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Nova Scotia


  • Nova Scotia is one of the four Atlantic provinces, and one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces. With an area of 55,284 square kilometers, Nova Scotia is the second smallest of Canada's provinces. The population of Nova Scotia is approximately 971, 395, as of 2019.
  • Nova Scotia is located to the East of Canada, and almost fully enclosed by the Atlantic Ocean. No point in the province is further than 60 km from the ocean.
  • The Capital of Nova Scotia is Halifax, which a central economic and cultural hub of North America, and a primary international seaport and transportation centre.
  • Although English is the primary language of Nova Scotia, many residents also speak French.
  • Nova Scotia follows an Atlantic Standard Time Zone (AST), four hours behind Greenwich Mean time (GMT).
  • Nova Scotia has four distinct seasons; Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall.


  • The population of Nova Scotia is just under 1 million people, making it the second smallest province in the country. However, due to its small land area, the province has the second highest population density in Canada, following Prince Edward Island. A majority of the population in Nova Scotia live in the capital; Halifax, and the surrounding suburbs.
  • The biggest ethnic group in the province is Scottish, so it is no surprise that the name “ Nova Scotia” literally translates to mean” New Scotland”. In addition to Scottish, the province also has large numbers of Chinese, Dutch, German, French, Arab, and Irish populations.
  • The primary language spoken by residents is English, with a few who who use French as well.
  • About one-third of the population are Roman Catholics, followed by smaller numbers of Anglican, Protestant, and Baptists.


  • Nova Scotia is located on the Eastern Coast of North America, and one of the four Atlantic provinces, together with New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec.
  • The province is only 580 kms long, and not more than 130 kms wide in any direction. Nova Scotia is made up of the peninsula of Nova Scotia, Cape Brenton Island, and a small number of adjoining islands.
  • Nova Scotia is separated from Prince Edward Island to the North and Newfoundland to the Northeast by the Gulf of St Lawrence, and the Northumberland and Cabot Straits. To the East and South of the province is the Atlantic Ocean, and the Northwest is bordered by the Bay of Fundy.
  • The coastline of Nova Scotia is dotted with several hundred bays, coves, lakes, and inlets, as well as white sandy beaches and marshes, and fishing villages.
  • The largest lake in mainland Nova Scotia is Lake Rossignol. Prominent rivers include Avon, Clyde, Jordon, Liscomb, Merset, Philip, Roseway, St Marys, Salmon, Sable, and Tusket.
  • Cape Brenton is separated from mainland Nova Scotia by the Strait of Canso, and is the 18th largest island in Canada. It is dominated by the Cape Brenton Highlands to the North, and Bras d'Or, one of the world's biggest salt water lakes. In the northernmost part of Cape Brenton's rocky shoreline is White Hill, the highest point in the province, at 1,745 ft above sea level.
  • The largest river streams on the island are the Margaree and Mira, amongst several other smaller rivers and streams. The largest freshwater lake is Lake Ainslie.
  • Located 160 kms from the mainland is Sable Island, part of Halifax, shaped like a sandbar,, covered by grass, and is often referred to as the “graveyard of the Atlantic”, due to the vast number of shipwrecks that have taken place over the years.


  • Nova Scotia is known for its warm, welcoming culture, formed by the diverse ethnic groups that reside in the province and call it 'home'.
  • The province is also home to modern cities, with large artistic communities, modern music, theatre productions, and a unique mix of Celtic music.
  • The traditional past of Scottish and Acadian culture is very present in Nova Scotia, and remains a huge part of life in the province, developed by a French-language school system, French-language radio and television stations, and local festivals.
  • Key cultural venues includes the Neptune Theatre, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Museum system. The province also has several museums that reflect its local culture and history.
  • Live theater is very popular during the summer months in the province.
  • Nova Scotia houses several historic sites that are part of Canada's national parks system, including the fortress of Louisbourg, The Halifax Citadel, The Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site, Old Town Lunenburg; A UNESCO heritage site, and the reconstruction of the 1605 French habitation at Port Royal.
  • The Cape Brenton Highlands National Park, and the Kejimkujik National Park offer spectacular, unique wilderness experiences, together with several other provincial parks.
  • Popular sports and recreation activities enjoyed by residents in Nova Scotia includes football, golf, hockey, kayaking, canoeing, walking, and gardening.


Nova Scotia experiences a continental climate, which is greatly influenced by its proximity to the sea. The coastal regions of the province experience the most moderate temperatures, with warmer winters and cooler summer temperatures. In the capital, Halifax, the average daily summer temperature is about 19 degrees celsius, while winter temperatures average around 4.5 - 5 degrees celsius.

