Halifax, the biggest city in Atlantic Canada, is the capital city of Nova Scotia. It is located in the heart of Nova Scotia’s east coast and is a major seaport with a view of one of the world’s largest natural harbours. But is it an excellent place to live?  

Halifax is an excellent spot to relocate if you’re looking for a calmer pace of life. The incidence of criminal activity is lower than average. It is less expensive to live there, cheaper housing options are available, and there are fewer residents. Despite the fewer immigrants ratio compared to other regions, locals like the way of life. 

There are many factors to consider when deciding if a big city is worth moving to. Keep reading to get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the folks of Halifax.  

 About the City of Halifax 

The City of Halifax is best known for its charming historic district, strong sense of community, mouthwatering seafood, and breathtaking natural surroundings. It is home to a significant number of businesses belonging to both the public and private sectors. It also has a high density of government services.

Where in Canada is Halifax? 

The fact that Halifax is located at a latitude of 44 degrees north, which is approximately midway between the Equator and the North Pole, contributes to the city’s moderate winter climate compared to other Canadian regions. The city is divided into two primary sections, which are known as Mainland Halifax and also the Halifax Peninsula. 

Additionally, the Halifax regional municipality now incorporates several communities in the surrounding area, such as Armdale, Fairview, and Spryfield.

The city’s heart comprises three distinct neighbourhoods: the South End, the North End, and the West End. The Citadel building, which is very easy to locate, serves as a landmark for the entire area. 

Population Size in Halifax  

According to Canadian statistics, Halifax has a population of approximately 417,173 as of 2022. It increases by an average of 0.48 percent each year. 

The urban core along Halifax Harbour has a population of 297,000 and a population density of 2,790 per square mile. Halifax is the 14th largest city in Canada because it is part of the 13th largest metropolitan area in the country. This area covers an area of 5,490 square kilometres. 

Living in Halifax: What’s It Like? 

Halifax is a minor, community-oriented city compared to Vancouver, Toronto, and Edmonton. One advantage is that you may enjoy the same comforts as in larger cities without dealing with the stress and crowding that come with them. Small-town vibes are predominant. 

Home Properties in Halifax 

If you are considering a trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, buying a vacation house, retiring, or anything else, you should know that you will not be disappointed. 

Is Halifax an Expensive City for Housing?  

Compared to other Canadian cities, Halifax’s housing costs are now more correctly classified as “reasonable.” The property price in Nova Scotia’s most populous city has risen somewhat due to increased demand. Still, the goal of homeownership is far more affordable in Halifax than in Toronto or Vancouver. 

Locating a Rental Home in Halifax 

You can quickly locate a rental home in Halifax by searching the Internet. Many young professionals and individuals settle Downtown, making it one of the most desirable areas. There are many fun places to eat and hang out at night; you’ll be at the center of everything. You can use websites like rentfaster.ca, rentals.ca, and kijiji.ca for assistance. 

How To Buy a House in Halifax? 

First-time homebuyers in Nova Scotia obtain HST rebates. Nova Scotia’s First-Time Home Buyers Rebate is 18.75 percent of the provincial HST, up to $3000 on newly built houses. The freshly made home will be your principal residence, and the occupants haven’t owned a property in Canada in the past five years. 

First-time home buyers in Canada can take advantage of a federal tax credit program. A one-time $5000 nonrefundable tax credit may save you up to $750. You must submit the claim within a year of the original purchase. 

Transportation in Halifax 

Walking and taking the bus are the most efficient methods to move about Halifax. Despite the mountainous terrain, the center area of Halifax is relatively compact and easily accessible; nevertheless, you will need to have a lot of energy and wear shoes that are built for walking. Services like Uber are also readily available to you. 

You may also rely on Metro Transit, which provides bus service throughout the city, and ferries to Dartmouth, located close by. You will, however, need to have access to a vehicle if you intend to travel further afield than Halifax. The city is home to significant car rental firms. 

Ferry service is another service offered by Metro Transit, connecting downtown Halifax, Dartmouth, and Woodside. Ferries leave at specific times every day. Metro Transit bus and ferry both accept the same ticket. 

Education System in Halifax 

Canada invests more of its economy into its educational system than any other nation. Halifax is among the most popular study locations for international students. It has an excellent location and a prosperous economy, and saint mary’s university provides several student options. In addition, it is a thriving city with a diverse student population. 

Primary and Secondary Education 

The academic year begins no earlier than September 1 and finishes no later than June 30 (a total of 195 school days). The city’s public schools cover the whole range of ages from kindergarten through 12th grade. Students get progress reports multiple times during the school year.  

Schools might be forced to close for a day or more due to snow and other severe weather conditions during the winter months. If this does place, locals are notified of the closure. 

Higher Education 

Over 40,000 students worldwide are enrolled at Halifax’s six prestigious universities or one of its three community colleges, giving them access to a comprehensive selection of high-quality post-secondary educational opportunities.

