Fun Facts

General:

  • Charlottetown is best known as The Birthplace of Confederation for hosting the Charlottetown Conference in September 1864. These discussions led to the formation of Canada.
  • PEI joined Confederation in 1873 and is Canada’s smallest province.
  • The population is approximately 138,000, over 56% of the population lives in rural communities
  • In 2008, we’ll celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. Across Prince Edward Island, Anne enthusiasts will enjoy a year-long celebration of L.M. Montgomery’s imagination, inspiration and creativity.
  • Prince Edward Island is Canada's smallest and greenest province. Cradled on the waves of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Island is known for the vivid colours of its gently rolling landscape.
  • Over 1.3 M people visit Prince Edward Island each year.
  • Charlottetown is home to Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™, the longest running musical in Canada.
  • Agriculture is ranked the number one industry on Prince Edward Island, followed by Tourism and the Fishing and Aquaculture Industry.
  • Fall Flavours will celebrate the bounty of Prince Edward Island’s Land and Sea.

Agriculture:

  • Prince Edward Island produces over 22 different types of vegetables. (took out sentence) By acreage, the top field-grown vegetables on the Island are carrots, rutabagas, and cabbage.
  • The main fruit crops on Prince Edward Island are low-bush blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries and apples.
  • Prince Edward Island also produces strawberry nursery stock that is sold primarily into the southern USA.
  • Almost 60% of the potatoes grown on PEI are used by the processing industry.
  • Prince Edward Island seed and table potatoes are shipped to over 20 countries annually.
  • Grains and oilseeds are, by acreage, the largest group of crops grown on P.E.I.
  • In 2011, Statistics Canada estimated that there were 100,000 acres of wheat, oats, barley and mixed grain and 48,000 acres of soybeans seeded on the Island.
  • Grains are primarily grown in rotation with potato crops but on some farms they are the main crops grown.
  • There are approximately 55 certified organic producers in the province who produce crops and/or raise livestock organically.
  • There are approximately 200 dairy farmers in the province.
  • Annual milk production exceeds 100 million liters, 15 % is used to supply the fresh market and the balance is manufactured into butter, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products.
  • There are approximately 25 hog farms on the Island.
  • Beef production on Prince Edward Island involves 40 percent of farms, greater than any other type of farming operation. The beef industry is comprised of two main sectors; cow-calf operations where calves are raised to the feeder stage and beef feedlots that purchase the feeders to finish for market.
  • The average cow/calf herd is 40 cows.

Lobster:

  • Lobster is the largest fishery, in 2010 landings were 23.8 million pounds, a landed value of $82.3M
  • There are 1,287 licensed lobster fishermen on PEI.
  • Over 5000 Islanders are employed through the lobster fishery.
  • There are two lobster fishing seasons: May – June and August – October. The spring season represents approximately 85% of landings.
  •  Lobster catch is divided into two categories, either as canners or markets, in accordance with size. Generally canners weigh between 1/2 and 3/4lbs (275-375g) while markets weigh over 3/4lbs (375g).
  • Approximately 15% of the catch is shipped live to the fresh market and 85% is frozen processed product.
  • Approximately 85% of lobster is exported outside Canada to the USA, Europe and Asia.
  • The majority of lobsters caught off PEI are between 5-7 years old.
  • Cooking lobster – should be cooked in clean seawater or salted fresh water, 2 TBSP of salt to each litre of water. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the lobster & bring to a boil. Canners will take between 12-15 minutes to cook and markets can take up to 20 minutes.

Mussels:

  • The 2010 landings for mussels were 44 Million pounds, a landed value of $26.6M
  • 1500 Islanders are employed in the mussel industry.
  • It takes about 2 years to grow a mussel from seed to harvest.
  • 10,000 acres of waters are leased to mussel growers.
  • Mussels are harvested all year-round, even in the winter months through the ice.
  • PEI is the largest producer of cultivated mussels, representing 80% of total Canadian production.
  • Cooking Mussels – For a 1-Kg of mussels, steam in a covered pot over medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until the shells are wide open and the meat is coming loose from the shell. Serve with melted butter.

Oysters:

  • The 2010 landings were 5.4 million pounds, with a landed value of $5.8M
  • Known as one of the world’s finest oysters. PEI Malpeque Oysters and other brands have superior taste, quality and appearance.
  • The flavour of PEI oysters reflects the water quality, minerals, salinity and the type of nutrients available in the water.
  • Oysters are harvested by fishers on public beds and produced by aquaculturists on private leases.
  • Harvesting methods include the use of rakes, tongs and dredges.
  • Oysters can be baked, steamed, grilled or used in specialty dishes. Shucked oysters can be deep-fried, sautéed or used in stews or chowders.
  • PEI is the leading producer of the American Oyster (Crassostrea virginica).
  • Live oysters should have tightly closed undamaged shells. They can be stored for up to 3 weeks refrigerated at 35-45 fahrenheit or 2-7 Celcius.