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Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Overview
Bridgewater is a town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg County is a county located on the South Shore of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, It ranges from Hubbards to the east and Vogler's Cove to the west.-History:...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, at the navigable limit of the LaHave River
LaHave River
The LaHave River is a river in Nova Scotia, Canada, running from its source in Annapolis County to the Atlantic Ocean. Along its way, it splits the communities of LaHave and Riverport and bisects the town of Bridgewater flowing into the LaHave River estuary .The river and various spots in the area...

. It is the largest town in the South Shore
South Shore (Nova Scotia)
The South Shore is a region of Nova Scotia, Canada. Although it has no formal identity and is variously defined by geographic, county and other political boundaries, it is generally understood as the Atlantic coast running southwest from Halifax Harbour to the end of Shelburne County...

 region. While the majority of the South Shore's economy is based upon the tourist trade, Bridgewater is more a commercial and industrial centre and attracts far fewer visitors. One of the primary employers is a Michelin
Michelin
Michelin is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands...

 tire plant.

The first Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an settlers of the town came from the nearby settlements of Lunenburg
Lunenburg
Lunenburg was the form customary in 18th-century English for Lüneburg, the city and region in Germany. It therefore occurs in several placenames in North America.-Canada:*Lunenburg, Nova Scotia*Lunenburg, Nova Scotia...

, Riverport
Riverport, Nova Scotia
Riverport is a charming community, surrounding the fairhaven of Ritcey's Cove, situated beautifully at the end of the LaHave River in Nova Scotia, Canada. Settled in 1754, the harbour, free from shoals, and in which marine craft are safe from every wind, is one of the finest in North America...

 and LaHave
LaHave, Nova Scotia
LaHave was once the capital of Acadia/ Nova Scotia and is now a small scenic village located on Highway 331 at the mouth of the LaHave River in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, across the river from Riverport and approximately 15 kilometres from the town of Bridgewater.- French Colony :LaHave was the...

, constructing the first house in 1812 on the west bank of the river (although the first house in what is now the town was built before 1803).

The town was named after the bridge built over the LaHave River.
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Encyclopedia
Bridgewater is a town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg County is a county located on the South Shore of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, It ranges from Hubbards to the east and Vogler's Cove to the west.-History:...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, at the navigable limit of the LaHave River
LaHave River
The LaHave River is a river in Nova Scotia, Canada, running from its source in Annapolis County to the Atlantic Ocean. Along its way, it splits the communities of LaHave and Riverport and bisects the town of Bridgewater flowing into the LaHave River estuary .The river and various spots in the area...

. It is the largest town in the South Shore
South Shore (Nova Scotia)
The South Shore is a region of Nova Scotia, Canada. Although it has no formal identity and is variously defined by geographic, county and other political boundaries, it is generally understood as the Atlantic coast running southwest from Halifax Harbour to the end of Shelburne County...

 region. While the majority of the South Shore's economy is based upon the tourist trade, Bridgewater is more a commercial and industrial centre and attracts far fewer visitors. One of the primary employers is a Michelin
Michelin
Michelin is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands...

 tire plant.

Founding


The first Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an settlers of the town came from the nearby settlements of Lunenburg
Lunenburg
Lunenburg was the form customary in 18th-century English for Lüneburg, the city and region in Germany. It therefore occurs in several placenames in North America.-Canada:*Lunenburg, Nova Scotia*Lunenburg, Nova Scotia...

, Riverport
Riverport, Nova Scotia
Riverport is a charming community, surrounding the fairhaven of Ritcey's Cove, situated beautifully at the end of the LaHave River in Nova Scotia, Canada. Settled in 1754, the harbour, free from shoals, and in which marine craft are safe from every wind, is one of the finest in North America...

 and LaHave
LaHave, Nova Scotia
LaHave was once the capital of Acadia/ Nova Scotia and is now a small scenic village located on Highway 331 at the mouth of the LaHave River in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, across the river from Riverport and approximately 15 kilometres from the town of Bridgewater.- French Colony :LaHave was the...

