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Halifax, officially known as the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), is the capital of the
Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North America—New Br ...
of
Nova Scotia ) , image_map = Nova Scotia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English (''de facto'') , RegionalLang = French , capital = Halifax , l ...
. It had a population of 403,131 in 2016, with 316,701 in the metro area centred on
Halifax Harbour Halifax Harbour (''Jipugtug'' in Mi'kmaq language) is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Harbour description The Mi'kmaq First Nation, long the occupants of this ter ...
. In July 2020 Statistics Canada estimated the population of the CMA at 448,544. The regional municipality consists of four former municipalities that were
amalgamated Amalgamation is the process of combining or uniting multiple entities into one form. Amalgamation, amalgam, and other derivatives may refer to: Mathematics and science * Amalgam (chemistry), the combination of mercury with another metal **Pan amal ...
in 1996: Halifax, Dartmouth,
Bedford Bedford is a historic market and the county town of Bedfordshire, England. At the 2011 Census, the population of the Bedford built-up area (including Biddenham and Kempston) was 106,940, whilst the Borough of Bedford had a population of 157,479 ...
, and Halifax County. Halifax is a major economic centre in
Atlantic Canada Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, a term developed for the convenience of the federal government after Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, is the region of Eastern Canada comprising the four provinces located on the Atlantic coa ...
, with a large concentration of government services and private sector companies. Major employers and economic generators include the Department of National Defence,
Dalhousie University Dalhousie University (commonly known as Dal) is a public research university in Nova Scotia, Canada, with three campuses in Halifax, a fourth in Bible Hill, and medical teaching facilities in Saint John, New Brunswick. Dalhousie offers more than ...
,
Nova Scotia Health Authority The Nova Scotia Health Authority is a provincial health authority serving Nova Scotia, Canada. It is the largest employer in the province, with more than 23,000 employees, 2,500 physicians and 7,000 volunteers working from 45 different facilities. I ...
, Saint Mary's University, the
Halifax Shipyard The Halifax Shipyard Limited is a Canadian shipbuilding company located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Founded in 1889, it is today a wholly owned subsidiary of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and is that company's largest ship construction and repair facility. ...
, various levels of government, and the
Port of Halifax The Port of Halifax comprises various port facilities in Halifax Harbour in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It covers of land, and looks after of water. Strategically located as North America's first inbound and last outbound gateway, the port of ...
. Agriculture,
fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are often caught in the wild but may also be caught from stocked bodies of water. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping. "Fishing" may ...

fishing
,
mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef, or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized commodity that is of economic interest to the min ...
,
forestry Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, playing, using, conserving and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. The s ...
, and
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carb ...
extraction are major resource industries found in the rural areas of the municipality.


