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Summerside, Prince Edward Island


Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Summerside City Hall
Summerside City Hall
Flag of Summerside
Official seal of Summerside
Motto: Small city. Big community.
Summerside is located in Prince Edward Island
Country Canada
Province Prince Edward Island
County Prince County
Founded 1800s
Incorporated April 1, 1877 (town)
  April 1, 1995 (city)
 • Mayor Bill Martin
 • Councillors
 • City 28.36 km2 (10.95 sq mi)
 • Metro 91.85 km2 (35.46 sq mi)
Elevation Sea level to 29 m (0 to 95.1 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • City 14,751
 • Density 520/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
 • Metro 16,488
 • Metro density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zone Atlantic (AST) (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Canadian Postal code C1N
Telephone Exchange
Total private dwellings 5,981
Mean household income $38,688
NTS Map 011L05

Summerside is a Canadian city in Prince County, Prince Edward Island. It is the second largest city in the province and the principal municipality for the western part of the island.


  • History 1
  • Economy 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
  • Education 5
  • Energy 6
  • Medical services 7
  • Climate 8
  • Attractions 9
  • Notable residents 10
  • Media 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Summerside was officially incorporated as a town on April 1, 1877. It was reincorporated as a city on April 1, 1995 with the amalgamation of the town of Summerside and the neighbouring communities of St. Eleanors, Wilmot and a segment of Sherbrooke.

The population of the town of Summerside in 1991, the last census taken prior to amalgamation, was 13,636 residents.


The largest single employer within the city is the Summerside Tax Centre, a Government of Canada agency which processes among other taxes the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Slemon Park business park (formerly CFB Summerside) hosts a concentration of several aerospace and transportation companies in former military buildings; Vector Aerospace Engine Services Atlantic (formerly Atlantic Turbines) repairs and overhauls Gas Turbine aircraft engines, Testori Americas produces interiors for aircraft and mass transit surface vehicles, and Honeywell manufactures and repairs parts for aircraft.

The outlying community of New Annan is home to the operations of Cavendish Farms, Prince Edward Island's largest private sector employer. Cavendish Farms maintains two large frozen foods processing plants in New Annan. Other outlying communities, such as Borden-Carleton have important employers for Summerside residents.

Since the closure of CFB Summerside in 1990, the city has been aggressive in courting new business opportunities and has created an Economic Development Office for the purpose of encouraging investment in the city.[2]

The Summerside area was at one time home to the world's largest concentration of Tame Silver Fox farms. This is highlighted at the Silver Fox Museum.[3]


Canada 2006 Census Population % of Total Population
Visible minority group
South Asian 10 0.1
Chinese 30 0.2
Black 120 0.8
Filipino 10 0.1
Latin American 0 0
Southeast Asian 0 0
Other visible minority 70 0.5
Total visible minority population 240 1.7
Aboriginal group
First Nations 95 0.7
Métis 25 0.2
Inuit 0 0
Total Aboriginal population 130 0.9
White 13,900 97.4
Total population 14,270 100


The Summerside City Council is governed by a mayor and eight councillors who represent geographic areas called wards. The current mayor is Bill Martin.

The Summerside Police Department has approximately 35 officers responsible for law enforcement within the city. The East Prince Detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is located in North Bedeque, southeast of the city, however its only responsibility is to patrol, with the Summerside Police Department, the provincial Route 1A and Route 2 highways which pass along the east and north sides of the city.


Summerside has seven English public schools: four elementary, two junior high, and one senior high school. The English Language School Board[5] has an office in the city.

The city also has one French public school operated by the Commission scolaire de langue française.

Holland College, Prince Edward Island's community college system, maintains several facilities in Summerside;

  • East Prince Centre
  • Marine Training Centre
  • Aerospace Centre
  • Atlantic Police Academy
  • Motive Power Centre

The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada is also located in Summerside.


