The quality of life in Nova Scotia is second to none. FDI American Cities of the Future ranks Halifax, Nova Scotia in the Top 10 for Best Human Capital and Lifestyle (2019). Whether you prefer sandy beaches and coastal cliffs, or the culture and energy of city life, you’re never far from either. Our weather is moderate, and there’s plenty to do no matter what time of year it is.
Affordable living: According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average selling price of houses in Halifax in 2017 was $298,507 and the Provincial average is much lower at $229,123.
1. Where should I live in Nova Scotia?
Cities in Nova Scotia are ideal for those who seek pastoral beauty and a quiet life. The following are some of the best cities to live in the province:
- Halifax: This is the capital city of Nova Scotia and, with a population of 431,479 people, it’s also the largest. Halifax is considered to be the economic center of Atlantic Canada and it boasts an average household income of $90,134, which is higher than the national average. Whether you are a young professional or a family, there is a neighbourhood for you in Halifax!
- Cape Breton: This city is located on an island of its own, disconnected from mainland Canada. It has a population of 94,000 and it also happens to be a strong economic hub.
- Truro: Popularly known as the “Hub of Nova Scotia”, this small city of 12,500 residents is located close to Halifax. As such, you can live here if you want the peace and quiet of a small town while still being close to the major city.
- Lunenburg: This little town is one of Nova-Scotia’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The landscape of this town is dotted with pastel-colored houses built in the 18th century, set against the backdrop of large dramatic hills.
- Baddeck: Baddeck is a quaint little lakeside town of just about 1,000 residents. It’s a popular stopover point for people taking up the Cabot Trail highway. If you want to settle in a pretty little lakeside town, this is your best bet.
Average wages in Nova Scotia
As of April 1, 2019, the minimum wage is $11.55 per hour for experienced employees and $11.05 per hour for inexperienced employees (i.e. less than three months employed in the type of work they are hired to do).
2. Cost of living in Nova Scotia
This is a province where cost of living is relatively low, even in Halifax, the capital. Smaller cities like Sydney or Dartmouth are even cheaper. Read more: Overview of Nova Scotia’s economy
* Cost of living in Halifax
./. Rent prices
According to the CMHC, a bachelor apartment is $812 per month and a one-bedroom apartment is $904 per month…. Which may be a very low estimate, since for PadMapper, a bachelor apartment is $1150 per month, a one-bedroom apartment is $1400 per month and a two-bedroom apartment is $1525 per month.
There’s Halifax peninsula and Halifax mainland—living on the peninsula, closer to the downtown core, is more expensive than living south of the city, on the mainland. Within the peninsula, the North End is cheaper than neighbourhoods on the south side. On the mainland, it’s the opposite.
Dartmouth, a ferry ride across Halifax, is cheaper. A bachelor apartment is about $594 per month and a one-bedroom apartment is around $755 per month.
./. Public transportation
Halifax Transit operates the bus and ferry services:
- Single trip, cash fare: $2.75 (exact fare only)
- 10 single trips: $24.70
- Monthly pass: $82.50
For more information, check Fares, tickets and passes at halifax.ca
- Restaurants: a meal and a non-alcoholic drink sets you back $18 (plus tax and tip). Fancier restaurants are around $60-$80.
- Bars: a beer is $6 and your favourite cocktail $9-$12
- Movie theatre: a ticket is $13
- Cigarettes: $14 for a pack of 20
Food prices are generally slightly higher than in most Canadian cities—expect to pay more for produce, meat, fish, dairy products and eggs.
./. Summary about cost of living in Halifax:
Statistic from: numbeo.com
- Four-person family monthly costs: 73,766,400.78₫ (4,286.87C$) without rent (using our estimator).
- A single person monthly costs: 20,601,114.71₫ (1,197.22C$) without rent.
- Cost of living index in Halifax is 82.17% higher than in Hanoi.
- Rent in Halifax is, on average, 150.16% higher than in Hanoi.
- Cost of living rank 134th out of 498 cities in the world.
- Halifax has a cost of living index of 69.77
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