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26 Fun, Weird & Interesting Facts About Halifax, Nova Scotia

26 Fun, Weird & Interesting Facts About Halifax, Nova Scotia

I lived in Halifax for a year as a kid. I remember loving it because of its proximity to the ocean. I’ve still got fond memories of the city, perhaps because that’s where John and I got engaged. I’m not sure if that constitutes a fun fact or even an interesting fact but now you know. Enjoy these fun, weird and interesting facts that I’ve dug up about Halifax.

Looking over to downtown Halifax from Dartmouth

Looking over to downtown Halifax from Dartmouth

Here are 26 fun and interesting facts about Halifax

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia. It hosts the largest population east of Quebec City – 403,000 people at last count.

Halifax has been around for a long time. It was founded in 1749 by Honorable Edward Cornwallis of England. (Not all agree with the honorable connotation.)

The Halifax Explosion in 1917 was the world’s largest man-made explosion prior to Hiroshima. About 2,000 people were killed and 9,000 injured when the SS Mont Blanc, a French cargo ship loaded with wartime explosives collided with an empty Norwegian ship. It caught fire and 25 minutes later exploded. A tsunami and pressure wave also occurred and caused considerable damage. As one reader pointed out – this is not a fun fact but a very tragic event and one most devastating events Canada has experienced.

The Cunard Steamship Line was founded in Halifax in 1840.

The ferry that runs between Halifax and Dartmouth

The ferry that runs between Halifax and Dartmouth

The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is the most visited National Historic Site in Canada. The practice of firing a gun (from the site) at mid-day dates from 1856 and continues today.

The Old Town Clock, a famous landmark, has been keeping time since 1803.

The Public Gardens on Spring Garden Road are a 17 acre oasis containing fountains, rare flowers, trees and the beautiful red gazebo.

The Halifax Public Gardens

The Halifax Public Gardens – Photo credit: photosfor you from Pixabay

Point Pleasant Park, a 77 hectare park and one of the cities best, is located on the southern tip of the Halifax Peninsula only 2.5 kilometres from downtown. Halifax rents the site from the British government for 10 cents a year and has a 999 year lease.

Cool architecture for a building used to time canoe races in Dartmouth

Cool architecture for a building used to time canoe races in Dartmouth

Halifax is on the Atlantic Time Zone.

Halifax is closer to Dublin, Ireland than it is to Victoria, British Columbia.

Halifax boasts the second largest ice-free natural harbour in the world after Sydney, Australia.

Halifax enjoys four distinct seasons. Winters are cold and snowy, whilst summer temperatures are usually in the 20-23°C range. Look out for Atlantic Hurricane Season when Halifax can suffer the brunt of tropical storms, depressions and hurricanes. It’s normal to see 670 mm of rain over the period from June 1st to November 30th.

Halifax has an average of 171 wet days per year.

The coldest day ever recorded was -29.4°C (-21°F) on February 18, 1922. The highest temperature ever recorded was 37.2°C (99°F) on July 10, 1912.

On the summer solstice the sun rises at 5:29 AM and sets at 9:04 PM. On the winter solstice the sun rises at 7:48 AM and sets at 4:37 PM.

The median age is 39. And 59% of the population is under 45

The average selling price of a house in Halifax in 2011 was $259,060 – one of the lowest in Canada.

The three biggest employers in Halifax are CFB Halifax, Capital District Health Authority and the Government – on all three levels.

There are more pubs per capita than any other city in Canada. That might have something to do with the fact below.

No shortage of pubs in Halifax

No shortage of pubs in Halifax – Photo credit: photosforyou from Pixabay

There are six degree granting universities in Halifax – Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Nova Scotia Community College and The Atlantic School of Theology. There are 81 post secondary students per 1,000 people, three times the national average.

Halifax has a strong connection to the Titanic sinking. There is a permanent Titanic Museum at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Seafood is one of the thing great things you’ll find in abundance. Look for lobster, Atlantic salmon and Digby scallops on restaurant menus.

Every August Halifax hosts an International Busker Festival.

The biggest sports event is the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon held every May.

There are no big time professional sports teams but there are the Halifax Mooseheads Hockey Club and Halifax Rainmen Basketball.

Dave Carroll of United Breaks Guitars fame lives in the Greater Halifax area.

Further reading on interesting facts in Canada

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest board.

26 Fun, Weird & Interesting Facts About Halifax, Nova Scotia

 

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 44 Comments
  1. I spent an afternoon in Halifax a few years ago, and really loved. I’d love to go back, especially because I didn’t know that there were more pubs here per capita than anywhere else in Canada.

  2. Leigh, you know that I am a native Haligonian. Love all your facts. The only one I didn’t know was the last one. I really need to get in tune with the music.

    Did you know that Denny Doherty of Mama’s and Papa’s fame grew up in Halifax’s Northend?

    I plan on being in Halifax next summer to celebrate my Dad’s 90th birthday. We might be there at the same time!

  3. @Nancie That sounds like a great reason to go back to me. I’ll be following you through the blog so I’ll have a pretty good idea if we’ll be able to cross paths. I have a number of outdoor adventures to research and I want to visit a few of my old haunts – like Hall’s Harbour – the small community where we bought our first house for $24K.

  4. To date, the Halifax Explosion is still the largest, non nucular man made explosion in history. It broke windows in Truro, a 45 min drive away.

