Think you have a solid grasp on Halifax-life? Think again!
Here are 6 facts about Halifax and Nova Scotia that may surprise you:
1 – Our weather is surprisingly mild… for Canada.
Halifax’s climate is less severe than you might expect, with mild winters and gorgeous summers. The weather rarely gets extremely hot or extremely cold. This is a result of Halifax being situated by the sea. The Atlantic Ocean is a major influence on the city’s moderate, yet always changing weather. As the saying goes around here—if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.
Interested in learning more about the weather in Halifax and Nova Scotia during a specific season? Find out here.
2 – We don’t just live on lobster and fish.
Not only is the seafood fresh, the fruits and veggies are too! Haligonians indulge in an abundance, and wide variety of farm fresh produce (in fact, Nova Scotia farmers grow more than 50 different kinds of vegetables). Nova Scotia is a world leader in research and the production of carrots, wild blueberries, strawberry plants. Plus, more than 2.5 million bushels of apples are produced in the province each year!
And because we mentioned lobsters, did you know that according to National Geographic, the world’s largest recorded lobster was a 44-pounder caught off Nova Scotia in 1977? It was believed by scientists to be at least 100 years old.
3 – A cannon goes off at noon every single day.
Don’t be embarrassed if you’re caught off-guard, even locals can be surprised by it sometimes (especially if they are standing near the hill when it goes off).
The Noon Gun at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site (or more causally known as Citadel Hill) has been a long local tradition since 1857. It’s a tribute to Halifax’s history as a major British military stronghold. Gunners today still dress in 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery uniform of 1869 and fire the cannon every single day at noon (except for Christmas Day). The cannon used nowadays is a reproduction of a 12 pounder, smooth-bore muzzle loading gun used during the reign of King George III.
Citadel Hill has been a Halifax icon for centuries and continues to be one of Canada’s most popular historic sites.
4 – We’re the capital of Canada’s Ocean Playground—Nova Scotia.
The fact is, you’re never far from the sea while you’re in Halifax. Aside from being able to see the ocean from most locations in the city’s downtown core, beautiful beaches are also in close proximity. The coastline stretches approximately 150 km in length, and the scenic Halifax drive along the shoreline can be done in about 3 hours (just under 200km) from Hubbard’s in the South Shore to Ecum Secum on the Eastern Shore.
Check out this list of the top 10 beaches in Halifax, you won’t be disappointed!
5 – We have a long history of embracing winter.
The weather outside may be frightful, but Halifax can be ever so delightful in the winter months and Haligonians have been embracing it for centuries. Did you know that Canada’s first covered ice rink was opened on January 3, 1863 in the Public Gardens?
Today we are still up holding our outdoor skating tradition with the Emera Oval on the Halifax North Common. With an approximate size equivalent to three NHL hockey rinks, the Emera Oval’s ice surface can accommodate up to 1,500 skaters at a time. It’s the largest outdoor, artificially-refrigerated ice surface east of Quebec City. Oh – and renting skates is completely FREE, just don’t forget to bring a government ID!
6 – You heard correctly, we are actually really really nice, especially to visitors!
Need someone to snap a photo of your and you travel companions? Just ask a Haligonian for a hand. Lost and need help finding where you’re going? Chances are someone will volunteer to give you directions and send you on the right path.
But don’t take our word for it – Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked Halifax as one of the top 10 friendliest cities in Canada.
Stay in touch! Whether you’re still planning your trip or you’re already here, check us out on social media for travel ideas, adventure inspiration, and an inside look at all things Halifax.