Alberton, Prince Edward Island Canada

Discover Alberton, Prince Edward Island: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Alberton, a charming town nestled in Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada, is a hub for local fishing and farming communities. Located in the western part of the county in the township of Lot 5, Alberton is adjacent to the community and harbour of Northport.

The Rich History of Alberton, Prince Edward Island

The area was initially inhabited by the Mi'kmaq Nation. Europeans first arrived in 1534 when French explorer Jacques Cartier made landfall at nearby Cape Kildare. Acadians settled on the island in small numbers through the 17th and 18th centuries, but only moved in greater numbers to the western part of Ile-Saint-Jean, specifically north of present-day Alberton, following their expulsion by British military forces in the late 1750s.

Following the British victory over France, the island's sovereignty passed to Britain in 1763. In 1765, Captain Samuel Holland surveyed the island, and the British government instituted a feudal system of land ownership. The township of Lot 5, which contains present-day Alberton, was granted to Edward Lewis, a British Member of Parliament, in the 1767 land lottery.

Northport, located near present-day Alberton, began to be settled in the 1780s after Lewis made plans for a small trading town called "Lewis Town". Scottish and Devonshire settlers were brought in by Lewis to settle his township. Alberton started to take shape in the 1840s and underwent several name changes including Cross Roads, The Cross, and Stump Town. In 1862, it was named in honour of Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII and who had visited Prince Edward Island in 1860.

Alberton, Prince Edward Island: Railways and Constructions

In 1872, the Prince Edward Island Railway was constructed, making the port at Northport, adjacent to Alberton, its western terminus. It connected Alberton with communities to the east such as O'Leary, Summerside, Charlottetown, Georgetown, and Souris. Alberton became a village in 1878, and became home to a court house and justice centre for western Prince County that year.

Alberton became the centre of the worldwide silver fox industry when Charles Dalton and Robert Oulton began farming the fur-bearing animals on an island in the harbour at Northport in 1894. Despite a fire that devastated part of the town the following year, Alberton quickly reflected its growing economic importance. The railway constructed a new passenger station designed by architect Charles Benjamin Chappell for Alberton in the early 1900s entirely out of stone, one of only two such stations on the island (the other being in Kensington).

Geography of Alberton, Prince Edward Island

Alberton is roughly halfway between Tignish and O'Leary, and is situated along the north shore of the island, fronting the open Gulf of St. Lawrence. It has a land area of approximately 5 square kilometres (1.9 sq mi).

Climate of Alberton, Prince Edward Island

Alberton experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) similar to that of coastal Hokkaido, being somewhat less extreme due to the island condition and being surrounded by the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Demographics of Alberton, Prince Edward Island

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Alberton had a population of 1,301 living in 558 of its 595 total private dwellings, a change of 13.6% from its 2016 population of 1,145.

Transportation in Alberton, Prince Edward Island

Alberton is located on Route 12, which is part of the North Cape Coastal Drive. The town is several kilometers northeast of Route 2, the main provincial east–west secondary highway. Alberton Harbor in Northport is administered by the small craft harbors division of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Amenities in Alberton, Prince Edward Island

The town is in close proximity to three provincial parks: Mill River Provincial Park, Bloomfield Provincial Park, and Jacques Cartier Provincial Park. It is also located on the Confederation Trail for walking, running and bicycling in the summer.

The area offers opportunities for recreational fishing at various locations. The Alberton Court House, a National Historic Site of Canada, has housed the Alberton Museum since 1980 and contains various displays from its collection pertaining to the area.

Alberton has seven churches and various facilities including Holland College West Prince Campus, Alberton Community Centre, Alberton Elementary School, Alberton Library, Iron Haven Gym, Jacques Cartier Memorial Arena, Maplewood Manor, Stone Station Park, Prince County Exhibition Grounds, Town Community Room, Veterans Memorial Park, Western Community Curling Club, a soccer field, and two baseball diamonds.

The Prince County Exhibition is held every August and features livestock shows, exhibits, meals, racing, youth talent, strongman competition, and a midway. Other events include the Alberton Day Festival and Canada Day.