What You Need to Know Before Moving to Nova Scotia

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Nova Scotia is a one-of-a-kind destination for people looking for both the hustle and bustle of city life and the peacefulness of quaint villages. With its affordable cost of living and high quality of life, it’s a perfect place for those looking to make a move.

In 2021, the population of the province reached an impressive milestone of 1 million people and is projected to keep growing. Beyond just being a great place to live, Nova Scotia is a truly unique destination with plenty to explore. Fresh ocean air, delicious seafood, and no point further than 60 kilometers from the coast makes the small province a paradise for nature lovers.

And the modern culture of Nova Scotia offers a variety of activities, events, and attractions that make it an exciting place to be. Halifax, the provincial capital, was recently ranked 15th in Rough Guides’ list of the friendliest cities – a testament to the warm, inviting atmosphere of the province.


In December 2022, Nova Scotia’s exports totaled C$556M, while imports amounted to C$1.05B, resulting in a negative trade balance of C$495M. Compared to December 2021, exports decreased by C$6.76M (-1.2%) while imports increased by C$292M (38.6%). The top exports of Nova Scotia in December 2022 included Crustaceans (C$162M), Rubber Tires (C$104M), Uncoated Paper (C$23.6M), Molluscs (C$22M), and Frozen Fruits and Nuts (C$11.5M).

Meanwhile, the most imported goods included Cars (C$504M), Refined Petroleum (C$77.8M), Commodities not elsewhere specified (C$71.1M), Coal Briquettes (C$58.5M), and Delivery Trucks (C$25.9M). Homeowners can learn from this informative overview of Nova Scotia’s exports and imports in December 2022, allowing them to gain insight into the province’s trade balance and most important commodities.


After two years of pandemic-related restrictions, the tourism industry in Nova Scotia is showing a pent-up demand like never before. Prior to the pandemic, the tourism sector was estimated to bring in $2.6 billion to the province,but declined to approximately $1 billion annually in 2020 and 2021.

In 2022, Nova Scotians welcomed 1.9 million visitors, an increase of 1 million compared to the previous year. Visitor numbers were still below pre-COVID levels, with a decrease of 18% (or 415,000 visitors) in comparison to 2019. Spending by Nova Scotians accounted for between 35-45% of overall tourism revenues. The industry has seen a strong recovery in 2022 with over one million more visitors than the prior year. Accommodation sales across the region have surpassed pre-pandemic figures.

Nova Scotia has a number of provincial parks, which provide recreational opportunities such as hiking, fishing, camping, biking, and wildlife watching. Some of these parks include Battery Provincial Park, on Cape Breton Island; Caribou-Munroes Island Provincial Park, located on the northeast coast of Nova Scotia; Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, Blomidon and Cape Split on the Bay of Fundy coast; and The Islands Provincial Park, located on the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia. The province also has three national parks: Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Kejimkujik National Park, and Sable Island National Park Reserve.

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Nova Scotia is home to a diverse range of industries, including defence and aerospace, information and communication technology, steel mills, and manufacturing.

Despite struggling in recent years due to the pandemic, tourism remains a key sector, with cruise ships and thousands of local businesses providing lodging and experiences that showcase the province’s culture.

Nearly half of Nova Scotians reside outside major population centres, and the province has experienced steady growth in 2021 as a result of rising populations, returning employment levels, increased consumer spending, and higher wages.

Although the growth rate has slowed this year due to higher interest rates and inflation, there are still positive trends in the population, employment, wages, and residential construction of Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia’s economy experienced a strong real GDP growth of 5.6% last year, and is projected to expand even further by 2.6% this year and an additional 2.4% in 2023. While wages and salaries have increased, inflation is high at 5.7%, eroding disposable incomes.

The return to offices may also slow down migration, affecting both interprovincial and international sources. To address the province’s critical needs, the government has increased spending in the 2022-23 budget, investing in healthcare, social services, and infrastructure.

