Prince Edward County, Ontario

Prince Edward County, Ontario
Prince Edward County
—  City  —
Coordinates: 44°00′N 77°15′W / 44°N 77.25°W / 44; -77.25Coordinates: 44°00′N 77°15′W / 44°N 77.25°W / 44; -77.25
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County none (Single-tier municipality)
Settled 1792
Incorporated 1998
 – Type City
 – Mayor Peter Mertens
 – Federal riding Prince Edward—Hastings
 – Prov. riding Prince Edward—Hastings
 – Land 1,050.14 km2 (405.5 sq mi)
Population (2006)[1]
 – Total 25,496
 – Density 24.3/km2 (62.9/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code K0K
Area code(s) 613
Indian Point, western-most point of Prince Edward County and entrance to the Bay of Quinte.

Prince Edward County is a single-tier municipality and a census division of the Canadian province of Ontario.



A map of Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is located in Southern Ontario on a large irregular headland or littoral at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, just west of the head of the St. Lawrence River. This headland (officially named Prince Edward County in 1792[2]) is surrounded on the north and east by the Bay of Quinte. As the Murray Canal now connects the bay to Lake Ontario across the only land connection, the county is technically an island.

The county's relatively mild climate due to the influence of Lake Ontario has led to the establishment of about 50 vineyards and close to 30 wineries; as a result Prince Edward County is one of Ontario's newest designated viticultural areas.[3] The lake effect from Lake Ontario results in heavier snowfall than in neighbouring counties.


Prince Edward County is an island community encompassing approximately 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq mi), with over 800 kilometres (500 mi) of shoreline with beaches and limestone rich soil.


Prince Edward County includes the population centres of Ameliasburg, Bloomfield, Carrying Place, Cherry Valley, Consecon, Demorestville, Fawcettville, Glenora, Hillier, Lake On The Mountain, Milford, Mountain View, Northport, Picton, Rednersville, Rosehall, Rossmore, Salmon Point, Waupoos, Waupoos Island, Wellington, West Lake, Woodrous, and Yerexville.


Long settled by indigenous peoples, the county has significant archeological sites. These include the LeVescounte Mounds of the Point Peninsula Complex people, built about 2000 years ago.

The settlement for European-Canadians was facilitated when the county was created by Upper Canada's founding lieutenant-governor John Graves Simcoe on July 16, 1792. It was named after Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent (the fourth son of King George III) who was commander-in-chief of British North America.

Shortly after the American Revolution, the Crown made land grants to some of the earliest United Empire Loyalists to encourage their settlements in Ontario and provide compensation for property lost in the Thirteen Colonies. The county was originally composed of three townships named in honour of three of George III's daughters.

For many years Prince Edward County has been closely associated with the wholly mainland Hastings County. Its longtime militia unit has been The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment (locally known as the Hasty Ps), whose most famous member was Farley Mowat. This noted nature author wrote And No Birds Sang, about his experiences with the Hasty Ps during the Second World War's Italian Campaign.

In 1998, all of the former municipalities in Prince Edward County amalgamated to form a single-tier municipality as part of provincewide municipal restructuring. Each of the former municipalities is now a ward.


Despite the official name, Prince Edward is not a county by the standard Ontario definition — it is a single-tier municipal government with city status that handles all municipal services. The former county seat and current council hall is located at the Shire Hall in Picton. Officially the area is the smallest single-tier municipality in Ontario, consisting of the merged governments of the original county and the 10 former towns, villages and townships which governed the area until 1997.

Ward No. Name
1 Picton
2 Bloomfield
3 Wellington
4 Ameliasburgh
5 Athol
6 Hallowell
7 Hillier
8 North Marysburgh
9 South Marysburgh
10 Sophiasburgh


Population trend:[4]

  • Population in 2006: 25,496 (2001 to 2006 population change: 2.4 %)
  • Population in 2001: 24,901
  • Population in 1996: 25,046
    • Ameliasburgh Township: 5571
    • Athol Township: 1383
    • Bloomfield Village: 687
    • Hallowell Township: 4577
    • Hillier Township: 1851
    • North Marysburgh Township: 1312
    • Picton Town: 4673
    • Sophiasburgh Township: 2283
    • South Marysburgh Township: 1018
    • Wellington Village: 1691
  • Population in 1991:
    • Ameliasburgh Township: 5357
    • Athol Township: 1416
    • Bloomfield Village: 689
    • Hallowell Township: 4349
    • Hillier Township: 1804
    • North Marysburgh Township: 1258
    • Picton Town: 4386
    • Sophiasburgh Township: 2110
    • South Marysburgh Township: 968
    • Wellington Village: 1426

Private dwellings occupied by usual residents: 10,319 (total dwellings: 12,055)

Mother tongue:[1]

  • English as first language: 93.3 %
  • French as first language: 1.3 %
  • English and French as first language: 0.3 %
  • Other as first language: 5.1 %


Its main attraction is Sandbanks Provincial Park, attracting thousands of visitors on hot summer days.

Prince Edward County in recent years has become a top culinary destination. With emerging artists and wineries around every corner, there is never enough time to take in all the region has to offer.

From the historic Black River Cheese Company which started operations in 1901 to the new LEED-certified, award-winning Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Factory, the ‘County’ as it is referred to, boasts of being both a tranquil and culinary destination hot spot.

