Charlottetown, city (1991 pop. 15,396), capital and chief port of Prince Edward Island, E Canada, on the southern coast. Food processing, tourism, fishing, and farming are the main industries. The French established (c.1720) a fort and settlement across the harbor, known as Port la Joie. Charlottetown was laid out by the British in 1768 and named for Queen Charlotte, consort of George III. Its growth was slow until the middle of the 19th cent., when it became noted for the sailing vessels it built for fishing and lumber transport. In the city is the Univ. of Prince Edward Island. The Charlottetown Conference of the Maritime Provs. (1864) was the first step toward Canadian confederation.