30 Fun and Interesting Facts about Prince Edward Island

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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.

"Boardwalk in the Greenwich section of Prince Edward Island National park"

Boardwalk in the Greenwich section of Prince Edward Island National Park

  • Charlottetown is the capital of Prince Edward Island. In 2011 it had a population of 34,562.
  • 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 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 PEI is approximately 141,000. About 46% of the population lives in a city or town; the rest of the population lives in a rural setting.
  • 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 is Robert Ghiz, a Liberal.
  • Prince Edward Island is 220 kilometers long by six to sixty-four kilometers wide. There is no place on the island that is more than 16 kilometers from the sea.
  • The 273 kilometer 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.
"Confederation Trail in PEI"

Confederation Trail

  • 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.
"Confederation Bridge"

Confederation Bridge – Photo credit

  • The highest temperature ever recorded in PEI was 36.7 C (98F) 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 cms (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.
  • Prince Edward Island is famous for its beaches. With over 800 kilometers 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.
  • The highest point on PEI is just 152 meters 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.
  • 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.
"Acres of potatoes grown in PEI"

Acres of potatoes grown in PEI

  • 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.
  • PEI is on the Atlantic Time Zone.
  • The HST – harmonized tax rate in PEI is 14%.
  • 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.
  • I have eaten one of the best meals of my life in PEI – at the Inn at Bay Fortune.
"A beet salad was just the start of an amazing meal at the Inn at Bay Fortune"

A beet salad was just the start of an amazing meal

Have you any fun and interesting Prince Edward Island facts to add – including must do restaurants or places to see?

Other posts in my fun, weird and interesting facts series you might enjoy.

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