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Nova Scotia
Nouvelle-Écosse, Alba Nuadh
New Scotland (English)
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit
(Latin: One defends and the other conquers)
Capital Halifax
Largest city Halifax
Largest metro Halifax Urban Area
Official languages English
Regional Languages Gaelic, French
Demonym Nova Scotian
Lieutenant-Governor Mayann Francis
Premier Darrell Dexter (NDP)
Federal representation in Canadian Parliament
House seats 11
Senate seats 10
Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st)
Area  Ranked 12th
Total 55,283 km2 (21,345 sq mi)
Land 53,338 km2 (20,594 sq mi)
Water (%) 1,946 km2 (751 sq mi) (3.5%)
Population  Ranked 7th
Total (2009) 940,397 (est.)[1]
Density 17.49 /km2 (45.3 /sq mi)
GDP  Ranked 7th
Total (2006) C$31.966 billion[2]
Per capita C$34,210 (11th)
Postal NS
ISO 3166-2 CA-NS
Time zone UTC-4
Postal code prefix B
Trailing arbutus 2006.jpg
Picea rubens cone.jpg
  Red Spruce
Rankings include all provinces and territories

Coordinates: 45°13′N 62°42′W / 45.217°N 62.7°W / 45.217; -62.7 (Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotia Pronunciation: /ˌnvə ˈskʃə/ (Latin for New Scotland; French: Nouvelle-Écosse; Scottish Gaelic: Alba Nuadh) is a Canadian province located on Canada's southeastern coast. It is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. Its capital, Halifax, is the major economic centre of the region. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi). Its population of 940,397[1] as of 2009 makes it the fourth-least-populous province of the country, though second-most-densely populated.

Nova Scotia's economy is traditionally largely resource-based, but has diversified since the middle of the 20th century. Industries such as fishing, mining, forestry and agriculture remain very important and have been joined by tourism, technology, film, music, and finance.

The province includes several regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki(mi'gama'gi), which covered all of the Maritimes, as well as parts of Maine, Newfoundland and the Gaspé Peninsula. Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when the first European colonists arrived. In 1604, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement north of Florida at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia. The British Empire obtained control of the region between 1713 and 1760, and established a new capital at Halifax in 1749. In 1867 Nova Scotia was one of the founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation, along with New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada (which became the separate provinces of Quebec and Ontario). It was named after Scotland, and today people of Scottish descent are still the largest ethnic group in the province.



The province's mainland is the Nova Scotia peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, including numerous bays and estuaries. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is more than 67 km (42 mi) from the ocean.[3] Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotia mainland, is also part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small island notorious for its shipwrecks, approximately 175 km (110 mi) from the province's southern coast. Nova Scotia is Canada's second-smallest province in area (after Prince Edward Island). Nova Scotia is also Canada's most-southern-centered province even though it does not have the most-southern location in Canada, which is in Ontario. Because part of Ontario stretches far to the north, Ontario's centre is further north than Nova Scotia's.



Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is almost surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental rather than maritime. The temperature extremes of the continental climate are moderated by the ocean.

Described on the provincial vehicle-licence plate as Canada's Ocean Playground, the sea is a major influence on Nova Scotia's climate. Nova Scotia's cold winters and warm summers are modified and generally moderated by ocean influences. The province is surrounded by three major bodies of water, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east. While the constant temperature of the Atlantic Ocean moderates the climate of the south and east coasts of Nova Scotia, heavy ice build-up in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence makes winters colder in northern Nova Scotia; the shallowness of the Gulf's waters mean that they warm up more than the Atlantic Ocean in the summer, warming the summers in northern Nova Scotia. Summer officially lasts from the first Sunday in April to the Saturday before the last Sunday in October.

Rainfall changes from 140 centimetres (55 in) in the south to 100 centimetres (40 in) elsewhere. Nova Scotia is also very foggy in places, with Halifax averaging 196 foggy days per year[4] and Yarmouth 191.[5]

The average annual temperatures are:

  • Spring from 1 °C (34 °F) to 17 °C (63 °F)
  • Summer from 14 °C (57 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F)[6]
  • Fall about 5 °C (41 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F)
  • Winter about −11 °C (12.2 °F) to 5 °C (41 °F)

Due to the ocean's moderating effect Nova Scotia is the warmest of the provinces in Canada. Nova Scotia also has a fairly wide but not extreme temperature range, a late and long summer, skies that are often cloudy or overcast; frequent coastal fog and marked changeability of weather from day to day. The main factors influencing Nova Scotia's climate are:

  • The effects of the westerly winds
  • The interaction between three main air masses which converge on the east coast
  • Nova Scotia's location on the routes of the major eastward-moving storms
  • The modifying influence of the sea.

Because Nova Scotia juts out into the Atlantic, it is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes in the summer and autumn. However due to the relatively cooler waters off the coast of Nova Scotia, tropical storms are usually weak by the time they reach Nova Scotia. There have been 33 such storms, including 12 hurricanes, since records were kept in 1871—about once every four years. The last hurricane was category-one Hurricane Kyle in September 2008, and the last tropical storm was Tropical Storm Noel in 2007 (downgraded from Hurricane Noel by the time the storm reached Nova Scotia).


Paleo-Indians camped at locations in present-day Nova Scotia approximately 11,000 years ago. Natives are believed to have been present in the area between 1,000 and 5,000 years ago. Mi'kmaq, the First Nations of the province and region, are their direct descendants.

It is most widely believed that the Venetian explorer John Cabot, sailing under the English flag, visited present-day Cape Breton in 1497.[3] The first European settlement in Nova Scotia was established more than a century later in 1604. The French, led by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts established the first capital for the colony Acadia at Port Royal that year at the head of the Annapolis Basin. Also, French fishermen established a settlement at Canso the same year.

In 1620, the Plymouth Council for New England, under King James VI (of Scotland) & I (of England) designated the whole shorelines of Acadia and the Mid-Atlantic colonies south to the Chesapeake Bay as New England. The first documented Scottish settlement in the Americas was of Nova Scotia in 1621. On 29 September 1621, the charter for the foundation of a colony was granted by James VI to William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling and, in 1622, the first settlers left Scotland. This settlement initially failed because of difficulties in obtaining a sufficient number of skilled emigrants, and in 1624 James VI created a new order of baronets. Admission to this order was obtained by sending six labourers or artisans, sufficiently armed, dressed and supplied for two years, to Nova Scotia, or by paying 3,000 merks to William Alexander. For six months, no one took up this offer until James compelled one to make the first move.

In 1627, there was a wider uptake of baronetcies and thus more settlers available to go to Nova Scotia. However, in 1627, war broke out between England and France, and the French re-established a settlement at Port Royal which they had originally settled. Later that year, a combined Scottish and English force destroyed the French settlement, forcing them out. In 1629, the first Scottish settlement at Port Royal was inhabited. The colony's charter, in law, made Nova Scotia (defined as all land between Newfoundland and New England) a part of mainland Scotland; this was later used to get around the English navigation acts. However, this did not last long: in 1631, under King Charles I, the Treaty of Suza was signed which returned Nova Scotia to the French. The Scots were forced by Charles to abandon their mission before their colony had been properly established, and the French assumed control of the Mi'kmaq and other First Nations territory.

In 1654, King Louis XIV of France appointed aristocrat Nicholas Denys as Governor of Acadia and granted him the confiscated lands and the right to all its minerals. English colonists captured Acadia in the course of King William's War, but England returned the territory to France in the Treaty of Ryswick at the end of the war. The territory was recaptured by forces loyal to Britain during the course of Queen Anne's War, and its conquest was confirmed by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. France retained possession of Île St Jean (Prince Edward Island) and Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), on which it established a fortress at Louisbourg to guard the sea approaches to Quebec. This fortress was captured by American colonial forces in 1745, then returned by the British to France in 1748, then captured again during the French and Indian War, in 1758.

