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Road to Avonlea (1990–1996)

Road to Avonlea was a television series produced by Sullivan Films (later Sullivan Entertainment) and first broadcast between 1990 and 1996.


Awards and Merchandise
VHS Releases
DVD Releases
Further Reading

Related pages: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6 | Season 7


Alternate Titles

Avonlea (Disney Channel broadcast)
Road to Avonlea: The Final Season (season 7 CBC broadcast)
Tales from Avonlea (Walt Disney Home Video)


Regular Cast
Sarah Polley as Sara Stanley (seasons 1–5; guest, seasons 6–7), Jackie Burroughs as Hetty King, Mag Ruffman as Olivia King Dale, Zachary Bennett as Felix King, Gema Zamprogna as Felicity King (seasons 1–6; recurring, season 7), Lally Cadeau as Janet King, and Cedric Smith as Alec King.

Recurring Cast
Molly Atkinson as Cecily King (season 7; guest, season 6), Mark Bigney as Morgan Pettibone (season 4), Joel Blake as Andrew King (seasons 1–2), Heather Brown as Izzy Pettibone (seasons 4–7), Ian D. Clark as Simon Tremayne (seasons 4–7), Susan Cox as Peg Bowen (season 1; guest, seasons 2–3), Harmony Cramp as Cecily King (seasons 1–5), David Ferry as Stuart McRae (season 7), David Fox as Clive Pettibone (seasons 4–6; guest, season 7), Patricia Hamilton as Rachel Lynde, Kyle Labine as Davey Keith (seasons 5–7; guest, seasons 2–3), Marilyn Lightstone as Muriel Stacey Pettibone (seasons 5–7; guest, season 2), Michael Mahonen as Gus Pike (seasons 2–5; guest, seasons 6–7), Lindsay Murrell as Dora Keith (seasons 5–7), Miklos Perlus as Peter Craig (seasons 1–2; guest, season 3), and Kay Tremblay as Great Aunt Eliza (seasons 5–7; guest, seasons 2–4).

Notable Guest Cast
Ned Beatty as Wally Higgens, Robby Benson as Jonathan Ravenhurst Blackwell, Stockard Channing as Viola Eliot, Peter Coyote as Romney Penhallow, Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla Cuthbert, Faye Dunaway as Countess Polenska, Madeline Kahn as Pigeon Pluntree, Eugene Levy as Rudy Blaine, Christopher Lloyd as Alistair Dimple, Sheila McCarthy as Betty Blaine, Kate Nelligan as Sydney Carver, Christopher Reeve as Robert Rutherford, Diana Rigg as Lady Blackwell, Maureen Stapleton as Maggie McPhee, R.H. Thomson as Jasper Dale, Meg Tilly as Evelyn Grier, Dianne Wiest as Lillian Hepworth, Treat Williams as Zak Morgan, and Michael York as Ezekiel Crane.


Robert Adetuyi, Leila Basen, Thérèse Beaupré, Heather Conkie, Suzette Couture, Rick Drew, Lori Fleming, Hart Hanson, Jim Henshaw, Jeremy Hole, Avrum Jacobson, Charles Lazer, Janet MacLean, Marlene Matthews, Jerome McCann, Fiona McHugh, Yan Moore, Deborah Nathan, Laurie Pearson, Raymond Storey, Patricia Watson, and Grahame Woods.

Dick Benner, George Bloomfield, Robert Boyd, René Bonnière, William Brayne, Graeme Campbell, Stacey Stewart Curtis, Allan Eastman, F. Harvey Frost, Stuart Gillard, Otta Hanus, Kit Hood, Allan King, Allan Kroeker, Eleanore Lindo, Graeme Lynch, Don McBrearty, Bruce Pittman, Stefan Scaini, Paul Shapiro, Gilbert Shilton, Stephen Surjik, and Charles Wilkinson.

A Kevin Sullivan production. Series developed by Fiona McHugh. Executive producers: Kevin Sullivan and Trudy Grant. Adapted from the novels The Story Girl, The Golden Road, Chronicles of Avonlea, and Further Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery.


