The Maritime provinces, also called the Maritimes or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. On the Atlantic coast, the Maritimes is often mentioned in conjunction with the northeastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador; together they represent Atlantic Canada. The population of the Maritime provinces was 1,813,102 in 2011.
The Maritimes front the Atlantic Ocean and its various sub-basins such as the Gulf of Maine and Gulf of St. Lawrence systems. The region is located northeast of New England, southeast of Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula, and southwest of the island of Newfoundland.
The Maritimes are home to Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy people and have an extensive history of French and British settlement dating back to the seventeenth century, forming a unique culture that predates Canada.
The word maritime is an adjective that simply means "of the sea", thus any land associated with the sea can be considered a maritime state or province (all provinces of Canada except Alberta and Saskatchewan border the sea). Nonetheless, the term "Maritimes" has historically been collectively applied to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, all of which border the Atlantic Ocean. In other provinces except Newfoundland & Labrador and British Columbia human settlement along the sea is sparse, since the Hudson Bay area is northerly and has a severe climate, with the majority of the populations of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba residing far inland.