Thus mainland Nova Scotia became a British colony in 1713, although Samuel Vetch had a precarious hold on the territory as governor from the fall of Acadian Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal) in October 1710. British governing officials became increasingly concerned over the unwillingness of the French-speaking, Roman Catholic Acadians, who were the majority of colonists, to pledge allegiance to the British Crown, then George II. The colony remained mostly Acadian despite the establishment of Halifax as the province's capital, and the settlement of a large number of foreign Protestants (some French and Swiss but mostly German) at Lunenburg in 1753. In 1755, the British forcibly expelled over 12,000 Acadians in what became known as the Grand Dérangement, or Great Upheaval[7]. The Acadians were scattered across the Atlantic, in the Thirteen Colonies, Louisiana, Quebec, Britain and France[8]. Very few eventually returned to Nova Scotia [9].

At the same time the British Crown began bestowing land grants in Nova Scotia on favored subjects to encourage settlement and trade with the mother country. In June 1764, for instance, the Boards of Trade requested the King make massive land grants to such Royal favorites as Thomas Pownall, Richard Oswald, Humphry Bradstreet, John Wentworth, Thomas Thoroton[10] and Lincoln's Inn barrister Levett Blackborne.[11] Two years later, in 1766, at a gathering at the home of Levett Blackborne, an adviser to the Duke of Rutland, Oswald and his friend James Grant were released from their Nova Scotia properties so they could concentrate on their grants in British East Florida.[12]

The colony's jurisdiction changed during this time. Nova Scotia was granted a supreme court in 1754 with the appointment of Jonathan Belcher and a Legislative Assembly in 1758. In 1763 Cape Breton Island became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony. The county of Sunbury was created in 1765, and included all of the territory of current day New Brunswick and eastern Maine as far as the Penobscot River. In 1781, the French Navy successfully fought the Naval battle of Louisbourg against the Royal Navy, as a result of the Franco-American alliance against Great Britain. In 1784 the western, mainland portion of the colony was separated and became the province of New Brunswick, and the territory in Maine entered the control of the newly independent American state of Massachusetts. Cape Breton became a separate colony in 1784 only to be returned to Nova Scotia in 1820.

During the colonial period, Nova Scotia issued its own postage stamps printed in England. This distinctive diamond shape (issued between 1851 and 1857) was also used by neighbouring New Brunswick.
Nova Scotia stamp issued 1860.

Ancestors of more than half of present-day Nova Scotians arrived in the period following the Acadian Expulsion. Between 1759 and 1768, about 8,000 New England Planters responded to Governor Charles Lawrence's request for settlers from the New England colonies. Several years later, approximately 30,000 United Empire Loyalists (American Tories) settled in Nova Scotia (when it comprised present-day Maritime Canada) following the defeat of the British in the American Revolutionary War. Of these 30,000, 14,000 went to New Brunswick and 16,000 went to Nova Scotia. Approximately 3,000 of this group were Black Loyalists, about a third of whom soon relocated themselves to Sierra Leone in 1792 via the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor, becoming the Original settlers of Freetown.

Large numbers of Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots emigrated to Cape Breton and the western part of the mainland during the late 18th century and 19th century. In 1812 Sir Hector Maclean (the 7th Baronet of Morvern and 23rd Chief of the Clan Maclean) emigrated to Pictou from Glensanda and Kingairloch in Scotland with almost the entire population of 500.[13][14][15] Sir Hector is buried in the cemetery at Pictou.[15]

About one thousand Ulster-Scots settled in mainly central Nova Scotia during this time, as did just over a thousand farming migrants from Yorkshire and Northumberland between 1772 and 1775.

Nova Scotia was the first colony in British North America and in the British Empire to achieve responsible government in January-February 1848 and become self-governing through the efforts of Joseph Howe. Pro-Confederate premier Charles Tupper led Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation in 1867, along with New Brunswick and the Province of Canada.

In the provincial election of 1868, the Anti-Confederation Party won 18 out of 19 federal seats, and 36 out of 38 seats in the provincial legislature. For seven years, William Annand and Joseph Howe led the ultimately unsuccessful fight to convince British imperial authorities to release Nova Scotia from Confederation. The government was vocally against Confederation, contending that it was no more than the annexation of the province to the pre-existing province of Canada:

"...the scheme [confederation with Canada] by them assented to would, if adopted, deprive the people [of Nova Scotia] of the inestimable privilege of self-government, and of their rights, liberty, and independence, rob them of their revenue, take from them the regulation of trade and taxation, expose them to arbitrary taxation by a legislature over which they have no control, and in which they would possess but a nominal and entirely ineffective representation; deprive them of their invaluable fisheries, railroads, and other property, and reduce this hitherto free, happy, and self-governed province to a degraded condition of a servile dependency of Canada."

from Address to the Crown by the Government (Journal of the House of Assembly, Province of Nova Scotia, 1868)

A motion passed by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1868 refusing to recognise the legitimacy of Confederation has never been rescinded. Repeal, as anti-confederation became known, would rear its head again in the 1880s, and transform into the Maritime Rights Movement in the 1920s. Some Nova Scotia flags flew at half mast on Dominion Day as late as that time.


Population since 1851

Year Population Five Year
 % change
Ten Year
 % change
1851 276,854 n/a n/a
1861 330,857 n/a 19.5
1871 387,800 n/a 17.2
1881 440,572 n/a 13.6
1891 450,396 n/a 2.2
1901 459,574 n/a 2.0
1911 492,338 n/a 7.1
1921 523,837 n/a 6.4
1931 512,846 n/a -2.1
1941 577,962 n/a 12.7
1951 642,584 n/a 11.2
1956 694,717 8.1 n/a
1961 737,007 6.1 14.7
1966 756,039 2.6 8.8
1971 788,965 4.4 7.0
1976 828,570 5.0 9.6
1981 847,442 2.3 7.4
1986 873,175 3.0 5.4
1991 899,942 3.1 6.2
1996 909,282 1.0 4.1
2001 908,007 -0.1 0.9
2006 913,462 0.6 0.5


Top ten counties by population

County 2001 2006
Halifax (county) 359,183 372,858
Cape Breton (county) 109,330 105,928
Kings County 58,866 60,035
Colchester County 49,307 50,023
Lunenburg County 47,591 47,150
Pictou County 46,965 46,513
Hants County 40,513 41,182
Cumberland County 32,605 32,046
Yarmouth County 26,843 26,277
Annapolis County 21,773 21,438

Ethnic origins

According to the 2001 Canadian census[17] the largest ethnic group in Nova Scotia is Scottish (29.3%), followed by English (28.1%), Irish (19.9%), French (16.7%), German (10.0%), Dutch (3.9%), First Nations (3.2%), Welsh (1.4%), Italian (1.3%), and Acadian (1.2%). Peoples of European descent thus make up approximately 96.8% of the total population. Almost half of all respondents (47.4%) identified their ethnicity as "Canadian".


