Welcome to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island! Our Newscomers Guide is also available in several languages:
On behalf of our City Council and all citizens of Charlottetown, I want to offer a warm welcome to you and your family.
Having you settle in Charlottetown and put down roots here is very important to us. We want you to be assured that we work hard every day to provide for you a safe, clean, and prosperous place to live, work, and live life to the fullest. We are proud of the quality of life we all enjoy in Charlottetown, and we never take that for granted. We want you to find your place where you can take part in our community and make it your home.
Our city has much to offer you. It is a beautiful city set along one of the finest harbours in the country. There is culture, entertainment, open spaces, and so many more amenities for you to enjoy.
I hope that this Welcome Guide will help you to get to know the many benefits the City of Charlottetown.
6. Services & Institutions
The City of Charlottetown has prepared this guide for you and your family so that you will become comfortable in your new surroundings as soon as possible. We sincerely want Charlottetown to be more than your place of work and residence, we truly want it to become home, a place where your family can settle down, make roots, make friends and enjoy a full life. We believe that Charlottetown’s greatest asset is the quality of life we offer to our citizens, and as a new citizen, we want you to be happy, safe, and prosperous. Welcome home.
Charlottetown is the capital city of our province of Prince Edward Island. The essence of our city is the quality of life it offers its citizens. Situated on beautiful Charlottetown harbour with boardwalks that stretch almost the entire southern exposure of the city. Charlottetown is a clean and safe family community, which also happens to be the center of activity, amenities, shopping and entertainment in PEI. One of the great benefits of living here is the very low cost of living. Our classic downtown draws tourists, residents out for a walk and cultural events. It is very simply a great place to be with other people, and spend time.
Our climate offers on average 238 sunny or partly sunny days per year, 33.8 inches of rainfall and 132.6 inches of snowfall. In summer the temperature can range from 20-30 degrees C, and in winter, average temperature can range from –3 to –11 degrees C.
|Charlottetown||Greater Charlottetown Area||Prince Edward Island|
|Population in 2006||32,174||58,625||135,851|
|Population Density/Sq. Mi.||725.8||80.5||23.9|
|Land Area||44.33 sq mi||728 sq mi||5,683.91 sq mi|
|Labour Force||Greater Charlottetown Area||Prince Edward Island|
|Charlottetown||Greater Charlottetown Area||Prince Edward Island|
|Greater Charlottetown Area||Prince Edward Island|
|Education (20+ Yrs Old)|
|High School or Less||18,961||4,623|
|Non-university with or without certificate/diploma||10,612||21,769|
|University without degree/certificate||7,266||12,640|
|University with degree/certificate||9,668||15,761|
|Occupation by Sector||As %|
|Sales and service||8,240||16,960||49%|
|Business, finance, admin||5,835||11,485||51%|
|Trades, transport, equipment||4,090||10,975||37%|
|Social science, education, government||2,585||4,695||55%|
|Science, related occupations||1,965||3,120||63%|
|Occupations unique to primary industry||1,785||9,585||19%|
|Art, culture, recreation, sport||1,020||1,600||64%|
|Housing Starts – 2005||448||862|
|Total Private Dwellings||14,995||26,193||62,753|
|Average household income||$65,700|
Location and Transportation
Traveling to and from Charlottetown is easy. The Trans Canada Highway leads from the city. To the west it connects to the world famous Confederation Bridge to New Brunswick, and to the east to the Wood Islands Ferry to Nova Scotia. The distance to Confederation Bridge is 56 kilometers, and to the Ferry is 61 kilometers.
Distances between Charlottetown and:
Halifax, Nova Scotia: 331 km (via Confederation Bridge)
Moncton, New Brunswick: 158 km
Montreal, Que: 1194 km
Toronto, Ont: 1738 km
Boston, Mass: 1018 km
New York, NY: 1354 km
Buses arrive and leave daily with connections to the rail system on the mainland.
Charlottetown Airport is a 10 minute drive (approximately 3 miles) from the city center. The airport is serviced by 5 airlines including Air Canada Jazz, Westjet, Northwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Sunwing Airlines. The 6 largest Cities served are Montreal, Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, Detroit, and Boston.