, constructing the first house in 1812 on the west bank of the river (although the first house in what is now the town was built before 1803).

The town was named after the bridge built over the LaHave River. The commissioners for the construction of the first bridge were three brothers-in-law, George Heb, John Weil and John Vienot.

The town was incorporated on February 13, 1899, shortly after suffering a fire which devastated the entire downtown area. For much of the 20th century, the town's economy depended on forestry
Forestry
Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

 and a large wood mill in the center of town, as well as the Nova Scotia Central Railway
Halifax and Southwestern Railway
The Halifax and Southwestern Railway was a historic Canadian railway operating in the province of Nova Scotia. The H&SW was created in spring 1901 when William Mackenzie and Donald Mann approached the provincial government with plans to finish the abortive plans for a railway from Halifax to...

 and later the Halifax and Southwestern Railway
Halifax and Southwestern Railway
The Halifax and Southwestern Railway was a historic Canadian railway operating in the province of Nova Scotia. The H&SW was created in spring 1901 when William Mackenzie and Donald Mann approached the provincial government with plans to finish the abortive plans for a railway from Halifax to...

, for which the town acted as a central hub for the South Shore region. The Acadia Marine Engine Company was based in Bridgewater and it made fishboat and coaster engines.

After the wood mill closed, a period of bust followed until a new Michelin
Michelin
Michelin is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands...

 plant opened within town limits in the early 1970s, providing employment for some 1,000 people. The abandoned passenger train station burnt to the ground in the early 1980s, shortly after a revitalization plan was announced. Freight rail service continued to the town until the early 1990s when Canadian National Railway abandoned the line and the tracks were removed. The rail yard property on the east bank of the LaHave River is now occupied by the Bridgewater Mall and various retail businesses.

Recent history


Since the 1990s, the town has tried to come up with solutions for problems that have crippled other areas of the Maritime provinces: economic decline and an aging population. Michelin
Michelin
Michelin is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands...

 remains the town's largest employer by far and has helped to stem economic decline, but the number of people under 19 years of age living in the town continues to slide, falling by 12.2% between 1996 and 2006, despite overall population growth of 8%. Unable to stem this decline, the town has embraced it and is now marketing itself as a retirement destination not only for older citizens from the area, but also for residents of near-by Halifax Regional Municipality. This has resulted in the recent construction of several large retirement complexes. There has also been migration from Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 to the town and surrounding areas, as well as from Halifax, where Bridgewater is increasingly seen as a remote suburb rather than an entirely disconnected town. As a result of these efforts, Bridgewater is experiencing a building boom and remains one of the fastest growing entities in the entire province and has been for a number of years.

Geography


Bridgewater is split in two by the LaHave River
LaHave River
The LaHave River is a river in Nova Scotia, Canada, running from its source in Annapolis County to the Atlantic Ocean. Along its way, it splits the communities of LaHave and Riverport and bisects the town of Bridgewater flowing into the LaHave River estuary .The river and various spots in the area...

, with the majority of the town's land area situated on the western bank of the river. The town spans the LaHave River Valley and is dominated by hills that lead down to the river. Elevation ranges from 5 metres above sea level (at the river), to nearly 110 m at the highest point at the Olde Towne Golf Course on the southwestern limit of the town. The surrounding area is characterized by rolling drumlins formed during the last glacial period, some of which reach 150 m above sea level. There are also several streams which empty into the river. The LaHave River is traversed by two bridges in the centre of the town, and a 103 highway overpass and a foot bridge (formerly a railway crossing) towards the northern limits.