The 2006 Canadian census showed a population of 913,462.
Of the 899,270 singular responses to the census question concerning 'mother tongue' the most-commonly reported languages were:

Rank Language Respondants Percentage
1. English 832,105 92.53%
2. French 32,540 3.62%
3. Arabic 4,425 0.49%
4. Mi'kmaq 4,060 0.45%
5. German 4,045 0.45%
6. Chinese 3,370 0.37%
7. Dutch 2,440 0.27%
8. Polish 1,570 0.17%
9. Spanish 1,305 0.15%
10. Greek 1,035 0.12%
11. Italian 905 0.10%
12. Korean 860 0.10%
13. Gaelic 799 0.10%
Peggys Cove Harbour

In addition, there were also 105 responses of both English and a 'non-official language'; 25 of both French and a 'non-official language'; 495 of both English and French; 10 of English, French, and a 'non-official language'; and about 10,300 people who either did not respond to the question, or reported multiple non-official languages, or else gave some other unenumerated response. Figures shown are for the number of single language responses and the percentage of total single-language responses.[18]


The largest denominations by number of adherents according to the 2001 census were the Roman Catholic Church with 327,940 (37 %); the United Church of Canada with 142,520 (16 %); and the Anglican Church of Canada with 120,315 (13 %).[19]


Lobster fishing boats in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's traditionally resource-based economy has become more diverse in recent decades. The rise of Nova Scotia as a viable jurisdiction in North America was driven by the ready availability of natural resources, especially the fish stocks off the Scotian shelf. The fishery was pillar of the economy since its development as part of the economy of New France in the 17th century. However, the fishery suffered a sharp decline due to overfishing in the late twentieth century. The collapse of the cod stocks and the closure of this sector resulted in a loss of approximately 20,000 jobs in 1992.[20] Per capita GDP in 2005 was $31,344,[21] lower than the national average per capita GDP of $34,273 and less than half that of Canada's richest province, Alberta.

Due, in part, to a strong small-business sector, Nova Scotia now has one of the fastest-growing economies in Canada.[citation needed] Small business makes up 92.2% of the provincial economy.[22] Mining, especially of gypsum and salt and to a lesser extent silica, peat and barite, is also a significant sector.[23] Since 1991, offshore oil and gas has become an increasingly important part of the economy. Agriculture remains an important sector in the province. In the central part of Nova Scotia, lumber and paper industries are responsible for much of the employment opportunities. Nova Scotia’s defence and aerospace sector generates approximately $500 million in revenues and contributes about $1.5 billion to the provincial economy annually.[24] Nova Scotia has the fourth-largest film industry in Canada hosting over 100 productions yearly, more than half of which are the products of international film and television producers.[25]

The Nova Scotia tourism industry includes more than 6,500 direct businesses, supporting nearly 40,000 jobs.[26] 200,000 cruise ship passengers from around the world flow through the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia each year.[27] Halifax ranks among the top five most cost-effective places to do business when compared to large international centres in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.[22]

Government and politics

Current provincial electoral map showing how each district voted in 2009.

The government of Nova Scotia is a parliamentary democracy. Its unicameral legislature, the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, consists of fifty-two members. As Canada's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of Nova Scotia's Executive Council, which serves as the Cabinet of the provincial government. Her Majesty's duties in Nova Scotia are carried out by her representative, the Lieutenant-Governor, currently Mayann E. Francis. The government is headed by the Premier, Darrell Dexter, who took office June 19, 2009. Halifax is home to the House of Assembly and Government House, the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor.

The province's revenue comes mainly from the taxation of personal and corporate income, although taxes on tobacco and alcohol, its stake in the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, and oil and gas royalties are also significant. In 2006-07, the Province passed a budget of $6.9 billion, with a projected $72 million surplus. Federal equalization payments account for $1.385 billion, or 20.07% of the provincial revenue. While Nova Scotians have enjoyed balanced budgets for several years, the accumulated debt exceeds $12 billion (including forecasts of future liability, such as pensions and environmental cleanups), resulting in slightly over $897 million in debt servicing payments, or 12.67% of expenses.[28] The province participates in the HST, a blended sales tax collected by the federal government using the GST tax system.

Nova Scotia has elected three minority governments over the last decade. The Progressive Conservative government of John Hamm, and Rodney MacDonald, has required the support of the New Democratic Party or Liberal Party since the election in 2003. Nova Scotia's politics are divided on regional lines in such a way that it has become difficult to elect a majority government. Rural mainland Nova Scotia has largely been aligned behind the Progressive Conservative Party, Halifax Regional Municipality has overwhelmingly supported the New Democrats, with Cape Breton voting for Liberals with a few Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats. This has resulted in a three-way split of votes on a province-wide basis for each party and difficulty in any party gaining a majority.

Halifax, provincial capital

The most recent election of June 9, 2009, elected 31 New Democrats, 11 Liberals, and 10 Progressive Conservatives resulting in Nova Scotia's first New Democratic government, and first majority government in almost a decade.

Nova Scotia no longer has any incorporated cities; they were amalgamated into Regional Municipalities in 1996. Halifax, the provincial capital, is now part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, as is Dartmouth, formerly the province's second largest city. The former cities of Sydney and Glace Bay are now part of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

The House of Assembly passed a motion in 2004 inviting the Turks and Caicos Islands to join the province, should these Caribbean islands renew their wish to join Canada.


The Minister of Education is responsible for the administration and delivery of education, as defined by the Education Act[29] and other acts relating to colleges, universities and private schools. The powers of the Minister and the Department of Education are defined by the Ministerial regulations and constrained by the Governor-In-Council regulations.

Nova Scotia has more than 450 public schools for children. The public system offers primary to Grade 12. There are also some private schools in the province. Public education is administered by seven regional school boards, responsible primarily for English instruction and French immersion, and also province-wide by the Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial, which administer French instruction to students for whom the primary language is French.

The Nova Scotia Community College system has 13 campuses around the province. The community college, with its focus on training and education, was established in 1988 by amalgamating the province's former vocational schools.

In addition to its community college system the province has 11 universities, including Dalhousie University, University of King's College, Saint Mary's University (Halifax), Mount Saint Vincent University, NSCAD University, Acadia University, Université Sainte-Anne, Saint Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Cape Breton University, and the Atlantic School of Theology.

There are also more than 90 registered private commercial colleges in Nova Scotia.[30]


The lighthouse situated on Peggys Point, immediately south of Peggys Cove

Despite the small population of the province, Nova Scotia's music and culture is influenced by several well-established cultural groups, which are sometimes referred to as the "founding cultures".

The peninsula was originally populated by the Mi'kmaq First Nation. The first European settlers were the French, who founded Acadia in 1604. Nova Scotia was briefly colonized by Scottish settlers in 1620, though by 1624 the Scottish settlers had been removed by treaty and the area was turned over to the French until the mid-18th century. After the defeat of the French and prior expulsion of the Acadians, settlers of English, Irish, Scottish and African descent began arriving on the shores of Nova Scotia.

Settlement was greatly accelerated by the resettlement of Loyalists in Nova Scotia during the period following the end of the American Revolutionary War. It was during this time that a large African Nova Scotian community took root, populated by freed slaves and Loyalist blacks and their families, who had fought for the crown in exchange for land. This community later grew when the Royal Navy began intercepting slave ships destined for the United States, and deposited these free slaves on the shores of Nova Scotia.

Later, in the 19th century the Irish Famine and, especially, the Scottish Highland Clearances resulted in large influxes of migrants with Celtic cultural roots, which helped to define the dominantly Celtic character of Cape Breton and the north mainland of the province. This Gaelic influence continues to play an important role in defining the cultural life of the province and around 500 to 2000 Nova Scotians today are fluent in Scottish Gaelic. Nearly all live in Antigonish County or on Cape Breton Island.[31][32]

Modern Nova Scotia is a mix of many cultures. The government works to support Mi'kmaq, French, Gaelic and African-Nova Scotian culture through the establishment of government secretariats, as well as colleges, educational programs and cultural centres. The Province is also eager to attract new immigrants,[33] but has had limited success. The major population centres at Halifax and Sydney are the most cosmopolitan, hosting large Arab populations (in the former) and Eastern European populations (in the latter). Halifax Regional Municipality hosts a yearly multicultural festival.[34]


Nova Scotia has long been a centre for artistic and cultural excellence. Halifax has emerged as the leading cultural centre in the Atlantic region.[citation needed] The city hosts such institutions such as Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, and the Symphony Nova Scotia, the only full orchestra performing in Atlantic Canada. The province is home to avant-garde visual art and traditional crafting, writing and publishing, and a film industry.

