Halifax, Nova Scotia
|Regional Municipality||April 1, 1996|
|Named for||George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax|
|Governing body||Halifax Regional Council|
|MPs||List of MPs|
|MLAs||List of MLAs|
|Municipality||5,490.35 km (2,119.84 sq mi)|
|Urban||234.72 km (90.63 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||241.9 m (793.6 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Density||73.4/km (190/sq mi)|
|Urban density||1,349.3/km (3,495/sq mi)|
|Census ranking||14 of 5,162|
|Time zone||UTC−04:00 (AST)|
|Summer (DST)||UTC−03:00 (ADT)|
|Postal code span||B0J ,B3A to B4G|
|Area codes||902, 782|
|Median Income||$54,129 CAD|
|Total Coastline||2,400 km (1,491 mi)|
Halifax is a major economic centre in Atlantic Canada, with a large concentration of government services and private sector companies.
Major employers and economic generators include the Department of National Defence, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary's University, the Halifax Shipyard, various levels of government, and the Port of Halifax.
The Mi'kmaq have resided in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island since prior to European landings in North America in the 1400s and 1500s to set up fisheries.
The Mi'kmaq name for Halifax is K'jipuktuk, pronounced "che-book-took".
The first permanent European settlement in the region was on the Halifax Peninsula.
The establishment of Halifax marked the beginning of Father Le Loutre's War.
The war began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports and a sloop of war on June 21, 1749.
By unilaterally establishing Halifax, the British were violating earlier treaties with the Mi'kmaq (1726), which were signed after Father Rale's War.
Cornwallis brought along 1,176 settlers and their families.
To guard against Mi'kmaq, Acadian and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, British fortifications were erected in Halifax (Citadel Hill) (1749), Bedford (Fort Sackville) (1749), Dartmouth (1750), and Lawrencetown (1754), all areas within the modern-day Regional Municipality.
December 1917 saw one of the greatest disasters in Canadian history, when the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship carrying munitions, collided with the Belgian Relief vessel SS Imo in "The Narrows" between upper Halifax Harbour and Bedford Basin.
The blast was the largest artificial explosion before the development of nuclear weapons.
The four municipalities in the Halifax urban area had been coordinating service delivery through the Metropolitan Authority since the late 1970s, but remained independent towns and cities until April 1, 1996, when the provincial government amalgamated all municipal governments within Halifax County to create the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The municipal boundary thus now includes all of Halifax County except for several First Nation reserves.
Since amalgamation, the region has officially been known as the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), although "Halifax" has remained in common usage for brevity.
On April 15, 2014, the regional council approved the implementation of a new branding campaign for the region developed by the local firm Revolve Marketing.
The campaign would see the region referred to in promotional materials simply as "Halifax", although "Halifax Regional Municipality" would remain the region's official name.
The proposed rebranding was met with mixed reaction from residents, some of whom felt that the change would alienate other communities in the municipality through a perception that the marketing scheme would focus on Metropolitan Halifax only, while others expressed relief that the longer formal name would no longer be primary.
Why does that matter?
Because when I go and travel on behalf of this municipality, there isn't a person out there who really cares what HRM means."
Cityscape and neighbourhoods
Main article: Communities in the Halifax Regional Municipality
There are over 200 official rural and urban communities within Halifax County that have maintained their original geographic names, including the dissolved cities of Halifax and Dartmouth and the town of Bedford.
The Halifax Regional Municipality is divided into eighteen community planning areas which are further divided into neighbourhoods or villages.
The regional municipality has taken steps to reduce duplicate street names for its 9-1-1 emergency dispatch services; at the time of amalgamation, some street names were duplicated several times throughout the municipality.
Halifax is famed for the quality of several of its neighbourhoods.
The area has seen an uptick in development over the past few years, with new housing being built on most of the surface parking lots.
North Preston, just outside Dartmouth, is Canada's largest and oldest black community.
Halifax is also known for its high walkability, particularly on the Halifax Peninsula, where 25-50% of residents regularly walk to work.
Unlike numerous other North American cities, expressways were never built in the urban core (with the exception of the truncated Harbour Drive), resulting in high pedestrian connectivity.
