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Bridgewater is a town in Lunenburg County, at the navigable limit of the LaHave River. It is the largest town in the South Shore region. While the majority of the South Shore's economy is based upon the tourist trade, Bridgewater is more a commercial and industrial centre. One of the primary employers is a Michelin tire plant.

Bridgewater is split in two by the LaHave River, 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.

Parks and recreation

Residents of Bridgewater enjoy a relatively extensive parks system, which the town estimates at 100 acres (0.40 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-acre (100,000 m) 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 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 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.html but both eventually decided that the $30-million facility will be built on Wentzell Road 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.Construction began in late 2011.

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

Bridgewater info reproduced from Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgewater,_Nova_Scotia under the Creative Commons License

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-20th 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 and Sobeys, while several bank branches, a movie theatre, The Atlantic Superstore and Home Hardware are all located nearby.

The King Street area, anchored by two banks and formerly the town Post Office, 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 closed in the mid-1990s and Canadian Tire relocated to Cookville in 2006. It is now anchored by discount grocery chain No Frills and Giant Tiger, both of which opened in 2010. The No Frills location was previously a Save Easy and before that an IGA, 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 June 2012. Leasing is now available as this new development begins.

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 and Peoples ), 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 (decade), 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.

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 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. As of the 2011 census, the eastern side of town held 37% of the total population, up from 33% in 2006. Compared to the previous census, the population of the western side of town declined 2%, while the eastern side increased by 16%.

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 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.


Aerial photo of Lunenburg

Lunenburg is a Canadian port town in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. Situated on the province's South Shore, Lunenburg is located at the western side of Mahone Bay. The town is approximately 90 kilometres southwest of the county boundary with the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The town was established during Father Le Loutre's War, four years after Halifax. The town was one of the first British attempts to settle Protestants in Nova Scotia and, as a result, the (Catholic) Wabanaki Confederacy raided the community nine times in the early years of the settlement.

The historic town was designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1995. This designation ensures protection for much of Lunenburg's unique architecture and civic design, being the best example of planned British colonial settlement in Canada. The historic core of the town is also a National Historic Site of Canada.


View of Waterfront

Tourism is Lunenburg's most important industry and many thousands visit the town each year. A number of restaurants, inns, hotels and shops exist to service the tourist trade. Numerous artists operate their own galleries. The town is home to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, part of the Nova Scotia Museum. The schooner replica Bluenose II is operated by the museum and based out of Lunenburg. The town is also home to the privately run Halifax and Southwestern Railway Museum and the Knaut-Rhuland House Museum.

The town has a history of being an important seaport and shipbuilding centre. There are now numerous small businesses, high-tech industries including Composites Atlantic and HB Studios, and trade plants including High Liner Foods, which was at one point the largest fish plant in Canada. This plant now handles manufacturing and most fishing is done offshore.

Culture

Lunenburg, together with its surrounding areas, has its own distinct dialect, known as Lunenburg English, which is influenced both by New England English and by German.

The 2010 Japanese movie Hanamizuki was partly set and filmed in Lunenburg and the science fiction television show Haven was partly filmed there though it is set in the United States. The fairhaven town is featured prominently in a 2010 series of Cisco Systems network product ads featuring Ellen Page. The 2012 film The Disappeared was shot in Lunenburg during September 2011.


Panoramic view

Lunenburg info reproduced from Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunenburg,_Nova_Scotia under the Creative Commons License

Bridgewater Area Map

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