Nova Scotia is arguably best known for its music.[citation needed] While popular music from many genres has experienced almost two decades of explosive growth and success in Nova Scotia, the province remains best known for its folk and traditional based music.[citation needed]Nova Scotia's traditional (or folk) music is Scottish in character, and traditions from Scotland are kept true to form, in some cases more so than in Scotland. This is especially true of the island of Cape Breton, one of the major international centres for Celtic music.

On mainland Nova Scotia, particularly in some of the rural villages throughout Guysborough County, Irish-influenced styles of music are commonly played, due to the predominance of Irish culture in many of the county's villages.[citation needed]



  • Beck, J. Murray. The Government of Nova Scotia University of Toronto Press, 1957, the standard history
  • Choyce, Lesley. Nova Scotia: Shaped by the Sea. A Living History. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada, 1996. 305 pp.
  • Donovan, Kenneth, ed. Cape Breton at 200: Historical Essays in Honour of the Island's Bicentennial, 1785-1985. Sydney, N.S.: U. Coll. of Cape Breton Pr., 1985. 261 pp.
  • Fingard, Judith; Guildford, Janet; and Sutherland, David. Halifax: The First 250 Years Halifax: Formac, 1999. 192 pp.
  • Girard, Philip; Phillips, Jim; and Cahill, Barry, ed. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, 1754-2004: From Imperial Bastion to Provincial Oracle U. of Toronto Press 2004.
  • Johnson, Ralph S. Forests of Nova Scotia: A History. Tantallon: Nova Scotia Dept. of Lands and Forests; Four East Publ., 1986. 407 pp.
  • Loomer, L. S. Windsor, Nova Scotia: A Journey in History. Windsor, N.S.: West Hants Hist. Soc., 1996. 399 pp.
  • Robertson, Allen B. Tide & Timber: Hantsport, Nova Scotia, 1795-1995. Hantsport, N.S.: Lancelot, 1996. 182 pp.
  • Robertson, Barbara R. Sawpower: Making Lumber in the Sawmills of Nova Scotia. Halifax: Nimbus; Nova Scotia Mus., 1986. 244 pp.

Since 1900

  • Beck, J. Murray. Politics of Nova Scotia. vol 2: 1896-1988. Tantallon, N.S.: Four East 1985 438 pp.
  • Bickerton, James P. Nova Scotia, Ottawa and the Politics of Regional Development. U. of Toronto Press 1990. 412 pp.
  • Creighton, Wilfred. Forestkeeping: A History of the Department of Lands and Forests in Nova Scotia, 1926-1969. Halifax: Nova Scotia Dept. of Lands and Forests, 1988. 155 pp.
  • Earle, Michael, ed. Workers and the State in Twentieth Century Nova Scotia. Fredericton: Acadiensis, 1989.
  • Frank, David. J. B. McLachlan: A Biography - the Story of a Legendary Labour Leader and the Cape Breton Coal Miners. Toronto: Lorimer, 1999. 592 pp.
  • Fraser, Dawn. Echoes from Labor's Wars: The Expanded Edition, Industrial Cape Breton in the 1920s, Echoes of World War One, Autobiography and Other Writings. Wreck Cove, N.S.: Breton Books, 1992. 177 pp.
  • McKay, Ian. The Quest of the Folk: Antimodernism and Cultural Selection in Twentieth-Century Nova Scotia. McGill-Queen's U. Pr., 1994. 371 pp.
  • McKay, Ian. The Craft Transformed: An Essay on the Carpenters of Halifax, 1885-1985. Halifax, N.S.: Holdfast, 1985. 148 pp.
  • March, William DesB. Red Line: The Chronicle-Herald and Mail-Star, 1875-1954. Halifax, N.S.: Chebucto Agencies, 1986. 415 pp.
  • Morton, Suzanne. Ideal Surroundings: Domestic Life in a Working-Class Suburb in the 1920s. U. of Toronto Pr., 1995. 201 pp. about Richmond Heights
  • Sandberg, L. Anders and Clancy, Peter. Against the Grain: Foresters and Politics in Nova Scotia. U. of British Columbia Pr., 2000. 352 pp.
  • Sandberg, L. Anders, ed. Trouble in the Woods: Forest Policy and Social Conflict in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Fredericton, N.B.: Acadiensis, 1992. 234 pp.

Pre 1900

  • Beck, J. Murray. Joseph Howe Volumes I & II : Conservative Reformer 1804-1848; The Briton Becomes Canadian 1848-1873 (1984)
  • Beck, J. Murray. Politics of Nova Scotia. vol 1 1710-1896 Tantallon, N.S.: Four East 1985 438 pp.
  • Bell, Winthrop P. The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia: The History of a Piece of Arrested British Colonial Policy in the Eighteenth Century. (1961). reprint Fredericton, N.B.: Acadiensis for Mount Allison U., Cen. for Can. Studies, 1990. 673 pp.
  • Brebner, John Bartlet. New England's Outpost. Acadia before the Conquest of Canada (1927)
  • Brebner, John Bartlet. The Neutral Yankees of Nova Scotia: A Marginal Colony During the Revolutionary Years (1937)
  • Byers, Mary and McBurney, Margaret. Atlantic Hearth: Early Homes and Families of Nova Scotia. U. of Toronto Press, 1994. 364 pp.
  • Campey, Lucille H. After the Hector: The Scottish Pioneers of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Toronto: Natural Heritage Books, 2004. 376 pp.
  • J. A. Chisholm, ed. Speeches and Public Letters of Joseph Howe 2 vol Halifax, 1909
  • Conrad, Margaret and Moody, Barry, ed. Planter Links: Community and Culture in Colonial Nova Scotia. Fredericton, : Acadiensis, 2001. 236 pp.
  • Conrad, Margaret, ed. Intimate Relations: Family and Community in Planter Nova Scotia, 1759-1800. Fredericton, : Acadiensis, 1995. 298 pp.
  • Conrad, Margaret, ed. Making Adjustments: Change and Continuity in Planter Nova Scotia, 1759-1800. Fredericton: Acadiensis, 1991. 280 pp.
  • Cuthbertson, Brian. Johnny Bluenose at the Polls: Epic Nova Scotian Election Battles, 1758-1848. Halifax: Formac, 1994. 344 pp.
  • Donald A. Desserud; "Outpost's Response: The Language and Politics of Moderation in Eighteenth-Century Nova Scotia" American Review of Canadian Studies, Vol. 29, 1999 online
  • Faragher, John Mack. A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland New York: W.W. Norton, 2005, 562 p.
  • Frost, James D. Merchant Princes: Halifax's First Family of Finance, Ships, and Steel Toronto: Lorimer, 2003. 376 pp.
  • Gwyn, Julian. Excessive Expectations: Maritime Commerce and the Economic Development of Nova Scotia, 1740-1870 McGill-Queen's U. Pr., 1998. 291 pp.
  • Griffiths, Naomi. E. S. From Migrant to Acadian, 1604-1755: A North American Border People. Montreal and Kingston, McGill / Queen's University Press, 2004.
  • Hornsby, Stephen J. Nineteenth-Century Cape Breton: A Historical Geography. McGill-Queen's U. Pr., 1992. 274 pp.
  • Johnston, A. J. B. Control and Order in French Colonial Louisbourg, 1713-1758. Michigan State U. Pr., 2001. 346 pp.
  • Krause, Eric; Corbin, Carol; and O'Shea, William, ed. Aspects of Louisbourg: Essays on the History of an Eighteenth-Century French Community in North America. Sydney, N.S.: U. Coll. of Cape Breton Pr., 1995. 312 pp.
  • Lanctôt, Léopold. L'Acadie des Origines, 1603-1771 Montreal: Fleuve, 1988. 234 pp.
  • LeBlanc, Ronnie-Gilles (2005). Du Grand Dérangement à la Déportation: Nouvelles Perspectives Historiques, Moncton: Université de Moncton, 465 pages (book in French and English)
  • McKay, Ian. The Craft Transformed: An Essay on the Carpenters of Halifax, 1885-1985. Halifax, N.S.: Holdfast, 1985. 148 pp.
  • MacKinnon, Neil. This Unfriendly Soil: The Loyalist Experience in Nova Scotia, 1783-1791. McGill-Queen's U. Pr., 1986. 231 pp.
  • Mancke, Elizabeth. The Fault Lines of Empire: Political Differentiation in Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, ca. 1760-1830 Routledge, 2005. 214 pp. online
  • Marble, Allan Everett. Surgeons, Smallpox, and the Poor: A History of Medicine and Social Conditions in Nova Scotia, 1749-1799. McGill-Queen's U. Pr., 1993. 356 pp.
  • Pryke, Kenneth G. Nova Scotia and Confederation, 1864-74 (1979) (ISBN 0-8020-5389-0)
  • Reid, John G. et al. The "Conquest" of Acadia, 1710: Imperial, Colonial, and Aboriginal Constructions. U. of Toronto Pr., 2004. 297 pp.
  • Waite, P. B. The Lives of Dalhousie University. Vol. 1: 1818-1925, Lord Dalhousie's College. McGill-Queen's U. Pr., 1994. 338 pp.
  • Walker, James W. St. G. The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, 1783-1870. (1976). reprint U. of Toronto Pr., 1992. 438 pp
  • Whitelaw, William Menzies; The Maritimes and Canada before Confederation (1934) online

