Halifax Nova Scotia

Sandy and Judy Hines
902-877-4668
902-489-4663
sandy@sandyhines.com

 

About Halifax Nova Scotia

 

Halifax Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia's capital and largest city. It is often referred to as "Halifax" but it is actually an amalgamation (1996) of Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville and all the former County of Halifax areas such as Fall River, Hammonds Plains and many more areas. We will refer to HRM as Halifax in this overview.

Halifax Nova Scotia has a population of just over 400,000. It is the economic center of Nova Scotia. Department of National Defence (DND) is one of the biggest employers here with a navy and air force base located in the area. Many large companies such as Irving Shipyards are located in Halifax Nova Scotia. Being the province's capital, many of the large government offices are located in Halifax. Government is by far the largest employer in Halifax.

Halifax Nova Scotia is a university town with several universities located here including Dalhousie, St Mary's, Mount Saint Vincent, NSCAD and University of Kings College. Nova Scotia Community College has several campuses throughout the area providing a wide range of courses in trades and other fields. The universities and colleges not only provide an educated work force but also help make the Halifax area feel young and vibrant.

The Halifax Nova Scotia area is also the medical center of Atlantic Canada. Some of best hospitals in the world are located here. The Capital health Center includes such wonderful hospitals as QEII, IWK Children's hospital and others. If you move to Halifax you will have excellent medical care at your doorstep.

Culture wise Halifax Nova Scotia is very rich. Someone described Halifax as " having everything a larger city would have but on a smaller scale". For example there are no NHL teams here but there is a Quebec Junior A Hockey Team called the Halifax Mooseheads. The Moosehead's games are sold out almost every night and are one of the most fun events you can ever see.

Neptune Theater is an excellent local theater that puts on plays such as Les Miserable, Cats and more. It is excellent theater.
The Scotiabank Center holds about 10,000 people and will host major musical acts such as Elton John throughout the year. The Rebecca Cohn Auditorium is a 1000 seat facility that hosts musical and theatrical events and also is the home of  Symphony Nova Scotia. There are many museums and art galleries throughout the area.

There are many good restaurants in Halifax Nova Scotia to enjoy. The bar scene is rich, with live music played in many throughout the week.

What people enjoy about Halifax is how close it is to other very diverse areas. In a one hour drive you can be to the ocean on the south shore or in the Annapolis Valley where you can enjoy beautiful farm country. In 3-4 hours you can be on the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island or in beautiful Prince Edward Island. If you want to  get away from the city you don't have to travel far.

Halifax is an enjoyable friendly place to live. You will enjoy it here as most of us do.

 

Halifax Nova Scotia Real Estate and Homes For Sale

There are several very nice subdivisions in the Halifax Nova Scotia area. These include South End Halifax, West End Halifax, Clayton Park West, Fairmount, Fairview and others. We have created detailed descriptions and photos of most of them . On the Index line above click on  NEIGHBOURHOODS then scroll to Halifax Nova Scotia Subdivisions. A sub menu will come up with the various subdivision pages.
To search MLS Real Estate and Homes for sale in Halifax Nova Scotia click 
SEARCH HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA REAL ESTATE AND MLS LISTINGS
For more information on real estate in Halifax go to our HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA HOME BUYING GUIDE.

 

Halifax West High SchoolCitadel High School Gorsebrook Junior High SchoolHalifax Central Junior HighOxford School 5 - 5<>

Halifax Nova Scotia School System

 

The Halifax Nova Scotia public school system has many differences depending on what area you decide to purchase. There are also many similarities. For example there is no universal kindergarten. Parents enroll their child in private preschool or child care programs if the children are under the age of 5 years old. In order to register for grade primary children must be 5 years old by December 31 of the year they start school.

French Immersion is very popular in Halifax Nova Scotia. Early French Immersion is a program where children start French Immersion in grade primary. Late Immersion starts in grade 7. Late Immersion is offered in almost all areas but not all. If you are transferring from another school system your child cannot start Early Immersion part way through. For example a child in grade 3 cannot start Early Immersion unless they had been enrolled in a similar program in the school system you are transferring from. The Halifax English public school system is administered by one school board called the Halifax Regional School Board.

There are two public high schools that service the city of Halifax Nova Scotia , Citadel High School and Halifax West High School There are too many elementary and junior highs to list here.

Private schooling is an option in Halifax as well. There are several excellent private schools in Halifax including Armbrae Academy, Halifax Grammar School, Sacred Heart and more.

 

Things to do in Halifax Nova Scotia

Halifax Nova Scotia is the largest city in Atlantic Canada as well as the home of many Universities so there is lots to do here. A person once said to me that " Halifax has everything a bigger city has but on a smaller scale".

Halifax Nova Scotia  has a professional hockey team but it's not NHL. It is a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team that is still as much fun, if not more, to watch and people love it. The Halifax Mooseheads hockey team will sell out for almost every game.


Halifax has several entertainment and sports venues. The Scotiabank Center has 10,000 seats. Here concerts, entertainment and sporting events are held year round. World class acts such as Elton John, Neil Young, Sarah McLaughlin and Bob Seger have played here.

On a smaller scale, the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in the Dalhousie University Arts Center hosts smaller acts. This 1000 seat facility has acoustics that are second to none.


If you like theater productions you will enjoy the Neptune Theater. This fairly new 480 seat facility presents many plays throughout the year. It has put on plays such as Cats, Chicago and Beauty and the Beast. You can get a yearly subscription or buy individual tickets. Neptune also has a theater school for young aspiring actors.

