Halifax, Nova Scotia Vacation and Travel Information

Halifax is the provincial capital of Nova Scotia and has the largest population in the province.  With the second largest natural harbor in the world, Halifax has a rich history involving all kinds of ships and maritime events.  Halifax also is home to several universities, and the college age group helps make this a diverse and artistic climate.  Halifax is a compact, busy city which has a surprisingly refreshing and relaxing atmosphere. 

Halifax Info:

  • Land Area: 79 km
  • Elevation:  476 feet
  • Number of parks:  10+
  • Number of radio stations:  12 FM, 4 AM
  • Number of television stations:  5
  • Number of newspapers:  3 (The Chronicle-Herald, The Daily News, The Coast)
  • Transportation:   Halifax International Airport, Canadian National Railway, Via Rail Canada,

Halifax Weather and Climate:

  • Average daily temperature:  High 11 degrees C/Low 3 degrees C
  • Average annual rainfall:  46 inches

Distances to other Metropolitan Areas from Halifax (in miles):

  • Atlanta, GA — 1,335
  • Boston, MA — 406
  • Chicago, IL —  1,223
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX — 1,952
  • Houston, TX — 2,012
  • Las Vegas, NV — 2,732
  • Los Angeles, CA — 2,957
  • Memphis, TN — 1,538
  • Miami, FL — 1,603
  • Nashville, TN — 1,348
  • New Orleans, LA — 1,764
  • New York, NY — 592
  • Orlando, FL — 1,468
  • Philadelphia, PA — 677
  • Phoenix, AZ — 2,672
  • Rapid City, SD — 1,940
  • Salt Lake City, UT — 2,433
  • San Antonio, TX — 2,162
  • San Diego, CA — 2,949
  • San Jose, CA — 3,019
  • Washington, DC — 797

Halifax Safety Phone # and Major Hospitals:

  • Police/Fire/Ambulance: 911
  • Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center (902-473-3383)
  • Grace Maternity
  • IWK Children's Hospital (902-470-8050)

Halifax Top Tourism Draws and Seasons:

  • Seasons:  Summer to mid-fall is the best time to visit
  • Shakespeare by the Sea Festival
  • Zuppa Circus
  • Halifax Metro Center
  • Halifax Forum
  • Public Gardens
  • Point Pleasant Park
  • Tall Ships Challenge
  • The Marblehead Yacht Race
  • The Atlantic Jazz Festival
  • Atlantic Film Festival
  • The Multicultural Festival
  • Greek Summerfest
  • The Busker Festival
  • Atlantic Fringe Festival
  • Nova Scotia Wildlife Festival
  • Alexander Keith's Brewery Tour
  • Nova Scotia International Tattoo
  • Ann Leonowens Art Gallery
  • Discovery Center
  • Eye-level Gallery
  • HMCS Sackville
  • Khyber Center for the Arts
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Bedford Days
  • Peggy's Cove
  • Halifax Highland Games & Scottish Festival

Halifax Major Shopping Areas:

  • The Old City
  • Downtown
  • Barrington Place Shops
  • Great Ocean Natural Food Market
  • The Hydrostone Market
  • Farmer's Market
  • Halifax Shopping Center
  • Mic Mac Mall (Dartmouth)
  • Park Lane Mall
  • Spring Garden Place

Halifax Major Dining Areas:

  • Downtown
  • The Waterfront
  • Argyle Street
  • Dresden Row
  • Barrington Street
  • South Park Street
  • Hydrostone Market
  • The Old City
  • Halifax Famous Landmarks & Historic Places:

Neptune Theatre

  • Angus L. MacDonald Bridge
  • A. Murray MacKay Bridge
  • Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
  • Pier 21 National Historic Site
  • Province House
  • Prince of Wales Martello Tower
  • Scott Manor House
  • York Redoubt National Historic Site

Halifax Famous Natives and Residents:

  • Denny Doherty - singer
  • Robert MacNeil - anchorman, writer, journalist
  • John Sparrow David Thompson - 4th Prime Minister of Canada
  • Sarah MacLachlan - singer/songwriter
  • George Dixon - boxing champion
  • Erik Demaine - computer scientist
  • Oswald Avery - physician, medical researcher
  • Ruby Keeler - actress
  • William Fenwick Williams - military leader

Notable Moments in Halifax History:

  • 1749 - General Edward Cornwallis set up a military outpost in the area.
  • 1802 - Saint Mary's school was founded, beginning as an elementary school and evolving into a university.
  • 1842 - The City of Halifax was incorporated.
  • 1912 - The Titanic sank and the search effort was coordinated from Halifax. Nearly half of the recovered bodies were buried in Halifax cemeteries.
  • 1917 - The largest man-made explosion prior to nuclear weapons occurred and was named the Halifax Explosion.  It occurred when an outgoing French ship carrying many explosives was hit by an incoming Norwegian ship.  Nearly 2000 people were killed and 9000 injured.
  • 1945 - Halifax was a very important city during WWII as a naval and troop convoy port. 
  • 1990s - Private developers were given permission to expand into the suburbs for the first time, as Halifax joined with the suburbs to form the Halifax Regional Municipality.
  • 2003 - Halifax was hit by Hurricane Juan causing serious disruption and a few fatalities.

Interesting Facts about Halifax:

  • Scenes from the movie Titanic were filmed near Halifax.
  • Halifax reportedly has the highest number of bars per capita of any city in Canada.
  • Halifax's motto is "The riches from the sea."
  • Halifax is known as the "City of Trees."
  • Halifax is home to the oldest Protestant church & cathedral in Canada.

Halifax Population and Demographics:

  • Population — 359,111
  • White — 92%
  • Native American — 1%
  • Black — 3.7%
  • Asian — 0%
  • Population 18 and under — 19%
  • 65 and over — 11%
  • Median age —  38.8 years
  • Average household size — 2.38
  • Median family income —$55,885

Halifax Colleges and Universities:

  • Dalhousie University
  • Saint Mary's University
  • University of King's College
  • Mount Saint Vincent University
  • The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
  • The Nova Scotia Community College

Halifax Economy & Business — Notable Employers and Industries:

  • Banking
  • Government
  • Brewpubs
  • Tourism
  • The Halifax Port Authority
  • The Department of National Defense
  • Aliant (telecommunications)
  • Nova Scotia Power
  • Atlantic Superstore
  • Casino Nova Scotia
  • Staples
  • Imperial Oil
  • QEII Health Sciences Center
  • Saint Mary's University
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