Neighbourhoods


On a basic level, the town is split in two by the LaHave River. The western bank of the river was the area first developed more than 200 years ago. Today it remains the most heavily populated part of the town and is home to the Bridgewater Industrial Park (where Michelin
Michelin
Michelin is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands...

 is located) and most other civic amenities. The eastern bank of the river was home, for many years, to a large lumber yard and train station. This area developed rapidly in the last quarter of the 20th century with the arrival of the Bridgewater Mall and a large subdivision. Today, this area remains the commercial heart of the town and the centre of population growth.

There are few distinctive neighbourhoods in the town, and most designations rely solely on subdivision names. The Pinecrest Subdivision and low income housing centered along Marie Avenue remain the only major residential development on the western side of the town in the last 25 years, while the eastern flank has seen rapid growth, including the Glen Allan Subdivision, and two large mobile home parks. Most of these areas, however, are built-out, so development is now spilling out into the county. Hebbville
Hebbville, Nova Scotia
Hebbville is an incorporated village bordering the town of Bridgewater in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada. The village borders numerous other unincorporated communities as well as Fancy Lake on its southern border....

 has seen the development of the now older Catidian Place and the much more recent Botany Lane, while bordering Conquerall Bank is hosting the still-growing Meadowbrook Subdivision, arguably the most upscale development in the Bridgewater area. The Cookville area also continues to see growth in the Osprey Ridge area. With the exception of Glen Allan, most new residential developments within town limits are the result of urban infill
Infill
Infill in its broadest meaning is material that fills in an otherwise unoccupied space. The term is commonly used in association with construction techniques such as wattle and daub, and civil engineering activities such as land reclamation.-Construction:...

.

Climate


Like much of southern Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada is the region of Canada comprising the four provinces located on the Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec: the three Maritime provinces – New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia – and Newfoundland and Labrador...

, the area's climate is quite moderate by Canadian standards. Like much of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, Bridgewater is subject to the microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

 phenomenon; in the warmer months of the year, Bridgewater often experiences much higher temperatures than surrounding areas, due to its inland location. Despite this, the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 strongly influences the region's climate, with high levels of precipitation year-round, and violent storms, including occasional hurricanes, occurring quite frequently. In addition, this results in nearly constant high levels of humidity in the warmer months, meaning that heat waves are increasingly common.

Demography



While most smaller centres in Nova Scotia have experienced economic and population declines in the last 30 years, Bridgewater is one of the few that has been able to attract new residents. The town's population increased from 6,619 in 1986 to 7,944 in 2006. It was the fastest growing location in Nova Scotia greater than 5,000 people between the period 2001 and 2006. A spate of recent commercial and residential developments in the town will likely see the population increase to well over 8,000 by the 2011 census. The official website of the town shows that at least 600 new residential units have been approved since 2007 (including senior residences); in comparison, the town counted 3,735 residential units in 2006 and 3,465 in 2001.

Most of this growth, however, is coming at the older end of the age spectrum. According to the 2006 Census, the median age of the town was 44.3 years, more than two years older than the population of Nova Scotia in general (41.8 years). 20.0% of the population was under 19 years of age (compared to 22.8% in Nova Scotia as a whole), while 20.0% was over age 65 (versus 15.1%). The median age increased by three years in just a five year span (compared to 2.5 years in Nova Scotia as a whole), while the under age-19 group as a percentage of the entire population dropped by 2.5% and the over age-65 segment increased by 1.6%. In absolute numbers, every age group 0-19 showed declines between 2001 and 2006, while the 25-44, 45-54 and 55-64 brackets showed the largest increases. In 1996, the median age of the town was 38.6 years, those aged 19 and under comprised 24.5% of the population, and those over 65 years 16.7%. Given these statistics, it can be seen that the town's population is aging rapidly, even more so than the province as a whole.

As of 2006, 3.9% of town residents classified themselves as immigrants, most having immigrated before 1991. 1.4% of the population listed French as their mother tongue, while 6.3% considered themselves bilingual. 2.3% listed another language as their mother tongue. 53.3% of the population was female, a figure nearly two percent higher than the province as a whole.