Airport Contact: (902) 566-7994 | www.flypei.com
City of Charlottetown trolleys are busy at work shuttling citizens/travelers along designated bus routes. The transit system covers the whole city providing convenient transportation service to commuters with close attention to the University of PEI. Transit maps are available at City Hall and at Murphy’s Pharmacies. The Charlottetown Transit operates regular schedules:
Monday-Saturday: 6:30 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Fare: Cash – $2.25
Contact Charlottetown Transit: (902) 566-9962 | www.triustransit.ca
Charlottetown Municipal Government
Charlottetown is governed by an elected council representing 10 (ten) wards in the city, and our mayor who is elected at large. Every citizen is represented by a councillor who works to convey concerns and provide answers on City business. The Chief Administrative Officer oversees all City staff, manages the City affairs including the execution of City policies, and works with mayor and council. The city government has always been very inclusive in encouraging citizen representation on the various committees and advisory boards which assist in the decision making process. City Council conducts a monthly meeting, which is open to the public and media on the second Monday of each month in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Information can be obtained on the City website at www.city.charlottetown. pe.ca/cityhall
Canadian And Provincial Governments
The Canadian federal government has four(4) representatives on Prince Edward Island including one for the federal riding of Charlottetown. Various federal departments have offices in Charlottetown including the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Public Works Government Services Canada, Service Canada, Canadian Heritage among others. The most significant federal presence is that of the Department of Veterans Affairs which is the only federal head office outside of Ottawa.
The provincial government for Prince Edward Island as the elected Legislative Assembly is responsible for the enactment of legislation and providing of financial supply for the Government of Prince Edward Island. Executive Council (also known as the Cabinet), led by the Premier is the executive branch of the government and decides on policy and direction. The day to day administration of the province is carried out by nine departments.
The services provided by the City of Charlottetown are funded primarily through a tax on properties. All properties within the City are assessed a value and taxes are paid based on that value. For residential properties, taxes are currently paid to the City at a rate of $.67 for every $100 of assessed value (taxes are also paid to the Province at a rate of $1.00 for every $100 of assessed value). Nearly every residence in Charlottetown has access to City Water and Sewer services. These services are currently billed at a rate of $181 for water and $293 for sewer for a single family dwelling per year.
Immigration And Community Resources
There are many organizations, agencies, and government departments here in Charlottetown that are ready, willing and able to provide a wide range of services to you and your family.
- Resettlement Assistance Program
- Immigration Settlement & Adaptation Program
- Employment Assistance Service
- Immigration Student Liaison Program
- English Language Evaluation
- Multicultural Education Program
- Francophone Settlement Program
- Canadian Life Skills Training
- Internationally Educated Health Professionals Program
Citizen & Immigration Canada – Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (902) 629-4235, enroll at PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada
University of PEI – International Students Program (902) 894-2817
Provincial Government – Diversity & Equity Policy (902) 368-4184
PEI Population Secretariat (902) 620-3656, www.gov.pe.ca/popsec
Health Canada – Foreign Workers Program (902) 368-6257
Access PEI (902) 368-5200
Charlottetown is well known for its premier recreation services and facilities. The range of programs and facilities are diverse, as to appeal to a wide demographic, as well as varied interests of residents and visitors alike. Built on a healthy partnership with the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) and the neighboring town of Stratford, the City also features a state of the art aquatics venue with both leisure and competitive swimming pools as well as a dual arena complex that is home to University hockey and a premier hockey school. The City has also partnered with UPEI to build and maintain a regulation size artificial field turf, which is operational 8-9 months per year, for the many local sport field user groups.
The athletics venue is the latest paretnership based development at UPEI, a 2009 Canada Games legacy featuring a 400 metre track and field venue with ample spectator seating. The Charlottetown Civic Centre with a seating capacity of 3,700 is home of the QMJHL Charlottetown Islanders as well as the City’s year round entertainment venue, hosting an array of concerts and major events.
