Pelee, Ontario

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Pelee
Township
Aerial photo of Pelee Island
Aerial photo of Pelee Island
Official seal of Pelee
Seal
Pelee Island map.png
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Area
 • Total 41.79 km2 (16.14 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 171
 • Density 4.1/km2 (11/sq mi)

Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada /ˈpil/, is an island in the western half of Lake Erie. Pelee Island is connected to the Canadian and United States mainland by ferry service. At 42 km2 (16 sq mi), Pelee Island is the largest island in Lake Erie and the southernmost populated point in Canada. An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected by the province to commemorate the development of Pelee Island's role in Ontario's heritage.[2] Nearby Middle Island is the southernmost point of land in Canada.

Pelee Island is part of the Township of Pelee in Essex County, and has its own mayor, deputy mayor, and three councillors. It is what is called a separated township. The township comprises nine islands, the largest being Pelee Island, and including Middle Island, Middle Sister Island, Hen Island, Big Chicken Island, Little Chicken Island, Chick Island, East Sister Island, and North Harbour Island. The total land area of all islands in the township is 41.84 km2 (16.15 sq mi).

Due to its southerly location and the moderating effect of Lake Erie, it has a slightly milder climate than inland areas.[3] Its climate, classified as Carolinian, is one of the mildest in the country, and the island has long been used for vineyards and wine making. The wine industry was started here in 1860 and died out in the early twentieth century, but was restarted in the 1980s.[4] The island is an agricultural based community which grows about 5,000 acres (20 km2) of soybeans, about 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of wheat, 500 acres (2.0 km2) of grapes, and a few acres of specialty corn.

Pelee Island is part of an important flyway for migrating birds between Ohio, the Lake Erie islands and Point Pelee. Pelee Island has, for many years, hosted a fall pheasant hunt which attracts hunters from Canada, the United States and many other countries. The pheasant hunt brings tourist dollars to Pelee at a time of year when virtually no other activities are available thus generating important revenue in the 'off' season.

Transport[edit]

MV Jiimaan leaves port at Kingsville for Pelee Island.

The island is serviced by tow ferries, the MV Jiimaan and the MV Pelee Islander (owned by Pelee Island Transportation Company, a subsidiary of the OSTC). The MV Jiimaan is the largest passenger ferry along the Lake Erie route to Pelee Island. At 61 m (200 ft) in length, the Jiimaan can transport 400 passengers and 40 vehicles. The leisurely cruise to Pelee Island can range from one-and-a-half to just over two hours depending on departure routes. The ferry service splits the season between Leamington and Kingsville on the Ontario mainland. Leaving from Leamington from early spring until August. The ferry then finishes the season(mid December) in nearby Kingsville. The ferry from Pelee Island To Sandusky, Ohio runs only from late spring until early fall, while the Jiimaan runs from the Canadian ports of Leamington and/or Kingsville from early spring until early December. The Jiimaan was built in 1992 at Port Weller Drydocks in St. Catharines, Ontario. When the ferries are not operating, the only practical way to get to the mainland or to Pelee Island is via airplane. In January 2004, a Cessna 208 Caravan crashed on takeoff from Pelee, killing 9 pheasant hunters and the pilot. The plane crashed into the shallow waters of Lake Erie. It is believed the plane was overloaded and potentially ice-laden according to the aviation authorities of Canada.[5]

Almost abandoned light house at Pelee Island

The older MV Pelee Islander, which continues to operate, carries 196 passengers and 14 vehicles. MV Upper Canada, which serviced Pelee prior to Jiimaan, was sent to Lake Huron (the Christian Island natives received her for transport to and from the mainland) when Jiimaan began service to Pelee. The Pelee Islander was built at Erieau, Ontario in 1960.[6]

During the winter season (starting Dec. 11 until the start of the ferry the next year) Pelee Island Transportation Company operates an air service to the Pelee Island Airport from Windsor.[7]

Climate[edit]

Due to its southerly location and the moderating effect of Lake Erie, it has a slightly milder climate than inland areas.[3] Its climate, classified as Carolinian, is one of the mildest in the country, and the island has long been used for vineyards and wine making. The island has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) and falls into the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6b.[8][9] Winters are cold with a January average of −5.0 °C (23.0 °F) and the average annual snowfall is 76 centimetres (29.9 in), which falls mainly from November to April.[10] Summers are warm and humid with a July high of 27.5 °C (81.5 °F) and a low of 18.9 °C (66.0 °F).[10] Temperatures rarely go over 32 °C (89.6 °F), averaging 4 days per year.[11] Pelee island and Point Pelee receive the fewest days with precipitation in Ontario, averaging 75 days with measurable precipitation and drought like conditions occur every 4–5 years.[12] The average annual precipitation is 891 millimetres (35 in) which is evenly distributed throughout the year with January and February being the driest months.[10] The record low was −31.5 °C (−24.7 °F) on January 20, 1985 and the record high was 41.1 °C (106.0 °F) on July 24, 1934.[10]