Halifax Nova Scotia  has some of the best restaurants in the country, so eating dinner out is a big pass time in metro. The bar scene is one of the best anywhere. Downtown Halifax has almost 200 bars and 60 outdoor patios in a relatively small space. There is every kind of entertainment from light Jazz to hard rock playing on any given weekend. Irish and local music is the most common genre played at the local bars.


Halifax has one of only two casinos in Nova Scotia. This casino is located downtown on the Halifax waterfront. The Casino Nova Scotia offers excellent entertainment as well as gambling.


If you are interested or involved in sports, Halifax is a good place to be. For indoor sports the Dalplex has it all. Dalplex is on the campus of Dalhousie University but is open to the general public. This facility has pool, fitness centers, field house, several gyms and much more. This is one of the largest indoor sports facilities in Canada. St Mary's University also has an indoor sports facility called the Tower. This is an excellent facility as well but without a pool. There are several indoor pools in Halifax including the Canada Games Center, Centennial Pool and Spryfield Wave Pool.

Outdoor skating is a popular sport in Halifax Nova Scotia . An outdoor skating oval was built for the 2011 Canada Games and has remained open each winter following the games. This Emera Oval has ice making facilities so it has consistent ice from late December or early January until March. The Emera Oval  is located on the Halifax Commons in downtown Halifax. Skating at the Emera Oval is free of charge and is used by thousands all winter. Halifax is a university town so there are always university sports such as basketball, hockey, football and volleyball to enjoy watching.


Running, walking or biking in one of metros many parks is popular in Halifax Nova Scotia. Point Pleasant Park is probably the most used with miles of walking trails along the Halifax Harbour.


Boating is very popular in Halifax Nova Scotia. There are several yacht clubs throughout the area including Armdale Yacht Club, Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Club, Bedford Yacht Club and Dartmouth Yacht Club. Sailing is the most popular form of boating but there are many power boats at the various clubs as well.


There is one golf course in Halifax city limits called Ashburn - Old Course. This is a shorter Par 67 course that is private but green fee players are allowed to play with members.


There is lots to do in Halifax. From an active bar scene to excellent local theater there is something for everyone.

 

 

Commuting Times and Options in the Halifax Nova Scotia

 

There are a several options in Halifax for getting to and from work or school. Unfortunately there are no train or subway systems. However you can drive, take a bus, take a ferry, drive a bike or use a combination of these. Which method you might choose will depend on where you work and live. For example if you work in Dartmouth you might use the ferry on a regular basis. A ferry runs from two locations in Dartmouth to downtown Halifax. Commuters will either take a bus or drive to the ferry terminal and then take a ferry to Halifax. Ferries take about 12 minutes each way.


The bus system in Halifax Nova Scotia that is run by Metro Transit is not perfect but is always improving. There are express buses called Metro Link and Metro X that leave from various locations at peak times and go to downtown Halifax. There are currently Metro Link buses in Lower Sackville and Cole Harbour and Metro X buses in Fall River Hammonds Plains/Tantallon and Porter's Lake. More are planned for the near future. All locations have Park and Ride options. These buses can be faster than driving because they have only a few stops and the ability to keep a traffic light green until they go through the light. The commute time varies depending on the time of day and location but on average it is between 30 and 45 minutes.


Cost and availability of parking in Halifax might be a consideration for the means of transportation you choose. Parking is very limited and the cost can be high. If you are in the military there is limited parking at the Halifax dockyard, on a first come first served basis, and some limited off site parking on the streets. For this reason many military commuters often decide not to drive to work.

 

Shopping in Halifax Nova Scotia (HRM)

The best way to describe shopping in the Halifax Nova Scotia area is diverse. You can find everything from the box stores at Bayer's Lake or Dartmouth Crossing to large sprawling shopping malls such as Mic Mac Mall or Halifax Shopping Center to the quaint shops of Historic properties. If you need something you will find it no problem. Most stores are open 7 days a week. However stores open on Sunday may have limited hours.



Here are some of the available shopping options in the Halifax area.

 

The Historic Properties are a cluster of buildings that once housed the portside coopers, rope-makers and warehouses that supplied the ships that began sailing into Halifax Harbour 250 years ago. This has all been turned into a dynamic marketplace with boutiques, excellent restaurants, pubs and night spots. Here you can stroll along the boardwalk and absorb the atmosphere of the harbour and this great neighborhood.

 

The Spring Garden Road area is one of liveliest places you could find to shop in the city. This area has about 6 small to medium size shopping malls, including Park Lane, City Centre Atlantic and Spring Garden Place as well as small boutiques spread out along the street. In this area you will find higher end shops of various kinds including designer men's and women's clothing stores. This area is a fun area just to walk and enjoy the sights of the city.

 

Barrington Place is located in downtown Halifax , close to Historic Properties. This shopping mall is a collection of smaller, specialized stores and shops. This is also a great place just to walk and enjoy the sites.

One of the most popular shopping districts in the Halifax Regional Municipality is Bayer's Lake. This shopping area is located just outside Halifax towards Bedford off the #102 Hwy. The big box stores such as Costco, Winner's, Staples, Best Buy, Home Depot, Old Navy, Winner's Homesense, Linen's and Things, The Brick and many others are found here.

 

There are many malls throughout Halifax Nova Scotia including Halifax Shopping Center and  West End Mall.

 

Halifax Nova Scotia has shopping for everyone's taste and requirements.

 

 

© Copyright Sandy and Judy Hines. All information,within this site including photos and information can only be used with written authorization from Sandy or Judy Hines. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. 2015.