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Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown is the capital city of Prince Edward Island, one of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada.

It's a quaint and pretty town, small enough to be able to walk around, and has lots of good restaurants and bars. It's also within easy reach of the

PEI National Park

.

Cityscape and architecture

Downtown Charlottetown includes the city's historic five hundred lots, as surveyed by Captain Samuel Holland, as well as the waterfront facing the harbor and the Hillsborough River. Adjacent communities to the original downtown included Brighton, Spring Park, Sherwood, and Parkdale. The areas to the west, north, and east of downtown have been developed in recent decades with several residential and commercial/retail developments, although the outer regions... Read more

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Destination:

Charlottetown is the capital city of Prince Edward Island, one of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada.

It's a quaint and pretty town, small enough to be able to walk around, and has lots of good restaurants and bars. It's also within easy reach of the

PEI National Park

.

Cityscape and architecture

Downtown Charlottetown includes the city's historic five hundred lots, as surveyed by Captain Samuel Holland, as well as the waterfront facing the harbor and the Hillsborough River. Adjacent communities to the original downtown included Brighton, Spring Park, Sherwood, and Parkdale. The areas to the west, north, and east of downtown have been developed in recent decades with several residential and commercial/retail developments, although the outer regions of the city are still predominantly farmland, as is an area in the center of the city where an Agriculture Canada experimental crop research station is located.

The Agriculture Canada research station farm is the last remnant of the Queens Royalty common pasture lands and creates a large greenspace in the center of the city, north of downtown. The development of the township of Queens Royalty, with its 5-hectare (12-acre) estates surveyed during the 18th and 19th centuries along a north-south axis, forced early road networks into a grid.
The present-day Charlottetown landscape is dominated by urban development along the waterfront areas, suburban development to the west, north, and east, as well as the airport to the north. Commercial development, aside from the central business district, is concentrated along several road corridors:
  • University Avenue/Malpeque Road
  • North River Road/Lower Malpeque Road
  • St. Peter's Road
  • Mount Edward Road
  • Kensington Road
The downtown core is augmented by several feeder streets:
  • Queen Street
  • Water Street
  • Grafton Street
The city's streetscape with a centrally planned downtown core containing many Victorian-era houses and buildings is an attraction, as well as the waterfront redevelopment project in recent decades which has seen walking trails and parks developed on former industrial lands. A new cruise ship terminal was opened by the port authority in September 2007 which, proponents hope, will make the city a more attractive destination for the growing number of vessels operating in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Popular attractions within the city include the provincial legislature at Province House, which hosted the Charlottetown Conference, as well as Founders Hall, a recently redeveloped railway maintenance building which now houses an interactive trip through history tracing the development of Canada as a nation.

The Confederation Centre of the Arts provides live theatre, including the Charlottetown Festival during the summer months, as well as a nationally ranked art gallery. The Charlottetown Festival itself is headlined by Canada's most popular and longest-running musical, Anne of Green Gables - The Musical, which is an adaptation of Island author Lucy Maud Montgomery's novel. Several other small theaters and galleries can be found immediately surrounding the Confederation center including the Mac (MacKenzie theatre), the Arts Guild, and Pilar Shepard gallery.
There are 11 National Historic Sites of Canada located in Charlottetown, including Province House and the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

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Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: Port Information


Only one cruise ship can dock at the pier. If the pier is busy, cruise ships anchor offshore, and passengers are transported ashore by tenders.
The dock is right in the historic center of the town.

Get around Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island


Taxis are cheap. All taxis are flat rate by zone. None has any specific licensing information in them; not to worry though, taxi drivers are typically friendly, enjoy meeting tourists, and are honest above all else.
Charlottetown is a small highly accessible city, you can walk almost anywhere downtown.
Most of downtown is also easy to walk through, a bit less in winter.
If you need a bus, check T3 services.

What to see in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island


  • St. Dunstan's Basilica

    , 45 Great George St, ☎ +1 902 894-3486. Tourists welcomed between services.
  • Province House

    , 165 Richmond Street, PE C1A 1J1. 9 AM-5 PM. This National Historic Site and has functioned as the provincial legislature since 1847. 
  • Founders’ Hall – Canada’s Birthplace Pavilion. 9 AM-4 PM. Get familiar with the City and the important role it played in the Confederation. 
  • Confederation Centre of the Arts, 15 Richmond Street. The Confederation Centre is open year-round and showcases the best in the Canadian visual and performing arts. It houses several theaters, an art gallery, Mavor's Bistro and a gift shop.
  • Beaconsfield Historic House, 2 Kent Street, PEI CIA 7M4. 10 AM-5 PM. The Beaconsfield Historic House Museum is open year round for tours. One of the Island's finest residences, built in 1877, the site offers a program of house tours and lectures, and special events in the Carriage House. 
  • Ardgowan, Mt Edward Road, PEI CIA 7M4 (near bus station). 10 AM-5 PM. Only outside can be visited. 