History

Halifax is located within the traditional ancestral lands of the l'nu peoples, known as '' Mi'kma'ki''. 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 Halifax Peninsula is a community and planning area located in the urban core of municipal Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax Peninsula is home to Downtown Halifax, the financial and economic heart of the municipality, which was also the site of th ...
. The establishment of the ''Town of Halifax'', named after the 2nd Earl of Halifax, in 1749 led to the colonial capital being transferred from
Annapolis Royal Annapolis Royal, formerly known as Port Royal, is a town located in the western part of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Today's Annapolis Royal is the second French settlement known by the same name and should not be confused with the 1605 ...
. The establishment of Halifax marked the beginning of
Father Le Loutre's War Father Le Loutre's War (1749–1755), also known as the Indian War, the Micmac War and the Anglo-Micmac War, took place between King George's War and the French and Indian War in Acadia and Nova Scotia. On one side of the conflict, the British a ...
. The war began when
Edward Cornwallis Edward Cornwallis ( – 14 January 1776) was a British career military officer and was a member of the aristocratic Cornwallis family, who reached the rank of Lieutenant General. After Cornwallis fought in Scotland, putting down the Jacobi ...
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 The Dummer's War (1722–1725, also known as Father Rale's War, Lovewell's War, Greylock's War, the Three Years War, the 4th Anglo-Abenaki War, or the Wabanaki-New England War of 1722–1725) was a series of battles between New England and the Waban ...
. 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 During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the French, British and U.S. forces built and occupied a number of forts at Vincennes, Indiana. These outposts commanded a strategic position on the Wabash River. The names of the installations were changed ...
) (1749), Dartmouth (1750), and Lawrencetown (1754), all areas within the modern-day Regional Municipality. St. Margaret's Bay was first settled by French-speaking
Foreign Protestants The Foreign Protestants were a group of French Lutheran and German Protestant immigrants to Nova Scotia. They largely settled in Halifax at Gottingen Street (named after the German town of Göttingen) and Dutch Village Road as well as Lunenburg. Hi ...
at
French Village, Nova Scotia French Village is a rural community of the Halifax Regional Municipality in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia on Chebucto Peninsula. French village initially included present day villages of Tantallon, Glen Haven and French Village. The French ...
who migrated from
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia Lunenburg is a port town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Founded in 1753, the town was one of the first British attempts to settle Protestants in Nova Scotia. The economy was traditionally based on the offshore fishery and today Lune ...
during the American Revolution. December 1917 saw one of the greatest disasters in Canadian history, when the , a French cargo ship carrying munitions, collided with the Belgian Relief vessel in "The Narrows" between upper Halifax Harbour and Bedford Basin. The resulting explosion, the
Halifax Explosion The Halifax Explosion was a disaster that occurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on the morning of 6 December 1917. , a French cargo ship laden with high explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel in the Narrows, a strait connecting the ...
, devastated the Richmond District of Halifax, killing approximately 2,000 people and injuring nearly 9,000 others. The blast was the largest artificial explosion before the development of nuclear weapons. Significant aid came from
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st most populous city in the country. The city proper covers with an estimated population of 692, ...
, strengthening the bond between the two coastal cities. 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 amalgamation (politics), 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. Mayor Mike Savage defended the decision, stating: "I'm a Westphal, Nova Scotia, Westphal guy, I'm a Dartmouth man, but Halifax is my city, we're all part of Halifax. 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."


Geography

Unlike most municipalities with a sizeable metropolitan area, the Halifax Regional Municipality's suburbs have been completely incorporated into the "central" municipality, often by referendum. For example, the community of Spryfield, Nova Scotia, Spryfield, in the Mainland South area, voted to amalgamate with Halifax in 1968. The most recent amalgamation, which brought the entirety of Halifax County into the Municipality, has created a situation where a large "rural commutershed" area encompasses almost half the municipality's landmass.


Topography

The Halifax Regional Municipality occupies an area of , and its population centre (urban area) covers . The land area of HRM is comparable in size to the total land area of the province of Prince Edward Island, and measures approximately in length between its eastern and westernmost extremities, excluding Sable Island. The nearest point of land to Sable Island is not in HRM, but rather in adjacent Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Guysborough County. However, Sable Island is considered part of District 7 of the Halifax Regional Council. The coastline is heavily indented, accounting for its length of approximately , with the northern boundary of the municipality usually being between inland. The coast is mostly rock with small isolated sand beaches in sheltered bays. The largest coastal features include St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, St. Margarets Bay,
Halifax Harbour Halifax Harbour (''Jipugtug'' in Mi'kmaq language) is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Harbour description The Mi'kmaq First Nation, long the occupants of this ter ...
/Bedford Basin, Cole Harbour (natural harbour), Cole Harbour, Musquodoboit Harbour, Jeddore Harbour, Ship Harbour, Sheet Harbour, and Ecum Secum Harbour. The municipality's topography spans from lush farmland (farming), farmland in the Musquodoboit Valley to rocky and heavily forested rolling hills. It includes a number of islands and peninsulas, among them McNabs Island, Beaver Island, Nova Scotia, Beaver Island, Melville Island (Nova Scotia), Melville Island, Deadman's Island (Nova Scotia), Deadman's Island and Sable Island.


