Historical reasons for the relative poverty of Canadian Maritimes?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,754
Florania
Canadian Maritimes, which includes the Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, are still developed areas by global standards; however, their development levels lag behind the rest of Canada.
Are there any historical reasons for the relative underdevelopment?
How geographical features affect these areas?
Can these areas ever catch up?
Would any people share their experience about these areas?
Let me talk about mine first, but it was a brief experience as a tourist.
When I was on Prince Edward Island, we visited a so-called aquarium with a few fish tanks and many preserved birds, and the name is Stanley Bridge Marine Aquarium.
The Anne of Green Gable house was certainly on the list.
I recall talking with some people from PEI, and she called these tourist traps.
Moncton, New Brunswick was another disappointment:
Magnetic Hill
This didn't work on our coach.
Reversing Falls, , Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
This wasn't working during our visit, either.
Of course, I took an interest in checking the business environment; even in tourist areas, it was remarkably quiet.
We visited in August, so it should be relatively busy.
The empty downtown Charlottetown mall was pretty shocking.
Halifax was relatively prosperous; then again, we just had a tour of the city and the museum.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,515
Yeh, they reminded me of Appalachia or Ireland. As far as tourism, there isn't that much to see as compared with other parts of North America or older civilized areas such as Europe.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,754
Florania
Yeh, they reminded me of Appalachia or Ireland. As far as tourism, there isn't that much to see as compared with other parts of North America or older civilized areas such as Europe.
I would like to learn more about American tourist sites; may you tell me more?
Canada had the notorious record of near depletion of the cod stock.
 
Jul 2013
46
Nova Scotia
I'm from here. Have lived in us (texas and georgia), Ontario, BC, germany so like many Maritimers I've been around. Moving away for a few years / decades is kind of our thing. Most come back at some point. I love the east coast and hope we never get too successful. Don't need newcomers ruining more than they already have. Not everywhere needs to be dynamic. I'd rather make less and change less thanks.

So if anyone ever finds a way to energize the maritime economy I would ask they keep that secret to themselves.

That said I should make clear, standard of living is good here. On a global scale we are definitely in the upper end of things and people down here have all the toys the rest of the civilized Americas have.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2013
46
Nova Scotia
I guess I should stab at the why... For Nova Scotia.

1. We aren't part of the USA so we lost our integration with eastern seaboard
2. The St. Lawrence seaway takes the European and Eastern trade to central Canada. You can bypass Halifax.
3. We never had a non resource industrial base. Our largest modern companies are in retail (grocery) and resources. Other than a few midsize manufacturers (like imp) we don't really make anything.
4. Almost all economic activity is centralized in Halifax. Infrastructure in this area cannot cope with current use let alone allow for faster growth. But if you want a white collar job you will be moving to halifax or, more likely you will leave the province for Toronto or BC.
5. A huge part of wealth is based on our migrant workforce, when oil booms out west our boys are first on the scene. A lot of big houses bought here with oilsands money. No boom elsewhere, no money for our non college males.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,754
Florania
I guess I should stab at the why... For Nova Scotia.

1. We aren't part of the USA so we lost our integration with eastern seaboard
2. The St. Lawrence seaway takes the European and Eastern trade to central Canada. You can bypass Halifax.
3. We never had a non resource industrial base. Our largest modern companies are in retail (grocery) and resources. Other than a few midsize manufacturers (like imp) we don't really make anything.
4. Almost all economic activity is centralized in Halifax. Infrastructure in this area cannot cope with current use let alone allow for faster growth. But if you want a white collar job you will be moving to halifax or, more likely you will leave the province for Toronto or BC.
5. A huge part of wealth is based on our migrant workforce, when oil booms out west our boys are first on the scene. A lot of big houses bought here with oilsands money. No boom elsewhere, no money for our non college males.
Certainly, not all places need to be that dynamic and prosperous.
On the other hand, during the visit to the Confederation Court Mall in Charlottetown, we wondered how the shopkeepers made a living there.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,515
Certainly, not all places need to be that dynamic and prosperous.
On the other hand, during the visit to the Confederation Court Mall in Charlottetown, we wondered how the shopkeepers made a living there.
Probably not high rent in that mall. Have you seen upstate New York? How about the textile mill towns in Vermont, where the mills moved there operations to the south 100 years ago? Try visiting parts of Appalachia and other areas in the south. I am sure a lot of Mexico is even worse.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Yeh, they reminded me of Appalachia or Ireland. As far as tourism, there isn't that much to see as compared with other parts of North America or older civilized areas such as Europe.
The only one of these areas I've been to was Nova Scotia, and we enjoyed seeing:

The Maritime Museum in Halifax and the waterfront and citadel in Halifax--in fact, went to the Maritime Museum twice!

Lunenburg with its fisheries museum

The Bay of Fundy

Grand Pre'--birthplace of the heroine of Longfellow's poem "Evangeline"

Annapolis and the forts in that area--Annapolis was "Port Royal" back in the day when Nova Scotia was French Acadia

The tidal power station near Annapolis.

We stayed a week and didn't even get to Cape Breton.

OTOH--we had one of the most disgusting meals in our experience-- Rappie pie. My spouse still tweaks me for wanting to sample that Canadian , uh, "delicacy."

I will say, in response to the OP, that not every place should be Silicon Valley and there is room in North America for a laid-back place like Nova Scotia where the "good old days" are still present.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,754
Florania
The only one of these areas I've been to was Nova Scotia, and we enjoyed seeing:

The Maritime Museum in Halifax and the waterfront and citadel in Halifax--in fact, went to the Maritime Museum twice!

Lunenburg with its fisheries museum

The Bay of Fundy

Grand Pre'--birthplace of the heroine of Longfellow's poem "Evangeline"

Annapolis and the forts in that area--Annapolis was "Port Royal" back in the day when Nova Scotia was French Acadia

The tidal power station near Annapolis.

We stayed a week and didn't even get to Cape Breton.

OTOH--we had one of the most disgusting meals in our experience-- Rappie pie. My spouse still tweaks me for wanting to sample that Canadian , uh, "delicacy."

I will say, in response to the OP, that not every place should be Silicon Valley and there is room in North America for a laid-back place like Nova Scotia where the "good old days" are still present.
We would not mind a laid-back, relaxed place, but we keep wondering how the residents make a livelihood there.
Do you mean the museum that features the Titanic and Halifax explosion? We nicknamed it museum of disasters.
Are you a fan of ships?
Unfortunately, our Maritime trip covered five provinces: Ontario (Ottawa and Kingston briefly), Quebec (Montreal and Quebec City, and Quebec City was supper only), Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and it certainly was brief.
The greatest memory of the trip was the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.
I have tried to appreciate trips to any places, but it can be difficult.
 

Edratman

Forum Staff
Feb 2009
6,709
Eastern PA
The standard sources of prosperity for a region are:

1. Trade
2. Manufacturing
3. Agriculture
4. Mineral wealth
5. Tourism

Trade requires a large population and a great seaport/transportation hub: NO

Manufacturing is greatly aided by trade, mineral wealth, population and luck: NO

Agriculture requires a longer growing season: NO

Mineral Wealth; other than trees and rocks.... NO

Tourism- the water is too cold for the region to be a major attraction: NO

That appears to answer the OP.