When you consider how bad traffic is in many other parts of the country, we have it pretty good here in Halifax. On the plus side, we have two ferry services: The Alderney Ferry service crosses from Alderney Landing in downtown Dartmouth to Halifax and the Woodside Ferry service crosses from Woodside to Halifax. Both locations have Park & Ride lots, plus the ferry service is accessible, and integrated with the bus services and a super way to get into the City each day. The traffic in Halifax at its worst is incredibly manageable -it’s just the roads, pot holes, constant construction and distracted drivers that make travelling less fun (when you know you know 😉)
Our summers are warm (but rarely hot and humid) and fall is long, sunny and mild.
If you want a safe place to raise your family, then moving to Halifax is a wise move. Halifax, Nova Scotia is known for its clean downtown streets and friendly people, making it a great vacation destination for tourists as well as a great place to call home.
For the vast majority of our city, crime is quite low and rare. However, like all other major cities, there are some areas to avoid in Halifax. As a general rule of thumb, the area of Gottingen Street and adjacent streets towards the McDonald bridge (not the other way though as the area around Scotia Square in downtown is totally fine) is a bit of an up and coming area. Many good restaurants and bars have moved into this area and it is becoming more popular but it has a reputation as being a bit rough. Downtown Dartmouth has a reputation for being a bit sketchy but it has changed a lot in the past few years with several upscale restaurants, brew pubs and trendy cafes. You can find out how Halifax compares to other Canadian cities in terms of crime rate here
As a father and husband, and raising three children in the suburbs within Halifax, Nova Scotia, I can honestly say that in general, I feel very safe here. We've been able to offer our children the sort of neighbourhood experience that you'd associate with growing up in the 1970's or 80's. Our children go to school with the children they went to day care with, the same children they hung out with in summer camps, soccer and dance. It's a really special experience.
There are always certain parts of town that are less safe, but that’s true no matter where you live. The general feeling among residents here is that Halifax crime is minimal.
If you’re moving to Halifax and want to ask about specific neighbourhoods that are safer than others, please feel free reach out. I’d be more than happy to share my local knowledge and experience with you.
If you’re considering moving to Halifax, you’ll obviously want to think about the schools your kids, or future kids, will be attending. Halifax has an educated population and is considered as Canada’s Smart City. It is also home to one of the largest concentrations of universities and best educated workforces in North America.
Nova Scotia has several major universities and colleges (10 universities and 13 community college campuses throughout the province) some of which are known nationally for specific programs. A couple of the well-known universities include Dalhousie University in the downtown core of Halifax and Acadia, located in beautiful Wolfville in the Annapolis Valley. You can check the rankings of Nova Scotia Universities here
Elementary schools can be rather tricky to rank objectively. Surprisingly, there does not appear to be a ranking system in place measuring the best and worst Halifax public schools. But what they do have is the feedback of provincial assessment testing conducted in Grades 3 and Grades 6 of Elementary school, which should be available on the school’s website or you can contact Halifax Regional Centre for Education for more clarity.
There are 8 school districts in the province of Nova Scotia, and two of them are in Halifax:
Halifax Regional Centre for Education – English School District
Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial – French School District
You may find the blog post I put together on Nova Scotia School Systems quite helpful. You can access it here.
When you want to escape the city or suburban life for an afternoon, you have so many options. For winter recreation, you have two ski hills on your doorstep. Martock is just 45 minutes door to door from our house and is a small but fairly decent ski hill, which makes it close enough to go for a few hours after work or school.
Wentworth on the other hand is a lot bigger, has a lot more varied terrain and runs, although it is a little further away from the City, approximately 90 minutes each way for us. Both have good hills for beginners.
There’s lots of great hills for tobogganing/sledding (assuming we have a snowy winter😉 Here’s a link to some of the best sledding hills in the City. The Oval in downtown Halifax is a popular, year-round facility offering ice skating in winter and in-line skating and biking in the summer.
If you’re a nature lover and enjoy spending time outdoors, you will be spoiled for choice in Halifax. We have breathtaking scenery, tons of green space, lakes, hiking trails, wilderness, clean air, ocean breeze and incredible beaches (yes, it’s true…the water is freezing year round but head to the north shore for some of the warmest waters in Canada).
There are lots of great road trips only an hour away from Halifax, like the Annapolis Valley and Lunenburg. Nova Scotia is an adventurer's province and a great road trip destination, with so many unique towns and villages with history, culture and scenery.
Our vineyards are making some world class wines, and a trip through wine county is fantastic fun. There’s also lots of seasonal activities for all the family, corn mazes, u-picks, sunflower farms and so much more.