Peninsular Halifax is also mixed-use, contributing to an elevated quality of urban convenience and vibrancy as compared to suburban districts with highly segregated land use and car-oriented transportation networks.
In recent years, the city has also begun to place increased emphasis on developing bicycling infrastructure.
Main article: Buildings and structures in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Further information: List of tallest buildings in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax's urban core is home to a number of regional landmark buildings and retains significant historic buildings and districts.
The architecture of Halifax's South End is renowned for its grand Victorian houses while the West End and North End, Halifax have many blocks of well-preserved wooden residential houses with notable features such as the "Halifax Porch".
Dalhousie University's campus is often featured in films and documentaries.
Surrounding areas of the municipality, including Dartmouth and Bedford, also possess their share of historic neighbourhoods and properties.
The urban core is home to several blocks of typical North American high-rise office buildings; however, segments of the downtown are governed by height restrictions, known as "view planes legislation", which prevent buildings from obstructing certain sight lines between Citadel Hill and the Halifax Harbour.
This has resulted in some modern high rises being built at unusual angles or locations.
Main article: Parks in Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Halifax area has a variety of public spaces, ranging from urban gardens, public squares, expansive forested parks, and historic sites.
Another popular downtown public space is the timber Halifax Boardwalk, which stretches approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) and is integrated with several squares and monuments.
The Halifax Common, granted for the use of citizens in 1763, is Canada's oldest public park.
Centrally located on the Halifax peninsula, the wide fields are a popular location for sports.
The slopes of Citadel Hill, overlooking downtown, are favoured by sunbathers and kite-flyers.
In contrast to the urban parks, the expansive Point Pleasant Park at the southern tip of the peninsula is heavily forested and contains the remains of numerous British fortifications.
It is home to the Leighton Dillman gardens and various sports grounds.
Nearby, the Dartmouth waterfront trail stretches from Downtown Dartmouth to Woodside.
It houses the Dingle Tower, dedicated in 1912 by the Duke of Connaught to commemorate 150 years of representative government in Nova Scotia.
The Mainland Common, in Clayton Park, is a modern park home to various sports and community facilities.
Long Lake Provincial Park, comprising more than 2,000 hectares, was designated in 1984 and affords Halifax residents access to a scenic wilderness in close proximity to the city.
Halifax is centred on the urban core and surrounded by areas of decreasing population density.
Rural areas lie to the east, west and north of the urban core.
The Atlantic Ocean lies to the south.
Farther away, rural communities in the municipality function like any resource-based area in Nova Scotia, being sparsely populated and their local economies based on four major resource industries: agriculture, in the Musquodoboit Valley, fishing, along the coast, mining, in the Musquodoboit Valley and in Moose River Gold Mines and forestry, in most areas outside the urban core.
Also, the tourism industry is beginning to change how some rural communities in Halifax function, particularly in communities such as Hubbards, Peggys Cove, with its notable lighthouse and Lawrencetown, with Lawrencetown Beach.
The northeastern area of the municipality, centred on Sheet Harbour and the Musquodoboit Valley, is completely rural, with the area sharing more in common with the adjacent rural areas of neighbouring Guysborough, Pictou and Colchester counties.
Most economic activity in the Musquodoboit Valley is based on agriculture, as it is the largest farming district in the municipality.
Most coastal communities are based on the fishing industry.
Forestry is active in this area as well.
It is also prevalent in the Musquodoboit Valley, but it takes a backseat to the more prominent agricultural industry.
Metropolitan Halifax is the urban concentration surrounding Halifax Harbour, including the Halifax Peninsula, the core of Dartmouth, and the Bedford-Sackville areas.
It is the Statistics Canada population-centre of Halifax; which spans 234.72 km (90.63 sq mi), and has 316,701 people.
Metropolitan Halifax currently accounts for over 34 per cent of Nova Scotia's population, and over 13 per cent of Atlantic Canada.
Metropolitan Halifax benefits from a process of increased rural depopulation and corresponding urban growth in Atlantic Canada during the late 20th century—a demographic shift that was delayed several decades in the region compared with other parts of North America.
The new inner-urban-area covers 33 km (13 sq mi) and has 96,619 people.
