New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
New Glasgow
—  Town  —
The George Street Bridge joins the two halves of New Glasgow separated by the East River

Coat of arms
Motto: Let New Glasgow Flourish[1]
New Glasgow is located in Nova Scotia
New Glasgow
Location of New Glasgow in Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 45°35′N 62°38′W / 45.583°N 62.633°W / 45.583; -62.633
Country  Canada
Province  Nova Scotia
County Pictou
Founded 1776
Incorporated               May 6, 1875
 – Type New Glasgow Council
 – Mayor Barrie MacMillan
 – MLA Ross Landry (NDP)
 – MP Peter MacKay (C)
 – Land 9.93 km2 (3.8 sq mi)
Elevation 6 m (20 ft)
Population (2006)[2][3]
 – Total 20,876
 – Density 952.6/km2 (2,467.2/sq mi)
 – Change 2001-06 increase0.2%
 – Census Ranking 404th of 5,008
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 – Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Postal code(s) B2H
Area code(s)
Dwellings 4,343
Median Income* $39,979 CDN
NTS Map 011E10
*Median household income, 2005 (all households)

New Glasgow (2006 pop. 9,455) is a town in Pictou County, in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated on the banks of the East River of Pictou, which flows into Pictou Harbour, a sub-basin of the Northumberland Strait.

New Glasgow is at the centre of the province's fourth largest urban area; the population of the New Glasgow census agglomeration in the 2006 census was 36,288, ranking 77th largest in the country. This includes the smaller adjacent towns of Stellarton, Westville, and Trenton as well as the western rural area of the county.[4]



Sir Robert Kenney originally founded New Glasgow. Scottish immigrants, including those on the ship Hector in 1773, settled the area of the East River of Pictou during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Deacon Thomas Fraser first settled the area at the head of navigation on the East River of Pictou in 1784. The settlement was officially named "New Glasgow", after Glasgow in Scotland, in 1809, the same year its first trading post was developed.

The discovery of large coal deposits in the East River valley during the early 19th century saw New Glasgow, at the head of navigation, quickly develop into a manufacturing and port community.

In 1829, a horse-drawn tramway was built using standard gauge rails from the settlement of Albion Mines (now Stellarton) to a wharf near New Glasgow. This was the first use of standard gauge rails in what would become Canada. On September 19, 1839 the Albion Railway was opened from Albion Mines to New Glasgow, running along the west bank of the East River of Pictou. This was the second steam-powered railway in what would become Canada and the first to use iron rails. The railway was extended north to a coal loading pier at Dunbar's Point on May 14, 1840.

In 1840, George MacKenzie started the town's first shipbuilding company, which eventually built or owned 34 vessels; hundreds of ships would later be built along the East River in New Glasgow.

In June 1867, the Nova Scotia Railway opened its "Eastern Line" from Truro through New Glasgow to its terminus at the passenger and cargo wharf in Pictou Landing. In 1882 the "Eastern Extension" of the Intercolonial Railway was opened from New Glasgow to Mulgrave on the Strait of Canso, placing New Glasgow on the mainline between Cape Breton Island and the North American rail network.

Economic development in New Glasgow was driven by the steel industry in neighbouring Trenton (site of the first steel manufacturing in Canada), shipbuilding and shipping in Pictou and Pictou Landing, and coal mining in Stellarton and Westville.

New Glasgow became a service centre for the county during the 20th century as shopping centres, retail and residential development was spurred by the construction of Highway 104.

Municipal amalgamation

Talk of amalgamating the 6 municipal units in Pictou County has increased in recent years. Among the reasons for this, small towns adjacent to New Glasgow are having a hard time coping financially on their own due to the declining economy. Also, Pictou County has the most politicians per capita in Canada.[5] With the Government of Nova Scotia having already amalgamated Halifax County, Cape Breton County, and Queens County into regional municipalities, Pictou County residents feel it is only a matter of time before that concept is introduced in Pictou County. The two most often suggested scenarios involve amalgamating the entire county (six municipalities) into a single regional municipality, or amalgamating the upper East River towns (New Glasgow, Stellarton, Trenton, Westville) into a single larger town.[6]


New Glasgow is located on Nova Scotia's north shore, 165 kilometres (103 mi) northeast of Halifax, 110 kilometres (68 mi) west of the Canso Causeway to Cape Breton and 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of the Prince Edward Island ferry at Caribou. The town can be easily accessed from several exits off the Trans Canada Highway. It is found in the Atlantic Standard Timezone, four hours behind UTC.

