My wife Chris and I were driving just outside Burlington last month when the furry little red creature appeared by the side of the road. At first we thought it was a dog, but the long thin snout gave it away as one of thousands of foxes that run wild in Prince Edward Island. For a moment I thought I was foxed by the grape, then I remembered I had nothing but blueberry juice for breakfast. PEI is lousy with foxes, which make their dens in the sand dunes. There’s even an International Fox Museum and Hall of Fame in Summerside. It doesn’t take long to be outside the Maritime province’s version of Burlington. You’re inside and out in a matter of seconds. Population estimate – about a dozen. One of 74 incorporated municipalities on the island, Burlington boasts only an amusement park containing batting cages, go karts, a miniature golf course and bumper boats. It’s now up for sale for $350,000. That includes a 9.7-acre property and includes a house.

A two-storey, four-bedroom home on Burlington Road is listed at only $145,000. It has a double garage, a workshop and a large barn on its 1.73 acre property. The home is located only a 10-minute drive from PEI’s beautiful north shore beaches. There’s been a renewed interest from Ontario in property on the island lately. Tim Archer, a country music singer from Sarnia, has purchased Woodleigh Replicas near Burlington and hopes to re-open the attraction soon. It was once the home to several small replicas of famous sites in England and Scotland, including the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral. I It was also the biggest attraction in the area, next to the Anne of Green Gables Village in Cavendish. Only three businesses – Carruthers Farms, Champion Trailer Rentals and Waterfront Farm House – are listed in the directory of Hamilton, a hamlet coincidentally located just a short drive to the west of Burlington. Named for John Hamilton Gray, it is close to picturesque Malpeque Bay. John Hamilton Gray was Premier of PEI from 1863 to 1865 and later chairman of the historic Charlottetown Conference, which led to Confederation. The only major structure is Hamilton Hall, which was built in 1889 and is an important part of the social fabric of PEI. This is a gorgeous part of PEI with rolling green hills and bright blue ocean water around every turn in the road. Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf and actress Elisha Cuthbert were married in St. James Catholic Church in the village of Summerfield this summer with the reception later at Phaneuf’s large home in New London. Dundas with its Cactus Festival has nothing on its namesake in PEI.

The highlight of the annual Plowing Match and Agricultural Fair is the wife-hollering’ competition. But it’s not exactly the kind of lecture you get from the Mrs. for taking the wrong fork in the road. Women stand at the end of a field and scream at the top of their lungs to call their husbands in from the fields for dinner. Judges then award prizes for the best call. Belying the island’s strong Christian tradition, the winner one year, yelled “Ditch your wife and come on over to my place for dinner!” Dundas is named for George Dundas, who was Governor of Prince Edward Island from 1859 to 1868. Home-cooked meals are prepared on site at the three-day event, which was launched in October of 1941. During the Second World Ward part of the proceeds were used to send Christmas gifts to soldiers overseas Matching Halton Region, PEI also has its own Georgetown and Milton. Located near the outskirts of Charlottetown, Milton is famous for its community hall, where ceilidhs featuring the group 10 Strings and a Goat Skin are held. It’s a Celtic and Acadian band that combines traditional Celtic and Acadian music with more contemporary sounds, like grunge, punk and rock.

Folks come to enjoy rhubarb, strawberry and apple desserts. Summer card parties are held on Thursday evenings. Georgetown, a village of 700, is situated at the mouth of Brudenell River on the east coast of the island. It was once an important shipbuilding centre and port, as well as the eastern terminus of the Prince Edward Island Railway. Charlottetown and Summerside are the only two cities in PEI, and together their population is 50,000 – less than one-third f the size of Burlington Ontario. Nevertheless, the island has its own Toronto. This hogtown, however, is merely a dot on the map at the end of dirt road, close to Cavendish Beach. Traffic congestion isn’t in the dictionary and you don’t have to rob a bank to settle in the country. A single- storey, three-bedroom home on Toronto Road with a waterview is listed at $179,000. There also is an option to purchase a 60 acre lot for $22,500 To make Ontarians comfortable, the island also has a Cambridge, a Kingston, a Pembroke, a Stratford, a Cornwall, a Clinton, a Waterford and an Alliston. You’re so far from home, but still so close to your roots.

Dennis Gibbons

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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