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Produced with the creative and financial involvement of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Disney Channel, Road to Avonlea became one of the most successful and long-running dramatic series in the history of Canadian television. During its seven-year run, the series achieved unprecedented ratings for a Canadian dramatic series in English, reaching 2.6 million viewers during its first season and continuing to reach one million viewers for the duration of its ninety-one episodes, even for prime-time rebroadcasts.

Developed by Fiona McHugh, who co-wrote the television movie Lantern Hill (1990) with Kevin Sullivan, the series adapted unrelated Montgomery texts—her novels The Story Girl and The Golden Road, with additional material excerpted from her collections of short stories Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea—in order to create a conceptual and thematic spin-off of Sullivan Entertainment’s television miniseries Anne of Green Gables (1985) and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987).

While some of the characters and plots are drawn from Montgomery’s books, the narrative frame of the series is original. The series initially starred ten-year-old Sarah Polley as Sara Stanley, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy Montreal businessman who is placed under house arrest after being framed for embezzlement by his business partner. Wanting to shield his daughter from the scandal of a trial, he sends Sara to her late mother’s relatives, unknown to her, in the village of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. Like Anne Shirley before her, Sara arrives in the closed society of Avonlea as an outsider but uses her intuitiveness, her common sense, and her gumption to win over the friendship and acceptance of her extended family and the community at large.

The regular cast also consisted of Jackie Burroughs as Sara’s authoritarian aunt, Hetty King; Mag Ruffman as her sympathetic younger aunt, Olivia King; Lally Cadeau and Cedric Smith as Janet King and Alec King, who live next door on King farm; and Gema Zamprogna and Zachary Bennett as their two eldest children, Felicity King and Felix King, who are initially resentful of Sara’s arrival but quickly become her closest friends and allies. As the series progressed, the extended cast increased to allow the series to become more of an ensemble show, easing the eventual resignation of Polley (after five seasons) and Zamprogna (after six seasons), although both continued to make infrequent appearances until the series’ end.

In Canada, the series aired as the cornerstone of the “CBC Family Hour” time slot on Sunday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. The Disney Channel, which aired the series in the United States as Avonlea, pushed for a considerable number of guest stars known to American audiences in order to attract a large audience. In addition, several actors from the two Anne of Green Gables miniseries appeared in the series: Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla Cuthbert, Patricia Hamilton as Rachel Lynde, and Marilyn Lightstone as Muriel Stacey. Rosemary Dunsmore, who played Katherine Brooke in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, appeared in the series as Janet’s sister, Abigail Ward MacEwen. After Dewhurst’s death in August 1991, the last episode of season 3 depicted the death of Marilla Cuthbert by splicing in footage of Dewhurst from past Sullivan Films productions.

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Awards and Merchandise

The entire series has been released on DVD. Prior to these releases, numerous episodes had been released on VHS. Between 1991 and 1995, HarperCollins Publishers (Canada) and Bantam-Skylark (USA) published twenty-nine Road to Avonlea novelizations based on selected episodes from the first three seasons, by Dennis Adair and Janet Rosenstock, Heather Conkie, Amy Jo Cooper, Gail Hamilton, Marlene Matthews, Fiona McHugh, and Linda Zwicker.

Over seven years, the series earned four Emmy Awards (out of sixteen nominations), five CableAce Awards (out of twenty-eight nominations), seventeen Gemini Awards (out of sixty-six nominations), and numerous other prizes and accolades. In 1999, Road to Avonlea neared the top of the all-time Ten Best Canadian TV Series entry in Mark Kearney and Randy Ray’s The Great Canadian Book of Lists, second only to the 1964–1966 news program This Hour Has Seven Days. A follow-up movie, Happy Christmas, Miss King (later rereleased as An Avonlea Christmas), followed in 1998. Several characters and storylines also appeared in different form in Sullivan Entertainment’s Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (2000–2001) and in the animated feature film Anne: Journey to Green Gables (2005).

