15 Fun Facts About Halifax, Nova Scotia

by Janis on June 25, 2015

Mr. Jones lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia for three years during college, and we’ve visited the Canadian maritime city multiple times together during the past 18 years.

In anticipation of a return visit during an upcoming Canada and New England cruise, we thought it would be fun to conduct a little background research on the city.

Halifax Airport, Halifax, Nova Scotia

A lighthouse is part of the baggage claim at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Here are 15 Fun Facts About Halifax, Nova Scotia:

1. People from Halifax are known as Haligonians.

2. Halifax is the capital of Canada’s Nova Scotia province

3.  The Honorable Edward Cornwallis of Britain arrived to establish a permanent British settlement in 1749. The settlement was named Halifax, after Lord Halifax, head of England’s Board of Trade.

4. The star-shaped Citadel Fort overlooks the Halifax harbor from its hilltop location. James Arnold, the fifth son of American traitor Benedict Arnold, designed the initial plans for the fort.

5. Today the Halifax Citadel is Canada’s most-visited National Historic Site.

6. Alexander Keith, born in Scotland, immigrated to Halifax and founded the Alexander Keith’s brewing company in 1820.  Not only a brewmaster, Mr. Keith was a three-time mayor of Halifax.

7. The Cunard Steamship Line was founded in Halifax in 1840.

8. Halifax is closer to Dublin, Ireland than it is to Victoria, British Columbia.

The Henry Hicks Academic Building at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Photo by mricon.

9. There are six universities and colleges in Halifax. Mr. Jones is a proud alum of the largest — Dalhousie University.

10. There are 81 college students out of every 1000 Halifax residents.

11. Halifax has more bars per capita than anywhere else in Canada.

12. In 1809, the Royal Navy hung pirate Edward Jordan at Black Rock Beach. They coated his body in tar and left the remains up for almost 20 years. The Royal Navy continued the practice of hanging pirates at Point Pleasant Park’s Black Rock Beach until 1844.

13. When the Titanic stuck at iceberg on April 14th, 1912, she was 700 nautical miles east of Halifax. While the Cunard liner Carpathia took survivors to New York, the dead were brought to Halifax.  There is a permanent Titanic Museum at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and a hundred and fifty Titanic victims were buried in three Halifax cemeteries.

14. In December, 1917, the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship carrying munitions, collided with the Belgian Relief vessel SS Imo.  The resulting “Halifax Explosion” killed approximately 2,000 people and injured 9,000 in the largest artificial explosion before the development of nuclear weapons.

The Bedford Basin and Halifax from the air. Photo by Plismo.

The Bedford Basin and Halifax from the air. Photo by Plismo.

15. The Bedford Basin is a large enclosed bay, forming the northwestern end of Halifax Harbor. There are said to be 32 Volvo cars on the floor of the Basin, where they sunk in 1969 after the container ship that was transporting them sustained water damage.

Learn more about Halifax with these resources:

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917
Titanic victims in Halifax graveyards
Halifax Haunts: Exploring the City’s Spookiest Spaces

Have you visited Halifax, or do you live there? What “fun fact” can you add to this list?

Check out these other Fun Facts posts:

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