Contact: (902) 368-1025. Please go to our website for a complete listing of our programs and services in the latest Parks and Recreation brochure.
Charlottetown CultureParks and open spaces are a major asset in the City of Charlottetown, reinforcing the character of the Province’s Capital City and the value it places on heritage and quality of life. The City’s impressive inventory of parks and recreation amenities includes Victoria Park, a 40 acre waterfront property that provides a range of passive and active experiences and is adjoining to the property and residence of the Lieutenant Governor. The award winning Confederation Landing Park, beautifully landscaped waterfront park amidst restaurants and shops is the site of numerous special events and festivals in the summer months.
An area once occupied by oil tank farms has been transformed into the “place to be” in Charlottetown. The waterfront area is alive with activity and is a center of cultural activity. It is the site of new residential and commercial developments, home of the largest convention facility in the province, and most important of all, is where you can always find other people to meet and greet. Local, well maintained neighborhood playgrounds are strategically placed throughout the City to ensure that families can recreate close to home. For the outdoor enthusiast, the City maintains over 40 kilometers of trails, ranging from natural paths to high traffic waterfront boardwalk sections, many of which give consideration to optimum views of waterways and natural areas. Ongoing parks and open space planning in the City will ensure the continued rich legacy of assets that residents enjoy today.
For information, contact (902) 629-4024.
Festivals and Events
Charlottetown has become internationally famous for its festivals and events within the last few years. You will be amazed by the vibrancy and sense of community that you will experience when you become part of our many cultural and sporting events. We bring culture and events to life in our city. Whether you like to sit indoors and enjoy a play at the theatre, lounge on an outdoor patio and listen to live music, or are a sport enthusiast, Charlottetown is busting at the seams with entertainment. Certainly the summertime is the busiest season for our outdoor events, many of which take place in our famous downtown. You will find that around our city something is “always on stage”. Just a few examples include:
- The Jazz and Blues Festival
- The Festival of Lights
- The Jack Frost Festival
- The Fall Flavours Festival
- The International Shellfish Festival
- Charlottetown Festival
We attribute our success to great people, great financial supporters, world renowned hospitality, and committed volunteers who work each year in support of their community. In addition, Charlottetown has top-notch facilities and venues. When you go for your first walk downtown in the summer months, you will sense the energy and spirit of this community. You will find a community that welcomes you, to a warm and friendly place that you can call home.
Culture and Heritage
Charlottetown CultureYou will find that Charlottetown’s vibrancy comes from our culture of celebrating and promoting a diverse array of arts and culture activities and institutions. Whether you want to be sitting indoors at the theatre, strolling through an art gallery, or lounging on an outdoor patio there is something in our city for you. Charlottetown is alive with dance events, theatre performances, music concerts, literary readings, art openings, craft shows and so much more offered all year around. The Charlottetown Festival, which showcases the world renowned “Anne of Green Gables” at the famous Confederation Centre of the Arts is just one example of this bustling cultural community. It’s also tied to our heritage. Charlottetown’s place in history as Birthplace of Confederation of Canada is reflected in the community in many ways, and one cannot deny that this is truly a city of culture.
6. Services and Institutions
Our Key Cultural Institutions/Facilities
Confederation Centre of the Arts
The Confederation Centre of the Arts was founded as Canada’s National Memorial to the Fathers of Confederation who gathered at Province House to discuss the creation of our country. Covering an entire city block, the Centre stands on what was the site of the old Charlottetown Marketplace. It houses several theatres, an art gallery, restaurants and a gift shop open year round. It showcases the best in Canadian visual and performing arts.
– The Mainstage Theatre – seats 1,102 on two levels
– The Studio Theatre – Located on the main level of the Centre next to the Art Gallery’s interior entrance, seats 180
– The MacKenzie Theatre – located on the corner of Grafton Street and University Avenue, seats 190 in cabaret style(tables and chairs)
The Confederation Centre is the result of a dream shared by all citizens to create a place where our country’s history and multicultural character is celebrated and where the talent of its people are nurtured and showcased.
