Halifax, the capital city of Nova Scotia, is a vibrant and historic city located on the eastern coast of Canada. Known for its rich maritime heritage, which influenced its immigrant settlement history and contemporary demographics.
Halifax's population is increasingly becoming more diverse, with immigrant populations between 1,000 to 7,000 residents including Italian, Polish, Lebanese, Chinese, African, East Indian, Spanish, Jewish, and Greek nationals according to the World Population Review.
Claim a spot as a permanent resident in Halifax by gaining a better understanding of the city through our guide!
Halifax, Nova Scotia, as we know it today, was founded in 1841 and has a population of 417,000. The largest city in Atlantic Canada and the capital of Nova Scotia is Halifax. Halifax and its neighboring communities joined together on April 1st, 1996, to become the Halifax Regional Municipal Government.
One of the largest harbors in the world, Halifax Regional Municipality is in an advantageous and central location on the province's east coast. Nova Scotia's earliest known inhabitants arrived in the region to hunt caribou around 13,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age.
Over half of Nova Scotia's economy is based in Halifax, a significant economic hub. The city's economic expansion is comparable to that of other significant Canadian cities outside of Western Canada and is supported by a combination of private and public services that give the local economy a solid foundation.
Where is Halifax on the Map?
Halifax is located on the eastern coast of Canada, in the province of Nova Scotia. It is situated on the Halifax Peninsula, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The city is approximately 1,100 kilometers northeast of Toronto, Ontario. Halifax is easily accessible by air, with the Halifax Stanfield International Airport serving as the main gateway to the region.
Climate in Halifax
Halifax experiences a humid continental climate according to the Koppen Classification system. The city is influenced by its proximity to the ocean, resulting in milder temperatures compared to inland areas.
Summers in Halifax are pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 18°f (-7.78°C) to 74°F (23.33°C). Winter temperatures can drop below freezing with temperatures ranging from 4°F(-15.56°C) and never above 81°F (27.22°C), according to Weather-spark.
Snowfall is common during the colder months. Rain falls throughout the year in Halifax, with the most rain falling in November.
Work and Jobs in Halifax
Halifax offers a diverse range of employment opportunities across various industries. The city has a strong economy, with key sectors including finance, technology, healthcare, and education. The city also supports entrepreneurship and innovation, making it an attractive destination for startups and self-employed individuals. Prominent similar paying jobs you can apply for in Halifax include, with National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes and estimated annual average annual salary figures obtained from Canada’s Job Bank:
|Occupations in Halifax
|Estimated Annual Average Salary (CAD)
Cost of Living in Halifax
Compared to other major cities in Atlantic Canada, Halifax has a relatively affordable cost of living. This is reflected in Halifax’s lower average monthly cost of living for a family of four compared to Charlottetown. Figures are taken from Numbeo.com.
|Average Monthly Cost of Living
|Cost in Halifax (CAD)
|Cost in Charlottetown (CAD)
|For a Family of Four
Furthermore, Halifax’s average monthly net salary is higher than Charlottetown’s, enabling its residents to offset their living costs better. This is reflected below, with figures from Numbeo.com.
|Atlantic Canadian Cities
|Average Monthly Net Salary After Tax (CAD)
Neighborhoods in Halifax
Halifax is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, each with its unique character and charm. This includes:
What was once a quite seedy area of town has experienced a significant metamorphosis in recent years, becoming one of the most lively places in the city. Come to Halifax to find trendy coffee shops like Lion & Bright and Seven Bays, stylish eateries like EDNA and vegan Envie, plus a ton of bars and beer gardens.
This charming area feels like a tiny piece of Europe in the center of Halifax. Even though it's more of a street than an entire neighborhood, it has a lot of power. A tiny park is in the middle of the street, lined with charming stores, cafes, boutiques, and salons on either side.
The Heart of Dartmouth
Hop across the harbor to see Dartmouth's compact but powerful downtown. The area's 'I Heart Dartmouth' campaign and the construction of King's Wharf, a new housing development, have transformed the area's once-relatively empty downtown into a thriving center.
The location is ideal, though slightly more expensive than downtown itself. South End is close to Downtown and has Victorian buildings and streets lined with trees, making it a lovely area to bring up a family.
Transportation in Halifax
There are several ways to get around this beautiful city, from ordering a taxi or going to a local taxi stand to find one. Another option is the public bus system called the Maritime Bus.
This service operates between New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia with connections to parts of Quebec. You can purchase tickets online and find out the routes and bus schedules to help get you around the city.
If you want to use the metro, Halifax has the Metro Transit, which runs to Bedford, Dartmouth, Halifax, Sackville, Timberlea, and Cole Harbour. If you want to use the rails, then you can travel between provinces using The Ocean rail system.
The city of Halifax also has another form of transport, the local ferries. Depending on the ferry service you choose and the time of the season, the destinations and stop-offs can change.
If you want to travel more locally, there is the Provincial Ferry Services that travels between waterways within Nova Scotia. The Provincial Ferry Services has four provincial ferries and three ferries capable of ocean travel.