Climate

Halifax has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''Dfb''), bordering on an oceanic climate (Cfb), with warm summers and relatively mild winters, which is due to Gulf Stream moderation. The weather is usually milder in the winter or cooler in the summer than areas at similar latitudes inland, with the temperature remaining (with occasional notable exceptions) between about . January is the coldest month, being the only month with a high that is slightly below freezing at , while August is the warmest. The sea heavily influences the climate of the area, causing significant seasonal lag in summer, with August being significantly warmer than June and with September being the third mildest month in terms of mean temperature. The January mean is only colder than the isotherm for the oceanic climate. Precipitation is high year-round. Winter features a mix of rain, freezing rain and snow with frequent freeze-thaw cycles. Snowfall is heavy in winter, but snow cover is usually patchy owing to the frequent freeze-thaw cycles, which melt accumulated snow. Some winters feature colder temperatures and fewer freeze-thaw cycles; the most recent of which being the winter of 2014–2015, which was the coldest, snowiest and stormiest in about a century. Spring is often wet and cool and arrives much later than in areas of Canada at similar latitudes, due to cooler sea temperatures. Summers are mild and pleasant, with hot and humid conditions very infrequent. Warm, pleasant conditions often extend well into September, sometimes into mid-October. Average monthly precipitation is highest from November to February due to intense late-fall to winter storms migrating from the Northeastern U.S., and lowest in summer, with August being the year's warmest and driest month on average. Halifax can sometimes receive hurricanes, mostly between August and October. An example is when Hurricane Juan, a Saffir–Simpson scale#Category 2, category 2 storm, hit in September 2003 and caused considerable damage to the region. Hurricane Earl (2010), Hurricane Earl grazed the coast as a Saffir–Simpson scale#Category 1, category 1 storm in 2010. In 2019, Hurricane Dorian made landfall just south of Halifax as a post-tropical storm with an intensity equivalent to a category 2 hurricane and caused significant damage across Nova Scotia. Atlantic sea surface temperatures have risen in recent years, making Halifax and the coast of Nova Scotia somewhat more susceptible to hurricanes than the area had been in the past. The highest temperature ever recorded in the city of Halifax was on July 10, 1912, and the lowest temperature recorded was on February 18, 1922. The March 2012 North American heat wave brought unusually high temperatures to the city of Halifax. On March 22, the mercury climbed to at the Halifax Windsor Park weather station, and at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. In spite of the possibility of high temperatures, in a normal year there is only one day that goes above . Halifax also has a modest frost count by Canadian standards due to the maritime influence, averaging 131 air frosts and 49 full days below freezing annually. On average the frost-free period is 182 days, ranging from May 1 to October 31.


Cityscape and neighbourhoods

The Halifax Regional Municipality is an amalgamation (politics), amalgamation of four municipal governments in the urban and rural areas. There are over 200 official rural and urban area, 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. These community names are used on survey and mapping documents, for 9-1-1 service, municipal planning, and postal service. 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. Spring Garden, Halifax, Spring Garden, adjacent to downtown Halifax, is a lively mixed-use neighbourhood with a variety of shopping and entertainment options as well as the new Halifax Central Library. 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. The North End, Halifax, North End is a multicultural and artistic neighbourhood with a long history centred on several community nodes including the venerable Göttingen Street and The Hydrostone, Hydrostone commercial areas. The Quinpool District forms the community centre of the West End, Halifax, West End. Downtown Dartmouth offers dining and shopping, and has also been subject to revitalization with the redevelopment of the Dartmouth Marine Slips as the King's Wharf housing area. 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 The Halifax Peninsula is a community and planning area located in the urban core of municipal Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax Peninsula is home to Downtown Halifax, the financial and economic heart of the municipality, which was also the site of th ...
, 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 Cogswell Interchange, 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.


Architecture

Halifax's urban core is home to a number of regional landmark buildings and retains significant historic buildings and districts. Downtown office towers are overlooked by the fortress of Citadel Hill (Fort George), Citadel Hill with its iconic Halifax Town Clock. The architecture of Halifax's South End, Halifax, South End is renowned for its grand Victorian houses while the West End, Halifax, 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 Dalhousie University (commonly known as Dal) is a public research university in Nova Scotia, Canada, with three campuses in Halifax, a fourth in Bible Hill, and medical teaching facilities in Saint John, New Brunswick. Dalhousie offers more than ...
'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 (Fort George), Citadel Hill and the
Halifax Harbour Halifax Harbour (''Jipugtug'' in Mi'kmaq language) is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Harbour description The Mi'kmaq First Nation, long the occupants of this ter ...
. This has resulted in some modern high rises being built at unusual angles or locations.


