups to keep an eye on development. Land use conflicts have pitted farmers. Fishermen and environmentalists against powerful local business and tourism interests as well as the federal government, with the provincial government taking the middle ground.

Today PEI produces half the world's potatoes, with half produced in Prince County. PEI seedlings and agricultural advice have helped potato across in 32 countries around the world.

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