New Glasgow is divided by the East River (north - south), a tidal estuary with salt and fresh water. The three lane George Street bridge is the only vehicle crossing within town limits and is considered the main entrance into the downtown core on the east side of the river. The closest bridges out of town are the Trenton Connector to the north, the Trans-Canada Highway to the south and Bridge Avenue (Stellarton) also to the south.


Census Population
1871 3,000
1881 2,595
1891 3,776
1901 4,447
1911 6,383
1921 8,974
1931 8,858
1941 9,118
1951 9,933
1961 9,782
1971 10,849
1981 10,464
1991 9,905
2001 9,432
2006 9,455

Population trend[7]

Census Population Change (%)
2006 9,455 increase0.2%
2001 9,432 decrease3.9%
1996 9,812 decrease0.9%
1991 9,905 decrease9.1
1981 10,464 N/A

Mother tongue language (2006)[2]

Language Population Pct (%)
English only 8,980 97.66%
Other languages 120 1.31%
French only 95 1.03%
Both English and French 0 0.00%


South End

The southeastern part of the town is located on the east bank of the East River immediately north of the unincorporated community of Plymouth and west of the unincorporated community of Priestville. It is largely commercial and centred upon East River Road (signed as Route 348).

The Aberdeen Hospital, New Glasgow business park, New Glasgow Police headquarters, North Nova Education Centre and the Aberdeen Shopping Centre are situated here as well as a residential area.


Located on the east bank of the East River and centred on the George Street Bridge, the downtown core has a central business district along Provost Street and Archimedes Street. Banks, insurance companies, law firms, accounting firms, engineering companies, restaurants and independent retailers are located in historic buildings along these streets.

Formerly industrial, the downtown area along the river has undergone a waterfront revitalization in recent decades as factories and foundries closed and were replaced by a performing arts centre, office buildings and a marina. Currently only one foundry and several warehouses and a cement plant remain along the rail corridor in this area.

East Side

The east end is the area east of downtown and is bordered on the east by the unincorporated communities of Frasers Mountain and Linacy. It is largely residential.

North End

The northeastern part of the town stretches along the east bank of the East River from the downtown to the border with Trenton.

West Side

The west side of the town is located on the west bank of the East River consists of a residential area north of George Street through to the unincorporated community of Abercrombie.

The area of the West Side southwest of George Street along Westville Road is a commercial area and includes the Highland Square Mall as well as a district of big box stores. This part of the town borders the town of Stellarton to the south and the Town of Westville to the southwest. Westville Road leads to the town of Westville, about 2.5 kilometers beyond Exit 23 at the Trans Canada Highway.


There are five schools in New Glasgow; including three primary-to-six elementary schools, a junior high school and a high school. The junior high school is made up of grades seven to nine. North Nova Education Centre, which opened its doors in 2003, is made up of grades ten to twelve, and has students from four ‘feeder’ schools, East Pictou Middle School, Trenton Middle School, New Glasgow Junior High School and Thorburn Consolidated.


Major employers in the area include Maritime Steel & Foundries Ltd. in downtown New Glasgow, a Convergys call centre in the Aberdeen Business Centre, the Aberdeen Hospital, a Michelin tire plant in nearby Granton, the Northern Pulp Nova Scotia pulp mill in nearby Abercrombie, and the headquarters of Sobeys, a national grocery chain, in nearby Stellarton.

New Glasgow's historic downtown core is home to over 150 shops and services, including restaurants, pubs, cabarets, clothing stores, gift shops, furniture department stores, a marina on the riverfront, government offices and banks. A major revitalization plan was recently announced for the downtown core. A large sum of the funds will be provided by the federal government. Among the projects are a walking bridge that will connect the riverfront marina with the Samson Trail on the west side, improvements to the historic town hall, an updated and possibly expanded library, and beautification of public spaces and store fronts.[8]

New Glasgow is the commercial hub of northeastern Nova Scotia. Well known chain stores include Sobeys (three locations), Atlantic Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal-Mart, Zellers, Sears, Staples Business Depot, The Brick, Canadian Tire, Central, and Home Hardware.

