From his office overlooking St. Peter’s Bay, Michael Cashin says moving to Prince Edward Island was the absolute best choice for him and his family.
The former Ontario resident runs his own businesses out of the community centre in the former St. Peter’s School. He lives with his wife Juliana and three young children in a renovated farmhouse just down the road.
“The sun is shining on the water right now,” he says, gazing from his office window. “If you had this view in a bigger city you would be paying three or four times what I pay.”
“I feel very fortunate to have this space and to be living here.”
It was during summer vacation two years ago that Michael and Juliana decided their children had to experience childhood on Prince Edward Island.
“We stayed at a friend’s house in St. Peter’s Bay for a month and we said to each other, this is where we want to raise our kids.”
The beauty, culture and slower pace of life drew them to the Island.
“My wife and I have found these things important in raising our children. We also like the fact that people value community and look out for one another; this has sadly become more rare in other places. I lived in New Jersey for five years and didn’t know my neighbours — that’s a real shame,” he said.
Juliana stays at home with their three-year-old twin boys now but plans to go back to her career as a magazine editor and writer once the boys are in kindergarten.
Cashin has a few irons in the fire. With his one-man business, In-Focus, he does graphics, web design and marketing material for many local clients. He has started a seafood brokering business – Atlantic East Lobster and Oysters – and attended the Gulf Food Show in Dubai as part of Trade Team PEI. He also runs Zencart, an e-commerce system.
“You have to be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades to survive in a rural environment,” he said.
Cashin’s parents were missionaries so he moved a lot as a child, but he says St. Peter’s Bay is unique.
“There is a real sense of community on PEI. People want to include you, see you succeed and really get to know you. I haven’t experienced that anywhere else.”
Learn more about Moving to Prince Edward Island