Nova Scotia

Atlantic coast or Pacific coast? Prairies or cities? So many choices in a country of Canada's size... why not post here and discuss the options with others?

Nova Scotia

Postby carolinedraper » Tue 19 May 2009 16:43

I ask that any one living in NS to feel free giving their general perspective.
Thank you.
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Postby Buddyboy » Wed 20 May 2009 00:14

This is an innovative way for people to see a few informed comments about our various provinces, absent a specific question. Here goes.

I spent my first 27 years in London, England, my birthplace. In 1975 I emigrated with my wife to Ontario where I had a great career in one of the regional police services. During our many years there we traveled coast to coast, getting a feel for the whole country and, frankly, falling in love with it. In 2001 we retired.

Choosing a place of retirement became a serious endeavour for the final three or four years. In 1999 we took our first look at Nova Scotia, doing the tourist bit throughout the whole province hauling a little camping trailer (caravan). We soon agreed that of all the places we had been to, Nova Scotia was closest to our ideal for retirement. The reasons were many, but the major ones were:

Climate. Nova Scotia has the highest average temperature of all the Canadian provinces (see http://scotiahome.com/WarmestProvince.html), although very few are aware of this. Winters here are not as cold, nor the summers as hot, as we were used to in Ontario. Our latitude is about the same as Monte Carlo in the south of France - look it up.

The environment. There is space galore here. Nova Scotia is half the size of England but has a population of about one million people. People here still go out for a drive just for the pleasure of it. A traffic jam in the city is if you don't get through the light the first time. The air is clean and fresh. The beaches, even the most beautiful of beaches, are never crowded. Our favourite beach locally has been rated among the most beautiful anywhere in the world. On a busy, warm summer weekend, people in about 20 vehicles would populate over a mile of white sandy beaches.

The people. You have to experience the people here to appreciate them. They are warm, friendly and open. Provided you are able to reciprocate in a friendly, genuine way, they welcome you as newcomers. Last year two old friends from Ontario visited us end ended up in the Canadian Legion in Halifax one evening. Bear in mind Halifax is our capital city. As soon as the locals heard they were visiting from Ontario, they were bought several rounds of drinks, even given a bottle of wine to take away with them. Food was brought down from a wedding party upstairs and shared around because they had more than they needed. The locals arranged for them to be driven back to their hotel so they didn't have to worry about driving. That's just one example, and there are many. East coast people, including Nova Scotians, are great people.

The pace. Here people take the time to actually talk with you. A visit to our local garage to get the car fixed is as much a social call as anything else. If I go outside to work in the front garden, passers by will chat, one after another. Strangers say 'hi' as they pass you, even in the city. People passing in vehicles wave a greeting as they do so. I caution visitors not to stand by the curb, even on a major highway, unless they actually want to cross. Traffic will come to a stop to allow you to do so. Personally I love chatting with people; Nova Scotia is a haven for doing that.

The down side. Life is never perfect; there is always a down side. Life here in most places, including where we are, is pretty rural. Even Halifax does not offer the huge choices that were were used to having in Ontario, be it shopping, the arts, etc. Flying anywhere is more of a hassle. Although Robert Stanfield (Halifax International) Airport has been voted the best in its class anywhere in the world for several years in a row, international connections are small scale. Weather cancelations do occur and cause great difficulties at times. I find there is less choice for dining here than I have become used to in the past. Although it does not affect us because we are retired, getting employment here can be challenging.

If you can overcome the difficulties, Nova Scotia is a wonderful place to live. If you are visiting, I urge you to do so for the first weekend in July when, each year, Halifax stages the Royal Halifax International Tattoo. It's billed as the biggest indoor show of its kind in the world and is absolutely amazing to experience. However, as I always caution potential visitors, if it's big city action you want, Nova Scotia is likely not for you.
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Postby Motherhen » Tue 18 Aug 2009 10:05

Buddy Boy this is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks for taking the time to put this up. Gonna paste it to my bro in law as we two possibly three families are looking at the province.

We are planning a trip next year but thinking of putting the application in now.

Again thanks.
Keeping an eye on the horizon, and putting one foot in front of the other.
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Postby Buddyboy » Mon 11 Jan 2010 21:44

You are welcome, Motherhen. I am always on the lookout for links and publications that would help outsiders find out all about Canada in general, and Nova Scotia in particular. I subscribe to a monthly email newsletter from the Nova Scotia Government called "Nova Scotia, Come To Life. It's an excellent run down of trends, employment, opportunities, festivals, etc., in Nova Scotia. The web site is at http://www.novascotialife.com/ Anyone with an interest in this province would find it very helpful. You could even subscribe to the newsletter in Britain.
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Postby libgirl » Wed 27 Jan 2010 22:25

so happy i stumbled upon this post, i have been looking at Nova Scotia as a possible place for myself, hubby and kids, can you provide any feedback about life there for children, kids are 14/12/11. Sounds perfect for me and hubby, worried it may be too quiet and not enough opportunities for teens. any info would help.
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Postby Buddyboy » Thu 28 Jan 2010 13:56