Compared to the rest of Canada, the weather in Nova Scotia can be described as ‘ Moderate', where it rarely gets extremely hot, or extremely cold. The temperatures however, does fluctuate depending on the time of day and the proximity to the sea. The annual precipitation levels are 1,250 mm ( 49 inches) along theNorthumberland Strait, and around 1,600 mm ( 63 inches) on the CapeBrenton Highlands.

  • Summer ( June - September) - Average temperatures are between 20-25 degrees celsius.
  • Fall ( September - December ) - is between 10 - 20 degrees celsius.
  • Winter ( December - March) - Average temperatures range between 0 to -15 degrees celsius.
  • Spring (March to June) - is between 0 to -10 degrees Celsius from March to April, and ranges between 10 - 20 degrees from April to June.


Due to its excellent healthcare system, Canada is consistently voted as one of the most livable destinations in the world. All residents, temporary and permanent have access to Medicare, which is funded by the government. The healthcare plan within the province is Medical Services Insurance (MSI). This healthcare plan covers the cost of basic healthcare needs including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Doctor referred specialist visits
  • Some hospital in-patient and out-patient services
  • Certain dental and optometric services

For any additional coverage, residents would be required to pay to gain private health insurance.

University Education

Nova Scotia comprises of several post-secondary institutions offering a range of diplomas, degree courses, master programs, and PHD's.

In total the province has 11 Universities, 13 professional colleges, technical colleges and apprenticeship programs. The International student population in Nova Scotia is approximately 10,000 students per calendar year. Popular student cities in Nova Scotia are Halifax, Wolfville, and Antigonish.

Universities and Colleges in Nova Scotia

Why Study in the Nova Scotia?

  • Nova Scotia's natural beauty, and spectacular scenery, from sparkling seas, to rainforests, lakes, and farmland, making it an ideal location for relaxation, study and work
  • Nova Scotia's living costs is one of the lowest compared to other Canadian provinces
  • World Class Education: Nova Scotia has over 10 Universities that grant International standard, globally recognized degree qualifications, one of the highest concentration of Universities, per Capita in the country. In fact Nova Scotia has some of the country's top-ranked Universities, three of which are ranked within the top seven Universities granting undergraduate programs in Canada.
  • Universities and Colleges in the province offer a diverse range of undergraduate, post graduate, and research degrees in fields such as medicine, business, engineering, dentistry, education, fine arts, and more.
  • Nova Scotia offers graduates the opportunity to apply for permanent residency through several pathways, including Nova Scotia Experience Express Entry, Nova Scotia Nominee Program; International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, Atlantic International Graduate Program, and Express Entry Stream.

Economy/ Key Industries

The Nova Scotia economy is extremely diverse, with primary industries being the Manufacturing, Service, and Mining sectors. In the past, fishing was a major industry, but in recent years fish resources have become endangered and have severely impact the fishing industry.

In Recent years, the Nova Scotia economy has diversified to include sectors such as forestry, commercial agriculture, coal mining, offshore exploration of oil and gas, and tourism; boosted by the nearly two million visitors to the province each year.

  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • Farming in the province is focused on livestock, poultry, eggs, and fruit. While forestry resources include pulp, paper, saw mills, Christmas trees, and maple syrup. Aquaculture is growing in the fishing industry, and is made up of shellfish, scallops, and herring.

  • Resources and power
  • Some of the major industries are mining. Coal mining has declined but salt, gypsum, and anhydrite production has increased to meet the rising demand, swell as barite, sanded gravel( construction materials).

  • Manufacturing, services, labour, and taxation
  • This sector includes the production of food processing, wood and paper related products, and metal. Much of the labour force is employed in public and private services, with tourism emerging as a strong service industry, due to the increased numbers of tourists to the province each year. Over a quarter of the workers in the province are employed in knowledge-based industries such as IT, Telecommunications, and Education; teachers, and university professors. Primary income is gained from two sources; provincial taxes and fees, and the federal government.

  • Transportation and telecommunication
  • Shipping, is one of the key industries in Nova Scotia, with some of the world's largest oil carriers located in Halifax, as well as operating as a year-round ice free port, accommodating a range of vessels, including large container ships. Other transport services dominating the Nova Scotia industry is the trucking industry, and the international airport in Halifax. Passenger ferries and cars also operate between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the US state of Maine.

Popular Sightseeing Attractions

  • Cabot Trail
  • Peggy's Cove
  • Fortress of Louisbourg Natural Historic Site
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park
  • Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
  • Halifax Harbour
  • Lunenburg
  • Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
  • Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens
  • Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park