When P.E.I. welcomed Road to Avonlea's Sarah Polley

When P.E.I. welcomed Road to Avonlea's Sarah Polley

In Prince Edward Island, it was almost like a royal visit when the young star of Road to Avonlea visited almost three decades ago.

She took part in a parade and signed autographs for people who formed long lines to meet the star of the P.E.I.-set show. 

The show's intense popularity surprised the young actor a bit, in part because of the feedback she'd been getting from some opinionated viewers from the Island.

"I was getting some letters from Prince Edward Island where people really didn't like the show because they said we didn't portray the Island quite right," said Polley, when speaking with CBC during her visit.

"But now that I come here, everyone seems to really like it."

Road to Avonlea was known well outside the Island by that point, however, as it aired across Canada and also in the United States. (Polley's visit to P.E.I. came early during the show's television run. Following its debut in 1990, it aired for seven seasons.)

Among her American fans was Ruth Schidner, a New Jersey woman who happened to be visiting P.E.I. with her daughter when Polley was there.

"My daughter watches Sarah of [Road to Avonlea] every Sunday [and] Monday night," Schidner told CBC.

While visiting P.E.I., Polley said the friendly, open nature of the people was something that she liked about the Island — and different from the more reserved culture of her hometown of Toronto.

"I mean, in Toronto, if you kind of said: 'Hello, how are you?' on the street, they'd kind of lock you up," Polley said jokingly. "But here, they're just so nice. It's nothing abnormal to say hi to someone on the street."