Prince Edward County, Ontario
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|County of Prince Edward|
|County||none (Single-tier municipality)|
|• Mayor||Robert Leighton Quaiff|
|• Federal riding||Prince Edward—Hastings|
|• Prov. riding||Prince Edward—Hastings|
|• Land||1,050.45 km2 (405.58 sq mi)|
|• Density||24.0/km2 (62/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Government
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Activities
- 6 Education
- 7 Sports
- 8 Emergency Services
- 9 Former municipalities
- 10 Notable residents
- 11 See also
- 12 Further reading
- 13 References
- 14 External links
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.
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) 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. The lake effect from Lake Ontario results in heavier snowfall than in neighbouring counties.
|Climate data for Picton (1981−2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.6
|Average high °C (°F)||−2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−6.4
|Average low °C (°F)||−10.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−36
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||80.4
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||23.4
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||57.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||12.9||10.9||9.2||11.3||12.4||11.4||8.5||10.4||11.9||13.1||13.1||13.4||138.4|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||3.4||2.9||5.0||10.5||12.4||11.4||8.5||10.4||11.9||12.9||11.9||6.2||107.2|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||10.0||8.1||4.5||1.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.23||1.6||7.5||32.9|
|Source: Environment Canada|
Prince Edward County is an island community encompassing approximately 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq mi), with over 500 kilometres (310 mi) of shoreline with beaches and limestone rich soil.
Prince Edward County includes the population centres of Picton and Wellington and the communities of Ameliasburg, Bloomfield, Carrying Place, Cherry Valley, Consecon, Cressy, Demorestville, Fawcettville, Glenora, Hillier, Lake On The Mountain, Milford, Mountain View, Northport, Rednersville, Rosehall, Rossmore, Salmon Point, Waupoos, Waupoos Island, West Lake, Woodrous, and Yerexville.
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.
- Population in 2011: 25,258
- Population in 2006: 25,496
- 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
- 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%
Prince Edward County has become a vacation Mecca with Sandbanks Provincial Park, the world's largest freshwater dunes, and Ontario's newest VQA wine Appellation as the twin-centerpieces of the tourism industry. Hotels, Motels, Bed & Breakfasts are abundant and mostly occupied during the summer months. In addition, many cottages are available such as those offered at Sandbanks Beach Resort.
PEC's main water attractions are it's white, sand beaches. Together, Sandbanks Provincial Park, North Beach Provincial Park attract over 600,000 visitors yearly. The numerous campgrounds throughout the County also allow many tourists to enjoy watersports such as those offered through Westlake Wakeboarding School, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and more.
Skateboarding & BMXing
Beside the historic Crystal Palace is the County Youthpark. It provides a great location for people of all ages and interests to congregate, as a recent mini-documentary reveals. Whereas the region is known for a large retirement community, young blood now flocks to the County to visit the skatepark and innovative playground nestled in the corner of the Picton Fairgrounds property (which also holds the Picton Arena, the Prince Edward Curling Club & Crystal Palace). For example, the YoungLife youth event "Road Rage" had teens of all ages visiting skateboard parks across Ontario and then entering their homemade skateboarding video into a contest; Picton was one of their stops. That Transworld and Etnies representatives have visited and given very positive reviews about the Picton skatepark shows that the skatepark is recognized by the skateboarding/biking community as one of Ontario's best parks. The playground is also very creative and innovative and loved by those in the community. During the summer, a canteen is open to sell small food items. The artistic rendering of the skatepark is available at Transworld's website by clicking here. Vancouver-based Spectrum Skateparks Inc, says of the skatepark,
- Prince Edward County had a big dream, & Spectrum guided them in achieving it. Inspired by the attraction / tourist-draw success of Spectrum’s other parks in the area, Parks Commissioner Barry Braun decided to plan by the creed that their local skaters ride by: “Go Big or Go Home!” A powerfully dynamic yet easy- to-ride bowl with enough lines for a lifetime is surrounded by a park-like “tech-street” pathway, converging into a central Plaza zone with still more “never been done before” elements including the spinning pac-man waiting to be explored. This park is one of Canada’s sweetest.
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.