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S1E01: The Journey Begins
S1E02: The Story Girl Earns Her Name
S1E03: The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham’s
S1E04: The Materializing of Duncan
S1E05: Old Lady Lloyd [Song of the Night]
S1E06: Proof of the Pudding
S1E07: Conversions
S1E08: Aunt Abigail’s Beau
S1E09: Malcolm and the Baby
S1E10: Felicity’s Challenge
S1E11: The Witch of Avonlea
S1E12: The Hope Chest of Arabella King
S1E13: Nothing Endures but Change

S2E01: Sara’s Homecoming
S2E02: How Kissing Was Discovered
S2E03: Aunt Hetty’s Ordeal
S2E04: Of Corsets and Secrets and True True Love
S2E05: Old Quarrels, Old Love
S2E06: May the Best Man Win
S2E07: Family Rivalry
S2E08: Sea Ghost
S2E09: All That Glitters
S2E10: Dreamer of Dreams
S2E11: It’s Just a Stage
S2E12: A Mother’s Love
S2E13: Misfits and Miracles

S3E01: The Ties That Bind [Sister of the Bride]
S3E02: But When She Was Bad . . . She Was Horrid (Part 1)
S3E03: But When She Was Bad . . . She Was Horrid (Part 2)
S3E04: Felix and Blackie
S3E05: Another Point of View [Facts and Fictions]
S3E06: Aunt Janet Rebels [Aunt Janet’s Rebellion]
S3E07: A Dark and Stormy Night
S3E08: Friends and Relations
S3E09: Vows of Silence [True Confessions]
S3E10: After the Honeymoon
S3E11: High Society
S3E12: The Calamitous Courting of Hetty King
S3E13: Old Friends, Old Wounds

S4E01: Tug of War
S4E02: The Lady and the Blade
S4E03: Incident at Vernon River
S4E04: Boys Will Be Boys
S4E05: Moving On [Sara and the Marshal]
S4E06: Evelyn
S4E07: The Dinner [Felicity’s Grand Design]
S4E08: Heirs and Graces
S4E09: Hearts and Flowers
S4E10: Felicity’s Perfect Beau
S4E11: The Disappearance
S4E12: Home Movie [Jasper’s Home Movie]
S4E13: Hearth and Home

S5E01: Fathers and Sons
S5E02: Memento Mori
S5E03: Modern Times
S5E04: A Friend in Need
S5E05: Stranger in the Night
S5E06: The Great Race
S5E07: Someone to Believe In
S5E08: Strictly Melodrama
S5E09: Thursday’s Child
S5E10: Best Laid Plans
S5E11: Otherwise Engaged
S5E12: Enter Prince Charming
S5E13: The Minister’s Wife

S6E01: The Return of Gus Pike
S6E02: Lonely Hearts
S6E03: Christmas in June
S6E04: Comings and Goings
S6E05: The Trouble with Davey
S6E06: Great Expectations
S6E07: A Fox Tale
S6E08: Fools and Kings
S6E09: The More Things Change
S6E10: Home Is Where the Heart Is
S6E11: What a Tangled Web We Weave
S6E12: A Time to Every Purpose
S6E13: Homecoming

S7E01: Out of the Ashes
S7E02: Love May Be Blind . . . but the Neighbours Ain’t
S7E03: Davey and the Mermaid
S7E04: Woman of Importance
S7E05: Secrets and Sacrifices
S7E06: King of the Great White Way
S7E07: Total Eclipse
S7E08: Ah . . . Sweet Mystery of Life
S7E09: From Away
S7E10: After the Ball Is Over
S7E11: Return to Me
S7E12: The Last Hurrah
S7E13: So Dear to My Heart

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VHS Releases

Road to Avonlea. A Sullivan Films Production. Astral Communications, [1990].

  • Volume 1: “The Journey Begins,” “The Story Girl Earns Her Name”
  • Volume 2: “The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham’s,” “The Materializing of Duncan”
  • Volume 3: “Old Lady Lloyd,” “Proof of the Pudding”
  • Volume 4: “Aunt Abigail’s Beau,” “Malcolm and the Baby”
  • Volume 5: “Conversions,” “Felicity’s Challenge”
  • Volume 6: “The Hope Chest of Arabella King,” “The Witch of Avonlea”
  • Volume 7: “Nothing Endures vut Change”

Tales from Avonlea. Disney Presents. Walt Disney Home Video, [1993–1994].