Culture


Being more industrial than its now tourist-driven neighbours Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, much traditional culture has been lost in the town, having been replaced with mainstream affairs such as the annual Canada Day
Canada Day
Canada Day , formerly Dominion Day , is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act , which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire...

 Celebration. Unique cultural events include the Hank Snow
Hank Snow
Clarence Eugene "Hank" Snow was a Canadian-American country music artist. He charted more than 70 singles on the Billboard country charts from 1950 until 1980...

 Music Festival and the South Shore Exhibition. Over 100 years-old, the "Big Ex," as it is locally known, is primarily a week-long agricultural fair that is held each July, attracting around 50,000 people. One of its traditional featured events is the International Ox Pull, bringing together teams come from the Maritimes
Maritimes
The Maritime provinces, also called the Maritimes or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. On the Atlantic coast, the Maritimes are a subregion of Atlantic Canada, which also includes the...

 and the Northeastern United States
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

.

Like much of Lunenburg County, many of Bridgewater's residents can trace their lineage back to the Foreign Protestants who arrived in the 18th century. While much of that original culture has been lost, especially in Bridgewater, a few remnants remain. Lunenburg pudding, a type of pork sausage, is still widely available, and some residents still speak in an accent unique to the county, dubbed Lunenburg English
Lunenburg English
Lunenburg English is a dialect of English, spoken in the towns of Lunenburg and Bridgewater in the province of Nova Scotia. It is sometimes called the "Bridgewater Accent" by locals and those in the surrounding areas of Nova Scotia....

, featuring one of the few non-rhotic
Rhotic and non-rhotic accents
English pronunciation can be divided into two main accent groups: a rhotic speaker pronounces a rhotic consonant in words like hard; a non-rhotic speaker does not...

 speech patterns remaining in Canada.

Community music has been a part of Bridgewater's heritage for almost a century and a half. The Bridgewater Fire Department Band has been a fixture in the town since 1868. The South Shore Chorale, a seventy-voice mixed chorus, has been active since the 1960s. For many years, the Hospital Chorus and Drama Society (now defunct) helped to raise funds for the Dawson Memorial Hospital (later South Shore Regional Hospital) through its production of Broadway-style musicals.

Education and health


The town is primarily served by Bridgewater Elementary and Junior/Senior High Schools, both located on York Street, near downtown. These aging facilities manage to serve the needs of the town's youth, but lack near-by athletic fields. Park View Education Centre, located at the northern edge of the town, serves grades 10-12 and takes part in the International Baccalaureate
International Baccalaureate Organization
The International Baccalaureate , formerly the International Baccalaureate Organization , is an international educational foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1968. IB offers three educational programmes for children ages 3–19.The organization's name and logo were changed...

 program. This facility mainly acts as a collector school for students from the rural areas of the county, although some Bridgewater residents do attend as well. The Lunenburg campus of the Nova Scotia Community College
Nova Scotia Community College
The Nova Scotia Community College, commonly referred to as the NSCC, is a community college serving the province of Nova Scotia.The college delivers a diverse program of trades, technology, health, human services, applied arts, new media, business administration and adult education through a system...

 is located on High St, sharing space with the local YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

. The town also has two provincial museums, The DesBrisay
DesBrisay Museum
The DesBrisay Museum is a museum showcasing the history of the town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia and the surrounding area, including its inhabitants and architecture, whose collection is due to the efforts of Judge Mather Byles DesBrisay...

 and the Wile Carding Mill
Wile Carding Mill
The Wile Carding Mill is a defunct carding mill, in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada. The mill is now operated as a museum.This water-powered mill was owned and operated by the Wile family from 1860 to 1968. The Wiles ran the mill but employed a number of workers, usually unmarried women, to...

, and a central library.

