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Boardwalks through the Greenwich section of PEI Nat'l Park

30 Fun and Interesting Facts about Prince Edward Island

I have been to Prince Edward Island (PEI) four times – once as a kid, twice with my kids and a few years ago on a trip to cycle the length of the island with my husband. PEI never disappoints, especially in summer with all the great beaches.

Here is another in my ongoing facts series – 30 fun and interesting facts about Prince Edward Island.

The waterfront in Summerside, PEI
The waterfront in Summerside, PEI

Charlottetown is the capital of Prince Edward Island. In 2016 it had a population of 36,094.

Charlottetown is considered to be the Birthplace of Confederation. This year, the city is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference – an event that paved the way to Confederation and the founding of Canada in 1867.

The lighthouse in Souris
The lighthouse in Souris

The Mi’kmaqs were the first people to live on Prince Edward Island. They called the island Epekwik – meaning resting on the waves.

The island was named Prince Edward in 1799 in honour of Queen Victoria’s father – Edward, Duke of Kent.

Charlottetown takes its name from Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.

The population of Prince Edward Island is approximately 164,318 in July 2021. About 46% of the population lives in a city or town, while the rest of the population lives in a rural setting.

Beautiful beaches in the Greenwich Section of PEI National Park
Beautiful beaches in the Greenwich Section of PEI National Park

There are four Members of Parliament from Prince Edward Island out of a total of 305 seats. There is also a 27 seat Legislative Assembly in PEI. The premier of PEI in 2020 is Dennis King, a Conservative.

Prince Edward Island is 220 kilometres long by six to sixty-four kilometres wide. There is no place on the island that is more than 16 kilometres from the sea.

The 273 kilometre Confederation Trail – is open to walkers, cyclists, runners and wheelchairs in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter. It takes you from one tip of the island to the other on old railway beds.

Read: How to Spend 5 Days Cycling PEI

30 Fun and Interesting Facts about Prince Edward Island
The Greenwich section of PEI National Park

There is ferry service from Wood Island, PEI to Caribou, Nova Scotia eight months of the year. In the summer, there is also a five hour crossing from Souris, PEI to the Magdalene Island in Quebec.

The Confederation Bridge completed in 1997 joins PEI to New Brunswick. It is the longest bridge in the world over ice covered waters. It costs $45 one way or round trip for a car. The highest temperature ever recorded in PEI was 36.7°C (98°F) on August 19, 1935 in Charlottetown.

Confederation Bridge linking PEI and New Brunswick
Confederation Bridge linking PEI and New Brunswick – Photo credit: sunnyluo from Pixabay

The lowest temperature ever recorded in PEI was -37.2°C (-35°F) on January 26, 1884 in Kilmahumaig.

The most snow to ever fall in one day is 48 cms (19 inches) on February  7, 1956.

The single day record for rainfall is 106 mm (4.2 inches) on October 10, 1967.

The potato fields of PEI
The potato fields of PEI

On the summer solstice, the sun rises in Charlottetown, at 5:20 AM and sets at 9:08 PM.

On the winter solstice, the sun rises, again in Charlottetown, at 7:52 AM and sets at 4:28 PM.

Prince Edward Island is famous for its beaches. With over 800 kilometres of beaches, it’s hard to pick just one but vacay.ca has made the call. It names Singing Sands Beach in Basin Head Provincial Park the number one beach in Canada – high praise indeed.

A map of Prince Edward Island
A map of Prince Edward Island

The highest point on PEI is just 152 metres above sea level at Springton in Queen’s County.

Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908, was written by PEI native, Lucy Maud Montgomery. It’s set in the province near Cavendish Beach. You can visit the house that inspired the book – now a National Historic Site.

30 Fun and Interesting Facts about Prince Edward Island
The historical residence of L.M. Montgomery

The musical – Anne of Green Gables first played at the Confederation Center for the Arts in 1965.

The harvesting of Irish moss, a product harvested for its carrageenan – a thickening agent, has been in steady decline for years. In the past, upwards of 250 people would harvest the Irish moss after a bad storm when it would wash up on the beach.

Potatoes are big in PEI. They are number one for farm cash receipts. In 2013, about 89,000 acres of potatoes were planted.

30 Fun and Interesting Facts about Prince Edward Island
You’ll find farms scattered across the province

The median age in PEI in 2012 was 42.6. Compare that to 25.1 – the median age in 1972. By 2042, the median age is projected to be 49.2.

The blue jay is the provincial bird, in part because they’re hardy and can survive the winter.

The Lady’s Slipper is the provincial flower.

Lobster season happens twice a year but in different parts of the province. The first runs from May 1st until the end of June, and the second from mid-August to mid-October.

A lobster meal is a must when you visit PEI
A lobster meal is a must when you visit PEI

PEI is on the Atlantic Time Zone.

The HST – harmonized tax rate in PEI is 14%.

I have eaten one of the best meals of my life in PEI – at the Inn at Bay Fortune.

The Inn at Bay Fortune
The gorgeous Inn at Bay Fortune

Further reading about interesting facts in Canada

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest board.

30 Fun and Interesting Facts about Prince Edward Island

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. You forgot to mention Cows Ice Cream! 😉 PEI is a favourite destination of our family! I think we have visited 7 times and my 17 year-old would like to try and visit again this summer as she thinks it will be her last summer vacation and she’s feeling nostalgic!

      1. @Lisa It’s such a family friendly place isn’t it. We have always had a great vacation – really a memorable vacation in PEI.

  2. Hi Leigh, great list and book idea! I’m assuming that’s your bike pictured? I’m in the process of figuring out best panniers you use … would you mind sharing which ones you use and why you like them?

  3. Interesting facts Leigh, the Boardwalk in the Greenwich section of Prince Edward Island National Park captures my interest.

  4. Oh my, I love beets – whether in salad, roasted, canned or pickled. Just bought two packages of beet seeds to use when spring finally arrives in our area. (Also loved your most interesting facts!)

  5. Did the $45 fee seem too steep to you, Leigh? I have nothing to compare that too other than very minimal toll fees here in the West on the Bay Area bridges. That’s ironic that mentioned potatoes being big as that last picture reminds of of Idaho! I went over to look at The Inn At Bay menu (of course…ha, ha) and like that they have a tasting selection for a flat fee. I would absolutely order that. Sorry, got off the Prince Edward Island topic but it’s your fault for bringing up food 🙂

    1. @Mike I think if I was doing a return trip over the bridge I would have less of a problem with $45 but since you have to pay it for just a one way trip too, I find the price steep. On the other hand I get that users should be the ones to pay.
      I hope the Inn at Bay Fortune still offers the same outstanding food it did when I was there. I swooned over the scallops.

  6. I love the fact that there’s no place on the island that’s more than 16 kilometers from the sea. Sounds like my kind of place!

  7. this is so cool!!! thx so much!!! im doing a province and territories proget in Ss
    and this was really helpfull THX SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

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