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Local: City Information

Here are some basic facts about Halifax:

Location

Halifax is nestled at the eastern coastline of Nova Scotia (about midway between Canso and Yarmouth), and is generally just above sea level. The city is located at 44 degrees (north) and 40 minutes of latitude and 63 degrees (west) and 34 minutes of longitude. The city uses Atlantic Standard Time, and hour east of Toronto or New York. The city lies on coastal waters. The harbour is the world's second largest, after Sydney, Australia.

Name

The community settled by Colonel Edward Cornwallis (and 2500 others) was christened 'Halifax' in honour of Lord Halifax, President of the British Board of Trade in 1749.

Population

The population of Halifax is 360,000). Greater Halifax is home to 40 per cent of Nova Scotia’s residents, and is the largest city in Canada's Maritime provinces..

Industries

The major industries in Nova Scotia are manufacturing, mining, fisheries,tourism, agriculture, and government/military services

Weather

Nova Scotia is surrounded by sea, and if it were not for a narrow strip of land connecting it to New Brunswick, would be an island. Atlantic and Fundy waters are relatively cold (8-12C), and they help to keep the air temperature over southwestern Nova Scotia on the cool side in spring and summer. In January, when their temperature is between 0 and 4C, these same waters moderate the harshness of winter. Farther offshore to the east, southeast, and south are comparatively warm 16C waters of the Gulf Stream. It's warmth, especially from August through October creating a prolonged fall, though there is the occasional brush with a dying Atlantic hurricane

The southwest coast around Cape Sable is frost free for over half the year, comparable to the shores of Lake Erie. Most agricultural areas experience 120 to 130 frost-free days between late May and early October creating a long crop-growing season. The Annapolis Valley has up to 140 frost-free days, though the higher highlands on Cape Breton Island have less than 100 days. However, less than half the total possible sunshine occurs in every month and only 20% of the possible amount occurs in December

Average daily temperatures are:

Month

Average High

Average Low

Precipitation

 

(F)

(C)

(F)

(C)

(in)

(mm)

Jan

28.

-2

14

-10

3.6

91

Feb

28.

-2

12.

-11

2.8

71

Mar

37.

2

21.

-6

3.3

84

Apr

46.

7

30.

-1

3.5

89

May

59

15

39.

3

4.1

104

Jun

68

20

48.

8

3.5

89

Jul

73.

22

55.

12

3.7

94

Aug

73.

22

55.

12

4.4

112

Sep

66.

18

48.

8

3.7

94

Oct

55.

12

39.

3

5.1

130

Nov

44.

6

31.

0

5.6

142

Dec

33.

0

19.

-7

5

127



An approximate guide to Celsius Temperatures is as follows:

Metric-Imperial temperature conversion chart

Here are some guides to dressing appropriately for Halifax. Casual, upscale dress will help you fit in better. In the summer, shorts, sandals and light clothing are okay. Bring along an umbrella or raincoat in case of the showers that come & go, and bring a sweater or jacket for cooler evenings and breezy sea shores.

Tipping

Some hotels include tips or gratuities with group programs to simplify bookkeeping. This will usually include gratuities for housekeeping, bell service and food service. In a hotel, bell service should be tipped about $1 per bag, and housekeeping $1 to $5 dollars a day (in proportion to your room rate). Visitors should know that the standard tip in restaurants is 10%-15% (on restaurant bills, an average tip will match the GST & tax), with 20% for very outstanding service. This is especially important for visitors from countries where tipping on meals is not done: here the waitering staff depend on tips for a significant portion of their incomes. Tip taxis about 10%, and a dollar a bag they carry for you (not just unload), or at the very least round fares up to the nearest dollar.

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