New Glasgow (2006 pop. 9,455; urban area pop. 20,876 ), is the largest town in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated on the banks of the East River, which flows into Pictou Harbour and the Northumberland Strait, and which was once a commercial trade route.
The population of the New Glasgow census agglomeration in the 2006 census was 36,288, fourth largest in the province and 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..
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.
The East side of the East River is made up of the largely residential North End area, the downtown core, and the South End which is a mix of residential and commercial. Major thoroughfares include Trenton Road and North Provost Street (North End), Provost Street, Archimedes Street, Marsh Street (Downtown/Central), and the four lane mostly commercial East River Road (South End).
The Park Street area is often referred to as Parkdale. The New Glasgow business park, police station, and North Nova Education Centre are located here. East River Road south of the town line to Bridge Avenue east of Stellarton's boundary is called Blue Acres. This is where the majority of New Glasgow area gas stations are located.
Priestville is a neighbourhood within the south-east boundary of New Glasgow. It is believed that Moses Priest named Priestville after himself because he owned most of the land in that area. Moses Priest gave a section of the land to the people to be used as a cemetery, however, recently it has been taken over by a company. Much of the land he owned is where the "Pottery" plant was. This same area was used during WWII as an army base. The neighbourhood used to contain Pictou County's landfill, until it closed in the 1970s. Priestville's population was 319 in 1956.
The West side of town north of the George Street/Abercrombie Road/Stellarton Road intersection is predominantly residential.
The area south of that intersection leans toward commercial.
Major thoroughfares include those intersecting streets and Westville Road, a major growing commercial area that includes the Highland Square Mall.
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 three ‘feeder’ schools, East Pictou Middle School, Trenton Middle School, New Glasgow Junior High School and Thorburn Consolidated.
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 branches of National 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.
New Glasgow is the commercial hub of northeastern Nova Scotia. Well known chain stores include Sobeys (two locations), Atlantic Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal-Mart, Zellers, Sears, Staples Business Depot, The Brick, Canadian Tire, and Central.
The Westville Road/Highland Square Mall area has seen significant commercial growth in recent years. A 12,263 square metre 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. Winners is set to open in Spring 2009, in Canadian Tire's former location. Future Shop has announced it will build a new store next to the new Canadian Tire. It will also open in Spring 2009. Meanwhile, Home Depot has been rumoured to be coming to town for a while but nothing concrete has been announced.
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 . It officially opened on July 25, 2008.
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 it's 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.
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.
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. 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 four time Boston Marathon winner. It's the second largest running event in Atlantic Canada, behind only Halifax's Blue Nose Marathon. It began in 1975 as a full marathon. In 1997, it was forced to be scaled back to a 10 km event due to decreasing participation. However, the running event has experienced a resurgence in recent years.
The area boasts numerous soccer fields, and has three soccer clubs. New Glasgow Soccer Club offers a recreational program for U6-U10, North Nova Soccer Club offer a recreational program for Preschool-U14, and Pictou County United Soccer Club offers competitive soccer for age groups U12-U18.
Soccer players in the area have recently acquired the Sobeys soccer complex in nearby Stellarton. A new indoor soccer complex recently opened in that town. This is a state of the art indoor soccer facility which allows soccer to be a year round sport instead of weather dependant.