The regional centre has many public services within its boundaries, and it hosts large entertainment venues (Scotiabank Centre), and major hospitals (Dartmouth General Hospital, the QEII Health Sciences Centre, and IWK Health Centre).
Main article: Culture of Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax is a major cultural centre within the Atlantic provinces.
The city has maintained many of its maritime and military traditions, while opening itself to a growing multicultural population.
The municipality's urban core also benefits from a large population of post-secondary students who strongly influence the local cultural scene.
Halifax has a number of art galleries, theatres and museums, as well as most of the region's national-quality sports and entertainment facilities.
Halifax is also the home to many of the region's major cultural attractions, such as Halifax Pop Explosion, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, The Khyber, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Neptune Theatre.
The region is noted for the strength of its music scene and nightlife, especially in the central urban core.
See List of musical groups from Halifax, Nova Scotia for a partial list.
Halifax hosts a wide variety of festivals that take place throughout the year, including the Atlantic Film Festival, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, the Halifax International Busker Festival, Greekfest, the Atlantic Jazz Festival, the Multicultural Festival, the largest Canada Day celebration east of Ottawa, Natal Day, the Halifax Pop Explosion, periodic Tall Ship events, Nocturne Festival, and Shakespeare by the Sea, to name a few.
Halifax Pride is the largest LGBT event in Atlantic Canada and one of the largest in the country.
Many of Halifax's festivals and annual events have become world-renowned over the past several years.
The Neptune Theatre, a 43-year-old establishment located on Argyle Street, is Halifax's largest theatre.
It performs an assortment of professionally produced plays year-round.
Halifax has also become a significant film production centre, with many American and Canadian filmmakers using the streetscapes, often to stand in for other cities that are more expensive to work in.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has its Atlantic Canada production centres (radio and television) based in Halifax, and quite a number of radio and television programs are made in the region for national broadcast.
The new Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road has received accolades for its architecture and has been described as a new cultural locus, offering many community facilities including a 300-seat auditorium.
Halifax's tourism industry showcases Nova Scotia's culture, scenery and coastline.
There are several museums and art galleries in downtown Halifax.
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, an immigrant entry point prominent throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, was opened to the public as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1999 and is the only national museum in the Atlantic provinces.
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a maritime museum containing extensive galleries including a large exhibit on the famous Titanic, over 70 small craft and a 200-foot (61 m) steamship CSS Acadia.
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is housed in a 150-year-old building containing nearly 19,000 works of art.
The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia in Dartmouth reflects the region's rich ethnic heritage.
Just outside the urban area, the iconic Peggys Cove is internationally recognized and receives more than 600,000 visitors a year.
Many mid-sized ships dock here at one of the many wharfs.
The harbourwalk is home to a Halifax Transit ferry terminal, hundreds of stores, Historic Properties, several office buildings, the Casino Nova Scotia, and several public squares where buskers perform, most prominently at the annual Halifax International Busker Festival every August.
Downtown Halifax, home to many small shops and vendors, is a major shopping area.
The area is home to approximately 200 restaurants and bars, offering a wide array of world cuisines.
There are also more than 60 sidewalk cafes that open in the summer months.
The nightlife is made up of bars and small music venues as well as Casino Nova Scotia, a large facility built partially over the water.
Cruise ships visit the province frequently.
In 2015, the Port of Halifax welcomed 141 vessel calls with 222,309 passengers.
Main article: Sport in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax has various recreational areas, including ocean and lake beaches and rural and urban parks.
It has a host of organized community intramural sports at various facilities.
Public schools and post-secondary institutions offer varsity and intramural sports.
It plays host to most of the major sporting events and concerts that visit Halifax and is home to several semi-professional sport franchises, including the Halifax Hurricanes of the NBL Canada and the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Halifax Thunderbirds of the National Lacrosse League.
The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is held here every year.
The region has hosted several major sporting events, including the 2003 World Junior Hockey Championship, 2003 Nokia Brier, the 2004 Women's World Ice Hockey Championships, the 2005 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, and 2007 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.
Halifax was selected in 2006 as the host city in Canada's bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games but withdrew on March 8, 2007, well before the November 9, 2007 selection date, citing financial uncertainties.
