Cardigan Development
photo courtesy of ron garnet at

Opportunities in small places

Half-acre lots for sale in Cardigan P.E.I. near the river. Reasonable prices depending om your intentions: preference to those interested in building a house and living there. Interesting topography, with most lots having a view to the river because of average six percent slope southward.

For those who are dissatisfied with life in the big city there are opportunities in the countryside. Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada’s smallest province, for example has a number of small towns and villages which are still attractive places to live despite the problem of population loss common to rural communities today.

Cardigan is a village in eastern PEI which was once a thriving and self-sufficient agricultural and shipbuilding center but has since declined to the point of being now a place which has no retail activity, dependent for nearly all purchases and services on driving (there is no public transit) to neighboring Montague, six miles (10km) away.

Some will see this as detrimental, but for those with the pioneering spirit it can be an opportunity. The demise of commercial activity in the village was a consequence of the car culture which drew customers away from smaller communities, but times are changing: both the awareness of climate change and the need to drive less, plus the awareness that loss of social activity due to the lack of normal commercial and recreational outlets has reduced our sense of community, will favor the attempts of small communities to revive their commercial base and to promote local food raising and marketing; also, the commercial opportunities in small communities are too small to interest big business, leaving the field open for those who are satisfied with the prospect of a decent job or an opportunity to start a business - the kind of opportunities that the pioneers who built up the community two centuries ago took advantage of. Much will depend on being able to attract newcomers.

I have some land near the center of the village (about 12 acres, or 5 hectares) and will make it available for residential use and possibly one or two communal type projects. There will be the option of having your house designed and built locally. I welcome inquiries from those interested in settling in Cardigan and building a home here, in particular from those interested in participating in projects such as those suggested here (See “Projects”), or initiating their own.

Charles MacDonald