See also


  1. ^ a b Statistics Canada. "Canada's population estimates 2009-12-23". Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  2. ^ Gross domestic product, expenditure-based, by province and territory
  3. ^ Ted Harrison (1993). O Canada. Ticknor & Fields. 
  4. ^ Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  5. ^ Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
  6. ^ Environment Canada - Atlantic Climate Centre - The Climate of Nova Scotia
  7. ^ ; Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc (2005). Du Grand Dérangement à la Déportation: Nouvelles Perspectives Historiques, Moncton: Université de Moncton, 465 pages ISBN 1897214022 (book in French and English)
  8. ^ Jean-François Mouhot (2009) Les Réfugiés acadiens en France (1758-1785): L'Impossible Réintégration?, Quebec, Septentrion, 456 p. ISBN 2894485131; Ernest Martin (1936) Les Exilés Acadiens en France et leur établissement dans le Poitou, Paris, Hachette, 1936
  9. ^ John Mack Faragher (2005). A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from their American Homeland, New York: W.W. Norton, 562 pages ISBN 0-393-05135-8 (online excerpt
  10. ^ Thomas Blackborne Thoroton was married to an illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Rutland. He and other family members, including Thoroton's half-brother Levett Blackborne, a barrister, had close business and social relationships with Richard Oswald and James Grant, who were instrumental in the English colonies in East Florida and Nova Scotia.[1]
  11. ^ Representation to His Majesty with a List of Several persons for Grants of Lands in Nova Scotia, Representations of the Lords of Trade to the King, June 5, 1764,
  12. ^ The Florida Historical Quarterly, vol. LIV, No. 4, April 1976, Gainesville, FL
  13. ^ Cambridge University, Manuscripts - MacLean Sinclair 1899: p282
  14. ^ The Independent, 7 November 1998, County and Garden, Duff Hart-Davis, Saturday, Secrets of a mountain of wealth
  15. ^ a b [ A History of the Clan Maclean from its first settlement at Duard Castle, in the Isle of Mull, to the present period including a genealogical account of some of the principal Families together with their Heraldry, Legends, Superstitions etc". ... by J. P. MacLean, 1889, p263]
  16. ^ "Statistics Canada — Population". . Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  17. ^ Statistics Canada (2005). "Population by selected ethnic origins, by province and territory (Census 2001)". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  18. ^ Detailed Mother Tongue (186), Knowledge of Official Languages (5), Age Groups (17A) and Sex (3) (2006 Census)
  19. ^ Religions in Canada
  20. ^ Fish in Crisis. / "The Starving Ocean". /. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  21. ^ Government of Nova Scotia (2007). "Economics and Statistics". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  22. ^ a b Carter, S. (ed.) Migrationnews Canada. 2007-2008 Edition. Oceania Development Group. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  23. ^ Province of Nova Scotia, "Summary of Nova Scotia Mineral Production, 1994 and 1995"
  24. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc. Defence, Security & Aerospace.Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  25. ^ Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation Production Statistics for the 12 Month Period Ended March 31, 2008. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  26. ^ Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. Tourism Summit 2008. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  27. ^ Government of Nova Scotia. [ Going Global, Staying Local: A Partnership Strategy for Export Development]. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  28. ^ Government of Nova Scotia. "Nova Scotia estimates 2006-2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  29. ^ Government of Nova Scotia (1996). "Education Act". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  30. ^ [2]
  31. ^ Nova Scotia Archives (May). "Gaelic Resources". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  32. ^ Office of Gaelic Affairs
  33. ^ Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. "Nova Scotia". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  34. ^ "Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival". 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 

External links

Official links
Other links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Nova Scotia [1] is one of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada.

The tourist information centre at the Halifax waterfront.
The tourist information centre at the Halifax waterfront.
  • Tobeatic Wilderness & Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. The largest protected wilderness area in Atlantic Canada. The Tobeatic is a large natural area that spans five counties and more than 104,000 hectares of central southwestern Nova Scotia. Nine major rivers flow from the Tobeatic and over 120 lakes are found within the wilderness area. The wilderness area is available to the public for canoeing, birding, and other outdoor pursuits for the enjoyment of nature. The Tobeatic features numerous species of interest including the last native population of moose, black bear, southern flying squirrel, Blanding's turtle, Eastern ribbon snake, Bald Eagle, brook trout, Lady Slipper orchids, and various carnivorous and non-chlorophytic flowering plants.
  • Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy. Brier Island is a unique destination situated off the end of ancient basalt formation (Digby Neck) jutting out into the world famous Bay of Fundy. This area is rich in marine life (Whale Watching, Atlantic flyway for migrating birds and has a resident seal colony) The area has been long visited by naturalists who regularly spot rare and endangered plants. Rock hounds will be impressed with the many types of rock formations and can find quartz, agate jasper, amethyst and even zeolite. An area truly unspoiled, off the beaten track and deeply steeped in maritime tradition. (Home of the famous Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail solo around the world in 1895 on the Spay a 37’ sloop.) Brier Island offers many trails to explore both easy and challenging for hikers on short or extended visits. The island is accessible by two short ferry rides from the end of Digby Neck.


For a population just under a million Nova Scotia is remarkably diverse, Mi'kmaq, Scots descendants, black Nova Scotians, French Acadians, Annapolis Valley farmers, lobster fishermen, Cape Bretoners and Haligonians all forming distinct groups with their own unique quirks, culture and language. The novel "Rockbound" is written entirely in the South Shore dialect of the fishermen of that region, a fusion of Shakespearean English, German and unique local idioms.

Champlain named Nova Scotia "Acadie" and claimed it for France in 1604. French immigrants settled the area and became prosperous farmers and fisherman until officially expelled by the British in the mid 18th century - their lands especially on the South Shore to be repopulated with "foreign Protestants" meaning mostly Dutch and German. Many areas still retain a strong Acadian French culture, including the largest francophone municipality, Clare in Digby County and Argyle, in Yarmouth County. Nova Scotia hosted the World Acadian Congress in 2005. The Louisiana "cajun" is a slang adaptation of "Acadien" in the French. Longfellow's poem "Evangeline" celebrates the victims of the Expulsion, as does Zachary Richard's drum and voice song "Reveille". Because of the expulsion, French is far more commonly heard in New Brunswick.

