Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada. It’s surrounded by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is connected to New Brunswick by the Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the world!
The 1908, fictional novel, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery allowed people around the world to discover the natural beauty of PEI as seen through the eyes of the endearing protagonist, Anne. Since the publication of that novel, million and millions of tourists have visited PEI in the summer.
The scenic, white sand beaches along the North Shore are the biggest attraction, though the red, rocky cliffs along the South Shore are also a natural haven. Tourists and local people both love to eat the fresh, delicious seafood and visit the provincial and national parks and heritage sites. Did you know PEI is famous for Malpeque Oysters?
PEI has four distinct seasons, each with its own family-friendly festivals. The culture of PEI focuses on family. Parents choose to relocate to PEI for its public education system and PEI’s relaxed pace. PEI has 56 public schools and a few private schools. For the public education system, the teacher to student ratio is quite low with most classes having no more than 25 students. There are about 19,000 students enrolled in PEI’s public school system. PEI also has two post-secondary institutions: the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College.
The population of PEI is about 154,331 (2021 Census data). Perhaps due to the global pandemic, the amount of people immigrating to PEI declined during 2020 and 2021. The Province of Prince Edward Island 48th Annual Statistical Review estimates that 1,211 immigrants arrived in 2020/2021.
Traditionally, PEI’s industries were agriculture and tourism. However, with good economic growth indicators such as a 6.6% in GDP (2020-2022) some sectors are booming. The sector that employs the most people is health care. According to the Government of Prince Edward Island, the key growth sectors are Information and Communications Technology (ICT) which include aerospace; financial services; gaming; health; independent software and mobile and wireless applications. PEI is also a North American leader in renewable energy.
Speaking of renewable energy, PEI’s second largest city, Summerside, is the only municipality in North America that owns its own electricity utility. Stratford, a town just east of the capital, Charlottetown, is also the fastest growing municipality in Canada.
With many people moving to PEI in the past few years, the province has focused on expanding public transportation within Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, Stratford and Cornwall, as well as adding more rural bus routes. However, many people choose to own their own vehicle. In terms of real estate, people live almost everywhere on PEI. It’s the most densely populated province in the country.
Most residential housing is single family homes and condominiums and apartment-style living is available in the cities and towns. The average price of a house on PEI, as of May 2022 is about $414,742. Most detached homes also have gardens and lawns, and in the summer, PEI is green and lush everywhere you look.