Moving to Nova Scotia? Check out these Halifax Highlights


Do you enjoy city life, but want to slow down the pace? Perhaps looking for a city where residents are as friendly as those in a small town and you can enjoy a sense of community? If so, Halifax may be your perfect fit. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the rolling sea and lush forests Canada’s ocean playground is rightly named.

Located along the Eastern shore is Nova Scotia’s capital, Halifax. Filled with opportunities for success and plenty of activities for your entertainment, Halifax is a small city with a large reputation. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, home to one of the world’s largest harbours, high tides, plenty of lobster, fun and opportunity describe the small city on the water. It’s a thriving city, and one of the major economic centres in Atlantic Canada.

Beautiful neighbourhoods, unique cuisine, exceptional learning facilities, various kinds of shopping, entertainment, restaurant and patios along the waterfront – you will have endless places to explore in your new home.

Halifax is the cultural centre of Nova Scotia bursting with artistic, musical, and various other talents. The North end, a multicultural and artistic place. The South end largely surrounded by the waterfront is lively, home to the Seaport Farmers Market, Halifax Busker Festival and the historic Citadel Hill.

The city is known for its high walkability. Since 25-50% of residents regularly walk to work the city has increased their emphasis on developing bicycle infrastructure. Yachting, rowing, canoeing, curling, swimming, all popular activities in the area. The Banook Canoe Club has hosted international canoeing championships. The Scotiabank Centre hosts national university basketball and volleyball championships, Moosehead hockey games and you can always count on it bringing various talented artists to the area.

Aerial View of Halifax








– Halifax’s GDP(Gross Domestic Product) growth is expected to surpass both national and provincial forecasts, with the 2.6% growth rate forecasted for 2019 being the largest increase in a decade.

– Weekly individual earnings grew faster than inflation over Q3 2019, leading to a 1.0% increase in purchasing power. – International enrolment in Halifax universities grew by 340 students in 2018-19, a 5.2% increase over the previous year. This marks twelve straight years of consecutive growth in the number of international students studying in Halifax.

– Halifax’s GDP growth is expected to surpass both national and provincial forecasts, averaging 2.2% annual growth between 2019 and 2023. The 2.6% growth rate forecasted for 2019 is the highest projected rate in a decade.

– All industrial sectors are expected to show positive growth in Halifax through 2023, led by transportation and warehousing (2.6% growth), wholesale and retail trade (2.6% growth), professional, scientific and technical services (2.5% growth), and finance, insurance, and real estate (2.5% growth).

– Average individual weekly earnings in Halifax grew by 1.7% in Q3 2019, reaching $921. • Earnings grew faster than inflation over Q3 2019, leading to a 1.0% increase in purchasing power

Halifax, Nova Scotia labour market

Halifax Labour Market Trends

– Between Q3 2018 and Q3 2019, Halifax’s labour force grew by 7,500 people. Over the same period, employment rose by 9,867.

– The unemployment rate dropped from 6.6% in Q3 2018 to 5.5% in Q3 2019. The participation rate grew by 0.6 percentage points to reach 69.0% in Q3 2019, the highest rate since Q1 2015.

According to the overall number of new jobs posted online increased 2.7% in 2019 compared to 2018. Eight out of ten occupational groups had positive growth in new online job postings. The occupations unique to manufacturing and utilities had the highest online job postings growth at 20% in 2019 compared to 2018. Business, finance and administration occupations and those in Art, culture, recreation & sport were the only groups that saw a decline in online jobs postings (-8.5% and 5.2%, respectively) in 2019 compared to 2018. Occupations with higher job vacancy rates, high turnover, and/or requirements for scarce qualifications may exhibit high levels of online job postings compared to others.

New Job Postings Nova Scotia

As a result of the population declining faster than employment paired with the improved labour force conditions in 2019, the employment rate grew 4.5 percentage points for youth aged workers and 0.4 percentage points for core aged workers.


Rich in history, Halifax was incorporated as a city in 1841 and is currently the largest urban area in Atlantic Canada. In 1746 the British government sponsored the first settlement plan in North America, focused on present-day Halifax. This being for several reasons the most prevalent being the rich cod fishing industry. In 1749 approximately 2,500 settlers led by Colonel Edward Cornwallis arrived in Chebucto. Halifax and its neighbouring communities were amalgamated to form the Halifax Regional Municipality which occupies the central location on Nova Scotia’s east coast in April 1996.

