Halifax Nova Scotia History

Museums, UNESCO sites, National Historic sites, First Nations

The First Nations called it Mi'kma'ki, the French called it Acadia, the British called it New Scotland. We hope you’ll call it captivating.

Learn about the lives of Native People before European contact at the Bear River Heritage Museum in Bear River, then travel forward to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, the largest historical reconstruction in North America.

Board the iconic Bluenose II in Lunenburg and navigate your way through the age of sail. Back on shore, walk through the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the harbour warehouse where one million immigrants, refugees and war brides made their own first steps in Canada.

Visit the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Birchtown, once the location of the largest free Black community in British North America. In Spring 2015, the new Black Loyalist Heritage Centre opens, and will take visitors on the journey of these earliest Black settlers to Nova Scotia – and for some, back to Africa. Visitors can also trace their heritage through the names in The Book of Negroes, a document containing the names of all Black Loyalists who escaped to Canada.

Our history is not just about graceful schooners and welcoming cultures… there have been battles, social upheaval, an earth-shaking disaster known as the Halifax Explosion that was the largest man-made explosion before the development of nuclear weapons, and Halifax's role in the aftermath of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

Nova Scotia was also (and perhaps still is) home to more than a few rebels, rogues and rum-runners. There were even ‘legalized pirates’ called privateers who haunted the cold waters of the Atlantic, looking to profit by capturing foreign ships.

History for the World to Discover

With 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the Landscape of Grand Pré, Old Town of Lunenburg, and Joggins Fossil Cliffs - discover how Nova Scotia adds to the richness of world culture.

Living the Past at our Museums and Historic Sites

With 27 provincial museums located throughout the province, explore the history of Nova Scotia and the many cultures that shaped it and still call it home. The Nova Scotia Museum pass can open up all these doors into bygone days.

It's Interesting

  • The Halifax Regional Municipality in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia is composed of more than 200 communities and neighbourhoods.
    The urban area comprises the Halifax Metropolitan Area and the Dartmouth Metropolitan Area; the term "metropolitan area" was...

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