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Halifax, Gateway to Atlantic Canada, has flourished as a prominent port situated on the world's second largest natural harbour.

The entire Halifax region delights with its impressive array of entertainment, museums, galleries, historic sites, fine restaurants, colourful gardens and lively nightlife.

As the capital of Nova Scotia and the largest city in the Atlantic provinces, Halifax is the major centre of the Maritimes. With its steep streets, stunning harbour, and the famous Citadel overlooking the city, Halifax is world-renowned for its beauty and character.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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The scenery is magnificent at any time of the year. Whatever the interest of the visitor, access is only minutes away. Camping, skiing, swimming, canoeing, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, and bird watching are only a few of the possibilities in this natural paradise.

Halifax, Nova Scotia's capital, lies on one of the world's most extensive natural harbors, midway along Nova Scotia's south Atlantic shore. It is located on a peninsula between the harbor and an inlet called the North West Arm. Halifax harborís 16 miles are second only in size to the harbor in Sydney, Australia. It was this feature that attracted Colonel Edward Cornwallis and 2500 others who settled there in 1749 and established a naval and military depot. The site was named in honor of Lord Halifax, President of the British Board of Trade at that time. Halifax was intended to serve as a counterbalance to the French fort in Nova Scotia's far east.

Pier 21 in Halifax became to Canada what Ellis Island was to the US. Between 1928 and 1971 over a million immigrants entered Canada there, including 48,000 war brides and their 22,000 children. During World War II, nearly half a million troops departed from Pier 21 for Europe. In 1999, the Pier was transformed into a colorful national historic site with a museum featuring a large pavilion, boutiques, cafes and multimedia exhibits.

In April, 1912, Halifax was the hub of rescue operations for the Titanic. Memorabilia remains in the town, mostly in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. There are also three cemeteries that contain 150 of the victims, one third of whom were never identified.

Another maritime disaster took place in 1917 when the Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship carrying an explosive cargo, collided with another ship in the harbor. The sudden explosion killed over 1900 people, injured 9000 and leveled 321 acres of the city. International efforts aided the rebuilding of the city with Boston, Massachusetts being recognized as the first to provide aid. Boston still receives the gift of a Nova Scotia evergreen at Christmastime each year.


The major industries in Nova Scotia today are manufacturing, mining, fisheries, tourism and agriculture. Its historic downtown section contains carefully preserved, architecturally significant buildings attesting to past achievements and to continued prosperity and success.

The compact downtown area extends west from the water to the Citadel, the star-shaped fort overlooking the city. Cogswell Street to the north and Spring Garden Road to the south mark the other boundaries of the historic central district. Dartmouth, Halifax's twin city, is east across the harbor. The cities are connected by two toll bridges and the oldest continuously running saltwater ferry in North America. Charter sport fishing excursions are available and are very popular.

In Halifax of the present day, the harbor is the center of activity day and night. Pubs, shops, museums, parks, and public gardens attract local residents and many visitors. Street musicians, jazz concerts, outdoor festivals, cultural and sporting events are plentiful. Galleries, concerts, theater, and fine dining combine to make the twin cities of Halifax and Dartmouth a destination for any season. The excitement and bustle of the capital city harmonizes well with the warmth and convenience of the small town and the surrounding serenity and beauty of the countryside.

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