  • The Journey Begins [1993]: “The Journey Begins,” “Proof of the Pudding”
  • The Gift of Friendship [1993]: “The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham’s,” “The Materializing of Duncan”
  • Magical Moments [1994]: “The Witch of Avonlea,” “Nothing Endures But Change”
  • Felicity‘s First Date [1994]: “How Kissing Was Discovered,” “Aunt Hetty’s Ordeal”
  • Secret Treasures [advertised but never released]: “The Hope Chest of Arabella King,” “All That Glitters”
  • Wedding of the Year [advertised but never released]: “May the Best Man Win,” “The Ties That Bind”

Road to Avonlea. Sullivan Entertainment Presents. Sullivan Releasing, [1996–1997].

  • The Journey Begins [1996]: movie re-edit of “The Journey Begins” and “Proof of the Pudding”
  • Secrets and True Love [1996]: “The Materializing of Duncan,” “Of Corsets and Secrets and True True Love”
  • A Fine Romance [1996]: “How Kissing Was Discovered,” “The Dinner”
  • May the Best Man Win [1996]: “May the Best Man Win,” “The Ties That Bind”
  • The Witches of Avonlea [1996]: “Old Lady Lloyd,” “The Witch of Avonlea”
  • When She Was Bad, She Was Horrid [1996]: “But When She Was Bad . . . She Was Horrid” (Parts 1 and 2)
  • Lessons for Felix [1996]: “Felix and Blackie,” “The Great Race”
  • All That Glitters [1996]: “Sea Ghost,” “All That Glitters”
  • Misfits & Miracles [1996]: “A Mother’s Love,” “Misfits and Miracles”
  • All the World’s a Stage [1996]: “Another Point of View,” “Home Movie”
  • Return to Me [1997]: “Return to Me,” “So Dear to My Heart”

Road to Avonlea. Sullivan Entertainment, [1998–2001].

  • The Disappearance [1998]: “The Disappearance,” “What a Tangled Web We Weave”
  • The Minister’s Wife [1998]: “Enter Prince Charming,” ”The Minister’s Wife”
  • Sarah’s [sic] Homecoming [2000]: “Sara’s Homecoming,” “It’s Just a Stage”
  • A Dark and Stormy Night [2000]: “A Dark and Stormy Night,” “High Society”
  • Felicity’s Perfect Beau [2000]: “Felicity’s Perfect Beau,” “A Friend in Need”
  • Felicity’s Challenge [2000]: “Felicity’s Challenge,” “Malcolm and the Baby”
  • Old Friends, Old Wounds & Quarantine at Alexander Abraham’s [2001]
  • The Last Hurrah & Ah . . . Sweet Mystery of Life [2001]
  • Aunt Hetty’s Ordeal & Conversions [2001]
  • Family Rivalry & The Blue Chest of Arabella King [2001]
  • The Story Girl Earns Her Name & Dreamer of Dreams [2001]

Road to Avonlea: The Movie. Sullivan Entertainment Presents. Sullivan Entertainment, [2003].*

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DVD Releases

Road to Avonlea: The Movie. Sullivan Entertainment, 2002.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete First Season. Sullivan Entertainment, 2002.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Second Volume. Sullivan Entertainment, 2003.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Third Volume. Toronto: Sullivan Entertainment, 2004.

Tales from Avonlea: Beginnings. Walt Disney Home Video, [2004].

  • Disc 1: “The Journey Begins” [“The Journey Begins,” “Proof of the Pudding”]; “The Gift of Friendship” [“The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham’s,” “The Materializing of Duncan”]
  • Disc 2: “Magical Moments” [“The Witch of Avonlea,” “Nothing Endures But Change”]; “Felicity’s First Date” [“How Kissing Was Discovered,” “Aunt Hetty’s Ordeal”]

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Fourth Volume. Sullivan Entertainment, 2004.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Fifth Volume. Sullivan Entertainment, 2005.

Tales from Avonlea: The Complete First Season. Walt Disney Home Video, 2005.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Sixth Volume. Sullivan Entertainment, 2006.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Seventh Volume. Sullivan Entertainment, 2007.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete First Season [digitally remastered]. Sullivan Entertainment, 2009.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Second Season [digitally remastered]. Sullivan Entertainment, 2009.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Third Season [digitally remastered]. Sullivan Entertainment, 2010.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Fourth Season [digitally remastered]. Sullivan Entertainment, 2011.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Fifth Season [digitally remastered]. Sullivan Entertainment, 2011.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Sixth Season [digitally remastered]. Sullivan Entertainment, 2012.