What to do in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island


  • At the harbor front, you can get on a seal-watching tour boat.
  • Go on an air tour which departs from the airport's skyplex.
  • Walk around Victoria Park one of Charlottetown’s most beautiful and popular parks. The park has walking trails, a harbor-front boardwalk, three play structures, and an outdoor pool and splash park.
  • Book a Peake’s Wharf Harbor and Seal Watching Cruise and relax while cruising Charlottetown’s scenic and historic harbor.
  • Visit Cows Ice Cream. Cows Ice Cream is voted the best in Canada year after year. You can also buy many types of “cow-themed” merchandise like apparel, mugs, and calendars.
  • Peake’s Quay is a wonderful shopping and dining area located right on the marina and is just a short walk from downtown. There are many souvenir shops, activities, and restaurants right to choose from.
  • Walk down picturesque Victoria Row for great shopping, drinks, and dining. Both Victoria Row and Queens Street have excellent art galleries.
  • PEI Confederation trail from the city, you can go to south ending on Grafton St, north out of city and 470km on all PEI.
  • Anne of Green Gables the musical runs seasonally from the end of June to the end of August. The musical is based on the novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Tickets start at twenty dollars. There are both matinee and evening showings.

What to eat and drink in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island


  • Cedar's Eatery, 81 University Ave, ☎ +1 902 892-7377. Great Lebanese food and reasonable prices. They have won many awards and have a great atmosphere. Shish Taouk, Falafel and other traditional dishes are prepared much more thoughtfully and are far tastier than the normal hole-in-the-wall Mediterranean joints in most cities.
  • Brickhouse, 125 Sydney St, ☎ +1 902 566-4620. Romantic meal, sophisticated atmosphere, and there is a well-stocked bar upstairs called Marc's Studio.
  • Gahan House, 126 Sydney St, ☎ +1 902 626-2337. Home of Gahan Micro Brewery, with great fresh-brewed beer! A favorite is Iron Horse, but the others are all great. The Nachos are a favorite with locals and the best value on the menu. Tourist dished such as the Fish and Chips can be paltry and overpriced.
  • The Merchantman Pub, 23 Queen St, ☎ +1 902 892-9150.
  • The Pilot House, 70 Grafton St, ☎ +1 902 894-4800.
  • Urban Eatery, Confederation Court Mall, ☎ +1 902 566-4848. The food court in the Confederation Court Mall. They serve the best lunches possible: Simple sandwiches, soups, and pizza all run by an in-house chef. This is a great place to feed a family.
  • Formosa Tea Room, 186 Prince St, ☎ +1 902 566-4991. Provides shockingly inexpensive vegetarian meals. Serving a selection of fine Asian teas, dim sum treats like dumplings, and large bowls of noodles, vegetables and vegetarian "ham", you won't go hungry. The menu is small but every item on it is delicious and very reasonably priced.
  • The Water Prince Corner Shop and Lobster Pound, 141 Water St (corner of Water and Prince St), ☎ +1 902 368-3212. Offers simple but well-prepared seafood meals at exceptional prices. Start with an order of fresh Malpeque oysters, and then have a lobster roll, some lightly battered fish and chips, or even a 2 lb. steamed lobster.
  • The Noodle House, 31 Summer St (behind Dairy Queen off University Ave.), ☎ +1 902 628-6633. Serves authentic Chinese cuisine; well-known for their Kung Pao Gar Ding, Hot & Sour soup, and friendly service.
  • Town & Country, 219 Queen St (next to Charlottetown City Hall at the Kent/Queen Sts. intersection), ☎ +1 902 892-2282. "Asian Fusion" cuisine. Formerly a Lebanese restaurant, their menu now contains Lebanese, Indonesian, and Canadian items. Impressively tasty food for a good price. Great Indonesian curries.
  • Churchill Arms, 75 Queen St (right near the Delta Hotel), ☎ +1 902 367-3450. A cozy British pub and restaurant. Well known for their curries, everything is tasty and affordable. Portions can be quite large.
  • Brits Fish and Chips, 41 University Ave, ☎ +1 902 892-3474. Famous for their fish and chips as well as their casual and friendly atmosphere.
  • Chez Cora, 123 Queen St, ☎ +1 902 569-5681. Casual restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. Extensive breakfast menu.
  • Cows Ice Cream, 150 Queen St, ☎ +1 902 892-6969. Canada's most popular spot for ice cream! A trip to Cows is unlike any other ice cream experience. The smell of freshly made waffle cones will lure you in through the door, but you will stay for the apparel! Cows not only offers a bounty of creatively named (and delicious) ice cream flavors like “Gooey Mooey” or “Wowie Cowie”, but the store sells t-shirts for women, men, and children that are humorous parodies of pop culture, such as “Cowy Potter and the Udder of the Phoenix.”
  • Peake's Quay Restaurant, 11 Great George St, ☎ +1 902 368-1330. Peake's Quay Restaurant is located just a few feet from the Charlottetown Waterfront with a full lunch and dinner menu to satisfy anyone’s appetite.
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery Dining Room, 4 Sydney St, ☎ +1 902 894-6868. At the Culinary Institute of Canada, a well-respected school for chefs. The students prepare and serve meals under the tutelage of their instructors. The food is classically and competently prepared. The dining room has an excellent view over Charlottetown Harbour, though the institute's building itself is hopelessly municipal in appearance. Begins service at 6 PM, reservations requested.
  • Thai Food & Dimsum Place, 198 Kent St, ☎ +1 902 367-9094. Pretty authentic Thai food. Hot! But they ask you how hot you want it. Very tasty, made fresh, affordable. The interior of the place is very simple (your date will NOT be impressed) but the food is perfect.
  • Maid Marians Place, 7 Ellis Rd, PE C1A 7X1 (East of university), ☎ +1 902-566-4641. Really the local place to eat. Cheap, old American cantina style but good food.