We've got affordable, quality sports: Mooseheads (hockey), the Hurricanes (basketball), the Thunderbirds (lacrosse) and we're also a hot spot for university basketball, often hosting the nationals. We have the Halifax Wanderers who are in the Canadian Premier Soccer League and there's plans for a CFL team coming here - they've even chosen the name Atltantic Schooners.
There are tons of restaurants, wine bars, cocktail bars, pubs, live music, a casino, an axe throwing bar, wine and beer festivals, a yearly jazz festival and so much more and... plus our craft brewing scene is fierce!
If you’re moving to Halifax or are considering it, as you can now see, our City is truly a fantastic place to live, work, and play. It is the perfect size, has a great balance of City life - just enough but not too much, it's so scenic and close to the ocean and unlike other Canadian cities, the weather isn't so extreme.
You’ll never run out of things to do, you’ll have a great work-life balance, an amazing sense of community and there will always be more friendly people to meet. You could earn more working in another province but if quality of life is more important to you and your family, then this City is really worth researching.
If you’re seriously thinking about moving to Halifax, or just have a few more questions before deciding, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the Halifax area.
You can get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a text at 902 489-1804. I have lived here for quite a while, moving here from the UK and definitely know a thing or two about starting again in a new City.
I can provide you with whatever information you’re looking for, or at the very least, point you in the direction of where to find it.
About the Author: The above article on Moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia? So Many Excellent Reasons Why You Should was written and provided by Richard Payne, an award winning leader in the field of Real Estate sales, marketing, and smart home technology with eXp Realty of Canada inc.
Richard has helped many people relocating to Halifax, Nova Scotia, working with them to buy their first Halifax home in great neighbourhoods that works for them and their needs.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for buying and selling Real Estate, as well as marketing & smart home technology. I’d love to share my expertise and results!
Well the Halifax real estate market has definitely changed this month. July Halifax real estate numbers tell us the story of the impact that Canada's high inflation numbers as well as the effect of increasing mortgage interest rates are having on the Halifax real estate market. We were all saying that "it feels like it's changing". Now we have the numbes and it has changed quickly as we are not seeing as many over asking prices and that ratio is getting closer to asking price.
Looking to get in touch? Schedule a call / zoom / meeting with me here ➡️ https//calendly.com/richardpayne/60-minute
Richard Payne REALTOR®
eXp Realty of Canada Inc.
Halifax Homes and Lifestyles
L E T ' S B E F R I E N D S !
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I'm a full time REALTOR® in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia. As you'll probably notice, my accent doesn't sound very Canadian. I'm originally from Burnley, Lancs. and lived in South Wales for many years before moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2007 with my wife and three children #halifax #halifaxrealestate #halifaxnovascotia
If you do a bit a of research, you’ll soon discover that Halifax is fairly spread out, occupying an area of 5,577 square kilometres which is approximately 10% of the total land area of Nova Scotia with over 200 official rural and urban communities within Halifax.
When we moved here 14 years ago, we had focused our home buying on just three neighbourhoods and narrowed that down to just one after a few drive-arounds, but I know from experience of being a real estate agent, many people struggle with trying to find the best neighbourhood and community that suits them and their needs.
What makes a neighbourhood speak to us is subjective and very personal. What makes a community the perfect place for newcomers to live is often a matter of personal taste — being close to amenities or friends, loving a particular street or the look of a particular home.
So, which neighbourhoods provide the best of the best?
That’s the question I try to answer and match with each client I work with. For the purpose of today’s blog I thought I’d share with you the most popular neighbourhoods that newcomers tend to gravitate towards once they move here. I’ve worked with many families and individuals moving to Halifax and the majority choose to settle in one of the following neighbourhoods.View More
Of course, everyone will have their own opinion of what it is like living in Halifax, Nova Scotia and here is my personal take on it, having chosen to move my family and start a new life in Halifax back in March 2007 and (mostly)loving every minute living here :)
Halifax, in comparison to many other major cities across Canada is a pretty small City. Some people will tell you that this is a negative, however having come from a big, cosmopolitan City prior to moving here, you can access most of the same type of conveniences of larger cities but without the frantic rushing or overwhelming number of people.
The small City vibe is mainly felt in the slow and more relaxed pace at which everything moves, so if the bustling chaos is something you enjoy, Halifax may not be the city for you.
There is so much history tied to Halifax, and it is proudly shown wherever you look from interesting buildings, to the architecture and museums. You won't be disappointed if you enjoy history.View More
Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!
You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.
We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.