Road to Avonlea: The Complete Seventh Season [digitally remastered]. Sullivan Entertainment, 2012.

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Road to Avonlea: The Official Series Soundtrack. Music Composed and Conducted by Don Gillis. Toronto: Sullivan Entertainment, 2002.

1. The King Family (1:21)
2. Sara & Hetty (0:55)
3. Hetty’s Attack (1:08)
4. Felicity & Gus (2:32)
5. Felicity’s Broken Heart (0:29)
6. Alex [sic] & Janet (1:20)
7. The Homecoming (1:36)
8. Sara’s Coming Of Age (1:16)
9. Miss Stacey’s New Car (1:11)
10. Sara’s First Love (1:16)
11. A Broken Heart (1:36)
12. Felix & Blackie (1:14)
13. Felix’s New Job (1:31)
14. Hetty’s Long Lost Love (1:44)
15. A New Beginning (1:36)
16. Hetty’s High Horse (1:10)
17. Davey’s Undercover (2:03)
18. Davey & The Mermaid (1:26)
19. Steeple Chase (1:02)
20. The Winning Team (0:54)
21. Davey’s Adventure (0:54)
22. Rodeo (1:55)
23. Rodeo II (1:25)
24. The Marshall [sic] (0:57)
25. The Stunt Rider (0:55)
26. The Circus (0:59)
27. The Treasure (2:00)
28. The Countess (1:37)
29. So Long Ago (1:31)
30. Hornpipe (0:46)
31. The Secret (0:55)
32. The Wedding (0:45)
33. A Tropical Breeze (2:04)
34. Felicity Searches For Gus (0:56)
35. Felicity & Gus II (1:26)
36. Journey To The South (1:51)
37. Felicity’s Panic (1:08)
38. Felicity’s Broken Heart (1:10)
39. Gus’ Journey (0:53)
40. Felicity’s Fuss (1:10)
41. Gus’ Arrival (1:25)

Road to Avonlea: The Official Series Soundtrack. Music Composed by John Welsman. Toronto: Sullivan Entertainment, 2006.

1. Main Title/The Story Girl (8:50)
2. Jasper Dale (8:22)
3. Old Lady Lloyd (6:57)
4. Malcolm and the Baby (7:25)
5. Peg Bowen (5:00)
6. The Blue Chest of Arabella King (6:51)
7. Gus Pike (8:32)
8. Captain Crane (8:52)
9. She’s Like the Swallow (4:08)
10. The King Family (7:05)
11. All Through the Night (feat. Cedric Smith) (1:34)

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Further Reading

Kotsopoulos, Patsy Aspasia. “Avonlea as Main Street USA? Genre, Adaptation, and the Making of a Borderless Romance.” In “Literatures, Cinemas, Cultures,” edited by Peter Dickinson. Special issue, Essays on Canadian Writing 76 (Spring 2002): 170–94.

—. “L.M. Montgomery on Television: The Romance and Industry of the Adaptation Process.” In Canadian Cultural Poesis: Essays on Canadian Culture, edited by Garry Sherbert, Annie Gérin, and Sheila Petty, 271–87. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006. Cultural Studies.

—. “The Nostalgic Appeal of a Popular Place: Female Fans Interpreting Road to Avonlea.” In “Reassessments of L.M. Montgomery,” edited by Benjamin Lefebvre. Special issue, Canadian Children’s Literature / Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse 113–14 (Spring–Summer 2004): 73–97.

—. “Our Avonlea: Imagining Community in an Imaginary Past.” In Pop Can: Popular Culture in Canada, edited by Lynne Van Luven and Priscilla L. Walton, 98–105. Scarborough, ON: Prentice Hall Allyn and Bacon Canada, 1999.

Lefebvre, Benjamin. “Road to Avonlea: A Co-production of the Disney Corporation.” In Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture, edited by Irene Gammel, 174–85. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.

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Published on 26 January 2008; last updated on 24 March 2024. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.