Public spaces

The Halifax area has a variety of public spaces, ranging from urban gardens, public squares, expansive forested parks, and historic sites. The original grid plan devised when Halifax was founded in 1749 included a central military parade square, the Grand Parade (Halifax), Grand Parade. The square hosts the City Hall at one end, and is a popular site for concerts, political demonstrations, as well as the annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the central cenotaph. Another popular downtown public space is the timber Halifax Boardwalk, which stretches approximately 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 (Fort George), Citadel Hill, overlooking downtown, are favoured by sunbathers and kite-flyers. The Halifax Public Gardens, a short walk away, are Victorian era public gardens formally established in 1867 and designated a National Historic Sites of Canada, National Historic Site in 1984. Victoria Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Victoria Park, across the street, contains various monuments and statues erected by the North British Society, as well as a fountain. 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. Located on the opposite side of the harbour, the Dartmouth Commons is a large park next to Downtown Dartmouth laid out in the 1700s. It is home to the Leighton Dillman gardens and various sports grounds. Nearby, the Dartmouth waterfront trail stretches from Downtown Dartmouth to Woodside. Among residents of central Dartmouth, the area around Sullivan's Pond and Lake Banook is popular for strolling and paddling. The forested Shubie Park, through which the historic Shubenacadie Canal runs, is a major park in suburban Dartmouth. Mainland Halifax is home to several significant parks, including Sir Sandford Fleming Park, gifted to the people of Halifax by Sir Sandford Fleming. It houses the Dingle Tower, dedicated in 1912 by the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Duke of Connaught to commemorate 150 years of representative government in Nova Scotia. The Mainland Common, in Clayton Park, Nova Scotia, Clayton Park, is a modern park home to various sports and community facilities. Long Lake Provincial Park (Nova Scotia), 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.


Rural area

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. Certain rural communities on the urban fringe function as suburban or exurban areas, with the majority of those residents commuting to and working in the urban core. 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 Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are often caught in the wild but may also be caught from stocked bodies of water. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping. "Fishing" may ...

fishing
, along the coast,
mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef, or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized commodity that is of economic interest to the min ...
, in the Musquodoboit Valley and in Moose River Gold Mines, Nova Scotia, Moose River Gold Mines and
forestry Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, playing, using, conserving and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. The s ...
, 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, Nova Scotia, Hubbards, Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, Peggys Cove, with its notable lighthouse and Lawrencetown, with Lawrencetown Beach. There are two other large beaches along the coast, Martinique Beach, near Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia, Musquodoboit Harbour and Taylor Head Beach, located in Spry Bay, Nova Scotia, Spry Bay, within the boundaries of Taylor Head Beach, Taylor Head Provincial Park. The northeastern area of the municipality, centred on Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia, Sheet Harbour and the Musquodoboit Valley, is completely rural, with the area sharing more in common with the adjacent rural areas of neighbouring Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Guysborough, Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Pictou and Colchester County, Nova Scotia, 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.


Urban area

Metropolitan Halifax is the urban concentration surrounding
Halifax Harbour Halifax Harbour (''Jipugtug'' in Mi'kmaq language) is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Harbour description The Mi'kmaq First Nation, long the occupants of this ter ...
, including the Halifax Peninsula, the core of Dartmouth, and the Bedford-Sackville areas. It is the Statistics Canada population centre of Halifax; which spans , and has 316,701 people. The population density of the population centre is .The dense urban core is centred on the
Halifax Peninsula The Halifax Peninsula is a community and planning area located in the urban core of municipal Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax Peninsula is home to Downtown Halifax, the financial and economic heart of the municipality, which was also the site of th ...
and the area of Dartmouth inside of the Nova Scotia Highway 111, Circumferential Highway. The suburban area stretches into areas known as Mainland Halifax to the west, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Cole Harbour to the east, and
Bedford Bedford is a historic market and the county town of Bedfordshire, England. At the 2011 Census, the population of the Bedford built-up area (including Biddenham and Kempston) was 106,940, whilst the Borough of Bedford had a population of 157,479 ...
, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, Lower Sackville and Windsor Junction areas to the north. Halifax includes eight Business Improvement Districts; they are the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Main Street Dartmouth Business Improvement Association, North End Business Association, Quinpool Road & Mainstreet District Association, Sackville Business Association, Spring Garden Area Business Association, and the Spryfield & District Business Commission. This urban area is the most populous on Canada's Atlantic coast, and the second-largest coastal population centre in the country after Vancouver, British Columbia. Metropolitan Halifax currently accounts for over 54 per cent of Nova Scotia's population (2020), and over 13 per cent of
Atlantic Canada Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, a term developed for the convenience of the federal government after Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, is the region of Eastern Canada comprising the four provinces located on the Atlantic coa ...
. 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.