With an increasing number of cultural activities — in part due to the emigration of top artists and chefs to the area – like the "Harvestin’ supper", the "Taste" celebration or "Six Barrels for Six Chefs", the County has created a niche in the new Creative Economy. “It's yet another point of pride for Prince Edward County, which has become the gastronomic capital of Ontario — a fertile island bursting with vineyards, organic farms and a community of artists and chefs. Tucked into the "golden triangle" between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, it is the province's newest Designated Viticultural Area, which helps identify the origin of a wine and its grapes.” (Globe and Mail)

Events also include the Spring Birding Festival (; Prince Edward County Authors' Festival; the County Jazz Festival, a summer event; the Prince Edward County Music Festival (a chamber music series) held on the same fall weekend as the Prince Edward County Studio and Gallery Tour; "Music at Port Milford," a summer music festival and school for string students from 12–18 years old, and an annual season of professional theatre produced by Festival Players of Prince Edward County.

One of the few surviving art-deco movie houses in Ontario, Picton's downtown Regent Theatre, is host to a variety of plays, musicals and art movie screenings throughout the year. A drive-in movie theatre, The Mustang, is located just outside of Picton.

County residents with established reputations in the arts include flugelhornist Guido Basso; authors Janet Lunn, J. D. Carpenter, and John Oughton; folk opera composer Suzanne Pasternak; the late poet Al Purdy; and potter Bill Reddick.


Post secondary education

Prince Edward County is within close proximity to top educational institutions in Kingston and Belleville including, Queen’s University, the Royal Military College of Canada, St. Lawrence College and Loyalist College.

Primary and secondary education

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board serves close to 17,000 students each day at 46 elementary and eight secondary schools. The district covers a wide geographical area of 7,221 square kilometers bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south and Quinte West to the west.

The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board serve students of the Roman Catholic faith. Approximately 15,000 students attend 36 elementary schools and 5 secondary schools in this school district

List of area schools



Driving south on Loyalist Highway 33 to the village of Wellington. Proudly displayed on billboards as you arrive in the small town of 1,700 — located 15 kilometers west of Picton in Prince Edward County — is ‘Home of the Dukes.’ Every season for the past dozen years the Wellington Dukes[5] have finished at, or near the top of the II-tier league. “Parents of hockey-playing kids all over Ontario compete to send their kids to try out for the Dukes. Players aspiring for hockey scholarships to American universities, vie to play for the Dukes...”

Prince Edward Community Centre located at 375 Main Street is where the Picton Pirates[6] Junior C Hockey Team play their home games, Nicknamed the "Patcheyes", the Picton Pirates were founded in 1989 as members of the Eastern Ontario Junior C Hockey League.

Picton recently won the 2011 Empire "B" Junior C Championship after beating 2nd place Amherstview Jets 4-3 in the best of 7 and 1st place and defending champions Napanee Raiders in their best of seven series 4–2.


Prince Edward County is surrounded by 800 km of shoreline offering a dozen or more sheltered harbors and many facilities that cater to boating are located throughout, including full-service marinas. The County has a rich sailing history which can be discovered at Mariners Park Museum[7] in South Marysburgh. For those interested in a broader collection of maritime material, Picton is also home to The Archives and Collections Society which offers more than ten thousand documents on the Great Lakes and the sea, maritime history and navigation.

The Prince Edward County Yacht Club[8] located in Picton Harbour offers a junior sailing program for children aged 10–18 using monohull dinghies which sail out into the Bay of Quinte. The non-profit West Lake Catamaran Sailing School[9] offers a junior sailing program for children aged 11–18 using catamarans out of Wellington Harbour beside Sandbanks Provincial Park[10] into West Lake or into Lake Ontario, depending upon weather conditions. Both programs use CYA certified instructors and successful students are granted CYA certificates.

Former municipalities


The following are former municipalities:[11]

Notable residents

  • Al Purdy — (December 30, 1918 – April 21, 2000) One of the most popular Canadian poets of the 20th century, Purdy moved to Ameliasburgh in the 1950s.
  • Jamie Kennedy (chef) — is a renowned Canadian chef and owner and operator of Jamie Kennedy Kitchens.
  • Sir John A. Macdonald — First Canadian Prime Minister, lived for three years at Glenora, where his father operated a grist mill. In 1833, Macdonald returned to the Picton area to take over a law practice from his ailing cousin.
  • Gord Downie — Lead singer of Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip is noted as saying during a concert in Belleville, Ontario that he has taken up occasional residence in the County.

See also

  • Royal eponyms in Canada
  • List of Ontario census divisions


  1. ^ a b c Statistics Canada 2006 Census — Prince Edward community profile
  2. ^
  3. ^ Vintners Quality Alliance
  4. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  5. ^ Wellington Dukes.
  6. ^ Picton Pirates.
  7. ^ Mariners Park Museum.
  8. ^ Prince Edward County Yacht Club.
  9. ^ West Lake Catamaran Sailing School.
  10. ^ Sandbanks Provincial Park.
  11. ^ Province of Ontario — A History 1615 to 1927 by Jesse Edgar Middleton & Fred Landon, copyright 1927, Dominion Publishing Company, Toronto.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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