Location of Pictou County, Nova Scotia
|Towns||New Glasgow / Pictou / Stellarton / Trenton / Westville|
|Electoral Districts |
|Provincial||Pictou Centre / Pictou East / Pictou West|
|• Type||Five town councils and one rural municipality|
|• Land||2,846.28 km2 (1,098.95 sq mi)|
|• Density||15.4/km2 (40/sq mi)|
|• Change 2011-16||4.2%|
|Time zone||AST (UTC−4)|
|• Summer (DST)||ADT (UTC−3)|
|Median Earnings*||$43,475 CDN|
Pictou County is a county in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. It was established in 1835, and was formerly a part of Halifax County from 1759 to 1835. It had a population of 43,748 people in 2016, a decline of 4.2 percent from 2011. Furthermore, its 2016 population is only 88.11% of the census population in 1991. It is the sixth most populous county in Nova Scotia.
The origin of the name "Pictou" is obscure. Possible Mi'kmaq derivations include "Piktook" meaning an explosion of gas, and "Bucto" meaning fire, possibly related to the coal fields in the area. It might also be a corruption of Poictou, an old province in France. Nicolas Denys named the harbour La rivière de Pictou in the 1660s.
Pictou was a receiving point for many Scottish immigrants moving to a new home in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island following the Highland Clearances of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Consequently, the town's slogan is "The Birthplace of New Scotland"; the first wave of immigrants is acknowledged to have arrived on September 15, 1773, on the Hector.
Pictou County includes the towns of New Glasgow, Stellarton, Pictou, Westville and Trenton. It is bounded by the Northumberland Strait, Antigonish County, Guysborough County and Colchester County. Pictou Harbour and its three rivers played a vital role in the early days of settlement, as a port of entry, a means of transport and for the export of lumber and coal.
As a census division in the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Pictou County recorded a population of 43,748 living in 19,305 of its 22,525 total private dwellings, a change of −4.2% from its 2011 population of 45,643. With a land area of 2,846.28 km2 (1,098.95 sq mi), it had a population density of 15.4/km2 (39.8/sq mi) in 2016.
Forming the majority of the Pictou County census division, the Municipality of the County of Pictou recorded a population of 20,692 living in 8,946 of its 11,178 total private dwellings in the 2016 Census of Population, a change of −2.8% from its 2011 population of 21,278. With a land area of 2,797.25 km2 (1,080.02 sq mi), it had a population density of 7.4/km2 (19.2/sq mi) in 2016.
Mother tongue language (2011)
Ethnic Groups (2006) (Respondents who reported multiple ethnic origins are counted more than once in this table)
Pictou County is wholly within the federal electoral district of Central Nova. The county has been represented federally by Conservative MPs since 1957, with the exceptions of 1993-1997 and currently (since 2015), when Liberal MPs have been in office. The seat is currently held by Liberal MP Sean Fraser, who was elected in 2015.
The towns of New Glasgow, Stellarton, Pictou, Westville and Trenton each have their own town councils. The Municipality of Pictou County serves the remaining rural areas, including Pictou Island. Amalgamation of these six municipal units is occasionally considered. Pictou County District Planning Commission provides planning, development and waste disposal services to all the communities in the county.
Pictou Landing First Nation has reserves at Pictou Landing, Fisher's Grant and Merigomish Harbour.
Resource based industries include coal mining, forestry, fishing and agriculture. Manufacturing industries include Michelin Tire, Northern Pulp and Scotsburn Dairy. Web.Com operate a call center in New Glasgow. Tourism is an important part of the economy during the summer, and in 2006 employed 1,200 people and brought 45 million dollars to the economy. Rail car manufacturer Trenton Works was closed in 2007 when owners Greenbrier moved production to Mexico. There are 2,400 small and medium-sized businesses that collectively generate more than 15,000 jobs.
The Pictou County Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy group that speaks as a united voice on behalf of the business community.
Two highways designated as part of the national Trans-Canada Highway system provide the only controlled-access roads in the county. They are Highway 104, which traverses the county from west to east, and Highway 106 the short north-south spur to the Northumberland Ferries Limited terminal at Caribou.
The Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway is a freight line connecting Truro to Sydney, with spurs at Stellarton and Trenton serving local industries such as Trenton Generating Station. Via Rail Canada abandoned passenger rail service in the county on January 15, 1990, following nationwide budget cuts.
Maritime Bus provide motor coach service to New Glasgow.
Northumberland Ferries Limited operates a seasonal passenger-vehicle ferry service from Caribou, Nova Scotia to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island. A separate passenger-only ferry service is also operated seasonally from Caribou to Pictou Island.
Highways and numbered routes that run through the county, including external routes that start or finish at the county limits:
Pictou County is served by the daily newspaper The News and the weekly newspaper The Advocate. The only locally based radio station is CKEC-FM, but stations in other counties and Prince Edward Island also provide coverage. A monthly sports and recreation paper is distributed monthly through the mail at no charge.