  5. Love the photos, especially the first one. Wow, some interesting facts and I’d love to visit Nova Scotia one day.

  6. I grew up in Nova Scotia and didn`t know a lot of these, the biggest one being we`re closer to Dublin than Vancouver – although I would suspect the culture is more similar as well.

  7. Is Halifax aware of your close relationship with the city? I mean, if the Titanic gets a museum, you must at least deserve a statue or something.
    I’ve never been to Halifax, but your seafood stats make it sound tempting…

  8. I live in Halifax and we have so much more history as well. I have some great posts on my blog, including the Titanic graveyard, the 100 year memorial at the famous St. Paul’s church with the famous Head shape in the window, as well as waterfront pictures with the kids and around Halifax. I have more to post but haven’t had time yet.

    When the Halifax Explosion happened, it was felt all the way to Boston and Boston was the first to send aid to Halifax. The day after the explosion, there was a horrible blizzard which made recovery so difficult. I have stories from my grandmother of what happened on that day. I plan to to post this story as well.

    Please check out my blog to see these great posts and “join” please if you can then you will get the updates when I post them to my blog site.

    Thanks.

  9. Not quite sure how the park is rented from the British government since it is on Canadian land. You may want to fact check this one as it doesn’t make sense.

  10. Great article, but I used to work for the provincial Department responsible for higher education – and Nova Scotia Community College doesn’t grant degrees. Nitpicky, I know… 🙂

  11. this is a good website there are so many good fun interesting facts about nova scotia thanks for the website and thanks for all of the fun facts and the interesting wried and fun facts about nova scotia thanks for everything.

      1. Hello i’m doing a project about Nova Scotia and you didn’t included the main like what time founded or enthing in that area history sure you gave some cool facts but dig deeper you could make this site 10 times better

  12. Many of the Universitys where used as hospitals in the Halifax Explosion. And Citadel Hill was made to protect us Haligonians in case of another explosion but that never happened. The clock hasn’t been keeping time since then it stopped at around 1897 and was fixed in 2002. and there is a graveyard dedicated to those who were killed in the Titanic..
    Sorry I am a bit of a know-it-all.
    Thanks love these facts! Do some on the Quebec Winter Carnival. ;D

  13. Many of the Universitys where used as hospitals in the Halifax Explosion. And Citadel Hill was made to protect us Haligonians in case of another explosion but that never happened. The clock hasn’t been keeping time since then it stopped at around 1897 and was fixed in 2002. and there is a graveyard dedicated to those who were killed in the Titanic..
    Sorry I am a bit of a know-it-all.
    Thanks love these facts! Do some on the Quebec Winter Carnival. ;D

  14. Hi Leigh,
    Great list! Just to update one item, NSCAD–the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (as it was called when I went there) is now NSCAD University. It became a university in 2003. Some interesting facts about NSCADU is that Anna Leonowens, was the founder of the school in 1887 (it was first called the Victoria School of Art, after Queen Victoria). Anna would become famous as a tutor for the King of Siam; she wrote a book that eventually was turned into a stage play and movie, The King and I, starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.
    NSCAD has had an impressive list of influential and famous principles/presidents, including Arthur Lismer (of the Group of Seven) and Gary Neill Kennedy, who was president when I was at the school. Gary modernized the school and brought the school to the international stage; he was responsible for bringing in some of the most famous artists and designers as professors, lecturers and visiting artists, including Horst Deppe, Andy Warhol (he got an honourary degree), Michael Snow, Krzysztof Wodiczko, etc.

    Oh and there are two other degree granting universities in Halifax (so a total of eight, not six): Université Sainte-Anne (Halifax campus) and University of King’s College.

    Another great fact about Halifax is that it has an incredible amount of musical talent: Joel Plaskett, Rich Aucoin (Buck 65), Sarah McLauchlin, Sloan, Hank Snow, Matt Mays, Jenn Grant (and more) all were born or lived in Halifax. Other performers/artists from Halifax include Rudy Keeler (actress) George Elliot Clarke (author), Ellen Page (actress), Nikki Payne (comedian)… And Sidney Crosby, hockey player par excellence: born and raised in Cole Harbour, part of the Halifax landscape.

    There really is something in the water there…!

  15. You might want to consider editing the Honorable part about Edward Cornwallis
    In addition to making contributions to the building of Halifax he was big on scalping.
    The guy had a bounty out on Native scalps. He didn’t care where they came from as long as they were Native.

      1. Thank you for your article; well done. Only Cornwallis did not discover Nova Scotia; he ‘discovered’ the locals, the residents, the Mi’kmaq people. I will be happy when schools finally tell the truth about his intent to eliminate the locals, so he’d take over and be adored for discovering a place he visits!

        I think I will visit Florida, then pay for lovely blonde scalps, steal the children, eradicate language and family, and destroy a culture of people. And THEn I’ll get a statue stating how I, I, I discovered the state!

        So, in 2039, Florida shall be called ‘Musha-hottaplace,’ and at Musha-hottaplace, the language police shall ‘correct’ use of words with allegedly short O sounds (ie: Cornwallis was a no gooood soooociopath, and should have been kicked oooout) . And saying ‘eh’, will result in a tax break. Cheers.

  16. Hi just a heads up the scotia bank bluenose marathon link takes you to some page about STD’s and cooking tips. Just thought I’d let you know. 🙂

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