Prince Edward Island To Become 3rd Canadian Province With An Amish Population

Amish have been considering a move to Canada’s Prince Edward Island province since 2014.

With the recent purchase of land by members of two different Ontario communities, it looks like that is about to happen. From peicanada.com:

prince-edward-islandMr Wallbank recently moved to the Dundas area from Ontario himself, purchasing a farm where he will be doing draft horse farming similar to the Amish.

Currently there are three farms purchased in that area by the Millbank community.

The Norwich community of Amish have purchased five farms in areas such as the Brothers Road, Greenfield Road and Union Road, and are looking for three more.

“They are trying to get houses and barns on them and they have been fairly successful so far.”

The older people selling these farms are very receptive because they will get to see their land farmed again like it was when they were younger.

“They heard they’d see a team of horses out in the field, like their dad or granddad. They’ll be able to bring their grandkids to see the farm just the way it was, and that means a lot. We’re getting pretty good potential sellers,” Mr Wallbank said.

It sounds like locals are pleasantly anticipating their new neighbors (or rather neighbours):

The Amish people can’t believe how friendly all of the local people have been to them so far.

“The neighbours are already coming to say hello. Everybody from the premier to the old guys at Tim Hortons, they’ve all been very friendly.”

He did warn the Amish that the first time they put an Eggs for Sale sign at the end of the lane, they’ll probably have 50 cars with people coming up to say hello.

“After that it should wear out a little bit and they won’t be too badly interrupted in their life.”

This will be the third Canadian province where Amish can be found (last year, a community arose in New Brunswick, in addition to the nearly two-century Amish presence in Ontario).

Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest by land area, and fourth-smallest by population (around 140,000 residents).

The province has generated Plain interest lately not just among the Amish. There is also news of a potential Old Order Mennonite move to PEI.

As a fast-growing–and mobile–people, it’s interesting to track where new Amish communities appear on the map. And also, to guess where they might move next. In a recent post I suggested 5 currently Amish-less states where we may see them at some point.

Hat tip to reader Peter Blackwell.

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    7 Comments

    1. Alice Mary

      It doesn’t sound surprising to me that the Amish would make the move to PEI. (I’d welcome them in my area, if they could purchase and farm what’s left of the farmland left around here…and with access to train service to Chicago, they’d have ample “customers”).

      Why NOT Hawaii? My (wealthy & successful) cousin owns property in Honolulu and a farm on Kauai–he grows those huge protea (I think they’re called) flowers and he & his sons planted a vinyard about 4 years ago. Yes, it’s expensive to live there, but a lot of the expense has to do with fuel costs. The Amish, being pretty much self-sufficient, might be able to make a go of it. Of course, they’d have to GET there, first, and since many Amish districts prohibit flying, it might take them a while!

      Alice Mary

      1. It sounds like Wallbank and another individual have really been promoting the area. It must be easier to move if you know you’re going to be welcomed and people are excited to have you around and do business with you.

    2. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      if there is concern about the travel on and off of PEI by air, they really don’t have to concern themselves too badly with that detail, road traffic flows pretty seamlessly over the Confederation Bridge between PEI and New Brunswick, although from what I understand, that pretty much devastated the inter-provincial ferry services that had functioned between PEI and NB. Unless of course they kept it alive as a strictly tourist industry. I am not sure that the new Amish arrivals would be willing to ride horse and buggies across the bridge however under even normal circumstances

      PEI as you know, has a fairly lucrative tourism industry (based on a little book about a young girl written about a century ago), and I am sure there will be some advantages to be hand by the locals and the new Amish neighbours.
      Much luck to them there! (I doubt that the Amish population in Ontario should be severely impacted though)

    3. Katie Troyer

      Where are the Amish in New Brumswick? Are they considered real Amish? In 1994 or so I lived in the daughter settlement from Cookeville Tennessee close to Woodstock. But we were never considered Amish by the Amish.

      1. Katie, belatedly, I don’t know the location but they are listed at the Amish Studies site for 2015 and so should be safe to consider them some sort of horse-and-buggy Amish group: https://groups.etown.edu/amishstudies/statistics/population-by-state/

    4. PEI Amish update

      Here’s an update article on the coming-soon PEI community. The excerpt below is from: http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2016-03-18/article-4469945/Amish-move-to-P.E.I.-comes-with-unique-challenges/1

      An estimated two dozen families are expected to arrive within weeks to move into farm homes from Brothers Road and Bridgetown to Greenfield and Victoria Cross — and all roads lead to Montague. The Amish avoid most new technology and farm with draft horses and drive horses and buggies.

      “They would definitely need hitching posts to tie up at places like Sobeys and Superstore,” said Wallbank. “A place away from most of the vehicles would be best.”

      The meeting also focused on the side streets in Montague that might best be used for horse-and-buggy travel as a way to help the Amish avoid the busy Main Street or provincial Highway 4 with over 10,000 vehicles a day.

    5. First Amish arrive to Prince Edward Island

      And the first family has arrived according to the latest report. Interestingly, it sounds like this is going to be 2 separate communities in PEI. The realtor helping the families come seems pretty excited, and confident that the Amish population in the province is going to grow.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/amish-pei-1.3509212

      Brad Oliver, a local realtor, helped the pair move in to their new home in Summerville last week. All four parents of the couple are expected to arrive Tuesday.

      Oliver said another group also plans to set up in Dundas.

      “In Dundas, there’s like 25 people coming, not all coming to stay. Some are coming to stay in farms they have bought already, others are coming to look, but this is the start of two distinct communities for sure. It’s on,” said Oliver.

      These two new communities are going to be closely watched by other Amish from Ontario, he said.

      “And when they have success, and I know they will have success … we’ll have more coming.”