This historical site is on Rocky Point, forming a landmass protecting Charlottetown the point overlooks both Hillsborough Bay and Charlottetown’s harbour.
Port La Joye, also known as Port-La-Joye–Fort Amherst, is a historic site located on the southeastern coast of Prince Edward Island, just south of (and across the water from) downtown Charlettetown. It was one of the first European settlements on the island and played a significant role in the early history of the region.
In 1720, the French established a settlement at Port La Joye, which they named Fort Sainte-Anne, as part of their efforts to secure their claims on the island. They built a fort which attracted a small community of fishermen and farmers.
In 1745, during King George’s War, the British captured Port La Joye and re-named it Fort Amherst, in honour of Jeffery Amherst, a British officer who had played a key role in the capture. The fort was expanded and strengthened over the next few years.
In 1758, during the Seven Years’ War, the French retook the fort and destroyed it, along with the nearby settlement. They renamed the site Port La Joye, their original name for the settlement. At the end of that war, the British regained control of the region (and all of North America) and rebuilt the fort. They used it as a base for their military operations in the area and as a center for trade and commerce.
Over the next century, the fort and the surrounding area became a thriving community, with a mix of military personnel, settlers, and merchants. The port was an important center for the export of agricultural products, such as lumber, fish, and potatoes.
In the early 1900s, the site was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada and efforts were made to preserve and restore the remaining buildings and artifacts. Nearby, a reconstructed 16th century Micmac village portrays Indian life before the white man and features native artifacts including a 200 year old canoe.
Fort Amherst Attractions
Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site
1545 Port-la-Joye Rd, Rocky Point, PE C0A 1H0
(Off Rte 19, Rocky Point Located 20 minutes from Charlottetown)
It was here that the French established the first European settlement on the Island in 1720. When the British captured Port-la-Joye in 1758 they built Fort Amherst in the same location. The earthworks of the British fort are still visible. Visitor centre with displays and a 1720s café and boutique. Cultural interpretive events held regularly during July/August. Bilingual guides explain the history of the site. Picnic area with excellent view of Charlottetown Harbour. Visitor Centre open June 17-Sept 2, daily, 9 am-5 pm. Grounds open May-Nov. Site admission applies.
Rocky Point Bird Observatory
215 Bannockburn Rd, Rocky Point, PE C0A 1H0
This organization is dedicated to studying and conserving the bird populations that migrate through the region. Visitors can take part in bird banding demonstrations and educational programs.
Northumberland Provincial Park
2099 Pownal Rd, Mermaid, PE C1B 0P5
This park features a sandy beach, hiking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the Northumberland Strait.
Hillsborough River Eco-Centre
2496 Glasgow Rd, Glenfinnan, PE C1B 0X8
This nature centre offers interactive exhibits and educational programs on the local ecosystem and wildlife. Visitors can also explore the hiking trails and boardwalks around the centre.