Prince Edward Island is located in the eastern part of Canada, right next to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island is the smallest province of Canada and the one with the highest population density. Most of Canada’s provinces are fairly large and a big part of them is untouched wilderness, although Prince Edward Island has some wilderness but most of the island is dominated by cities, towns, and a lot of farms.
Prince Edward Island is probably one of the best provinces when it comes to off grid living, the entire island has a rural vibe, you have plenty of options when it comes to growing crops and the local authorities offer generous incentives for solar and wind power systems. On the other hand, the cost of property and the cost of living is above the national average, in some areas everyday life can get extremely expensive.
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Living off the grid in Prince Edward Island is completely different from any other province in the country, in fact, it resembles a lot to a state like Kentucky. This province is considered a rural province, this is mostly due to the high population density in such a small province. Currently, the population of Prince Edward Island is around 157k people, and this province doesn’t have any cities with over 100k residents.
The biggest cities in Prince Edward Island are Charlottetown with a 36k population, followed by Summerside with 15k, Stratford 10k, Cornwall 5.5k, and Three Rivers with 4.5k residents. Around 100 years ago this island was a very popular luxury retreat for wealthy people from around the world. The UK government gave free lands to wealthy people in the form of a lottery, a lot of the winners moved to this province and this has lead to a significant increase in the local economy and population.
The entire province has a rural feel to it, and from an off grid living perspective, this island has everything you need, although the cost of living might be a little bit higher than in the neighboring provinces. If you want to compare this province to its southern neighbor then check out my recent article Off grid living in Nova Scotia ( The Sea Bound Coast ).
Prince Edward Island climate
Prince Edward Island has a maritime climate, summers are mild and the winters are usually below freezing and cold. The average summer temperatures are around 67 °F ( 19 °C ) and the average winter temperatures are around 19 °F ( -7 °C ). The maritime climate tends to be fairly humid, which means frequent rains during the summer and frequent snow during the wintertime. In addition to this, the high humidity is also prone to forming black ice on the roads. If you want to compare this province to a state then check out my recent article Off grid living in New Mexico ( Land of Enchantment ).
Types of crops grown on Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island has a favorable climate for growing several crops like potatoes, corn, barley, oats, soybeans, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, haskap, apples, and different types of vegetables. The most commonly grown livestock are poultry, hogs, cattle for beef, and dairy products. You will notice some areas with greenhouses but for the most commonly grown crops, you don’t need to set up a greenhouse. If you want to take a look at PEI’s western neighbor then check out my recent article Off grid living in New Brunswick ( The Picture Province ).
Freshwater availability in Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island has plenty of freshwater, the average yearly rainfall is around 35″ ( 890 mm ) and the average yearly snowfall is around 114″ ( 290 cm). Even though this province is the smallest one in the country, it still has several rivers and lakes.
Prince Edward Island wildlife
Most of the wildlife in Prince Edward Island are birds, which often nest every year on this island for thousands of years. The most common animals on the island are beavers, snow hares, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, minks, Canada goose, ducks, and the occasional wild hogs. There are a lot of different types of both freshwater and saltwater fish like brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, striped bass, Atlantic cod, and bluefin tuna. You will need a fishing license both for freshwater and saltwater fishing https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/pe/pei-ipe/activ/peche-fishing.
Generating power off the grid in Prince Edward Island
- Solar power: You will see a lot of homesteads and communities using solar panels to power their homes. This province has several solar incentive programs like the EfficiencyPEI, the Home Insulation Rebates, and the EfficiencyPEI Home Energy Low-Income Program. Basically, you can also insulate your home and set up a solar power system by only applying to one of the incentive programs. In addition to this, you can also apply for the Solar Cash Incentive program, which you can apply on top of a rebate.
- Wind power: The maritime climate is excellent for generating power with wind turbines, although there are not that common on the island as the local authorities mostly focus on offering solar power incentives.
Prince Edward Island off grid laws
Living off the grid in Prince Edward Island is legal, and there are a lot of smaller communities that live off the grid. The local authorities also help with generous incentive programs although certain conditions do apply. The homeschooling laws are fairly relaxed, some would say they are way too relaxed as they do not have any oversight.
Prince Edward Island road access
Due to the relatively small size of Prince Edward Island, this province doesn’t have any problems with road access. It has roads all across the islands and trails formed on the old railways, although during the wintertime you will have to drive carefully as the high humidity can form ice in certain areas.
Price of land in Prince Edward Island
The price of land is above the national average, although this is a truly unique place in Canada, no other province can compare with it. In the past, it was considered a luxury retreat and in some areas, it still has this status, so if you want to buy a piece of land or property then you should probably avoid these areas.
Prince Edward Island cost of living
The cost of living is also slightly higher than the national average, this province doesn’t have any road access to the neighboring provinces as it is an island, which will add up to the cost of living as everything has to be either shipped in or flown in. The good news is that the cost of living isn’t increased by that much like in some of the northern provinces where some communities have to wait weeks for supplies.
Prince Edward Island jobs
The unemployment rate in Prince Edward Island is around 7-8%, this number tends to fluctuate a lot mostly because of the seasonal workers in the agriculture industry. The minimum wage is $12.85 which is significantly higher than in the neighboring provinces. The biggest industries are agriculture, commercial fishing, aerospace manufacturing, healthcare, renewable energy, and tourism.
Prince Edward Island natural disasters
The most common natural disasters in this province are floods, storms, blizzards, and hurricanes. Overall Prince Edward Island is a fairly safe province, although during the wintertime some of the blizzards tend to last quite a bit.
Prince Edward Island has everything that you would need for off grid living, plenty of fertile lands, help from the authorities when it comes to renewable energy, and an overall great rural vibe. The cost of living is higher than in the neighboring provinces but you can simply not even compare the standard of living in this province to a province like New Brunswick.