Halifax was booming in 1917, a moment that increased wealth and opportunity for the city. As a hub of Canada’s war efforts many troops passed through the harbour on their way to or from Europe. Along with hardship the war brought prosperity to the city, increasing the population, creating jobs and boosting the economy. Ships that needed repair or to be restocked flooded the ice-free harbour.

1917, a moment in time that left many devastated and forced to rebuild the entire North end of the city when two ships collided in the Halifax harbour – The Halifax Explosion. The two ships collided filled with explosives for the first world war, resulting in the largest man-made explosion until 1945.halifax explosion article

A major railway and shipping centre, by the 1950s much of peninsular Halifax was built up. Dartmouth’s importance as a residential area grew rapidly with the spanning of Halifax Harbour by the Angus L. Macdonald (1955) and A. Murray MacKay (1970) bridges. Bedford and Sackville are suburbs that also accommodate the city’s population growth.

The industrial expansion of the city of Halifax had a devastating effect on Africville, an African Nova Scotian community located on the edge of the Bedford basin. The community had been home to black residents of Halifax since the mid-19th century, but was neglected by the city, which provided no water or sewage facilities and put a municipal dump nearby. In 1961 city council voted to remove the residents to make way for industrial development.

Many residents protested and resented not being consulted about the project. The residents were evicted, Africville was demolished, and the land converted into a municipally owned park. The site was recognized as a national historic site in 1996 and continues to serve as a symbol of Black Nova Scotian cultural identity.

Another landmark to visit is Citadel Hill. A national Historic site in Halifax. There have been four fortifications constructed there since 1749, now a popular destination for tourists or residents alike.

When exploring the harbour don’t forget to visit Canada’s national museum of immigration which is The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. The museum occupies part of the pier and was the former ocean liner terminal and immigration shed from 1928 to 1971. Pier 21 is Canada’s last remaining ocean immigration shed. A terminal that was the entry point to Canada for over one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. Pier 21 became a national historic site in 1999.


The city of Halifax and its surrounding areas are home to various reputable post-secondary institutions, seven in total. A place where education is a priority and provides students with the ability to succeed. Halifax is home to Dalhousie University, a research university with four campuses across the province. Dalhousie is one of the leading universities in the country and attracts high achieving students from all over the world.

Saint Mary’s University the oldest English speaking roman catholic university in Canada, also known for exceptional business and chemistry programs and one of the world’s best women’s basketball programs. Saint Mary’s University is another popular choice when choosing post-secondary institutions in the province. Mount Saint Vincent University, a university since 1966, was founded in 1873 by the Sisters of Charity as a residential school for young ladies and received degree-granting status in 1925.

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NASCAD) located across the bridge in Dartmouth was founded in 1887 and was the first degree-granting art school in Canada. The Halifax Central Library was built in 2012. It is a modern building with unique architecture, filled with exciting art and literature, it’s a place that is sure to inspire.

Nova Scotia Community College offers specialized programs through institutes like the Nautical Institute, the School of Fisheries and the Aviation Institute. The University of Kings College established in 1789 is the oldest chartered university in Canada, also home to the Foundation Year Program for students to help identify their interests.

Dalhousie University

Investing in Student Housing Make Cents

Mount Saint Vincent University

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

Dalhousie University

Nova Scotia Community College

Saint Mary’s University

University of Kings College

Halifax Central Library

HDC Hair & Esthetics School of Cosmetology

Eastern College



Halifax is a small city with an enormous amount of potential. Filled with up and coming entrepreneurs as well as already well-established businesses, it’s a place your passion can grow, and you and your family can thrive. Halifax is a major economic centre, representing over half of Nova Scotia’s economy. The city’s economic growth is comparable to other large Canadian cities outside of Western Canada and is based on a mix of private and public services, which provide a stable economic base. Trade, health care and social assistance, education, and public administration are major economic sectors, along with accommodation and food services, finance and construction.



What to do?

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

Halifax Citadel historic park

Halifax Public Gardens

Pier 21

Neptune Theatre

Halifax Busker Fest

The Banook Canoe Club

The Scotiabank Centre

Halifax Harbour Tours

Where to eat?



Studio East Food & Drink

Stubborn Goat Gastropub

Stillwell Beergarden

The Press Gang

The Bicycle Thief

Sea Smoke


Additional Resources

– Life in Halifax

– History

– What to do in Halifax

– What to do in Nova Scotia

– Facts about the city –

– 8 best restaurants in Halifax