Halifax, the capital, is one of the oldest cities in North America and was a critical sea link during World Wars I and II. The infamous "Halifax explosion" caused by collision of two ships in Halifax Harbour in 1917 was the worst man-made explosion on Earth until Hiroshima in 1945. Halifax today is an education and high technology center with over a dozen post-secondary institutions including Dalhousie University and substantial operations by major high-technology firms. Academics have unusual influence in Nova Scotia perhaps because of the concentration of them in the capital. Many have even written legislation.

Unless you are a winter surfer, or like to snowshoe, then it is probably best to visit Nova Scotia sometime June-Oct when the weather is warm, the skies are blue and the water may not be frigid. The main byways are along the coast, and a lot of small shops and restaurants are open around the coast during the summer months. Watch out for mosquitoes and horseflies in the summer, however, especially after a storm.

Locals of many desirable areas exaggerate the cold, storms, pests, etc., in order to discourage tourists from moving in permanently. This tendency has declined in recent years as the population has aged. Nova Scotia's South Shore is one of the rare "Blue Zones" in the world where an unusually high percentage of people lives to over 100 years old. The province highlights this fact in some of its immigration ads.

Get in

Halifax has the main international airport in the province. Flights can also be made to Sydney in Cape Breton from Halifax, or periodically from Boston, Toronto, or other Maritime cities. Ferry service is available from Prince Edward Island to Pictou, and Newfoundland to North Sydney.

Ferry service from Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth ceased on December 15, 2009. There is no replacement ferry service at this time.

Get around

The Highway system in Nova Scotia is very simple. Starting at Yarmouth, The 101 and 103 Provincial highways (Notable by the flag on the top of the white sign) go around the shore, the 101 going along the Western shore through Digby and Windsor, while the 103 goes along the eastern shore. Both lead to Halifax/Dartmouth. Following out, the Provincial 102 goes to Truro. At Truro, one can opt to go to Ahmerst (To New Brunswick) or to New Glasgow via the Trans Canada 104. A ferry to Prince Edward Island can be found at Pictou. The Trans Canada leads all the way to the Canso Causeway, the one way to get to Cape Breton. The Trans Canada also leads to Sydney, and the Newfoundland Ferry at North Sydney. Be aware of road conditions in the winter, especially away from major areas. Special scenic routes are labeled by specific signs, (Cabot Trail, Sunrise Trail, etc.).

Peggys Cove lighthouse
Peggys Cove lighthouse
  • Peggys Cove Lighthouse, 35 km SW of Halifax on road 333 is a lighthouse on rounded rocks. The lighthouse is a post office, there is a restaurant and tourist information but otherwise it is just big rocks with a dozen small house and 60 people living there. Outside Peggys Cove on the 333 there are plenty of B&B's and restaurants.
  • Swissair Memorial, close to Peggys Cove on the 333.
  • Cape Breton highlands (especially in the Fall)
  • Citadel Hill, located in downtown Halifax.
  • The Southern Nova Scotia Biosphere, Tobeatic Wilderness Area, and Kejimikujik National Park in the southern half of the province--the largest protected wilderness area in Atlantic Canada
  • Pedal and Sea Adventures [2] Bike tours along Cape Breton's The Cabot Trail, Lighthouse Route, and Evangeline Route, along with Best of Both Coasts tour, and a Lunenburg Adventure tour. Also offers one- and two-day biking and kayaking tours, and bike rentals in the HRM.
  • Scott's Walking Tours [3] Walking and hiking tours throughout Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton, Nova Scotia's four shores, and the Atlantic seacoast.
  • Tidal Bore Rafting [4] Experience the highest tides in the world by riding on the tidal bore wave in a raft. Exhilarating fun, even when the moon isn't full!
  • Rob's Rock Mineral & Rockhounding Shop, 677 West Main Street, Kentville (Take Hwy 101 West from Halifax), (902) 678-3194‎, [5]. Nova Scotia has some of the best rocks and minerals in the world. Rob's Shop is an excellent place to discover these treasures.The Bay of Fundy is an excellent place to rockhound. From Parrsboro down to Brier Island. There is a great online catalog for folks who can't visit the area  edit
  • Freewheeling Adventures, 2070 rte 329 (The Lodge, near Hubbards), 902-857-3600, [6]. Bike, multisport, and seakayak tours, guided or self-guided, in the best corners of Nova Scotia. Van support, inns or camping, with best food possible. Rental equipment and delivery also available.  edit


Donair, based on Turkish dish "Döner", a pile of roasted, spiced beef (known as donair meat) with tomatoes and onions covered in a sweet, white sauce and wrapped in a pita. This variation on the doner is unique to the area and is available at almost every corner diner and pizza place in Nova Scotia. Folks from New England (and perhaps many other areas of the US) will compare a donair to a gyro - biggest difference is a sauce that is much sweeter than the sauce found on a gyro.

Dulse, most of this seaweed is harvested in Nova Scotia. Locally it is dried and used as a snack.

  • Hala's Pizza and Doniar, 117 Kearney Lake Rd. Wedgewood Plaza, [7]. A charming and cozy pizza restaurant - takes pride in its homemade dishes.
  • Shaws Landing 6958 Highway 333, West Dover, tel: +1 902-823-1843,, [8]. Just a few km towards Halifax from Peggys Cove. The Scottish Swiss chef makes excellent seafood in a beautiful setting. Try the blueberry garlic shrimps. No liquor license.
  • Sutherland's Diner, 2808 Main St. Shubenacadie on the 102, Tel: +1 902-758-0114. Sandwiches, fish & chips, burgers at low prices.
  • The Chickenburger, Bedford Highway, [9]. Drive up and eat in malt, chickenburger and burger shop since 1940.
  • Dining at Trout Point Lodge, 189 Trout Point Road (Off East Branch Road off Hwy. 203), 902-761-2142, [10]. 7:30 pm. The kitchen at Trout Point Lodge brings to fruition savoury creations by drawing from traditional cooking techniques combined with fresh local ingredients. The Dining Room's fare intertwines wild mushrooms & plants, produce from local growers as well as the on-site gardens, and the ethical selection of the North Atlantic's freshest seafood to create a unique dining experience in daily-changing prix-fixe menus. Trout Point cuisine reflects place and time without undue emphasis on food styling. The art is in the preperation of the food, with flavour given top priority. The chef-proprietors started as some of Louisiana's first organic farmers, and draw inspiration from substantial time living in places as diverse as Rome, Granada, Central America, and China. A hallmark of Trout Point's cuisine is the use of the Lodge's own in-house ingredients: --House cold-smoked salmon, scallops, trout, and swordfish; --Home-made cheeses like chevre, ricotta, and fresh mozzarella; --Vegetables, herbs, and salad greens from the Lodge's ever epanding gardens; --Desserts, ice creams, sorbets, and artisal breads made daily.  edit


Nova Scotia produces some very good wines. Most wineries offer free tours. Of particular note is Jost Winery [11] along the Northumberland Strait north of Truro.

Try the local beers. Nova Scotia is best known for "Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale," known locally simply as "Keith's" [12]: Natives tend to get a kick out of outsiders trying it. Also sample the Propeller [13]

  • Nova Scotia Family Vacation & Accommodation Portal, [14]. A online resource for finding accommodations, activities and attractions of interest to families traveling with children and pets. There are listings of wifi spots, webcams, farmers markets, shops, restaurants and cafes. as well as accessible accommodations   edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NOVA SCOTIA, a province of the Dominion of Canada, lying between 43° 25' and 47° N. and 59° 40' and 66° 25' W., and composed of the peninsula proper and the adjoining island of Cape Breton, which is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Canso. The extreme length from S.W. to N.E. is 374 m. (N.S. 268, C.B. 108); breadth 60 to loo m.; area 21,428 sq. m. The isthmus of Chignecto, 112 m. wide, connects it with the province of New Brunswick.

