Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Jason Hugh Fox, 1995

Cottaging on the Northumberland Shore of Pictou County, Nova Scotia: Spatial Patterns and Relationships


This study makes use of property information gathered from property assessment rolls to identify spatial patterns associated with cottage development along the Northumberland shore of Pictou County, Nova Scotia, and then analyze the spatial patterns to determine why cottaging develops where it does, and how it develops in relation to other spatial phenomena. Using the property assessment rolls, cottage properties along Pictou Counties Northumberland shoreline are identified, and each cottage property has its owner's permanent address, assessed value, and lot size recorded. The study area is divided up into thirty-four sections and the property information is averaged for each section. Aggregate data for each of the sections is used to produce maps which are visually analyzed to identify and interpret spatial patterns associated with cottaging. Emphasis is placed on the spatial relationship between the cottage and it's owner's permanent address in order to determine what influence this relationship has upon the location of cottage development. The aggregate data is also visually and statistically correlated with each section's capability for recreation in order to determine the degree to which a high capability for recreation motivates the locational decisions made by cottagers.

The decision made by a cottage owner located in the study area is shown to be influenced by intervening opportunities, accessibly and capability for recreation. Within the study area, cottages are shown to be located not only for the purpose of beach access but also for the purpose of private and passive recreation in a pleasant setting. Contradictions between statistical correlation and visual correlation indicates the need for further study which emphasizes the individual characteristics of cottages in order to determine what factors influence the locational decisions made by cottagers.