Climate data for Pelee Island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.2
(63)
18.3
(64.9)
23.9
(75)
33.0
(91.4)
37.2
(99)
40.6
(105.1)
41.1
(106)
37.8
(100)
36.7
(98.1)
31.1
(88)
24.4
(75.9)
18.0
(64.4)
41.1
(106)
Average high °C (°F) −2.0
(28.4)
−0.3
(31.5)
5.1
(41.2)
11.3
(52.3)
18.0
(64.4)
24.2
(75.6)
27.5
(81.5)
26.3
(79.3)
22.7
(72.9)
16.2
(61.2)
8.1
(46.6)
1.8
(35.2)
13.2
(55.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) −5
(23)
−3.6
(25.5)
1.7
(35.1)
7.4
(45.3)
13.9
(57)
19.9
(67.8)
23.2
(73.8)
22.2
(72)
18.5
(65.3)
12.4
(54.3)
5.4
(41.7)
−0.9
(30.4)
9.6
(49.3)
Average low °C (°F) −8.1
(17.4)
−7.0
(19.4)
−1.9
(28.6)
3.4
(38.1)
9.7
(49.5)
15.5
(59.9)
18.9
(66)
18.1
(64.6)
14.2
(57.6)
8.6
(47.5)
2.5
(36.5)
−3.7
(25.3)
5.8
(42.4)
Record low °C (°F) −31.5
(−24.7)
−27.2
(−17)
−21.1
(−6)
−15.0
(5)
−1.7
(28.9)
1.1
(34)
5.6
(42.1)
5.0
(41)
1.1
(34)
−5.6
(21.9)
−12.8
(9)
−24.5
(−12.1)
−31.1
(−24)
Precipitation mm (inches) 47.2
(1.858)
39.5
(1.555)
67.9
(2.673)
82.0
(3.228)
86.4
(3.402)
92.2
(3.63)
78.9
(3.106)
87.4
(3.441)
86.0
(3.386)
55.5
(2.185)
83.7
(3.295)
84.1
(3.311)
890.8
(35.071)
Rainfall mm (inches) 24.2
(0.953)
23.0
(0.906)
58.7
(2.311)
79.9
(3.146)
86.4
(3.402)
92.2
(3.63)
78.9
(3.106)
87.4
(3.441)
86.0
(3.386)
55.5
(2.185)
79.3
(3.122)
64.5
(2.539)
816.1
(32.13)
Snowfall cm (inches) 23.0
(9.06)
18.3
(7.2)
9.0
(3.54)
2.1
(0.83)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
4.1
(1.61)
19.6
(7.72)
76.0
(29.92)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 6 6 7 8 7 8 7 7 7 6 8 8 85
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 2 2 5 7 7 8 7 7 7 6 7 5 70
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 5 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 17
Source: Environment Canada.[10]

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 census, it has a population of 171 permanent residents living in 79 households,[1] but the population can swell to over 1,500 during the summer months, with more than three thousand people on long weekends.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2011 Cenus Profile for Pelee (Township)". 2011 Cenus Data. Statistics Canada. 2012-02-11. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ontario Plaque". 
  3. ^ a b Wake, Winifred Cairns (1997). A Nature Guide to Ontario, p. 47. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-2755-5.
  4. ^ Aspler, Tony (1999). Vintage Canada: The Complete Reference to Canadian Wines, p. 68. McGraw-Hill Ryerson. ISBN 0-07-086043-2.
  5. ^ [1] Image:Jiimaan open.jpg#filelinks
  6. ^ "Image:Pelee Islander arrives at Ja". Retrieved 2013-03-21. [not in citation given]
  7. ^ "Pelee Island Transportation Services". 
  8. ^ Kottek, M.; J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, and F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated". Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Plant Hardiness Zones". Atlas of Canada. Natural Resources Canada. September 2003. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Pelee Island, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1961–1990 (in English & French). Environment Canada. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Pelee Island, Ontario". Weatherbase. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Point Pelee National Park of Canada". Parks Canada. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°46′00″N 82°38′27″W / 41.7667°N 82.6409°W / 41.7667; -82.6409