Positive start to year for Pictou

Community Featured

PICTOU – Mayor Jim Ryan says he hopes the prospects for two developments in Pictou will help the town and surrounding region.

Ryan was commenting on the sale of the former golf club on Beeches Road and a recent Canadian Living magazine survey that listed Pictou as one of 22 towns to visit.

“The Town of Pictou’s selection by Canadian Living as one of ‘20+ Small Towns in Canada to Visit’ is, certainly, valuable promotion of our beautiful community and the surrounding area,” he said. “I think anything that draws interest to the town is welcome. Even though it talks about Pictou, it’s talking about the entire region. This is an exciting and unexpected development.”

The magazine traced Pictou’s Scottish heritage back to when the first Scots landed in Pictou Harbour in the 1700s and how “the town has kept that old-world charm.”

It listed “interesting attractions (cultural centres and a museum, etc.) and a port where boaters are easily accommodated.”

It also highlighted how the Jitney Trail is ideal for cycling, running, skiing and snowmobiling, as well as Fitzpatrick Mountain Trail for how it challenges “skilled mountain bikers and trail runners.”

Beth Henderson, who resides in Three Brooks but volunteers in numerous town activities, also praised Pictou’s inclusion on the list.

“Tourists and travellers have found Pictou intriguing for hundreds of years,” she said, while noting how places like the McCulloch House Museum & Genealogy Centre and the Hector Heritage Quay offer visitors “a glimpse of the past.”

Besides noting how Pictou promotes outdoor activities, she referred to the the town’s volunteer base and the “diverse programming at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre.”

The deCoste provides “not only top notch current performers but also promotes cultural experiences by featuring plays and music depicting our Scottish heritage,” she said. “The town is only as special as its friendly residents who continue to volunteer and promote our uniqueness by making things happen through partnerships.”

Ryan said Pictou’s variety of attractions, food services and accommodations help make it a destination for visitors.

He noted ongoing initiatives from Pictou’s Recreation and Parks Department and Active Pictou County — as well as private investment — as examples of how the town is trying to attract more people to visit and live there.

“We have a terrific harbour that hasn’t realized its potential for active outdoor living, but we’re getting there,” he said. “I look forward to a future when visitors to our town will be able to fully experience the beauty and culture of our region with the addition of harbour tours or fishing excursions originating on our waterfront.”

Ryan said he also hopes the recent golf club property sale will benefit the town. He said one of the purchasing groups was pleased to know the town provides water and sewer service to the property.

“We haven’t been informed about the buyers’ intentions; however, it’s nice to see a group that has an interest and a new vision for the property. Everyone agrees it’s a beautiful property, and I hope it realizes its full potential.”

Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan stands beside the sign welcoming visitors to Pictou at the junction of Church and Water streets. (Goodwin photo)