In February 2011, the municipality hosted the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
On May 26, 2013, the Halifax Mooseheads capped a 74-win season (going 74-7-3-1) by defeating the Portland Winterhawks 6–4 in the MasterCard Memorial Cup Final, earning their first Memorial Cup in the process.
Halifax is also home to several rugby clubs, the Halifax Rugby Football Club, Halifax Tars, Dartmouth PigDogs, Riverlake Ramblers and the Eastern Shore Rugby Football Club.
Main article: Media in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax is the Atlantic region's central point for radio broadcast and press media.
Halifax's print media is centred on its single daily newspaper, the broadsheet Chronicle Herald as well as two free newspapers, the daily commuter-oriented edition of Metro International and the free alternative arts weekly The Coast.
Frank provides the municipality with a bi-weekly satirical and gossip magazine.
The city has several online daily newspapers.
allNovaScotia is a daily, subscriber-only outlet which focuses on business and political news from across the province.
The Halifax Examiner was founded by the former news editor of The Coast in 2014 and, like allNovaScotia, is supported through subscriptions.
From 1974 to 2008, Halifax had a second daily newspaper, the tabloid The Daily News, which still publishes several neighbourhood weekly papers such as The Bedford-Sackville Weekly News, The Halifax West-Clayton Park Weekly News and the Dartmouth-Cole Harbour Weekly News.
These weekly papers compete with The Chronicle-Herald's weekly Community Heralds HRM West, HRM East, and HRM North.
In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Halifax Regional Municipality recorded a population of 403,131 living in 173,324 of its 187,338 total private dwellings, a change of 3.3% from its 2011 population of 390,086, and it had a population density of 73.4/km (190.2/sq mi) in 2016.
As of 2016, the population-centre (Urban Area) of Halifax encompassed 234.72 km (90.63 sq mi), and housed 316,701 people.
The population density of the population-centre was approximately 1,349.3/km (3,494.6/sq mi).
In 2016, 15% of the population was 14 years old or younger, while 16% were 65 and older.
Mother tongue language (2016)
|Canada 2016 Census||Population||% of Total Population|
|Visible minority group
|Other visible minority||490||0.1%|
|Mixed visible minority||1,095||0.3%|
|Total visible minority population||45,285||11.4%|
|Total Indigenous population||15,735||4%|
Halifax is a religiously diverse city with such landmark religious institutions as the New Horizons Baptist Church, St. , United Rockingham Church, St. Andrew's United Church, the Ummah Mosque and Community Centre, the Centre for Islamic Development, the Vedanta Ashram Hindu Temple, the Atlantic Theravada Buddhist Temple, The Maritime Sikh Society, the George's (Round) ChurchBeth Israel Synagogue, and the Shaar Shalom Synagogue.
Halifax also houses the Atlantic School of Theology for religious studies.
- 71.49%: Christian
- 24.88%: none
- 1.96%: Muslim
- 0.41%: Buddhist
- 0.40%: Hindu
- 0.35%: Jewish
- 0.09%: Sikh
- 0.01%: Indigenous/Traditional
Main article: Economy of Halifax, Nova Scotia
The urban area of Halifax is a major economic centre in eastern Canada with a large concentration of government services and private sector companies.
Halifax serves as the business, banking, government and cultural centre for the Maritime region.
The largest employment sectors in the city include trade (36,400 jobs), health care and social assistance (31,800 jobs), professional services (19,000 jobs), education (17,400 jobs), and public administration (15,800 jobs).
The Halifax economy is growing, with the Conference Board of Canada predicting strong 3.0% GDP growth for 2015.
Major employers and economic generators include the Department of National Defence, the Port of Halifax, Irving Shipbuilding, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, IMP Group, Bell Aliant, Emera, the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, government, banks, and universities.
The municipality has a growing concentration of manufacturing industries and is becoming a major multi-modal transportation hub through growth at the port, the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and improving rail and highway connections.
Halifax is one of Canada's top four container ports in terms of the volume of cargo handled.
A real estate boom in recent years has led to numerous new property developments, including the gentrification of some former working-class areas.
Agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry and natural gas extraction are major resource industries found in the rural areas of the municipality.