There are two performance spaces in the county, the deCoste Centre in Pictou and Glasgow Square in New Glasgow. Both house several local musicians and events, including summer sounds series at the deCoste and the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee in August at the Glasgow Square.
Many of the towns and villages host their own parades and events throughout the year. Read By The Sea is an annual one day literary festival held in the village of River John. The New Scotland Days Festival in Pictou each September is a celebration of the county's Scottish heritage. Pictou also hosts the Lobster Carnival every July since 1934. It was voted the best festival in Canada. New Glasgow's Art at Night is an annual one night art event in downtown New Glasgow. Eventide Art Hub in New Glasgow hosts an Art Gallery, Artist Studios, and a retail space for artists and musicians to sell their work.
Museums include the Northumberland Fisheries Museum, the Hector Heritage Quay, and the McCulloch House Museum in Pictou, the Pictou County Military Museum in Westville, the Carmichael House in New Glasgow, and the Museum of Industry in Stellarton.
Politics / Government
- Jotham Blanchard, responsible government advocate
- Donald William Cameron, former Premier of Nova Scotia
- John James Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia
- John Hamm, former Premier of Nova Scotia
- Simon Holmes, former premier of Nova Scotia
- Peter MacKay, federal Conservative politician
Music / Arts
- George Canyon, country singer
- J.D. Fortune, musician, winner of the reality television show Rock Star: INXS
- Dave Gunning, folk singer
- Diego Klattenhoff, actor, known for roles in Homeland and The Blacklist
- Mike Smith, actor and musician, better known as Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys
- Johnny Terris, filmmaker, actor and author from Stellarton
- Buddy Daye, boxer and former Sergeant-at-arms of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly
- Art Hafey, former professional featherweight boxer who won all (65) but 8; from Stellarton
- Jason MacDonald, MMA fighter
- Troy Gamble, former NHL goaltender
- Joey MacDonald, former NHL goaltender
- Lowell MacDonald, former NHL forward; awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 1973
- Jon Sim, former NHL forward; 1999 Stanley Cup winner
- Colin White, former NHL defenceman; two-time (2000 & 2003) Stanley Cup winner
- Derrick Walser, former NHL defenceman
Business / Commercial
- Graham Fraser, 19th century industrialist, Founder of the Nova Scotia Steel Company and mayor of New Glasgow
- Frank H. Sobey, businessman and entrepreneur; founder of the Sobeys supermarket chain
- James Peter Robertson, posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War
- County municipality and county subdivisions
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pictou County.|
- 2006 Statistics Canada Community Profile: Pictou County, Nova Scotia
- Statistics Canada Population and dwelling counts, for Canada and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data
- "History of Pictou". Town of Pictou website. Archived from the original on 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
- "Placenames of Pictou & Antigonish County". Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library website. Archived from the original on 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
- "Pictou County Place Names and Origins". www.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
- "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census divisions, 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Nova Scotia)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
- "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Nova Scotia)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
- Censuses 1871-1941
- Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
- Statistics Canada: 2011 census
- 2006 Statistics Canada Census Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada: Pictou County, Nova Scotia
- "Research Articles". pictoucountyamalgamation.com. Retrieved 2008-10-21.[permanent dead link]
- "Pictou Town Council Minutes, October 24, 2005" (PDF). Town of Pictou website. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- Joan Baxter (2017), The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest, Pottersfield Press, p. 257
- "About PCTA". The Pictou County Tourism Association website. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Planning vital for small businesses". The News website. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- Atlantic Canada Back Road Atlas ISBN 978-1-55368-618-7 Pages 53-54, 69-71
- "2016 Lobster Carnival". Town of Pictou. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- Graham, Monica (27 April 2014). "Pizza party pays off in Pictou County". The Chronicle-Herald. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- "Pictou County's 'brown sauce' pizza shipped to Fort McMurray". CBC. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- Wisniewski, John. "EOF Talks To Filmmaker Johnny Terris".
- Jess, Amanda. "Stellarton Native Makes Way In Television Series & Film".
- County, Pictou. "PictouCountyNovaScotia.com: Johnny Terris".
- Slant, Art. "Art Slant: Johnny Terris".
- Bernath, Clive. "Art Hafey: Too Nice A Guy To Fight For The Title". SecondsOut.com. Knockout Entertainment Ltd. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- Eisen, Lou. "The Story of Art Hafey". Fight Network. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- Interview, Information Morning, CBC Radio 1, Halifax Nova Scotia, 6:20am 15 January 2009
- Official Pictou County Portal
- County of Pictou website
- Photographs of historic monuments in Pictou County
- Pictou County District Planning Commission
- Pictou County Community Website
- The People of Pictou County Blog, with photographs and quotes from residents of the region