Nova Scotia, a picturesque province located on Canada's eastern coast, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a high quality of life. With its stunning landscapes, friendly communities, and diverse opportunities, this province is a dream destination for those seeking a perfect work-life balance. So whether you are considering a move to Canada through the Atlantic Immigration Program or other pathways, this article will guide you through the best places to live in Nova Scotia.
Best Places to Live in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia's capital city, Halifax, is a vibrant and bustling urban center. Known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning waterfront, it offers a unique blend of big-city amenities and small-town charm. The city boasts a thriving arts and music scene, numerous festivals and events throughout the year, as well as a wide range of dining and entertainment options.
Halifax is also home to several universities and colleges, making it an excellent choice for students and young professionals. You'll find great job opportunities in the city's main sectors, namely IT, Gaming and Digital Media, Finance, Ocean Technology, Transport and Logistics, and Healthcare.
Lunenburg, a charming coastal town with UNESCO World Heritage Site status, is considered Nova Scotia's hidden gem. If you're in search of a postcard-perfect setting, you'll find it here, with the town's colorful waterfront, well-preserved historic architecture, and rich maritime heritage.
An ideal location for those seeking a slower pace of life and a close connection to nature, Lunenburg offers a unique living experience. And while it has a small-town feel, you will find that there is no shortage of things to keep you busy. The town is known for its thriving arts and crafts community, quaint shops, and delicious seafood restaurants. And then there is the breathtaking natural beauty, which includes stunning beaches and hiking trails.
Lunenburg's main industries are fishing and seafood processing on the coast, forestry, and value-added manufacturing across the town.
Mahone Bay, a small coastal town nestled on the shores of - you guessed it - Mahone Bay. It is famous for its postcard-perfect scenery and relaxed atmosphere. With its iconic three churches lining the waterfront, colorful heritage Victorian homes, and charming shops and cafes, it exudes a unique charm that attracts both locals and visitors alike. The town offers a range of recreational activities, including sailing, kayaking, and hiking, allowing residents to fully embrace the coastal lifestyle. If you want a tranquil and picturesque place to settle in, Mahone Bay is the perfect choice.
In the past, the town's two main industries were Farming and Fishing. Then later, in the mid-1800s, the shipbuilding industry took off. Today its modern economy is focused on the Manufacturing, Service, and Tourism industries.
The Annapolis Valley
The Annapolis Valley is located along Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy, from Bear River to Windsor. The region covers Annapolis, Kings, and Hants Counties. Within these three counties, the Annapolis Valley includes four municipalities, as well as many towns, villages, and other communities along the Western coast of Nova Scotia. The region is known for its natural beauty, so it is an absolute paradise for nature enthusiasts with rolling hills, lush orchards, and vineyards. It also has long stretches of fertile farmland, which means great agricultural opportunities in Farming, Winemaking, and Agri-tourism. So if you are in pursuit of a more tranquil, rural existence, this is for you!
Cape Breton Island
Many of Cape Breton's top companies have attracted senior management, researchers, and other specialized workers from around the world by promoting the region's unique quality of life. After a busy day working, you can enjoy the island's beautiful beaches, with a beach never further than a 30-minute drive. In addition to beautiful beaches, there are terrific culinary experiences with live music theater, beautiful cycling routes, walking trails, crafts, and farmers' markets – all nestled in warm and friendly communities. The island's top industries include Transportation, Seafood, Aquaculture and Agri-food, Renewable Energy, Tourism, Technology, advanced manufacturing, and minerals.
What You Need to Know About Nova Scotia
The province of Nova Scotia has a population of 969,383. Its immigrant population adds up to 71,565, according to Census 2021 data. And with more and more sectors needing foreign talent, the number is bound to grow.
The Ideal Place For Work-life Balance
Nova Scotia provides an ideal environment for achieving work-life balance. The province offers a thriving economy with various job opportunities across industries such as Healthcare, Education, Tourism, and Technology.
The cost of living in Nova Scotia is relatively affordable compared to other provinces in Canada, allowing residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without compromising on financial security. With its strong sense of community and friendly locals, Nova Scotia offers a welcoming atmosphere that makes settling in seamless and enjoyable.
As with the rest of Canada, Nova Scotia is also in desperate need of foreign workers. This significant skills gap continues to widen as Canada's retiring population increases and its birth rate dwindles - leaving thousands of vacancies open. The province's top in-demand occupations include:
- Accounting technicians and bookkeepers
- Transport truck driver
- Heavy equipment operators
- Construction trades helpers and laborers
- Social and community service workers
Nova Scotia is rich in culture. In fact, the province prides itself in ensuring its rich historical culture remains well-preserved, as the traditions of its Mi'kmaq, Acadian, African Nova Scotian, and Gaelic influences are intertwined with its modern-day existence. You will see it in the works produced by artisans and across this breathtakingly beautiful province.
If you plan to move to Canada and live in Nova Scotia with your family, you should know that children aged five to 16 years old in Nova Scotia must attend school. The province's public school system provides free education to over 115,000 students. You'll have to pay if you wish to send your child to a private school in Nova Scotia. Children can also access French-language education up to grade 12 at one of the francophone schools.
Move to Nova Scotia Via the Atlantic Immigration Program or a Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Stream
Atlantic Immigration Program
Skilled foreign workers and international graduates wishing to settle in one of the Great White North's Atlantic provinces can apply for Canadian permanent residency via the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP).
The eligibility for this program includes:
- Having the relevant work experience
- A qualification from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada if you are an international student
- Proficiency in an official Canadian language
- Sufficient funds to live independently
Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Streams
If you are ready to move to Nova Scotia but want more options, you can also apply to a Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) stream. You can score a nomination from the province if you have the skills and experience it needs. NSNP streams include:
- Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities
- Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
- Labour Market Priorities for Physicians
- International Graduate Entrepreneur
- International Graduates In Demand
- Occupations in Demand
- Skilled Worker
Find the Ideal Place to Live in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia truly offers something for everyone, whether seeking an urban lifestyle in Halifax, a coastal retreat in Lunenburg or Mahone Bay, or a rural haven in the Annapolis Valley. With its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and strong community, Nova Scotia is an ideal place to live and work. Take the time to explore the various locations mentioned in this article and find the perfect place that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Start your journey to finding your dream home in Nova Scotia today.
Can I Work in Canada While Waiting for my Application for Permanent Residency to be Processed?
Yes, you can - if you are eligible to apply for permanent residence, you could apply for a temporary work permit. This will allow you to be employed while you wait for permanent residency approval.
Does Nova Scotia Need Tradespeople?
Yes. Skilled tradespeople are in high demand in this province, especially in the construction, Industrial manufacturing, and motive power sectors. You will be able to apply for permanent residency via the Express Entry System's Federal Skilled Trade Worker program.