Contact: (902) 628-1864 | www.confederationcentre.com
The Guild a well attended cultural facility located in the heart of the downtown cultural district, which offers a performance theatre, gallery area, and office space.
Contact: (902) 368-4413 | www.theguild.com
The Charlottetown Police Services, working together with the community, strives to protect life and property and in so doing improve the quality of life for the citizens of Charlottetown and its visitors. In an effort to assist newcomers to our community, the Police Department has established a 24 hour a day translation service providing both local and off-island translation assistance in many different languages.
The Charlottetown Police Department has an excellent ongoing working relationship with the PEI Association of Newcomers and operates with a compliment of 59 sworn police officers and 14 civilian staff. The Police Department also has an involvement with the United Nations Peacekeeping and a new endeavor entitled National Weapons Enforcement (NWEST). The department has members involved with the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and other members on the tactical troop.
You can always call the Police Department for assistance at (902) 629-4172
Fire and Emergency Services
The Charlottetown Fire Services is dedicated to the protection of life and property and to providing the highest degree of fire safety education and information to their citizens by presenting professional, quality service in fire fighting, rescue, fire prevention, code enforcement, and investigation.
The Fire Services Department can be reached at (902) 629-4083
There are a variety of ways to pay a bill from the City, these include mailing a cheque or visiting City Hall in person. As well, Water and Sewer bills can be paid at your own bank, parking and other tickets can be paid at the Police Station, and Police tickets, recreation facility rental, and Water and Sewer bills can all be paid on-line.
Contact: (902) 629-4005
Visit government website at www.gov.pe.ca/educ. In Charlottetown area contact the Eastern School District at: (902) 368-6990.
We are so proud to call Charlottetown home for both the University of Prince Edward Island, and Holland College. Both have an international reputation as first class educational institutions, and many young people of our community choose to stay in PEI for their post secondary education as they know they will get an education which is second to none, and well recognized everywhere. We know that having such great educational institutions so close will be a tremendous benefit for your family.
University of Prince Edward Island
A public liberal arts and science institution, UPEI is committed to encouraging and fostering critical, creative, and independent thinking. The university provides a rich blend of academic programs in Arts, Science, Business, Education, Nursing, and Veterinary Medicine to over 4,000 full and part-time students. Just minutes from the downtown core of the city, the 130 acre campus features nine academic buildings, three residences, a dining hall, library, chaplaincy centre, a new state of the art day care facility and a multitude of new sports facilities.
Contact: (902) 566-0439 | www.upei.ca
Holland CollegeHolland College provides courses in the fields of aerospace, business, culinary, health, law enforcement, marine, tourism, trades, and technology, and sport and recreation. Holland College’s reputation as a leader in hands-on,
skill based training is putting graduates to work all over the world. The college has more than 2,600 full time and 4,070 part-time students who come from a variety of work experiences and educational backgrounds.
Contact: 1-800-446-5265 | www.hollandcollege.com
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Riverside Drive in Charlottetown is the main referral hospital in the province of PEI.
Contact: Main hospital phone: (902) 894-2111
Emergency phone: (902) 894-2200
Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a warm welcome to all newcomers to Charlottetown. This organization represents 860 businesses in the area and it is very important for us to both work to find new employees to meet the ever increasing needs of the business community, but to also assist newcomers to make connections with our business community and to assist in finding meaningful long-term employment.
Contact: (902) 628-2000
Getting Involved in CharlottetownThere are many ways to become involved and active in Charlottetown life. You may be interested to become a volunteer and offer your time and talents while at the same time making new friends and connections.
For more information it may be helpful to contact the Voluntary Resource Council at 81 Prince St in Charlottetown, (902) 368-7337. In addition, there are many wonderful and exciting events that happen year round that utilize the many different abilities of volunteers in the community.
At City Hall, City Council holds an open public meeting regularly on the second Monday of each month and citizens are invited to attend. Public meetings are also held on a wide variety of issues to seek community input.
Charlottetown’s greatest strength is its citizens, and all are encouraged to participate, play a role, and contribute to continually
making our community a better place to live, work and play.
Contact the City of Charlottetown