Regional centre

The Halifax Regional Centre includes the
Halifax Peninsula The Halifax Peninsula is a community and planning area located in the urban core of municipal Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax Peninsula is home to Downtown Halifax, the financial and economic heart of the municipality, which was also the site of th ...
, and Dartmouth inside the Circumferential Highway. The new inner-urban-area covers 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).


Culture

Halifax is a major cultural centre within the Atlantic Canada, 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, White Night festivals, 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. Halifax is home to many performance venues, namely the Dalhousie Arts Centre, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, the Neptune Theatre (Halifax), Neptune Theatre, and The Music Room. 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. The Shakespeare by the Sea, Halifax, Shakespeare by the Sea theatre company performs at nearby Point Pleasant Park. Eastern Front Theatre performs at Alderney Landing in Downtown Dartmouth which can easily be accessed via the Halifax Transit ferry service. There are smaller performance venues at the Halifax Central Library, Citadel High School (Spatz Theatre), and Halifax West High School (Bella Rose Arts Centre). 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, Halifax, 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.


Tourism

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 museums of Canada, 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 , over 70 small craft and a steamship . In summertime the preserved World War II Flower-class corvette, corvette operates as a museum ship and Canada's naval memorial. 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. Halifax has numerous National Historic Sites of Canada, National Historic Sites, most notably Citadel Hill (Fort George). Just outside the urban area, the iconic Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, Peggys Cove is internationally recognized and receives more than 600,000 visitors a year. The waterfront in Downtown Halifax is the site of the Halifax Boardwalk, ''Halifax Harbourwalk'', a boardwalk popular amongst tourists and locals alike. 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 (Halifax), Historic Properties, several office buildings, the Casino Nova Scotia, and several public squares where busking, 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. It is also home to several shopping centres, including Scotia Square, Barrington Place Shops, and Maritime Centre (Halifax), Maritime Mall. Numerous malls on Spring Garden, Halifax, Spring Garden Road, including the Park Lane Mall, are also located nearby. 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.


Sports

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. The Scotiabank Centre is the largest arena in
Atlantic Canada Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, a term developed for the convenience of the federal government after Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, is the region of Eastern Canada comprising the four provinces located on the Atlantic coa ...
. It plays host to most of the major sporting events and concerts that visit Halifax and is home to Sports teams in the Halifax Regional Municipality, 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 facility is connected to the Downtown Halifax Link, and directly to the World Trade and Convention Centre. 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. From 1984 to 2007, the region was home to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men's basketball champions, CIS Men's Basketball Championship; the tournament was moved to Ottawa, Ontario, from 2008 to 2010 and returned to Halifax in 2011 and 2012. The 2008 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships was held between May 2 and 18, 2008, in Halifax and Quebec City. 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. The Halifax Gaels are the local Hurling and Gaelic Football team that compete in Canadian GAA events. The city is also home to HFX Wanderers FC, a professional soccer club that competes in the Canadian Premier League.


Media

Halifax is the Atlantic region's central point for radio broadcast and press media. CBC Television, CTV Television Network (CTV), and Global Television Network and other broadcasters all have important regional television concentrators in HRM. CBC Radio has a major regional studio and there are also regional hubs for Rogers Radio and various private broadcast franchises, as well as a regional bureau for The Canadian Press/The Canadian Press, Broadcast News. Halifax's print media is centred on its single daily newspaper, the broadsheet ''The Chronicle Herald, Chronicle Herald'' as well as two free newspapers, the daily commuter-oriented edition of ''Metro International'' and the free alternative arts weekly ''The Coast (newspaper), The Coast''. ''Frank (magazine), Frank'' provides the municipality with a bi-weekly satirical and gossip magazine. The city has several online newspaper, online daily newspapers. ''allNovaScotia'' is a daily, subscriber-only outlet which focuses on business and political news from across the province. ''HalifaxToday'' is a free news website, owned by Village Media, which originated from the now-defunct ''Local Xpress'' outlet created by the journalists of the Chronicle Herald during a 2016–2017 strike. 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 (Halifax), 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-Heralds weekly Community Heralds ''HRM West'', ''HRM East'', and ''HRM North''.


