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Spring in the Air! Growth … Happening in Summerside

With spring fast approaching, Summerside is preparing for what is going to be a very busy 2018. Economic Development inquiries have been trending higher within the first quarter of 2018, driven in large part by the Immigration Portfolio and commercial demand inquiries in excess of 15,000 square feet looking for commercial space in Summerside.  While our costs still remain competitive, the trend is inching upwards for many sectors especially in real estate and meeting the demands of this investment activity is going to require a balance to bring new and market current inventory on the market.

From a statistical standpoint, Summerside Economic Indicators are certainly trending towards heightened activity in 2018:

  • Our population has seen a modest increase over the previous census showing just over 2% growth
  • Our age bracket of 15 to 44 still represents the highest percentage of our population following most Canadian trends, down slightly from the 2011 census
  • The diversity of our population is certainly changing and benefitting from new immigrants and their investment appetite to look at Summerside as a new investment choice to both establish a business and raise families. Our percentage share of immigrants has seen a significant increase over the past 5 years and with recent changes to the Provincial Immigration Program this trend is going to continue
  • Enrollment in School (Elementary to Senior High) is on the rise again after dips between 2006 and 2001. Due in large part to the increase in immigration and Ecole-sur-Mer expanding its grades offered, student enrollment is back on an upward trend
  • Summerside’s Median Household Income continues to see a trend upwards and is maintaining pace with Prince County. Although slightly below Provincial averages, Summerside is still trending upwards in regards to household incomes and has seen an 11% increase over the 2011—2016 time frame
  • Tourism has continued on its positive growth trend and in 2017 our fixed roof and campground accommodations saw an increase of over 4% in room nights sold
  • Summerside continued on its positive investment path in 2017 with both the private and public sector contributing to our residential, commercial and institutional infrastructure. Our combined permit values for 2017 saw an increase of 200% over the 2016 season
  • Vacancy rates in Summerside Residential sector continue to drop to record lows and in 2017, saw an average vacancy rate of just 1.6% as of October, while median month rent saw slight increases of just over 4%
  • Commercial and Industrial vacancies continue to remain modestly high in Summerside hovering around the 12% mark, although many cite that supply is not meeting the demands of market and while certain pockets of the inventory are suffering from higher than normal vacancy rates, near full occupancy of the Holman’s IT Centre, near capacity in the retail node known as North Granville and pent up demand of potentially over 15,000 square feet in active inquiries is positioning Summerside in a sound position for new development investment in the commercial and industrial sector to meet this immediate demand requirement
The market is indicating, based on early trends of 2018, that there is money to be made in Summerside in a number of sectors, especially servicing the rise in industrial and commercial demand. Summerside’s sound fundamentals, new level of awareness in the business and investment community, strategic vision, quality, affordability of key infrastructure and liveability of place are making Summerside investment ripe. Inquiries, investment leads and local business expansion assistance have all risen. It’s a great time to be in business in Summerside and many investment opportunities are available in the market for those interested in seizing on opportunities.

All Are Welcome:
What PNP Changes Mean For Summerside

When applicants are interested in immigrating to PEI, they submit an “Expression of Interest” to the province, which awards points based on relevant experience, education, language capabilities, age, and so forth.
On February 13, 2018, the Office of Immigration made a significant change to the PNP process. Applicants can now receive points from a new category, called “Community Endorsement”. There are 13 municipalities capable of issuing an endorsement, including Summerside.
For the Capital region (Charlottetown, Cornwall, Stratford), an endorsement is worth 10 points. For the remaining municipalities, an endorsement is worth 35 points. The intent of this approach is to encourage immigrants to settle in areas outside the Greater Charlottetown Area. To be considered for endorsement, applicants must physically visit the community and meet with the appropriate people. They may visit multiple communities, but can receive an endorsement from only one. Of course, the issuing community must deem the applicant to be a good fit.
In Summerside’s case, we have seen a steady parade of PNP clients from February onward. Depending on the individual, meetings can include spouses, partners, children, extended family, agents, sub-agents, translators, and consultants.  The agenda consists of a brief Summerside backgrounder presented by staff, followed by obtaining some information from the applicant, including their education history, work history, current situation, intended plans, and what interests them in Summerside.
A key feature of these meetings is to keep the atmosphere casual and informal.  Applicants tend to be nervous and it is premature to discuss too many details.  After all, these people are still quite early in the immigration process. To date, we have hosted applicants from China, Vietnam, Turkey, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, India, and Jordan. Intended businesses have run the gamut, including restaurants, tutoring, retail, light manufacturing, and many more.
Summerside has much to offer. We have a population of 15,000 and a service area of 45,000. That is, people from surrounding areas depend on Summerside for their day-to-day lives, including work, school, shopping, and recreation. We are home to a variety of industries, many of which are exportable. Owning our infrastructure, including our electric utility, allows us to be innovative and undertake major projects, such as our wind farm, our Green’s Shore boardwalk, and Credit Union Place. We are a city with a small-town feel, affordable single-family homes, professional services, and a relaxed way of life.
Our PNP visitors often ask about businesses for sale, opportunities for investment, and labour needs. If you are interested in expanding, looking for investors, looking to hire, or looking to sell, please contact us. We can make the proper connections to ensure your growth.
If you would like to arrange an endorsement meeting with us, contact our office.


The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, identified as a key initiative under the Skilled Workforce/Immigration pillar. This three-year pilot program was established to help address resource and labour gaps that sectors are facing, and to help businesses attract and retain labour.
The pilot program forms part of an overall Atlantic Growth Strategy and has a focus on the following five priority areas:
  • Skilled workforce and immigration
  • Innovation
  • Clean growth and climate change
  • Trade and investment
  • Infrastructure

To learn more about this program or register your business to participate, program details can be found at:

or contact

Michael Thususka
Director of Economic Development City of Summerside
275 Fitzroy Street, Summerside PE C1N 1H9
M: 902.432.0103, E:



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