Drink

  • Fishbones, 136 Richmond St. (Victoria Row), ☎ +1 902 628-6569. A seasonal bar and restaurant, located on Charlottetown's historic Victoria Row. Great atmosphere and more than reasonable prices.
  • Baba's Lounge, 81 University Ave., ☎ +1 902 892-7377. A spot that many young locals go year round. Generally the most reliable but is quite small.
  • Olde Dublin Pub, 131 Sydney St., ☎ +1 902 892-6992. An authentic Irish pub.
  • Peake's Quay, 11 Great George Street, ☎ +1 902 368-1330. An outdoor patio that looks over the marina, very popular with young locals during the summer months. Great food and drinks.

Shopping in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island


Charlottetown contains two major shopping centers: the Confederation Court Mall (right downtown, across from Province House), and the Charlottetown Mall, which is just out of town in West Royalty, on University Avenue. They contain the usual anchor stores (Zellers, SportsChek, etc), as well as many smaller stores. West Royalty also has many stand-alone big-box stores, such as Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Future Shop, etc.
If you get off the beaten path, though, you'll find lots of great specialty shops just waiting for your business. Walks along Queen St. and University Ave. (among others) will yield wonderful surprises in terms of shopping selection.
Groceries are readily available from many major supermarkets within Charlottetown. Typical closing time is 10:00 PM. Since 2011, the government has allowed Sunday shopping year round, which will be in place until further notice. Sunday store hours are generally noon to 5:00 PM.

  • Best of PEI Store (Authentic Island Excellence), 156 Richmond St (on Historic Victoria Row), ☎ +1 902 368-8835, e-mail: info@bestofpei.com. Daily, 9 AM-9 PM. Carries works by more than 250 of PEI's finest artisans. Continues to seek out talented island artists, musicians, craftspeople, and specialty chefs who offer authentic island excellence in their work.

Safety in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island


Since most tourist destinations in the region are rural, crime is less of a threat than getting lost. The weather can turn ugly quickly, so be prepared. Moose is a huge member of the deer family (called "elk" in Europe) and is a common hazard on the roads.

Language spoken in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island


 People of the Atlantic Provinces predominantly speak English and French.

LOCAL TIME

11:03 pm
August 18, 2019
America/Halifax

CURRENT WEATHER

17.82 °C / 64.076 °F
broken clouds
Mon

24.6 °C/76 °F
light rain
Tue

23 °C/73 °F
sky is clear
Wed

24.45 °C/76 °F
light rain
Thu

23.13 °C/74 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

CAD

1 USD = 0 CAD
1 EUR = 0 CAD
1 GBP = 0 CAD
1 AUD = 0 CAD

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By kitonlove - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitonlove/3639468273/sizes/o/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9755695 St. Dunstan's Basilica, Charlottetown
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