One of the world’s most renowned educational institutions is found in this city. In 2018, the ranking of the best universities in Canada included Dalhousie University and mount saint vincent university in the top ten. 

Halifax has a better pub and club density than other Canadian cities, making it an excellent place for students to live and socialize. You may find beautiful treats to keep you busy over the weekend at locally-owned stores, art galleries, cafés, and restaurants. 

Getting a Job in Halifax 

The slow growth of the Nova Scotia economy can be attributed partly to the province’s tiny population. There aren’t a lot of jobs available, and many industries, including education, are already at capacity.

While temporary work is open year-round, most permanent positions pay minimum wage or require hard labor in areas like construction and fishing. 

As of August 2022, the rate of unemployment in Halifax was 5.4 percent, representing an increase of 0.5 percent from the previous month. If, on the other hand, you are moving to Halifax to take advantage of a freelance agreement or a retirement plan, you will not have any concerns about your financial situation. 

Getting a Medical Care in Halifax, Nova Scotia 

All Canadian citizens have access to medical treatment. It is provided regardless of their capacity to pay, depending on their need.

Health care in Canada is publicly supported by both the federal and provincial levels of government. Medical Services Insurance (MSI) is a province-wide program in Nova Scotia. Your taxes go toward covering the cost of it. 

Health insurance card applications should be submitted without delay. This card covers access to public health care and hospital care in Nova Scotia at no cost to the patient. Following card issuance, you must constantly have it on you. Just show the card whenever you visit a medical facility, whether a clinic, hospital or emergency room. 

Driving Rules in Halifax 

The learner’s permit is the first step in the Nova Scotia graduate driver licensing process. Annual renewal of this license is required.

Anyone at least 16 and a Nova Scotia resident is eligible to apply. Aside from the basic rules of the road, the following are some of the regulations to remember while driving in Halifax: 

  • Signs along the roads indicate the maximum allowed speeds in kilometres per hour.  
  • It is expected that drivers will drive at a safe pace for the current circumstances on the road. 
  • The standard speeding punishment is doubled in school and construction zones and when overtaking an emergency vehicle stopped on the road or its shoulder with lights flashing.
  • A school bus with flashing red lights cannot be passed by any vehicle. 
  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road. 

Weather in Halifax 

Because of its location on the coast, Halifax has a climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Because water warms and cools more slowly than land, areas close to vast bodies of water see more gradual temperature shifts. January is the coldest month in Halifax, with an average temperature range of 19°F to 33°F. 

These temperate zones have a narrower range of temperatures and witness less significant shifts in the weather during the four distinct seasons. Warm summer waves warm the air over Nova Scotia and the land below. The water moderates winter’s severity. These moist air masses cause rainfall

Population and Communities of Immigrants in Halifax 

Immigrants make up about 10 percent of the city’s total population in Halifax. The United Kingdom, the United States of America, and China are the three countries that send the most immigrants to Halifax, while the United Kingdom sends the most of the three. 

Sixty percent of the immigrants who settled in Halifax between 1980 and 2016 did so for economic reasons, while another 25 percent arrived thanks to the sponsorship of family members, and 15 percent entered as refugees. 

Moving Options in Nova Scotia 

Tradespeople are in high demand in Nova Scotia. Because of Canada’s Skilled Trades Worker Program, those with practical experience in plumbing, heating and air conditioning, construction, and related fields can come to the country with relative ease. 

Nova Scotia is a beautiful option for relocating to Canada because acquiring a PR is easy. Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities candidates come from Express Entry. Since profiles without provincial ties are often welcomed into this stream, it’s considered one of the easiest PNPs for international applicants to get permanent residency.  

Express Entry 

Express Entry is a system that the Canadian government uses to manage applications for permanent residence in Canada. These applications are submitted as part of various economic immigration programs to meet labour shortfalls. Express Entry oversees three separate immigration programs: 

  • Canadian Experience Class 

Canadian Experience Class is reserved for individuals with relevant experience employed in Canada. Before submitting your application, you must have earned job experience within the last three years. 

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program 

Federal Skilled Trades Program is for skilled individuals who are qualified in a skilled trade and must have a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification to be eligible. 

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program 

Federal Skilled Worker Program applies to people who have experience working in a foreign country and must fulfill standards for education and other aspects as required. 

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)  

The first year of the NSNP was 2003. Through immigration into the province, it began meeting the local economy’s needs and the labour market. The New Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) and the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) in 2017 have increased the number of people moving to Nova Scotia over the past 20 years.  

Every year, 7,000 people decide to move to Nova Scotia. The Immigration retention rate in this province is more than 70 percent.

As a result of the Provincial Nominee Program and the Atlantic Immigration Program, the retention rate in Nova Scotia has increased. The PNP and the AIP allow international graduates and temporary workers permanent residency. 

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program  

After March 5, 2022, IRCC no longer accepted applications for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP). The Atlantic Immigration Program has now replaced the Pilot program.