Libgirl: You will never get a bigger fan of Nova Scotia than me. Brought up in the east end of London, I emigrated and spent most of my life in Ontario. I retired to Nova Scotia because it is peaceful and, in the remote sticks where we are now, very quiet. We've had our action, but teenagers haven't. Much of Nova Scotia would be way too quiet for them in all likelihood. If you moved to Halifax there is far more to do there, but beware small towns beyond that. Of course, it depends on what your specific youngsters are like. We just had a Brit family move directly to our village (pop. 1100). The parents in their 40's love it. Their 22, 18 and 13 year old boys are another story. Too quiet.
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Postby daveglocky » Wed 10 Feb 2010 00:55

Have been loking at a few places on the east coast as a possible future place to move to, think you may have described my idea of paradise. got a while before any possible move but will now look into a holiday to nova scotia in the near future. many thanks for the great post
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Postby Buddyboy » Wed 10 Feb 2010 13:37

Dave: My thoughts entirely, hence my signature. But it's not for everyone. Good luck.
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Postby justajester » Sun 14 Feb 2010 16:24

Buddyboy, you are one of our best ambassadors. Nova Scotia is indeed my favourite part of the country. I have relatives from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia, and many points in between. I have lived from one coast to the other, and 10 years ago we decided to return to Nova Scotia. I live within half an hour of the international airport, so I never feel far from anywhere.
Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non punitor
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Postby Scotlass » Wed 10 Aug 2011 01:41

Hi there, I have just registered here today as we are coming out to have a quick look as my husband has ben offered a job in Halifax. Reading what Buddyboy said, it calms me in that Nova Scotia is they kind of place we want to be. I can only thank him for taking the time and effort to write this. Can i adopt you please ? We are really excited at the prospect of coming out , but obviously quite scared too. x
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Postby Buddyboy » Wed 10 Aug 2011 03:03

Hi Scotlass. Welcome to the forum and, soon, to Canada. Retain the excitement - I still have it after 36 years here. You didn't say what line of work you are both in, but having a job offer you are over a major hurdle. I expect it would mean you would be living in or very near to Halifax. It's a great city, smaller than most, slower than most. It will offer city action, but not big city action. You didn't mention kids. The family I mentioned earlier that came to our village love it here, but they had job difficulties and, above all, their younger children could not adjust to rural life so they plan to move close to Halifax. Even paradise has its serpents.

Don't be scared. It's very civilized and friendly here. Biggest problem is incompetent politicians, but you have to have something to complain about, don't you. Good luck and do let us know how things go. Make new posts in the appropriate forums to do so. By the way, I shot a little video a few weeks ago in nearby Mahone Bay that you might like. See it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRgpKTmn8PI
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Postby Scotlass » Wed 10 Aug 2011 19:36

Thank you very much for taking th time to reply and also to show the Bay you tube. It looks very pretty, and friendly , and I noted the lack of a rat race. We are coming across to discuss details etc. One "child" would probably come with us, and he has just qualified from uni . We are seeking a smallish town, as we are not city people but live in a big scottish town where we feel its just dog eat dog.

I'm very much a people person and would love to become involved within a community life, and feels thats what we lack here now in the Uk . We are in our late 40's and our lids are really up and away apart from the one above.

If everyone is as helpful and friendly as you , then it would appear to be a great place to live .

Best wishes
Scotlass :lol:
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Postby welshthunder » Fri 10 Feb 2012 19:14

So glad to hear someone being positive about Nova Scotia!! The pace of life and the fact it is quite rural really appeals to us as a family as we currently live in rural Wales. I suppose our only concern is the difficulty in finding work. My husband is a truck driver and is working in the logging industry at present. I'm a stay at home mom to our two children aged 10 and 7. At the moment im just trying to research everything to see if it is at all viable for us to emigrate, fingers crossed.
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Postby Buddyboy » Fri 10 Feb 2012 21:55

Good luck to you, welshthunder. There is a lot of logging here in Nova Scotia as the wood and pulp industry is one of our provincial mainstays, and there are plenty of logging trucks on our roads going to and fro. Just be careful about securing employment. Don't use the logic that there must be some employment else how do people live. Employment in rural areas is hard to come by. They just published figures that showed that Nova Scotia had the lowest growth rate of residents anywhere in Canada. To make matters worse, Halifax itself grew while rural areas actually shrank. I believe that's because people are leaving rural areas to chase jobs. It can be very hard, if not impossible, when you find yourself without work and far from major job centres. I love it here and do highly recommend it, but jobs can be very, very scarce.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/60622-parties-play-census-blame-gamenational
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