According to the 2001 census, of the town's population between ages 20–64, 24.3% had not received a high school diploma while 56% had received at least some sort of post secondary degree or certificate. Both figures were slightly better than the average for Nova Scotia (25.3% and 54%, respectively), and significantly better than the larger Lunenburg County (30.1% and 50.9%) and neighbouring Queens County (37% and 42%).

Bridgewater is served by the South Shore Regional Hospital located on Glen Allen Drive. This facility, inaugurated in 1988, replaced the 1960s-era Dawson Memorial Hospital located on the south western side of the town. The SSRH serves as the major hospital in the county and offers most standard services.

Industry and employment


Most employment in the town is in the service sector, although tire-manufacturer Michelin remains by far the single largest employer. Other industry includes an AbitibiBowater lumber Mill located in Oakhill. The town's second largest employer is Davis + Henderson, a call-center, and other major employers are Atlantic Superstore
Atlantic Superstore
Atlantic Superstore is a Canadian supermarket chain of 54 stores in the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island...

, Sobeys
Sobeys
Sobeys is the second largest food retailer in Canada, with over 1,300 supermarkets operating under a variety of banners. Headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, it operates stores in all ten provinces and accumulated sales of more than $14 billion CAD in 2009...

, Wal-Mart and Zellers
Zellers
Zellers Inc. is Canada's second-largest chain of mass merchandise discount stores, with locations in communities across Canada. A subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company , it has 273 locations across the country....

.

In 2005, the average earnings for all census families was $49,754, more than $4,500 below the provincial average. For married couples, this figure was $56,275, and for single parents, it was $26,362.

Media


While the town has no local television stations, it is served by CKBW-FM
CKBW-FM
CKBW-FM is a Canadian radio station at 98.1 MHz on the FM dial in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. The station also operates relays in Liverpool, Nova Scotia at 94.5 MHz and Shelburne, Nova Scotia at 93.1 MHz. The station plays an adult contemporary format and brands itself as the South...

 radio - an award-winning broadcaster, and Lighthouse Publishing, which operates a popular media portal. CKBW, recently celebrating its 60th year in operation, can boast that it gave acclaimed actor Donald Sutherland his start in the media as he started working for the station at age 14. The CKBW News team has received two regional RTNDA Awards and has been a finalist for an Atlantic Journalism Award. The weekly Bridgewater Bulletin, has been in publication since 1888 and had won numerous awards for its content and lay-out. The company also distributes the Lighthouse Log, a free weekend paper.

Parks and recreation


Residents of Bridgewater enjoy a relatively extensive parks system, which the town estimates at 100 acre (0.404686 km²). This, however, does not include open green space within the town, the inclusion of which would give a much higher total. The crown jewel of the parks system continues to be the 25 acres (101,171.5 m²) Woodland Gardens, locally known at the "Duck Pond." This park includes The DesBrisay Museum, the town's only public swimming pool, a large pond and various trails. Notably, during the 1970s, Participaction
ParticipACTION
ParticipACTION is a national non-profit organization, originally launched as a Canadian government program in the 1970s, to promote healthy living and physical fitness...

 had set up rudimentary exercise equipment around these trails, but these have since been removed. Other parks include Pinecrest and Glen Allen, both playgrounds, and Riverview Park, overlooking the rapids of the LaHave River. The system also includes smaller parks such as a gazebo downtown and a boat launch park and grandstand on lower King Street. As well, the town hosts 8 kilometres of the Centennial Trail
Trans Canada Trail
The Trans Canada Trail is a proposed corridor in Canada. The creation of the trail was announced as part of Canada's 125th anniversary celebrations in 1992. It is expected that when complete, it will be the longest recreational trail in the world...

 which was constructed over abandoned rail lines.