Things to Do in Halifax
Halifax offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors and residents alike. Among the popular things you can do in Halifax include:
Visit the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
When you visit the Fortress of Louisbourg during the hot summer months, you may immerse yourself in a real soldier's life because the fortress's entertaining activities alter throughout the year. Try some real military bread or even fire a musket that is an exact duplicate of one from the 18th century.
Go to Peggy’s Cove
When visiting Peggy’s Cove, you can immerse yourself among the approximately 40 historical structures, run through fishing piers, boat houses, and art galleries. Peggy’s Cove allows you to learn more about what life is like in a Canadian fishing town by chatting with the costumed guides as they go about their everyday activities.
Take an Art and Literature Tour
The cultural hub of Nova Scotia is Halifax. Music, art, and theater have been the main draws since its inception. Among the popular art and theater attractions you can visit in Nova Scotia include:
- Symphony Nova Scotia,
- Neptune Theatre,
- Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and
- Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Stroll across the Lunenburg Waterfront
The Lunenburg Waterfront is a must-see destination if you're ever in Canada. Watch the diligent fishermen shovel ice to preserve the freshness of their catch or observe ships entering the harbor. You can also go over to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic to speak with skilled, seasoned fishermen and learn everything you need to know.
Education in Halifax
Canada is a nation that believes in educating future generations through quality and accessible education. Students in Halifax, Nova Scotia students participate in provincial, national, and international assessments and examinations throughout their school careers. If you want a great career and a bright future, study in Canada.
Pre-School in Halifax
Preschool is the ideal institution to start your child’s early learning and academics. It is also a great daycare option for working moms and dads. Most kids are between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.
There are many different types of preschool programs and approaches in Canada. This includes academic, play-based, community-based, and faith-based programs.
Public Primary and Secondary Schools in Halifax
Public schools in Halifax are administered by Halifax’s Regional Center for Education. They are publicly funded, meaning you don’t pay any tuition fees, and locally elected school division boards govern the schools.
Universities and Colleges in Halifax
There are six degree-granting universities in Halifax, which include:
- Dalhousie University,
- Mount Saint Vincent University,
- Saint Mary’s University,
- Nova Scotia College of Art and Design,
- Nova Scotia Community College, and
- Atlantic School of Theology.
There are 81 post-secondary students per 1,000 people in Halifax, three times the national average.
Immigrate to Halifax
If you're considering immigrating to Halifax, there are several pathways available to you, including:
Express Entry System
The Express Entry system is a popular immigration pathway that allows foreign skilled workers to apply and gain permanent residency in Canada in as fast as six months. Within the Express Entry system, there are various programs such as the:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP),
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Find out more about Canada’s Express Entry system.
Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSPNP)
The Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSPNP) is a Canadian immigration program that allows prospective foreign immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by Nova Scotia to be nominated to immigrate and receive permanent residency in the province.
Find out more about the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is a program designed to attract and retain skilled foreign workers who want to permanently settle in Canada’s Atlantic provinces, including:
Under this pilot program, eligible employers in Halifax can hire foreign workers and support them in obtaining permanent residency. The AIP offers a pathway to immigration for individuals with job offers in designated Atlantic provinces, providing an opportunity to live and work in Halifax.
Learn more about the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program.
The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is a program launched by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to address the labor needs of the Canadian agri-food sector. It provides a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and with specific occupations.
The pilot aims to help fill labor shortages in agricultural and food processing industries and to attract and retain workers by offering them a chance to become permanent residents of Canada.
Find out more about the Agri-food Pilot.
Home and Childcare Provider Pilots
The Home Child Care Provider Pilot (HCPP) and Home Support Worker Pilot are 5-year pilot programs that aim to bring caregivers to Canada on temporary work permits, with the ability to apply for permanent residence after gaining enough work experience.
These pilots were introduced by IRCC and are designed for foreign nationals with work experience in specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes.
Learn more about Canada’s Homecare Provider Pilots.
Business Immigration (Self-employed, Start-up Visa)
For those interested in starting or investing in a business in Halifax, there are various immigration programs available.
The Self-employed program is designed for individuals who have relevant experience in cultural or athletic activities and can contribute to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.
Find out more about the Self-Employed program.
The Start-up Visa program is aimed at entrepreneurs who have the skills and resources to establish innovative businesses in Canada and contribute to the overall employment and economic development of the country.
Learn more about Canada’s Start-up Visa program.
What are Some Popular Annual Events in Halifax?
Halifax is known for its vibrant events and festivals throughout the year. The Halifax International Busker Festival, Halifax Jazz Festival, and Halifax Pride Parade are just a few examples of the city's lively annual events. These celebrations showcase the city's diverse culture, music, and performing arts.
What Are Some Recommended Cafes in Halifax?
Halifax has a thriving coffee culture, with numerous cafes offering a cozy atmosphere and delicious brews. Two If By Sea, Java Blend Coffee Roasters, and The Nook Espresso Bar + Lounge are among the highly recommended cafes in the city. Whether you're in search of a strong espresso or a relaxing cup of tea, Halifax's cafes have you covered.