Halifax's largest agricultural district is in the Musquodoboit Valley; the total number of farms in Halifax is 150, of which 110 are family-owned.
Fishing harbours are located along all coastal areas with some having an independent harbour authority, such as the Sheet Harbour Industrial Port, and others being managed as small craft harbours under the federal Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Other resource industries in Halifax include the natural gas fields off the coast of Sable Island, as well as clay, shale, gold, limestone, and gypsum extraction in rural areas of the mainland portion of the municipality.
Limestone is extracted in the Musquodoboit Valley and gold is extracted in Moose River.
Main article: Government in the Halifax Regional Municipality
Councillors are elected by geographic district, with municipal elections occurring every four years.
The current mayor of Halifax is Mike Savage.
The Halifax Regional Council is responsible for all facets of municipal government, including the Halifax Regional Police, Halifax Public Libraries, Halifax Fire and Emergency, Halifax Regional Water Commission, parks and recreation, civic addressing, public works, waste management, and planning and development.
The provincial legislation that provides governance oversight to the municipality is the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.
The city has a proposed operating budget of $869 million for 2015–2016.
The city also has three community councils that consider local matters.
Each community council comprises five or six regional councillors representing neighbouring districts.
Most community council decisions are subject to final approval by regional council.
As the capital city of Nova Scotia, Halifax is also the meeting place of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, the oldest assembly in Canada and the site of the first responsible government in British North America.
Main article: Education in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax has a well-developed network of public and private schools, providing instruction from grade primary to grade twelve; 136 public schools are administered by the Halifax Regional School Board, while six public schools are administered by the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.
The city's fourteen private schools are operated independently.
The municipality is also home to the following post-secondary educational institutions: Dalhousie University, Saint Mary's University, Mount Saint Vincent University, University of King's College, Atlantic School of Theology, NSCAD University, and Nova Scotia Community College, in addition to the Halifax campus of Université Sainte-Anne and several private institutions.
The largest of these, Dalhousie University, is Atlantic Canada's premier research-intensive university ranking 7th in Maclean's and 228th in the world.
This school is host to most of the province's professional schools while other institutions focus primarily though not exclusively on undergraduate education.
The plethora of university and college students contributes to the vibrant youth culture in the region, as well as making it a major centre for university education in eastern Canada.
Main article: Transportation in Halifax, Nova Scotia
The harbour is also home to a public ferry service connecting downtown Halifax to two locations in Dartmouth.
Sheet Harbour is the other major port in the municipality and serves industrial users on the Eastern Shore.
The Halifax Port Authority's various shipping terminals constitute the eastern terminus of Canadian National Railway's transcontinental network.
Via Rail Canada provides overnight passenger rail service from the Halifax Railway Station three days a week to Montreal with the Ocean, a train equipped with sleeper cars that stops in major centres along the way, such as Moncton.
The Halifax Railway Station also serves as the terminus for Maritime Bus, which serves destinations across the Maritimes.
Halifax Stanfield International Airport serves Halifax and most of the province, providing scheduled flights to domestic and international destinations.
The airport served 4,083,188 passengers in 2017, making it Canada's eighth busiest airport by passenger traffic.
The Armdale traffic circle is an infamous choke point for vehicle movement in the western part of the urban core, especially at rush hour.
Established in 1752, the municipality's ferry service is the oldest continuously running salt water ferry service in North America.
- Japan Hakodate, Japan (1982). The cities chose to twin because they both have star forts and are both maritime ports. Halifax has donated many fir trees to the annual Hakodate Christmas Fantasy festival.
- Mexico Campeche, Mexico (1999). Campeche was chosen because, like Halifax, it is "a capital of a state" and is "a city of similar size to Halifax on or near the coast having rich historical tradition".
- United_States Norfolk, Virginia, United States (2006). Norfolk was chosen because, like Halifax, its economy "depends heavily on the presence of the Armed Forces, and both cities are very proud of their military history".
Main article: List of people from the Halifax Regional Municipality
- Halifax (electoral district), a federal electoral district since Confederation
- Halifax Regional Search and Rescue
- Halifax West, a federal electoral district since 1979
- List of municipalities in Nova Scotia
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax, Nova Scotia.