The Westville Road/Highland Square Mall area has seen significant commercial growth in recent years. A new Wal-Mart opened next to Highland Square in early 2007, replacing the smaller location in the mall. Canadian Tire relocated to Wal-Mart's old location in the spring of 2008, making it the second largest Canadian Tire store in Nova Scotia.[9] Winners opened in Spring 2009, in Canadian Tire's former location.[10] Future Shop has built a new store next to the new Canadian Tire, which opened in Spring 2009 also.[11] Sport Chek opened a new store inside the mall in Fall 2009.[12]

About a minute away from the Westville Road commercial district, on the opposite side of the Trans Canada Highway in Stellarton, a new business park is currently being developed. The Holiday Inn Express Hotel Stellarton - New Glasgow was the first confirmed business for the park.[13] It officially opened on July 25, 2008. Proudfoot's Home Hardware Building Centre is scheduled to open in the park in 2012.


Museums in New Glasgow include the Carmichael Stewart House Heritage Museum, local Military Museum, and local Sports Hall of Fame.

Glasgow Square Theatre, located on the downtown riverfront, is a 285 seat auditorium that hosts year-round concerts, plays, and other community functions. The theatre can be transformed into an outdoor amphitheatre, one of the few theatres in Canada (if not the only) that can do that. During the summer it hosts celebrations for Canada Day on June 30, the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee during the first weekend in August, and the Race on the River Dragon Boat Festival in mid-August.

The award winning New Glasgow Jubilee features popular local and national musical acts. It has become the town's most successful event since its inception in 1995.

The Race on the River features teams representing local companies and organizations paddling along the East River to raise money for local charities.

New Glasgow's oldest summer mainstay, The Festival of the Tartans, has been scaled back over the years. There is no longer a parade. The festival is a celebration of the town's Scottish roots.


New Glasgow's John Brother MacDonald Stadium (formerly New Glasgow Stadium) is home to the Weeks Crushers of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League and the Weeks Major Midgets of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League.

The Crushers were based in Halifax and known as Team Pepsi until 2004 when the Weeks Hockey Organization bought the club and moved it to New Glasgow. After struggling to attract fans in Halifax's crowded hockey market, the team soared up the attendance ladder in New Glasgow and is now one of the league's top draws.

Thanks to the arrival of the Crushers, New Glasgow was able to host the 2005 MJAHL All Star game and the 2006 MJAHL Entry Draft. It was announced on December 29, 2006, that New Glasgow and the Crushers would host the 2008 Fred Page Cup. The Crushers did more than host. They won the championship game, an upset win over the defending FCP winners from Pembroke, Ontario.

The town hosted the Telus Cup (then Air Canada Cup), in 1997 and the 2001 World Under 17 Hockey Championships (co-hosted with Truro).

In 2007, the first ever Major Junior hockey game (St. John's Fog Devils vs PEI Rocket) was played here.

On February 9, 2008, New Glasgow was one of six communities across Canada selected to be showcased on CBC Sports' day-long Hockey Day in Canada [14] The New Glasgow segments featured hometown NHL player Jon Sim and the town's annual Westside winter carnival.

New Glasgow is the home of the annual Johnny Miles running event weekend, named after the two time Boston Marathon winner. It is the second largest running event in Atlantic Canada, behind only Halifax's Blue Nose Marathon. It began in 1975 as a full marathon.[citation needed] In 1997, it was forced to be scaled back to a 10 km event due to decreasing participation.[citation needed] However, the running event has experienced a resurgence in recent years. New Glasgow boasts numerous soccer fields and clubs. New Glasgow Soccer Club offers a recreational program for U6-U10, and Pictou County United Soccer Club offers competitive soccer for age groups U12-U18.

Notable residents

See also: List of people from Pictou County, Nova Scotia




See also


External links

Coordinates: 45°35′33″N 62°38′44″W / 45.59255999°N 62.645457999°W / 45.59255999; -62.645457999 (New Glasgow Nova Scotia)

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