Named after King Edward VII, Port Edward was incorporated on June 29, 1966 when the Order-in-Council was signed by the Lieutenant Governor.
The Port Edward town site was laid out in 1908 when the Grand Trunk Railway decided to expand their operations to the North Coast of British Columbia. Speculators began to purchase large blocks of land in the area, however, Charles M. Hays (Grand Trunk's President) put plans for Port Edward on hold when he ran his railway to Kaien Island instead. This site became known as Prince Rupert. Port Edward was put on the map during WWII when it was used as a military base.
The Nelson family moved to the area in 1909 from Tromso, Norway and within the decade they were fully immersed in the fishing industry. Nelson Bros. Fisheries Ltd pioneered in the field of long-distance fish packing on the coast and by the early 1960s, Port Edward had become the largest fish processing area in the North. Inclusions were the installations of BC Packers evaporator plant in 1949, crab canning equipment in 1953, a clam operation in 1959 and a shrimp operation in 1961.
Fishing was at one time the predominant industry of this community.
Port Edward is located on the Tsimshian Peninsula, 350 miles northwest of Vancouver and approximately 50 miles from the Alaskan border. Comprised of 1,628.8 acres of land and 627.2 acres of foreshore and land covered by water, Port Edward is approximately 7 miles long and 4.5 miles wide.