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Island Information

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Quick Facts


  • The Island's first residents were the Mi'kmaq.
  • The Mi'kmaq called the Island Epekwitk, meaning "resting on the waves". European settlers later changed the pronunciation of the name to "Abegweit".
  • The Island was discovered by the French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534.
  • Early French settlers called the land "Île Saint-Jean" while to the British the Island was known as "St. John's Island".
  • The Island was renamed "Prince Edward", in honour of Edward, Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria) in 1799.
  • Province House, home of Prince Edward Island's Legislative Assembly, opened in 1847.
  • The Charlottetown Conference, one of the most significant political events in Canadian history, was held on September 1, 1864 to discuss the possibility of Canadian union.
  • Canada officially became a nation in 1867.
  • PEI joined Confederation in 1873 and is the smallest province in Canada.

Symbols of PEI

  • The Latin phrase Parva Sub Ingenti on the Armorial Bearings (formerly the Coat of Arms) translates to "The small under the protection of the great".
  • The highest honour the Province can bestow on an individual Islander is induction into the Order of PEI.
  • The provincial bird is the Blue Jay.
  • The provincial flag is modelled after the province's original Coat of Arms.
  • The provincial flower is the Lady's Slipper.
  • Our most important natural resource is the provincial soil.
  • The PEI tartan was adopted in 1960.
  • The provincial tree is the Red Oak.
  • The Island Hymn, an unofficial anthem of Prince Edward Island, was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908.


  • Prince Edward Island is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Canada's east coast.
  • PEI is separated from the other Maritime provinces, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, by the Northumberland Strait.
  • The Island is 224 km (140 mi) long and from 6-64 km (4-40 mi) wide.
  • Total area is 5,660 square kilometres (2,184 sq. mi).
  • No place in the province is more than 16 km (10 mi) from the sea.
  • The highest point of land is located at Springton in Queens County (142 metres or 466 feet above sea level).
  • There are three counties: Prince, Queens and Kings.
  • The Island is formed from sedimentary bed rock of soft, red sandstone which produces the rich, red soil. The redness of the soil is due to the high iron-oxide (rust) content.
  • PEI is in the Atlantic Time (AST) zone.


  • In July 2011, the province's population was estimated to be 145,855.
  • Approximately 54% of the population is rural.
  • The majority of the population is of British ancestry.
  • Approximately 11% of the population speak French.
  • PEI's population growth rate decreased to 0.05% in 2013 from 0.78% in 2012. This is compared to a national population growth rate of 1.16% in Canada.
  • The provincial fertility rate is 1.62.



  • The major industries in the province are agriculture, tourism, fishing and manufacturing.
  • There are two lobster seasons. The first runs from approximately the 1st of May to the end of June on the north side of PEI from North Cape to East Point and along the east coast to Victoria. The second season runs from approximately mid-August to mid-October on the south side of PEI from west of Victoria to North Cape.
  • The harmonized sales tax is 14%.
  • The province's GDP in 2011 was $5,353 at a growth rate of 3.7%


  • The 12.9 kilometre Confederation Bridge between PEI and New Brunswick opened in 1997.
  • There are 5,648 km (3,530 mi) of roadway in the province.
  • Ferry service from Wood Island, PEI to Caribou, Nova Scotia runs for 8 months of the year (May 01 to December 20) - weather and ice permitting.


  • The Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island is a 27-seat unicameral parliamentary body responsible for the enactment of legislation.
  • The current Premier of Prince Edward Island is the Honourable Wade MacLauchlan.
  • There are four Members of Parliament representing PEI in the Canadian House of Commons.
  • The Province also has a Lieutenant Governor, who acts as the Queen's provincial representative.

and L.M. Montgomery

For more detailed information, see All About PEI

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