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Pictou

Trip Planner Canada  /  Nova Scotia  /  Pictou
(3.9/5 based on 320+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: museums, beaches, sightseeing
Pictou is a town in Pictou County, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Located on the North shore of Pictou Harbour, the town is approximately 10 km north of the larger town of New Glasgow.Once an active shipping port and the shire town of the county, today Pictou is primarily a local service centre for surrounding rural communities and being the primary tourist destination in this region of Nova Scotia.The name Pictou derives from the Mi'kmaw name Piktuk, meaning "explosive place", a reference to the river of pitch that was found in the area.HistoryPictou had been the location of an annual Mi'kmaq summer coastal community prior to European settlement. Pictou was part of the Epekwitk aq Piktuk Mi'kmaq District, which included present-day Prince Edward Island and Pictou.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. While there were a significant number of Scottish people settled in other parts of Nova Scotia at the time Pictou was settled, the town's tourism slogan is "The Birthplace of New Scotland", which is based on being the first primarily made up Scottish immigrants. The first wave of immigrants arrived on September 15, 1773, on the Hector. The town has an indirect connection to Scottish settlement in New Zealand; the Reverend Norman McLeod emigrated to Pictou from Scotland some years after the Hector but eventually re-settled with his parishioners at St. Ann's on Cape Breton Island. He later encouraged his parishioners to move to Waipu where there are still many descendants from Pictou and St. Ann's.
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