Feb 27 2011

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Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s three Maritime Provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada with an area of 55,284 square kilometers (21,300 sq. mi). As of 2009, the population is 940,397, which makes Nova Scotia the second-most-densely populated province.

In 1763 Cape Breton Island and St. John’s Island (now Prince Edward Island) became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John’s Island became a separate colony. Nova Scotia included present-day New Brunswick until that province was established in 1784.

Nova Scotia is called “Canada’s ocean playground”

Interesting facts about Nova Scotia:

  • Nova Scotia is made up of the mainland and Cape Breton Island, and includes over 3800 coastal islands
  • The capital city of Halifax is an international seaport and transportation center.
  • “Nova Scotia” means “New Scotland” in Latin.
  • Most of the population lives in or close to Halifax, while almost all the communities are along the coastline.
  • The province is almost surrounded by water, with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east. That accounts to the 7500 km rocky coastline of the province
  • Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are connected by a small land bridge (28 km Isthmus of Chignecto)
  • The Bay of Fundy, which has world’s highest tides, stretches between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
  • The province is covered with forests and lakes. Both hardwood and softwood forests cover much of the province. Forest products include lumber, pulp and paper and Christmas trees.
  • There are 3000 small lakes in NS
  • There are salt marshes and ice-free deep water harbors along the coast.
  • The Strait of Canso (1.2 km wide) separates the mainland of Nova Scotia from Cape Breton Island. The Canso Causeway is a road which connects the island to the mainland
  • The Fishery is the oldest and most important natural resource.
  • There are about 160 fish processing plants. Lobsters from N.S. are shipped all across Canada.
  • The main mineral is coal which is used for making electricity.
  • Refineries turn oil into gasoline and other products.
  • Nova Scotia is among the leading producers of gypsum in the world. Gypsum is used in the manufacture of wallboard.
  • Marconi sent the first official west-to-east wireless (radio) message across the Atlantic Ocean from Table Head, Cape Breton Island in 1902.
  • The Fortress of Louisburg (Cape Breton Island) is the largest reconstructed 18th-century French fortified town in North America.
  • Fishing villages and lighthouses along the coastline attract tourists. Peggy’s Cove is a well-known fishing village with a lighthouse.

Time Zone

Nova Scotia is in the Atlantic Standard Time zone.


Described on the provincial vehicle-license plate as Canada’s Ocean Playground, the sea is a major influence on Nova Scotia’s climate. Although Nova Scotia has a somewhat moderated climate, there have been some very intense heat waves and cold snaps recorded over the past 160 years. The highest temperature ever recorded in the province was 38.3 °C (101 °F) on August 19, 1935 at Collegeville, which is located about 15 km southwest of Antigo Nish. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −41.1 °C (−42 °F) on January 31, 1920 at Upper Stewiacke.

Rainfall changes from 140 centimeters (55 in) in the south to 100 centimeters (40 in) elsewhere. Nova Scotia is also very foggy in places, with Halifax averaging 196 foggy days per year and Yarmouth 191.

The average annual temperatures are:

  • Spring from 1 °C (34 °F) to 17 °C (63 °F)
  • Summer from 14 °C (57 °F) to 28 °C (82 °F)
  • Fall about 5 °C (41 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F)
  • Winter about −20 °C (−4 °F) to 5 °C (41 °F)

Because Nova Scotia juts out into the Atlantic, it is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes in the summer and autumn. However due to the relatively cooler waters off the coast of Nova Scotia, tropical storms are usually weak by the time they reach Nova Scotia. There have been 33 such storms, including 12 hurricanes, since records were kept in 1871 – about once every four years. The last hurricane was category-one Hurricane Earl in September 2010, and the last tropical storm was Tropical Storm Noel in 2007 (downgraded from Hurricane Noel by the time the storm reached Nova Scotia).

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