St. Peters vs. St. Peter’s

I developed a sudden surge of obsession this morning about whether the community I was in last night for Small Halls Songwriters’ Circle is called St. Peters or St. Peter’s. Or maybe St. Peters Bay? Or is it St. Peter’s Bay?

The community’s website features a logo that uses St. Peter’s Baywith the apostrophe and with the Bay:

Logo of St. Peters Bay

But, elsewhere on the website, you’ll find both St. Peters Bay (no apostrophe, with Bay) and St. Peter’s (with apostrophe, no Bay).

The Municipalities Act lists the name as St. Peters Bay (no apostrophe, with Bay):

PEI Municipalities Act (Detail: Schedule One)

This agrees with the record in the Geographical Names Board of Canada database for the community:

and with the Province of PEI’s PlaceFinder (which is derviced from that database), which provides the history of the name:

St. Peter (Sett.) was adopted in Place Names of PEI, 1925. Name changed to St. Peters (St. Peters Bay P.O.) (Village) 3 December 1946 on 11L/7. Village was incorporated in 1953. Village status changed to Inc. Community in 1983 by the Municipalities Act. Dual name changed to St. Peters Bay (Comm.) 31 Dec. 1989 on 11L/7.

Somewhat confusingly, the official civic addresses in the community are in St Peters (no period, as is standard for civic address communities, but also no Bay). The same applies to the name of St Peters Rd, which runs through the community. Which means that the civic address of the community office is:

Community of St. Peters Bay
5599 St Peters Rd — Rte 2
St Peters, PE

Canada Post, for reasons unknown, uses a dash between the “St” and the “Peters” and doesn’t use a period.  But only for the name of the community; the name of the road doesn’t have a dash. Meaning that the mailing address for the same office is:

Community of St. Peters Bay
5599 St Peters Rd — Rte 2
St-Peters Bay, PE

To confuse matters somewhat, the Catholic parish in the community is known as St. Peter’s (with apostrophe):


Perhaps the name of the church falls under a different rule set than the name of the community, so this divergence can be explained — it is Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, after all, with an apostrophe.

Except that the name of the church on the church itself is St. Peter’s Bay Roman Catholic Church (with the apostrophe, with the Bay), which bridges heaven and earth in a most uncomfortable way:

St. Peter's Bay Church

Assuming the sign has it right, this would make the mailing address of the church, following everyone’s rules:

St. Peter’s Bay Roman Catholic Church
1843 Greenwich Rd
St-Peters Bay, PE

That just about breaks my brain.

Just in case your brain is also broken, here’s a cheat sheet:

The Community St. Peter’s Bay
Government of Prince Edward Island St. Peters Bay
PEI Civic Addressing System St Peters
Government of Canada St. Peters Bay
Canada Post St-Peters Bay

Good luck.


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