First blade installed on Summerside's first wind turbine

The City of Summerside operates the only municipally-owned electric utility in Prince Edward Island. After buying Charlottetown Light & Power in 1918, Maritime Electric consolidated electric distribution on the island. The company offered to take over the operations in Summerside, but backed down after citizens rejected various offers. The Summerside distribution grid has had an inter-connection with the Maritime Electric transmission grid since 1961.[6]

Similar to Maritime Electric, Summerside Electric purchases the majority of its electricity from NB Power. In 2008, 76.5% of its power was acquired from NB Power. Although the Summerside Electric Commission has its own diesel turbine at the Harvard Street Generating Station which can operate for several days independently of NB Power's supply, it is only used in exceptional circumstances such as when the NB Power or Maritime Electric transmission grids that feed the city are interrupted. They also run their engines on the last day of every month, for maintenance reasons and they sell that power back to NB Power.

In 2007 the city signed a 20-year agreement with a private wind energy company to supply about 23% of its electricity from a private wind farm in West Cape.[7]

Construction started on a city owned wind farm in 2009 comprising four wind turbines, each capable of producing 3 megawatts of electricity. The wind farm became fully operational in late 2009 and was immediately tied into the city's power. This is Canada's first municipally owned and operated wind farm. On an average day the wind farm produces about 25% of the electricity for the entire city. At times when electricity usage in the city is low and the winds are high the wind farm has potential to produce more power than the city consumes.

The city is a supporter of clean electric vehicles. As of September 2013 there are over 10 electric car charging stations in the city with another 30 to be installed in the coming months. There are more charging stations per capita in Summerside than any other city in Canada.[8]

Medical services

The Prince County Hospital, located in the city's north end, is the main referral hospital in the western part of the province. Island Emergency Medical Services operates two Advanced Life Support Paramedic Ambulances 24/7 from its base downtown.


Climate data for Summerside
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12.1
Average high °C (°F) −3.4
Average low °C (°F) −12.3
Record low °C (°F) −29.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 100.1
Source: Environment Canada[9]


Credit Union Place, a sports and community centre

The Summerside Raceway[10] is a standardbred harness racing track which is believed to be the oldest operating racing track in Canada, having opened in 1886.[11] It is adjacent to Credit Union Place,[12] the largest indoor sports facility in the province with a large hockey arena seating 4000, a bowling alley, a 25-metre swimming pool and other fitness and meeting facilities. Other attractions include the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts[13] the Silver Fox Curling & Yacht Club,[14] the Summerside Golf & Country Club,[15] the PEI Sports Hall of Fame[16] and Spinnaker's Landing.[17]

The city has redeveloped several waterfront industrial sites, abandoned by the railway and marine terminal during the 1990s, into new parkland. A major reconstruction of the west end seawall has resulted in a new waterfront boardwalk for residents and visitors.

The former post office on Summer Street was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1983.[18]

Notable residents

Waterfront buildings

Summerside was home for three years to the fictional Anne Shirley of the Anne of Green Gables series by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Anne resides in the town while principal of Summerside High School, in the book Anne of Windy Poplars.


Summerside has one radio station licensed to it, FM 102.1 CJRW-FM, which plays a classic hits format. CJRW is the only commercial radio station in the province whose studios are located outside of Charlottetown. Summerside is otherwise served by media based in Charlottetown. CBC Television has its Prince County bureau situated in Summerside.

Summerside's daily newspaper is the Journal Pioneer. The province's French weekly newspaper, La Voix acadienne, is also based in the city.

See also


  1. ^ Statistics Canada. 2006. Summerside Community Profile
  2. ^ Invest in
  3. ^ Silver fox Museum
  4. ^ a b "Pickering, Ontario (City) Census Subdivision". Community Profiles,  
  5. ^ "New School Board". 
  6. ^ Negru, John (1990), The electric century : an illustrated history of electricity in Canada : the Canadian Electrical Association, 1891-1991, Montreal: Canadian Electrical Association, p. 75,  
  7. ^ "Summerside commits to wind energy". CBC News. 14 September 2006. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  10. ^ Summerside Raceway
  11. ^ "History of Summerside Raceway". Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Credit Union Place
  13. ^ College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts
  14. ^ Silver Fox Curling & Yacht Club
  15. ^ Summerside Golf & Country Club
  16. ^ PEI Sports Hall of Fame
  17. ^ Spinnaker's Landing
  18. ^ Former Summerside Post Office. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 25 September 2011.

External links

  • City of Summerside

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