Municipalities

Prince Edward Island municipalities fall into three types under provincial law:

  • Cities
  • Towns
  • Communities

Where can I find a list of municipalities?

The Municipal Affairs Branch gathers information from municipalities on their hours of operations, mailing addresses, contact information and members of council.

How many municipalities are there in Prince Edward Island and how many people live in them?

There are 73 municipalities in PEI (2 cities, 11 towns and 60 communities) that vary in size from 150 acres to almost 57,000 acres, and in population from 72 to 32,174 residents. Municipalities cover roughly 30 per cent of Prince Edward Island’s land; 68 per cent of the province’s population lives in municipalities.

Are all communities in Prince Edward Island municipalities?

While “community” is a category of municipality, not all communities are municipalities. Civic addressing communities, historic settlement areas, and fire districts are examples of areas that may have an identified community name but may not be incorporated as a municipality. Municipal boundaries may surround or border unincorporated communities. In other cases, municipalities might cover some parts of a community but not all.

Where can I find a map that shows municipal boundaries?

View the Prince Edward Island Municipal Boundaries map.

What kind of services do municipalities offer?

The following are some of the services municipalities may provide:

  • administration
  • fire protection
  • animal control
  • library service
  • sidewalk clearing
  • community development
  • recreation
  • police
  • roads
  • land use planning
  • emergency planning

The list of services and the levels of different services will vary depending on the type and size of municipality.

What is a municipal bylaw?

A bylaw is a law made by a municipal council and formalized in a public document. Bylaws are generally used for important or formal subjects such as unsightly premises or pay for council members. Some PEI municipalities have several bylaws while others have not passed any bylaws at all.

What is a municipal resolution?

A resolution is a formal decision by the council, which has been voted on and approved by a majority of councillors at a public meeting of council. 

What legislation governs the creation of bylaws?

Municipal bylaws are enabled under the:

  • Charlottetown Area Municipalities Act
  • City of Summerside Act
  • Municipalities Act

Official plans and land use bylaws are enabled under the:

  • Planning Act

What role do municipalities play in land use planning?

Municipalities can take on responsibility for land use planning by creating and adopting official plans and land use bylaws. Thirty-two municipalities in PEI have taken responsibility for planning.

What is an official plan?

An official plan describes a municipality’s policies for future land use. The plan deals with issues such as:

  • location of new housing, industries, and offices, and
  • identifying services for roads, sewers, and parks.

The provincial government is responsible for land use planning in municipalities that do not take on their own planning.

How do municipalities handle property taxes and annual budgets?

All municipalities operate on a January to December fiscal year and they are responsible for creating and following annual budgets. Municipal budgets are submitted to the Municipal Affairs branch along with other financial reports on or before April 1 of each year. 

The municipal councils set property tax rates based on their budgets, but the provincial government collects both provincial and municipal property tax, and distributes the municipal portion to the municipalities. Property taxes do not include water and sewer charges, which are billed separately.

What do I need to do if I want to buy land, subdivide land or build a home in a PEI municipality?

You need to find out if the land that you want to buy, subdivide, or build on is located in a municipality with an official plan and zoning bylaw. Contact the municipality for more information.

If the land is not located in a municipality, or is in a municipality with no official plan and zoning bylaw, the land falls under provincial regulations. Contact Inspection Services for more information.

How do I find out if a property is located in a municipality?

  • Visit the Address Locator Map;
  • Enter the street name and number or the PID number and click ‘GO;’
  • An address will appear in the search results. Click on the address number to show the property information. 

Do municipalities have to report their finances?

All municipalities must prepare and submit the following reports on or before April 1 of each year:

  • Municipal Financial Information Return (MFIR)
  • approved annual budget
  • complete financial statements
  • professional audit - municipalities with budgeted expenditures of less than $50,000 may currently, by resolution, forgo the audit
Published date: 
March 1, 2016
Communities, Land and Environment department logo

General Inquiries

Department of Communities, Land and Environment
4th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-5044
Toll-free: 1-866-368-5044
Fax: (902) 368-5830

CLE@gov.pe.ca