Skilled foreign employees and international graduates from a Canadian institution who wish to settle in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador may apply for permanent residency under the Atlantic Immigration Program. Employers who have trouble finding competent local applicants through this initiative may receive assistance.

International Studies 

While attending school in Nova Scotia, students will have the opportunity to explore a recreational paradise with excellent academics.

The combination of this province’s high educational standards and its laid-back way of life makes it one of the most popular places for international students to pursue their education outside their home countries.  

Benefits of Moving to Halifax 

Check Out These 8 Things You Need To Know Before Moving to Halifax:

There are many benefits of moving to Halifax. It is a fantastic location to call home due to the abundance of exciting and engaging activities you can enjoy here.

You’ll never run out of activities to do in Halifax since the city hosts everything from live events and festivals to mouthwatering eateries and magnificent art galleries. 

Lovely City 

Halifax is a diverse community, with population growth being led by immigration to the city. It is a beautiful city, and anyone can realize that by visiting it once. Halifax immediately confronts the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of Canada, which contributes to the region’s beauty and calm. 

(Pro tip: if you decide to visit, don’t forget to go to point pleasant park. You won’t regret It)

Halifax Housing Is Affordable  

As mentioned earlier, Halifax is one of the places where purchasing a home is one of the least expensive options. It is the fourth most cost-effective city to buy a previously owned property, while it is the third most cost-effective city to buy a previously owned property.

At the same time, it is the third most cost-effective city in which to purchase a brand-new single-detached house. In comparison to the other locations, the monthly rent for a property in Halifax is significantly lower. 

Transportation Is Convenient and Flexible 

Several upgrades to Halifax’s infrastructure have improved the city’s walkability, rollability, and public transportation options. 

As a result of these alterations, locals now have access to a broader range of transportation choices, which should help them save money, spend more quality time with loved ones, and adopt better habits. 

Halifax Has a Solid Education System 

Both public and private schools in Halifax are available to students, with the former being provided at no cost to families.

Most local families rely on their community’s public education system. The HRM is home to 135 public English-language schools managed by the Halifax Regional Centre for Education as part of the Nova Scotia Department of Education. 

Students worldwide flock to Halifax’s six colleges and institutions like Nova Scotia community college to facilitate themselves with the solid education system in Halifax. Students keep coming to this city for its excellent educational opportunities and warm and welcoming atmosphere. 

Expanding the Economy 

Halifax sees a rise in both its population and its economy. It is the most populous metropolitan area in Atlantic Canada. It is home to the most active airport and seaport in the region.

Students from Atlantic Canada make up half of the total enrollment at Halifax’s educational institutions. Academic institutions, private enterprises, and public research organizations drive regional research and development. 


How Often Does it Rain in Halifax? 

 Approximately 148 days of the year see rain in Halifax, and an annual total of 861 millimetres (33.9 inches) of precipitation is recorded. 

In Halifax, precipitation is constant. As the rainiest month, November typically brings an average of 3.8 inches to Halifax. With an average of 1.8 inches, February is the driest month in Halifax. 

What Language Do They Speak in Halifax? 

English is the most common language in Halifax, followed by French. Because of its historical significance, French language teaching is also offered to Halifax students. 

The Mi’kmaq people were the first known inhabitants of Nova Scotia. In the early 1600s, French colonists were the first Europeans to arrive in the area that would later become Halifax. These people were responsible for founding the province of Acadia.  

 Is Halifax a Walkable City? 

Halifax is green, walkable, and simple to ride about, with low-rise buildings and a small-town atmosphere. Due to the city’s small size, it is convenient to get to your destinations on foot rather than any other means of transportation.  

The Halifax waterfront boardwalk is one of the world’s longest continuous boardwalks at almost 4 kilometres in length, so if you like walking, you should do it. 

How Much Do Groceries Cost in Halifax? 

In Halifax, the current cost of a week’s worth of groceries for one person is close to 250 dollars. This is an approximation rather than a precise calculation because the price of food is determined by several different variables, some of which include the passage of time and the specific requirements of the members of your home. 

If you know what you’ll need to buy for groceries in advance, you can utilize the app Flipp (or any other app of this kind) to look for it quickly and easily. The site’s search feature searches through all the circulars in the area to find the retailer offering the best price on a particular item. 

Final Thoughts 

Halifax has some great things to offer its residents, but not every aspect of city living is perfect. It comes down to choosing a neighbourhood and lifestyle that will suit your personal needs.  

As a general rule, newcomers to Halifax are almost always pleased with their decision to make a move. Locals are blessed to call this city home; it is stunning, full of exciting opportunities, and wonderful people. When it comes to city living, Halifax strikes a perfect balance. 

The way of life in Halifax is more laid back and basic than in other, more urbanized regions of the world. We have the best of both worlds, so if you’re ready to make a fresh start, Halifax, Nova Scotia, might be the place for you.