Recreation facilities in the town are slowly improving after decades of stagnation. Currently, the town hosts the Kinsmen Field (a soccer field, baseball diamond and tennis courts), the LaHave baseball/soccer fields at Glen Allen Drive and LaHave Street, a curling club and a skating/hockey arena. In 2008, the South Shore Fieldhouse Society started construction on a $1.7 million indoor track & field at Glen Allan Drive. Meanwhile, the town and Lunenburg County have teamed up to construct a multi-purpose facility. Despite guaranteed funding from the province of Nova Scotia for one centre, the two governmental entities had been bickering for most of the past decade over exactly where it would be located: in the county (near the new Wal-Mart development, as the county wanted), or within town limits. At one time, both stated their intentions to build their own centres, but both eventually decided that the $30-million facility will be built on York Street in Bridgewater. Dubbed the "Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre," it will likely include two ice surfaces, an aquatic centre, a new town library, and a multipurpose centre likely to be used as an auditorium for the performing arts.

The current chair of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee is Town Councillor David Mitchell.

Transportation


Though the LaHave River
LaHave River
The LaHave River is a river in Nova Scotia, Canada, running from its source in Annapolis County to the Atlantic Ocean. Along its way, it splits the communities of LaHave and Riverport and bisects the town of Bridgewater flowing into the LaHave River estuary .The river and various spots in the area...

 was the main transportation route in historical times, today it is mainly used for pleasure craft, though there is a wharf at nearby Dayspring and a cable ferry located in LaHave
LaHave, Nova Scotia
LaHave was once the capital of Acadia/ Nova Scotia and is now a small scenic village located on Highway 331 at the mouth of the LaHave River in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, across the river from Riverport and approximately 15 kilometres from the town of Bridgewater.- French Colony :LaHave was the...

, which is the only crossing downriver from Bridgewater. The Halifax and Southwestern Railway
Halifax and Southwestern Railway
The Halifax and Southwestern Railway was a historic Canadian railway operating in the province of Nova Scotia. The H&SW was created in spring 1901 when William Mackenzie and Donald Mann approached the provincial government with plans to finish the abortive plans for a railway from Halifax to...

 once passed through the town but the line is now abandoned. The main road serving the town is Highway 103
Nova Scotia Highway 103
Highway 103 is an east-west highway in Nova Scotia that runs from Halifax to Yarmouth.The highway follows a route of approximately 300 km along the province's South Shore region fronting the Atlantic coast. The route parallels its predecessor, local Trunk 3...

, which has two primary exits entering the town. Trunk highways 10 and 3 meet at Bridgewater. Other provincial highways are Route 325
Nova Scotia Route 325
Route 325 is a collector road in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It is located in Lunenburg County and connects Colpton at Route 208 with Mahone Bay at Trunk 3....

 and Route 331
Nova Scotia Route 331
Route 331 is a collector road in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.It is located on the province's South Shore, connecting East Medway at Highway 103 with Bridgewater at Route 325.-Communities:*East Port Medway*Vogler's Cove*Cherry Hill*Broad Cove...

.

As the town continues to grow, traffic issues are becoming a concern. The town is currently discussing installing its first roundabout
Roundabout
A roundabout is the name for a road junction in which traffic moves in one direction around a central island. The word dates from the early 20th century. Roundabouts are common in many countries around the world...

 at one of its busier intersections, although progress remains stalled. Complicating the easing of future traffic issues, especially if the town continues to grow as it has recently, is the unique geography of the town; only two bridges traverse the LaHave River within town limits, and many of the busiest roads run directly through residential districts.

There is no form of public transportation. Taxi rates are set at a fixed price of $6 for travel between any two points within town limits. There have been recent feasibility studies into public transit between Bridgewater, Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, but the project remains in limbo as of late 2010. Truis Tours runs a once daily bus service between Bridgewater and Halifax in the morning, and a return route in the evening.

