Annual Sidewalk Sale

Downtown Summerside Inc.’s Annual Sidewalk Sale brings everyone outside and onto the street for 2 days in July. Local musical talent is always on stage, plus our small events including the JMK Fish Mart Lobster Eating Challenge and the Children’s Decorated Bike Parade are always crowd pleasers!

The Busker Bench

In June 2016, Downtown Summerside Inc. implemented an initiative to engage the community and expose local talent by starting the Busker Bench project.
The simplicity of this project allows for a wide range of musical styles and creativity. A simple black bench labeled “Busker Bench” is an invitation for anyone to express their musical talents, or enjoy the talents of others.The core purpose of the Downtown Summerside Busker Bench is to bring culture and music to the streets of Downtown Summerside.

Bench Diary Project

On a hot Summer day in June 2013 in Atlanta, GA Dessa Lohrey started Bench Diary. “I’m always curious about what people are thinking about when I pass them on the sidewalk or on a bench. Bench Diary is an experiment seeking to collect these thoughts and to find out what people are willing to share anonymously when they happen upon a diary tied to a bench.” Bench Diary has grown into a global storytelling project, with entries from 22 cities, 8 countries and 4 continents.

In June 2015 Downtown Summerside Inc. decided to join the project.  Selecting various locations around the Downtown, Bench Diaries are left for the day tied with string to a bench to be enjoyed and written in by complete strangers. ~Locals, visitors, children & seniors.

Visit to read some of the Downtown Summerside entries.

It’s Better by the Water Chairs

In May 2015 Downtown Summerside Inc. began the It’s Better By the Water campaign.  First by tagging all marketing tools (social media post, signage, leave-behinds etc.) with #ItsBetterByTheWater.  Then, in July 2015, Downtown Summerside Inc. launched the Adirondack chair program.

The program’s goal is to inspire visitors and tourists to stay and play longer in the Summerside area while creating vibrant and captivating waterfront experiences. The It’s Better by the Water program will help expand memorable moments and experiences that meet and go beyond any visitor’s expectations.  It will increase foot traffic to the area by providing the chance to sit and experience the stunning sunset and waterfront views the downtown has to offer.

The core strategy of the It’s Better by the Water project is to enhance and promote activity and pedestrian traffic to the Downtown Summerside Waterfront. The expectation is to optimize existing possibilities; strengthening our strategic goal of further enhancing our magnificent and vibrant Summerside waterfront. 10 Adirondack chairs, footstools, and tables have been placed and anchored around the Downtown Summerside Inc. boundary, with an additional location at Green’s Shore. These locations are accessible and targeted to all community members and visitors of any age

Downtown Keel Row

On May 2014, Summerside City Council approved the Downtown Square project.  The Downtown Square was a project that would revitalize the urban space, and create a public open space in the heart of the Downtown. Recent evidence suggested that areas similar to Summerside’s downtown were successful in attracting people to their downtown core by creating a public space open to pedestrian traffic.  This is a project DSI is very passionate about.

Through a social media contest and a naming committee, the Downtown Square project was named, and “Downtown Keel Row” was created.

July 21 2014 was the opening of Downtown Keel Row.  An open space in the city center on the roadway of Water Street.  People were able to come together as a community, enjoy entertainment and each other.  Activities and entertainment were provided on “The Keel” daily.  Community organizations embraced the space and utilized it for their programs.

In June 2015 the Downtown Keel Row project moved to the under utilized and mostly unknown green space behind the Rotary Public Library running along side the Confederation Trail.  Downtown Keel Row’s new location is a pedestrian through-way that connects the Main Street (Water St.) to the Waterfront. Large planter boxes with the Downtown Keel Row logo are located at both ends of the walkway to increase the visibility of the space and create a higher awareness of this Downtown Gem.

February Business Love

Since February is the month we celebrate love, Downtown Summerside and the GSCC have partnered to celebrate Summerside area businesses. Show your favourite business a little love in February, and we’ll multiply it. You could win too!

Three businesses each week with the most enthusiastic submissions will receive a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a commemorative “Summerside Business Love” certificate for display and oodles of online profile.

Your name will go into a draw during the week you submit and one lucky person will win their own gift-boxed chocolates.

Here’s what to do:

Watch for our Business Love postings on Facebook or Twitter and submit the name of a business you love in the greater Summerside area and why you love it.

You can respond directly on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #lovessidebiz. If you don’t already follow these feeds, you can easily find them by searching on Facebook or Google.

You can also send an email to or, using the subject line “Summerside Business Love” to be sure we won’t miss your submission.

However you submit, don’t forget to tell us what it is that makes this business so special, or we may not be able to use your submission.

Don’t limit yourself to retail businesses — remember that farmers, professionals, manufacturers and many other kinds of companies make up our business community and are eligible for recognition, as long as they are in the greater Summerside area.

Santa Claus Parade

Each November the Summerside Santa Claus Parade travels through the Downtown drawing out families from Summerside, Wellington, Kensington, Tyne Valley and even Charlottetown to our cobbled sidewalks. To stay warm people will stop in at restaurants, cafés and coffee shops to grab a treat before the parade. Shops can be seen filled with people browsing while waiting to hear the sound of the police car that signals the start of the parade.

Downtown Business Awareness Cards

In 2015 Downtown Summerside Inc. launched a new program to promote and increase awareness of what the area has to offer to both visitors and locals.

This program instantly creates ambassadors for the community with a pocket sized card boasting a go-to guide on everything Downtown Summerside has to offer. The card lists shops, essential services, food & beverage locations and culture & education opportunities.  The card also provides all of Downtown Summerside social media platforms and website address where more information on what the downtown has to offer can be found.

By researching our Downtown Community, through surveys and questionnaires, DSI has discovered that many individuals who have worked in the area for several years are unaware of what the area can offer them and their own customers.  This research made it clear we need to increase and better share our knowledge of the area to in turn educate friends and visitors.  With this program we can offer great answers to the ‘what is there to do here’ question?

Witches on Water Street

Created in 2012, the Witches on Water Street event has grown significantly in its small lifetime. The first year attracted approximately 100 children and year two saw almost 400 participants. The Saturday event allows businesses and restaurants to welcome families into their stores while handing out candy to costumed children. A scavenger hunt was hosted along the Downtown route in years 1 & 2 where groups are on the hunt for the Witch of Water Street. Costumed volunteers are scattered along the route hosting pumpkin decorating stations, games, storytelling and various other activities which change from year to year.


I Work Downtown

Annually, Downtown Summerside Inc. has hosted a breakfast for everyone who works in the Downtown area. This breakfast brings together people who work in the same area as others but may never actually have an opportunity to meet.  In 2014 the breakfast raised $1035.00 for Generation XX.