The 'County' also holds the annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival. This festival, held at the Picton Fairgrounds in June, boasts outstanding cheese-makers from all across Canada offering way more than 125 artisan cheeses for tasting and purchase. The festival also includes non-cheese related artisan foods such as, various breads and condiments, wine, cider and craft beer as well as many other offerings.
With an increasing number of cultural activities — in part due to the emigration of top artists and chefs to the area – like 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. The professional summer theatre company, Festival Players of Prince Edward County, provide a season of theatre for adults and children in July and August. Festival Players performs at a variety of venues in The County, from artisan cheese factories to wineries to orchards and museums. A drive-in movie theatre, The Mustang, is located north-west of Picton on Route 1.
Acknowledging Famous People
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; theatre director Sarah Phillips, 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
Sonrise Christian Academy is located at 58 Johnson St. in Picton and offers K-8 education from a Biblical worldview to families in Prince Edward County.
Previously the Prince Edward County Board of Education served the county.
List of area schools
- C.M.L. Snider Public School
- Kente Public School
- Pinecrest Memorial Elementary School
- Massassaga-Rednersville Public School
- Prince Edward Collegiate Institute
- Queen Elizabeth School
- Sophiasburgh Central School
- Athol-South Marysburgh Public School
- St. Gregory Catholic School
- Sonrise Christian Academy
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 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 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. In the spring of 2013, The Pirates became just the seventh team from Eastern Ontario since the 1930s to win the Ontario Hockey Association's Schmalz Cup, emblematic of Junior C supremacy in the province. The Pirates defeated the Essex 73's five games to one to capture the OHA title.
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 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 fifty thousand documents on the Great Lakes and the sea, maritime history and navigation.
The Prince Edward County Yacht Club 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 offers a junior sailing program for children aged 11–18 using catamarans out of Wellington Harbour beside Sandbanks Provincial Park into West Lake or into Lake Ontario, depending upon weather conditions. Both programs use CYA certified instructors and successful students are granted CYA certificates.
The following are former municipalities:
- Ameliasburgh, named after Princess Amelia, youngest daughter of George III
- Hallowell, named after Benjamin Hallowell, eminent Loyalist, formerly of Boston. He was the father-in-law of Chief Justice John Elmsley.
- Hillier, organized in 1823, and named after Major George Hillier, military secretary to Sir Peregrine Maitland.
- North Marysburgh, surveyed in 1785 and settled by Loyalist veterans, some of Hessian birth. Named for Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, one of George III's daughters.
- Sophiasburgh, named for Princess Sophia, one of George III's daughters. Surveyed in 1785 and 1787, settled by Loyalists from Nova Scotia and the Mainland.
- South Marysburgh, also named for Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, one of George III's daughters.
- Al Purdy — Canadian poet, Purdy moved to Ameliasburgh in the 1950s.
- Jamie Kennedy — 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, Lowther P. Macpherson, who was in ill-health. During his stay here, Macdonald became the first secretary of the Prince Edward Young Men’s Society in 1834 and served as secretary of the Prince Edward District School Board. The latter position constituted his earliest experience in the field of public administration.
- 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.
- Union Publishing Company Farmer's and Business Directory for the Counties of Frontenac, Hastings, Lennox, Addington, Prince Edward for 1899, Union Publishing Company, Ingersol, 1899 (facsimile reprint by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2010)
- Elizabeth Hancocks and W. E. Britnell Prince Edward County Marriage Register 1858-69, Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2005
- "Prince Edward County census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- Origins of the name of Prince Edward County
- Vintners Quality Alliance
- "Picton". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
- "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
- Spring Birding Festival
- Wellington Dukes.
- Picton Pirates.
- Mariners Park Museum.
- The Naval Marine Archive
- Prince Edward County Yacht Club.
- West Lake Catamaran Sailing School.
- Sandbanks Provincial Park.
- Province of Ontario — A History 1615 to 1927 by Jesse Edgar Middleton & Fred Landon, copyright 1927, Dominion Publishing Company, Toronto.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prince Edward County, Ontario.|
- Official municipal government site
- Prince Edward County Wine and Culinary route
- Prince Edward County Arts Trail
- Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association
- Map of Wineries of Prince Edward County
- County of Prince Edward Public Library
- The County Youthpark organization
- Picton Pirates Junior Hockey Club
Bay of Quinte
|Belleville, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Deseronto
Bay of Quinte
|Lake Ontario||Lake Ontario|