Shopping


Bridgewater is known as the "Mainstreet of the South Shore" and has always been the shopping centre of Lunenburg County and, to a lesser extent, Queens County as well. The King Street area of downtown was the traditional shopping district of the town well into the mid twentieth century, and Town Hall remains committed to the area, even though it has been long-ago surpassed by several other developments. The Bridgewater Mall, first developed in the 1970s, replacing on old rail yard, continues to be the commercial heart of the town, stealing that title from the King Street area which had dominated for many years. The addition of the adjacent Eastside Plaza during the last major renovation in the late 1980s only solidified this claim. However, its dominance has been greatly challenged since 2005 with the arrival of a Wal-Mart in Cookville to the north east of the town and a number of adjacent stores. Some of these outlets had previously been located in the Bridgewater Mall, and the shopping centre has had a difficult time finding suitable replacements. The mall continues to be anchored by Zellers
Zellers
Zellers Inc. is Canada's second-largest chain of mass merchandise discount stores, with locations in communities across Canada. A subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company , it has 273 locations across the country....

 and Sobeys
Sobeys
Sobeys is the second largest food retailer in Canada, with over 1,300 supermarkets operating under a variety of banners. Headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, it operates stores in all ten provinces and accumulated sales of more than $14 billion CAD in 2009...

, while several bank branches, a movie theatre, The Atlantic Superstore
Atlantic Superstore
Atlantic Superstore is a Canadian supermarket chain of 54 stores in the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island...

 and Home Hardware
Home Hardware
Home Hardware is a privately held Canadian home improvement, construction materials, and furniture retailer. Co-founded in 1964 by Walter Hachborn and headquartered in St...

 are all located nearby. The King Street area, anchored by two banks and formerly the town Post Office
Canada Post
Canada Post Corporation, known more simply as Canada Post , is the Canadian crown corporation which functions as the country's primary postal operator...

, is mostly home to local business. The Bridgewater Plaza, located in the southern area of town near the Nova Scotia Community College, continues to thrive despite numerous hits - Kmart
Kmart
Kmart, sometimes styled as "K-Mart," is a chain of discount department stores. The chain acquired Sears in 2005, forming a new corporation under the name Sears Holdings Corporation. The company was founded in 1962 and is the third largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and...

 closed in the mid 1990s and Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited is one of Canada's 60 largest publicly traded companies. The firm operates an inter-related network of businesses engaged in retailing hardgoods, apparel and petroleum as well as financial and automotive services, employing more than 58,000 people across Canada...

 relocated to Cookville in 2006. It is now anchored by discount grocery chain No Frills
No Frills (grocery store)
No Frills is a chain of deep discount supermarkets in Canada, owned by Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited...

 and Giant Tiger
Giant Tiger
Giant Tiger Stores Limited is Canada’s third-largest chain of discount stores . Following the 2006 acquisition of Zellers and its parent, the Hudson's Bay Company, by American entrepreneur Jerry Zucker, Giant Tiger became the largest Canadian-owned discount retailer...

, both of which opened in 2010. The No Frills location was previously a Save Easy and before that an IGA
IGA (supermarkets)
IGA is a brand of grocery stores active in more than 30 countries. Contrasting with the chain store business model, IGA operates as a franchise through stores that are owned separately from the brand. Many of these stores operate in small town markets and belong to families that manage them...

, and has been in continual operation as a grocery store for nearly 50 years despite the name changes. The South Shore Mall, located on the eastern edge of town, once home to a movie theatre, grocery and department store, had been completely abandoned by the late 1990s and is slated for redevelopment as a convention centre, hotel, apartment buildings and shops, although progress remains at a standstill as of December 2010.

The mid to late 1990s represented the recent nadir of retailing in Bridgewater as the town had lost, in the previous decade, three department stores (Kmart, The Metropolitan
SAAN Stores
SAAN was a chain of discount department stores in Canada that began in Winnipeg, Manitoba.SAAN had more than 350 stores in the late 1990s, but by May 2005, after it emerged from bankruptcy protection, this was reduced to 142 outlets in a number of communities across Canada...

 and Peoples
Wise Stores
Wise Stores was a department store chain located in Eastern Canada. Founded in 1930 in Montreal by Alex Wise, Wise Stores expanded their presence in the 1950s with the arrival of shopping centres. In 1992, the company acquired the even longer running and competitor Peoples department stores from...

