Nova Scotia
(In Detail) (In Detail)
Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit (One defends and the other conquers)
Largest CityHalifax

 - Total
 - % fresh water
12th largest
(9th lgst prov.)

55 284 km²
 - Total (2001)
 - Density
Ranked 7th
942 700
Admittance into Confederation
 - Date
 - Order
N.S. colony
joined Confed.

Time zone UTC -4
Postal information
Postal abbreviation
Postal code prefix
ISO 3166-2CA-NS

 House seats
 Senate seats

PremierJohn Hamm (P.C.)
Lieutenant-GovernorMyra A. Freeman
Government of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia (Latin for "New Scotland"; “Alba Nuadh” in Scots Gaelic, French, la Nouvelle-Écosse) is a Canadian province and is located on the east coast. Nova Scotia has an area of 55,500 kmē and a population of about 940,000 (Nova Scotians). Its capital is Halifax.


The province's mainland is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and includes several bays and estuaries. Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotian mainland, is also part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small but notorious island approximately 175 km from the province's Atlantic coast. No point in Nova Scotia is more than 56 km from the sea.

See below for a map.


The native population of the province is collectively known as the Mi'kmaq.

Although first visited by the explorer John Cabot, an Italian sailing for England, in 1497, Nova Scotia was first settled by the Acadian French under Samuel de Champlain. They made their first capital at Port Royal, Nova Scotia on the mouth of the LaHave River in 1604, and later moved it to Annapolis Royal in 1610.

In the 1620s a group of Scots was sent by Charles I to set up a colony. (The Latin name was so stated in Sir William Alexander's 1621 land grant.) However owing to the signing of a peace treaty with France, the territory was given to the French and the Scots ordered to abandon their mission before their colony was properly established. The French fortress at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island was established to guard the sea approaches to Quebec. This fortress was captured by American colonial forces, then returned by the British to France, then ceded again after the French and Indian War.

The British were very concerned about how dominated the colony was by the French-speaking and Catholic Acadians. In 1750 a large number of foreign Protestants, mostly Germans, were imported and settled along the South Shore. The colony was still mostly Acadian, however, and the British decided to forcibly expel the Acadians.

After the Acadian Expulsion, later and unrelated Scots emigration to Cape Breton Island in the north of the province took place in the late 18th and early 19th century. Some Scots Gaelic is still spoken there.

In 1763 Nova Scotia encompassed all the present Maritime provinces. In 1769 St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) was separated. In 1784 the western, mainland portion of the colony was separated and became the province of New Brunswick, and Cape Breton also was a separate province from 1784 to 1820.

Nova Scotia was one of the four original provinces of Confederation, which included also New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.

The Bluenose, which appears on the Canadian ten-cent piece (dime) was built in Lunenburg, a town on the South Shore.


See also