I have been to Prince Edward Island (PEI) four times – once as a kid, twice with my kids and one summer to cycle the length of the island with my husband. Prince Edward Island never disappoints, especially in summer with all the great beaches to explore. Enjoy these 30 plus fun and interesting facts about Prince Edward Island.
Charlottetown is the capital of Prince Edward Island. In 2023 it is estimated to have a population of 38,354.
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 – one of the interesting facts about Prince Edward Island.
Charlottetown is considered to be the Birthplace of Confederation. In 2014, the city celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference – an event that paved the way to Confederation and the founding of Canada in 1867.
Facts about the people of Prince Edward Island
The Mi’kmaqs were the first people to live on Prince Edward Island. They called the island Epekwik – meaning resting on the waves.
The population of Prince Edward Island is approximately 173,787 in 2023. About 46% of the population lives in a city or town, while the rest of the population lives in a rural setting.
The median age on Prince Edward Island in 2021 was 42.4. Compare that to 25.1 – the median age in 1972. By 2042, the median age is projected to be 49.2.
Prince Edward Island geography facts
Did you know that Prince Edward Island is the smallest of all Canadian provinces? Prince Edward Island is 220 kilometres long by 6 to 64 kilometres wide. There is no place on the island that is more than 16 kilometres from the sea.
There are 1,100 kilometres of coastline on Prince Edward Island.
There are 231 minor islands that are part of Prince Edward Island.
One of the interesting facts about Prince Edward Island is that it’s the world’s 104th largest island.
One of the interesting facts about Prince Edward Island is that the highest point is just 152 metres above sea level at Springton in Queen’s County.
Facts about getting to Prince Edward Island
There is ferry service from Wood Island, Prince Edward Island to Caribou, Nova Scotia eight months of the year. In the summer, there is also a five hour crossing from Souris, Prince Edward Island to the Magdalen Islands in Quebec.
The Confederation Bridge completed in 1997 joins Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick. It is the longest bridge in the world over ice covered waters – another one of the interesting facts about Prince Edward Island. It costs $50.25 (2023 prices) one way or round trip for a car. You only pay when leaving the island.
Prince Edward Island weather related facts
The highest temperature ever recorded in PEI was 36.7°C (98°F) on August 19, 1935 in Charlottetown.
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 cm(19 inches) on February 7, 1956.
The single day record for rainfall is 106 mm (4.2 inches) on October 10, 1967.
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.
Facts about Prince Edward Island beaches
The island is famous for its beaches. One of the interesting facts about Prince Edward Island is that it’s home to over 90 beaches covering 800 kilometres. It’s hard to pick just one beach 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.
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.
The musical – Anne of Green Gables first played at the Confederation Center for the Arts in 1965.
Prince Edward Island industry facts
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 2020, about 85,235 acres of potatoes were planted.
Other than agriculture, fisheries, tourism and aerospace are the main industries.
Minimum wage is $15 per hour as of October 2023 and is scheduled to go up to $16 per hour by October 2024.
Biking and hiking on Prince Edward Island
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.
There is a newish trail in Prince Edward Island called The Island Walk, modeled after the Camino in Spain. It covers 700 kilometres over 32 sections.
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.
Prince Edward Island’s official mammal is the red fox.
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 2023 is Dennis King, a Conservative.
Prince Edward Island is on the Atlantic Time Zone.
The HST – harmonized tax rate in Prince Edward Island is 15%.
I have eaten one of the best meals of my life in Prince Edward Island – at the Inn at Bay Fortune.
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.