Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Environment Canada Prince Edward Island Summerside Airport
City of Summerside
Summerside City Hall
Summerside City Hall
Flag of Summerside
Official logo of Summerside
Small city. Big opportunity.
Summerside is located in Prince Edward Island
Coordinates: 46°23′36″N 63°47′25″W / 46.39333°N 63.79028°W / 46.39333; -63.79028
ProvincePrince Edward Island
CountyPrince County
IncorporatedApril 1, 1877 (town)
 April 1, 1995 (city)
 • MayorBasil Stewart
 • Councillors
 • City28.49 km2 (11.00 sq mi)
 • Metro
92.43 km2 (35.69 sq mi)
Sea level to 29 m (0 to 95.1 ft)
 • City14,829
 • Density520/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density180/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (Atlantic (AST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (ADT)
Canadian Postal code
Telephone Exchange
Total private dwellings5,981
Mean household income$38,688
NTS Map011L05

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


Summerside was officially incorporated as a town on April 1, 1877.[citation needed] On April 1, 1995, the Town of Summerside amalgamated with the incorporated communities of St. Eleanors and Wilmot.[2] At the same time, the amalgamated Summerside annexed portions of the Community of Sherbrooke and the Lot 17 township.[2] It was PEI's second incorporated city, after the provincial capital of Charlottetown.

Summerside is named for an inn owned by George Linkletter II, called Summer Side House.[3]

The population of the Town of Summerside in 1991, the last census taken prior to amalgamation, was 7,474 residents.[2] The adjusted 1991 population as a result of the amalgamation was 13,636.[2] At the time of the 2016 Census, the population of the city was 14,829.[1]


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

The Slemon Park business park (formerly a military airbase, 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.

Amalgamated Dairies Limited is based in Summerside, founded in 1953 by six dairies as a co-operative and owned by dairy producers.[4]

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.[5] CFB Summerside is now the location of the Summerside Airport.

The Summerside area was at one time home to the world's largest concentration of Tame Silver Fox farms. This is highlighted at the International Fox Museum.[6]


Canada 2016 Census Population % of Total Population
Visible minority group
South Asian 25 0.2
Chinese 85 0.6
Black 90 0.6
Filipino 195 1.3
Latin American 50 0.3
Southeast Asian 35 0.2
Other visible minority 45 0.3
Total visible minority population 525 3.6
Aboriginal group
First Nations 310 2.1
Métis 80 0.6
Inuit 15 0.1
Total Aboriginal population 405 2.8
White 13,550 93.6
Total population 14,480 100.0


The Summerside City Council is governed by a mayor and eight councillors who represent geographic areas called wards. The current mayor is Basil Stewart.[8]

The Summerside Police Department is responsible for law enforcement within the city.[9] 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[10] 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 three facilities in Summerside;

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.[11]

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 engines 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.[12]

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.[dubious ] 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.[13]

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.


Summerside has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm but somewhat moderate summers. It has cold winters with heavy snowfall, with some maritime moderation compared to areas farther inland.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Summerside was 33.7 °C (92.7 °F) on 15 July 2013.[14] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −32.2 °C (−26 °F) on 12 January 1930.[15]


Credit Union Place, a sports and community centre

The Summerside Raceway[22] is a standardbred harness racing track which is believed to be the oldest operating racing track in Canada, having opened in 1886.[23] It is adjacent to Credit Union Place,[24] 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 Harbourfront Theatre, the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts[25] the Silver Fox Curling & Yacht Club,[26] the Summerside Golf & Country Club,[27] the PEI Sports Hall of Fame[28] and Spinnakers' Landing.[29]

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.[30] The former railway station, designed by architect Charles Benjamin Chappell[31] and built in 1927, was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2007.[32]

The fish industry has also thrived recently and created a whole new division of tourism industry. According to 2016 demographics of the city, most of the tourism in recent years, is from families just wanting to go sail out on the ocean, and catch some fish to sell to a market, or bring home.

Notable people

Spinnaker's Landing

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 an adult contemporary 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.

Sister city

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Summerside, City [Census subdivision], Prince Edward Island and Summerside [Census agglomeration] Prince Edward Island". Statistics Canada. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Interim List of Changes to Municipal Boundaries, Status and Names: January 2, 1991 to January 1, 1996" (PDF). Statistics Canada. February 1997. p. 45. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  3. ^ "History to Present". Linkletter Farms. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "ADL". Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Invest in
  6. ^ "International Fox Museum / Armoury". Culture Summerside. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Statistics Canada. 2006. Summerside Community Profile
  8. ^ "Mayor and Council". City of Summerside. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  9. ^ "Police Services". City of Summerside. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  10. ^ "New School Board".
  11. ^ 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, ISBN 2-9802153-0-9
  12. ^ "Summerside commits to wind energy". CBC News. 14 September 2006.
  13. ^ MacLean, Colin (September 13, 2013). "Summerside strikes deal to bring 40 new electric car charging stations to city". The Journal Pioneer. Transcontinental Media G.P. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Daily Data Report for July 2013". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Daily Data Report for January 1930". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Sumerside A". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Sunshine Data". Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Environment Canada. 2011-01-19. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Summerside CDA". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Daily Data Report for November 2008". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Daily Data Report for September 2010". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Daily Data Report for March 2012". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  22. ^ Summerside Raceway Archived 2009-12-28 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "History of Summerside Raceway". Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  24. ^ Credit Union Place
  25. ^ College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts
  26. ^ Silver Fox Curling & Yacht Club
  27. ^ Summerside Golf & Country Club
  28. ^ PEI Sports Hall of Fame
  29. ^ Spinnakers' Landing
  30. ^ Former Summerside Post Office. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  31. ^ Canada, Province of Prince Edward Island. "Historic Properties Online: Charles B. Chappell". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  32. ^ "192 Water Street". Province of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  33. ^ "Summerside's Noah Dobson cracks New York Islanders' lineup". CBC News. October 1, 2019. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  34. ^ "US chieftain role for Provost". March 3, 2010. Archived from the original on January 1, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2017. Retrieved 31 Dec 2016
  1. ^ Extreme high and low temperatures were recorded at Summerside CDA (June 1929 to April 1942) and Summerside Airport (May 1942 to present).