Table of contents

Physical Features

Nova Scotia is intersected by chains of hills. The Cobequid Mountains, stretching from E. to W. and terminating in Cape Chignecto, form the chief ridge. Several of the elevations are as high as i 1 oo ft., and are cultivable almost to their summits. Lying on each side of this range are two extensive tracts of arable land. A ridge of precipices runs for 130 m. along the Bay of Fundy from Brier Island at the farthest extremity of Digby Neck and culminates in Capes Split and Blomidon. Here and there rocks, from 200 to 600 ft. in height and covered with stunted firs, overhang the coasts. Beyond them lies the garden of Nova Scotia, the valley of the Annapolis. The Atlantic coast from Cape Canso to Cape Sable is high and bold, containing many excellent harbours, of which Halifax (Chebucto Bay) is the chief. The N. shore is, as a rule, low, with hills some distance from the coast. Of its harbours the most important is Pictou. Of the inlets the most remarkable is Minas Basin, the eastern arm of the Bay of Fundy; it penetrates some 60 m. inland, and terminates in Cobequid Bay, where the tides rise sometimes as high as 53 ft., while on the opposite coast, in Halifax Harbour, the spring tides scarcely exceed 7 or 8 ft. The height of the Fundy tides has, however, been often exaggerated, the average being 42.3 ft. Many islands occur along the coast, particularly on the S.E.; of these the most celebrated is Sable Island. The rivers are, with few exceptions, navigable for coasting vessels for from 2 to 20 m. The principal are the Annapolis, Avon, Shubenacadie, the East, Middle and West rivers of Pictou, the Musquodoboit and the Lahave. The largest of the fresh-water lakes is Lake Rossignol, situated in Queen's county, and more than 20 m. long. Ship Harbour Lake, 15 m. in length, and Grand Lake are in Halifax county.


The Lower Cambrian formation forms an almost continuous belt along the Atlantic coast, varying in width from io to 75 m. and covering an area estimated at 8500 sq. m. It is interrupted by large masses of intrusive granite, extending from the extreme S.W. of the province as far as Halifax, and cropping out in detached areas as far as Cape Canso. This part of the province is rugged and sterile, and abounds in small lakes and peat bogs. Along the N.E. coast extends a Carboniferous area, including two large and productive coal-fields in Cumberland and Pictou counties, and continued in the coal-fields of Cape Breton. On the S. coast of the Bay of Fundy, and at Minas Basin and Channel, the Triassic Red Sandstone formation predominates, more or less protected by a narrow rim of trap rock, culminating at its E. end in the basaltic promontory of Blomidon (Blow-me-down). The Cobequid Mountains are a mass of slates, quartzites and intrusive rocks (apparently Siluro-Cambrian). At the Joggins, near Cape Chignecto, occurs a splendid exposure, rich in curious minerals and fossils, and very celebrated among geologists.

Climate; Flora and Fauna

The climate of Nova Scotia is more temperate than that of New Brunswick, and more equable than that of the inland provinces, though not so dry. Spring and winter begin about a fortnight later than in Ontario. Dense fogs often drift in from the Atlantic, but are not considered unhealthy.

Most of the principal birds of North America are to be found, and the game of the country includes moose, caribou, duck, teal, geese, woodcock, partridge, snipe, plover, &c. The game laws are strict and well enforced. The chief wild animals are bears, foxes And wild-cats. Wolves, once numerous, are now extinct., The natural flora does not differ greatly from that of the New England states. The sweet-smelling may-flower, or trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens), grows extensively, and has long been the provincial 'eriblem. ' Population. - The population increases slowly, having risen only from 440,572 in 1881 to 459,574 in 1901, an average of 21.8 to the square mile (total area, 21 ,428 sq. m.). The rural population is grouped along the river valleys, and the natural increase is normal, but there is a large emigration to the manufacturing cities of the E. states and to the Canadian N.W. The great mass of the people are of British descent, but in parts of Cape Breton are found descendants of the early French settlers; in Lunenburg and the S.E. is a large German colony; near Halifax are a number of negroes from the West Indies, and scattered through the province are about 2000 Micmac Indians, who now confine themselves chiefly to the making of bows and arrows, baskets and trinkets; though they carry on a certain amount of mixed farming. Few are of absolutely pure Indian blood. The settlers of English and Scotch descent are about equal in numbers, but the latter have been more prominent in the development of the province. The Irish are found chiefly in Halifax and in the mining towns of Cape Breton. Roman Catholics, Presbyterians and Baptists predominate, though the Church of England is strong in Halifax, and still retains a certain social prestige.


The executive authority is in the hands of a lieutenant-governor appointed for five years by the federal government, and of a council appointed from and responsible to the local legislature. This consists of a lower house of assembly, and of a legislative council of twenty life members, which the assembly has frequently, but in vain, endeavoured to abolish. The municipal system was introduced subsequent to federation, and is modelled on that of Ontario.

The revenue is chiefly made up of the Dominion subsidy (see Ontario), and of royalties on mining concessions, chiefly those on coal. Owing to the great increase of mining in Cape Breton, its payments towards the revenue are larger in proportion than those of the mainland.


Primary education is free and compulsory; secondary education is also free but optional. In each county one high school is raised to the rank of an academy, free to all qualified students in the county, and receives an additional grant. Roman Catholics have not won the right of separate schools, as in Ontario, but in Halifax and other districts where that church is strong, a compromise has been arranged. Thus the two Roman Catholic colleges, St Francis Xavier (English) at Antigonish, and St Anne (French) at Church Point (Digby county), and most of the convents are in affiliation with the public school system. There are also many private schools, chiefly for girls, and under denominational control. But while primary and secondary education is widespread and of good quality, higher education has suffered from denominational bickerings, and the universities are still too many and too small. They are: King's College, Windsor (Anglican), founded in 1790; Acadia University, Wolfville (Baptist, 1839); St Francis Xavier, Antigonish (Roman Catholic, 1866); and Dalhousie University, Halifax (Undenominational), established by charter in 1818, reorganized in 1863, the largest and the most efficient, possessing faculties of arts, science, medicine and law. The province supports a normal school and schools of agriculture and of horticulture at Truro, and has voted $loo,000 for a College of Technology at Halifax.

Commerce and Manufactures

Nova Scotia is naturally a sea-going province, and till about 1881 had the largest tonnage, in proportion to population, in the world. Since then, her shipping has greatly diminished, though Halifax is still one of the chief winter ports of the Dominion, and Sydney is also a favourite port of call for steamers in need of " bunker " coal. The water-power provided by‘the rivers supports many manufactures. Several sugar-refineries exist, and a large trade is carried on with Bermuda and the West India islands.


The fisheries of Nova Scotia are the most important in Canada, and the value of their products ($7,841,602 in 1904) is about one-third that of the whole Dominion. Lobsters, cod and mackerel constitute the bulk of the catch. Many boats are also fitted out in Lunenburg, Digby, Yarmouth and other ports for the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. A bounty is paid by the Dominion government, and attempts are being made to introduce more scientific methods among the fishermen. The vessels are manned by over 25,000 men, and many more are employed in the lobster canneries and kindred industries. Trout and salmon abound in the inland lakes and streams.