), two grocery stores (a Sobeys location and a Foodmaster) and well as its only movie theatre. As a result, many residents were travelling to nearby Halifax to do their shopping and the town was losing out on much business. Through the early-mid 2000s, however, a renaissance of sorts occurred as a new theatre was built and a major new shopping development occurred in Cookville, including Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire, among others, while the town itself attracted a number of nationally-known brands, such as No Frills, Giant Tiger, and The Bulk Barn
Bulk Barn
Bulk Barn Foods Limited is a Canadian retailer that specializes in bulk food. It is Canada's largest bulk food retailer, with 170 stores across Canada. The company was founded in 1982 by Carl V. Ofield, with its first store opening and headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario.Bulk Barn carries a...

.

Crime


Official crime statistics are not available for Bridgewater. Violent crime is rare and most crime stems from petty property damage, and drug offenses. The last major crime to occur in the town took place in 2008 with the murder of 12-year-old Karissa Boudreau, a crime for which her mother was eventually convicted. The Bridgewater Police Service, as well as recently relocating to a new, modern facility, has moved towards community based policing, working closely with Neighbourhood Watch
Neighborhood watch
A neighborhood watch or neighbourhood watch , also called a crime watch or neighborhood crime watch, is an organized group of citizens devoted to crime and vandalism prevention within a neighborhood...

 programs and local schools, as well as adding foot and bicycle patrols in areas that squad cars are unable to reach.

Currently the Bridgewater Police Service is governed by the Bridgewater Police Commission. This is made up of both political and citizen appointees. The current chair is Deputy Mayor David Walker with Councillor David Mitchell serving as vice-chair.

Notables



  • Carroll Baker
    Carroll Baker (singer)
    Carroll Baker, CM , , is a Juno Award winning Canadian country music singer and songwriter.-Biography:Carroll Baker was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia...

     - Country and Western singing star.
  • Allan Blakeney
    Allan Blakeney
    Allan Emrys Blakeney, PC, OC, SOM, QC, FRSC was the tenth Premier of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan from 1971 to 1982, and leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party .-Life and career:...

     - Premier of Saskatchewan.
  • Chaylon Brewster
    Chaylon Brewster
    Chaylon Brewster, better known as Nevski, is a Canadian born music producer who has created sound for the likes of Mike Dean, Tanya Herron, Prentiss Church and Nelly's label, Derrty Ent....

     - ECMA winning music producer.
  • John Dunsworth
    John Dunsworth
    John Dunsworth is a Canadian actor known for playing the frequently drunk trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey on the hit TV show Trailer Park Boys. He has also appeared in Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion, a CBC film about the 1917 Halifax explosion...

     - Actor.
  • Sarah E. Dunsworth
    Sarah E. Dunsworth
    Sarah E. Dunsworth is a Canadian actress who plays the character of the same name on the Canadian television program Trailer Park Boys. She is the real life daughter of John Dunsworth, the actor who plays Mr. Lahey. She was also the costume Designer on Hobo with a Shotgun. Additionally she...

     - Actor.
  • Dutch Mason
    Dutch Mason
    Dutch Mason, CM was a Canadian musician from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was inducted into the Canadian Jazz and Blues Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2005.-Career:...

     - Blues recording artist and performer.
  • Glen Murray - NHL hockey player.
  • Donald Sutherland
    Donald Sutherland
    Donald McNichol Sutherland, OC is a Canadian actor with a film career spanning nearly 50 years. Some of Sutherland's more notable movie roles included offbeat warriors in such war movies as The Dirty Dozen, , MASH , and Kelly's Heroes , as well as in such popular films as Klute, Invasion of the...

    - Actor.

External links