Demographics

In the Canada 2016 Census, 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 from its 2011 population of 390,086, and it had a population density of in 2016. As of 2016, the population centre (urban area) of Halifax encompassed , and housed 316,701 people. The population density of Halifax's population centre was approximately . In 2016, 15% of the population was 14 years old or younger, while 16% were 65 and older. Mother tongue language (2016)


Ethnic origins


Religion

Halifax is a religiously diverse city with such landmark religious institutions as the New Horizons Baptist Church, St. George's (Round) Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia, St. George's (Round) Church, 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 Beth Israel Synagogue (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Beth Israel Synagogue, and the Shaar Shalom Synagogue. Halifax also houses the Atlantic School of Theology for religious studies. Breakdown: * 71.49%: Christianity, Christian * 24.88%: ''Irreligion, none'' * 1.96%: Islam, Muslim * 0.41%: Buddhism, Buddhist * 0.40%: Hinduism, Hindu * 0.35%: Judaism, Jewish * 0.09%: Sikhism, Sikh * 0.01%: Indigenous/Traditional


Economy

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 Canadian Forces, Department of National Defence, the Halifax Port Authority, Port of Halifax, Irving Shipbuilding, the
Nova Scotia Health Authority The Nova Scotia Health Authority is a provincial health authority serving Nova Scotia, Canada. It is the largest employer in the province, with more than 23,000 employees, 2,500 physicians and 7,000 volunteers working from 45 different facilities. I ...
, 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 Gold Mines, Nova Scotia, Moose River.


Government

The Halifax Regional Municipality is governed by a Mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, mayor (elected at large) and a sixteen-person Halifax Regional Council, council. Councillors are elected by geographic district, with municipal elections occurring every four years. The current mayor of Halifax is Michael Savage (politician), 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 Halifax Regional Community Council, 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. The legislature meets in Province House (Nova Scotia), Province House, a nearly 200-year-old National Historic Sites of Canada, National Historic Site in downtown Halifax hailed as one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in North America.


Education

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 Dalhousie University (commonly known as Dal) is a public research university in Nova Scotia, Canada, with three campuses in Halifax, a fourth in Bible Hill, and medical teaching facilities in Saint John, New Brunswick. Dalhousie offers more than ...
, 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 Dalhousie University (commonly known as Dal) is a public research university in Nova Scotia, Canada, with three campuses in Halifax, a fourth in Bible Hill, and medical teaching facilities in Saint John, New Brunswick. Dalhousie offers more than ...
, 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.


Transportation

Halifax Harbour Halifax Harbour (''Jipugtug'' in Mi'kmaq language) is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Harbour description The Mi'kmaq First Nation, long the occupants of this ter ...
is a major port used by numerous shipping lines, administered by the Halifax Port Authority. The Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard have major installations along prominent sections of coastline in both Halifax and Dartmouth. 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 (Nova Scotia), Eastern Shore. The Halifax Port Authority's various shipping terminals constitute the eastern terminus of Canadian National Railway, Canadian National Railway's transcontinental network. Via Rail, Via Rail Canada provides overnight passenger rail service from the Halifax, Nova Scotia railway station, Halifax Railway Station three days a week to Montreal with the ''Ocean (train), 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 List of the busiest airports in Canada, eighth busiest airport by passenger traffic. CFB Shearwater, Shearwater, part of CFB Halifax, is the air base for maritime helicopters employed by the Royal Canadian Navy and is located on the eastern side of Halifax Harbour. The urban core is linked by the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, Angus L. Macdonald and A. Murray MacKay Bridge, A. Murray MacKay suspension bridges, as well as the network of 100-series highways (Nova Scotia), 100-series highways which function as expressways. The Armdale traffic circle is an infamous choke point for vehicle movement in the western part of the urban core, especially at rush hour. Public transit is provided by Halifax Transit, which operates standard bus routes, regional express bus routes, as well as the pedestrian-only Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry Service. Established in 1752, the municipality's ferry service is the oldest continuously running Seawater, salt water ferry service in North America.


Sister cities

* 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. * Campeche, Campeche, 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". * Norfolk, Virginia, 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".


Notable Haligonians


See also

* 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


Notes


References


Further reading

* Steven Laffoley, Laffoley, Steven (2007). ''Hunting Halifax: In Search of History, Mystery and Murder''. Pottersfield Press. . * * * *


External links

* {{Authority control Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1749 establishments in the British Empire Geographic regions of Nova Scotia Populated coastal places in Canada Populated places established in 1996 Port cities and towns on the Canadian Atlantic coast Regional municipalities in Nova Scotia