Lumbering was long the chief industry of the province, and is still very important, though the percentage of forest left uncut is only about 30%. The network of small lakes and rivers enables the logs to be brought to the mills with great ease, and little rough timber is now exported. The chief export is that of spruce deals, almost entirely from Halifax. The manufacture of wood-pulp for paper is also carried on. Minerals. - Bituminous coal is mined in various parts of Cape Breton (q.v.) and in the counties of Cumberland and Pictou. The seams dip at a low angle, and are of great thickness, especially in Pictou county. The total product exceeds 5,000,000 tons, annually, more than two-thirds that of the whole Dominion. Of this over half is mined in the neighbourhood of Sydney, Cape Breton. Other English Miles o to 20 Prouincial Capitals _....o Railways....... important centres are Springhill, Acadia Mines, Stellarton and Glace Bay (C.B.). It is shipped as far west as Montreal, and to the New England states. Iron is largely produced, chiefly in the vicinity of the Cumberland and Pictou coal-fields. The deposits include magnetite, red haematite, specular, limonite and carbonate ores. Blast furnaces are in operation, especially at New Glasgow, Sydney and North Sydney, though most of the ore used at Sydney is imported from Newfoundland. The quarries of easily worked limestone, the product of which is used as a " flux " in the blast furnaces, add to the value of the iron deposits. Gold occurs in workable quantities in the quartz all along the Atlantic coast, and several small but successful mining enterprises are in operation, yielding about $500,000 annually. Large deposits of gypsum occur, especially at Windsor in Hants county. Manganese and copper are also worked on a small' scale.


The attention paid to lumbering, fishing and shipping, and the subsequent emigration westwards have lessened the importance of this industry. Mixed farming is however largely carried on, and of late years dairy farming has been greatly extended and improved, and much butter and cheese is exported to England. Both the Dominion and the provincial governments have endeavoured to introduce scientific methods. Nova Scotia ranks second to Ontario in its production of apples and peaches. The centre of this industry is the valley of the Annapolis, where, it is said, one " may ride for fifty miles under apple-blossoms." At the head of the Bay of Fundy and on Minas Basin the low-lying meadows produce splendid crops of hay. Owing to high Fundy tides, the air in the neighbourhood is constantly in motion, the result being a cool temperature, even in the height of summer, which is well fitted for stock-raising.

Roads and Railroads. - Road-making machines are employed for the improvement of the ordinary highways, and steel bridges are replacing the wooden structures; but the roads in the country districts still leave much to be desired. The Intercolonial railway, owned and worked by the Dominion government, is the chief means of communication with the other provinces, and for the carriage of "local traffic. Besides the main line from Halifax to Amherst, a branch runs from Truro to Sydney, and another from Oxford Junction to Pictou and Stellarton. The Canadian Pacific railway has running rights over it from St John (N.B.) to Halifax; on its completion, similar rights will be granted from Moncton to Halifax to the Grand Trunk Pacific. The Dominion Atlantic railway extends from Windsor Junction, near Halifax, to Yarmouth; the Nova Scotia Central railway from Lunenburg to Middleton on the Dominion Atlantic railway. A line along the Atlantic coast connects Halifax and Yarmouth, whence a daily line of steamers sails for Boston. Other lines connect Halifax with a number of the S.W. coast and inland towns, and a line has been projected from New Glasgow to Guysborough and the coast. Several smaller lines are owned by the various coal-mining companies. Telegraph and telephone lines extend all over the province, and there are two cable stations - one at Canso and the other at Sydney. The Marconi Company has stations for wireless telegraphy at Halifax, Cape Sable, Sable Island and Glace Bay.


Nova Scotia may well have been the Markland of early Norse and Icelandic voyages, and Cape Breton was visited by the Cabots in 1497-1498, but not till 1604 was any attempt at permanent colonization made by Europeans. In that year an expedition was headed by a Frenchman, Pierre de Guast, Sieur de Monts (1560 - c. 1630), who had received from Henry IV. full powers to explore and take possession of all lands in North America lying between the 40th and 46th parallels of north latitude. De Monts and his friend de Poutrincourt (d. 1615), endeavoured to form settlements at Port Royal (now Annapolis), St Croix (in New Brunswick) and elsewhere, but quarrels broke out with the Jesuits, and in 1613 the English colonists of Virginia made a descent upon them, claimed the territory in right of the discovery by the Cabots, and expelled the greater part of the inhabitants. In 1621 Sir William Alexander obtained from James I. a grant of the whole peninsula, which was named in the patent, Nova Scotia, instead of Acadia, the old name give)i to the colony by the French. During the reign of Charles I. the still existing order of Baronets of Nova Scotia was instituted, and their patents ratified in parliament. The treaty of St Germain-en-Laye (1632) confirmed France in the possession of Acadia, Cape Breton and New France; but fierce feuds broke out among the French settlers, and in 1654 a force sent out by Cromwell took possession of the country, but by the treaty of Breda (1667) it was restored to France by Charles II. Continual fighting went on between the French and the British colonists of New England, the Indians taking part, usually on the side of the French; in 1710 the province was finally captured by Great Britain and ceded to her in 1713 by the treaty of Utrecht, under the name of " Acadia or Nova Scotia," the French remaining masters of Cape Breton. Perpetual quarrels went on concerning the boundaries of the district ceded; the English claim comprised the present Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, most of New Brunswick and the Gaspe peninsula, while the French restricted it to the S. half of what is now Nova Scotia. In 1749 Halifax was founded as a counterpoise to Louisbourg in Cape Breton, and over 4000 colonists sent out, but the French opposed the new settlers. In 1755 about 6000 French were suddenly seized by Governor Charles Laurence (d. 1760) and hurried into exile. After undergoing many sufferings, some eventually found their way back, while others settled in Cape Breton, or in distant Louisiana. By the treaty of Paris in 1763, France resigned all claim to the country. In 1769 Prince Edward Island (formerly Isle St Jean) was made a separate government. Meanwhile, immigration from the New England colonies had filled the fertile meadows left vacant by the Acadians. A later influx of American Loyalists led in 1784 to the erection of New Brunswick into a separate colony. In the same year, Cape Breton was also separated from Nova Scotia but reunited in 1820.

During the wars of the American and French revolutions Halifax grew apace. Hither, in June 1813, came the " Shannon " with her prize the " Chesapeake," captured off Boston harbour. Meanwhile, between 1784 and 1828, a large Scottish emigration, chiefly from the Highlands, had settled in the counties around Pictou, and the lumbering industry rose to great proportions. Agriculture was for some time neglected, but in 1818 the letters of " Agricola " (John Young, 1773-1837) gave it an impetus. Representative institutions had been granted as early as 1758, but power long rested mainly in the hands of a Council of Twelve, comprising the chief justice, the Anglican bishop and other high officials. In 1848, after a long struggle, responsible government was won by the legislative assembly, led by Joseph Howe.

In these political struggles, education was often the battleground, the fight ending in 1864 in the establishment of free primary and secondary schools by Dr (afterwards Sir Charles) Tupper, and the re-organization on an undenominational basis of Dalhousie University (see Halifax). In 1867* the province entered the new Dominion of Canada. For some years afterwards an agitation in _ favour of repeal was maintained, but gradually died away. Since then its history is a record of uneventful progress.

Bibliography. - For history, see - Duncan Campbell, Nova Scotia, (1873); T. C. Haliburton (" Sam Slick "), Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia (1829); Beamish Murdoch, History of Nova Scotia or Acadia (1865); Sir John Bourinot, Builders of Nova Scotia (1900). Consult L'Abbe H. R. Casgrain, Un Pelerinage au pays d'Evangeline (1888), on the French side; F. Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe, on the other. For general information, see S. E. Dawson, North America (1897); Sir Wm. Dawson, Acadian Geology (4th ed., 1891); J. C. Hopkins, Canada: an Encyclopaedia (6 vols., 1898-1899).

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From Latin, literally “New Scotland”, from nova, feminine of novus (new) + Scotia (Scotland).


  • (UK) IPA: /ˈnəʊ.və ˌskəʊ.ʃə/, SAMPA: /"n@U.v@ %sk@U.S@/

Proper noun

Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia

  1. A province in eastern Canada, capital Halifax.


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