5 Things to Know When Moving to Nova Scotia

 

Whether you are moving back to your roots or for a change of scenery, the prospect of moving anywhere is always daunting. Let me ease some of your anxiousness, with things it will help to know before you move to Nova Scotia.

 

Nova Scotia is a beautiful, scenic province with stunning shorelines and rolling hills of fields and forests. Nova Scotians (Maritimers in general) are welcoming and definitely live at a slower pace, which seems to be the attraction for many of the “Come From Aways”.

If you are moving  from outside of Canada check out our helpful Nova Scotia Immigration website

 

WHEN YOU ARRIVE

Apply for Nova Scotia Health Card from the Nova Scotia Government

Apply for a driver’s license from the local Registry of Motor Vehicles

Change address with service providers, banking, government offices. Start a checklist and contact them individually or with change of address cards from Canada Post. There are handy moving apps that can also help change addresses in bulk as well as book moving vans and services, such as Moving Waldo

 

WHERE TO LIVE

The total population of Nova Scotia is less than most major cities in Canada at approximately 940,000. The most populous city is the province’s capital Halifax with 431, 500 people. The next largest towns are Truro, Kentville and Bridgewater, which have populations between 10-13,000. Within an hours drive to Halifax is where you will find the densest population and higher property prices. The further you travel from Halifax the cheaper home prices get. Ocean front and lakefront property are higher priced as well but are also relative to their proximity to Halifax.

 

Annapolis Valleys’ Windsor down to Annapolis Royal is well known for agriculture and farming. Wolfville and Gaspereau area have gained international recognition for the burgeoning wine and cider industry. Nova Scotia’s temperate climate and soil is ideal for growing grapes and fruit and has been compared to the Champagne region of France.

 

WHAT DOES IT COST TO LIVE

Rental rates around Halifax are approximately $1500 for a one-bedroom apartment. As with the house selling market, the rental market has had low inventory as well, namely in the Annapolis Valley. The average residential home sale price according to MLS statistics, in the Halifax region was $314,470, in the Annapolis Valley region it was $193,303 and on the South Shore, the average sale price was $205,831 for 2019.

 

Kijiji.ca and Facebook marketplace are good starting places to find rentals or rental companies. Some university websites have links to rentals as well. You will most likely be asked for references and to sign a lease. Having tenants’ insurance is always a good idea. For more info about renting and tenants’ rights go to Residential Tenancies Act

 

HOW TO GET AROUND

Halifax and surrounding areas are serviced by Metro Transit and costs $2.75 a ride including transfers for bus or the ferry that travels between Dartmouth and Halifax. The Annapolis valley has a transit bus, that basically travels along Highway 1. Larger towns do have taxi services, but Uber has not yet come to Nova Scotia.

The majority of the railway beds across the province have been converted to trails, for biking, running and walking.

 

SETTING UP HOUSE

For electricity, you will have to contact NS Power to set up an account and arrange hook up.

For natural gas, Heritage Gas is the most popular service and supplier.

For internet providers there are Eastlink, Bell Aliant, Rogers and XplorNet

For Food, there are two large grocery chains to choose from which are Atlantic Superstore and Sobeys. There are also usually local farmers markets set up on certain days of the week in any particular area. Wolfville, Hubbards and the Halifax Seaport Farmers market are some of the biggest ones.

For Alcohol, one must 19 years of age and can be bought at provincial NSLC stores and outlets. Cannibis product are also now sold in certain NSLC stores

 

Tips for Non Residents or Foreigners Buying Property in Nova Scotia and Canada