Moreover, the tourism sector is expected to recover this year and next as public health restrictions are lifted, and international travel resumes. Additionally, global demand for Nova Scotia’s real exports is expected to continue to drive growth, with a growth rate of 5.6% this year and 5.1% next year.


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In January 2023, Nova Scotia homeowners saw a significant increase in residential construction investment. Investment in building construction across the province increased by 4.1%, reaching $400.7 million. In Halifax, building construction rose by 5.9% to $204.1 million, while outside of Halifax it increased by 2.3% to $195.6 million.

These figures show that Nova Scotia is a great place for homeowners to invest in property. With significant increases in building construction and residential construction investment, there’s a great opportunity to invest in the province and make a smart real estate purchase.

As of February 2023, Nova Scotia real estate has been in a Sellers market for 1.9 months, since before the pandemic hit. Home sold prices have decreased just 1.2 % from February of 2022, yet increased 18% from February 2021, and down 12% from the peak of the pandemic in April 2022. Homeowners can take comfort in the fact that the real estate market in Nova Scotia remains strong and stable despite the pandemic.

As homeowners in Canada, it is important to take into account the current environment of rising interest rates when evaluating both your personal finances and the housing market. While there has seen a cooling off of the once red-hot market conditions, there remains a widespread shortage of homes that is driving prices to remain high.

For buyers who can, will can wait for property prices to drop further, while sellers are standing by waiting for buyers to come back to the table. This market gridlock is causing a slowdown in activity, making it difficult to assess when the best time to buy or sell is.


Immigrants are making a big impact in Canada and the numbers are growing. Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth and roughly 75% of Canada’s population growth comes from immigration, mostly in the economic category. By 2036, immigrants will represent up to 30% of Canada’s population, compared with 20.7% in 2011. As Canada’s population ages, the worker-to-retiree ratio is expected to shift from 7 to 1 50 years ago to 2 to 1 by 2035.

During the 2021 Census, nearly 1 in 4 people counted were or had been a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada, the highest proportion since Confederation and the largest proportion among G7 countries. Just over 1.3 million new immigrants settled permanently in Canada from 2016 to 2021, the highest number of recent immigrants recorded in a Canadian census. Immigrants are making a significant contribution to our economy, with 36% of physicians, 33% of business owners with paid staff, and 41% of engineers being immigrants.

As homeowners, it’s important to understand the impact of immigration on Canada’s economy. With immigrants accounting for such a large proportion of Canada’s population, labour force, and business owners, it’s clear that immigration plays an important role in the future of our country.


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Nova Scotia is known for its vast and diverse coastline, which therefore offers a range of recreation and outdoor activities. You will find solid and bold rock face around Peggy’s Cove. Islands and deep waters for sailing around the Chester and Mahone Bay areas. Sandy beaches and surf can be found around Bridgewater to Liverpool. The Bay of Fundy with the fastest rising ties in the world, is known for fossils, whale watching and fishing. From surfing to sea kayaking, and clam digging to swimming, there is something for everyone.

Historical sites in the province include Grand-Pré, an original Acadian settlement in the area, close to Wolfville; Numerous forts Fortress Louisburg, Fort McNab, Fort St. Louis, Fort Edward, and Fort Anne, which were established by European settlers; The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is an symbol of the capital city as it sits high in the heart. a number of churches, such as St. Mary’s Basilica, Covenanters’ Church, and Little Dutch (Deutsch) Church.


There is wide of culture groups in Nova Scotia with various events such as Pow Wow, music and food festivals support of the Mi’kmaq, Acadian, Gaelic and African cultures. Located in Halifax, to name a few, is the Nova Scotia Art Gallery, Neptune Theatre, The Discovery Centre, The Nova Scotia Museum, Museum of Natural History and the Miners Museum. Nova Scotia is also home to Symphony Nova Scotia and Opera Nova Scotia. Notable Museums located in rural Nova Scotia include The Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg, Ross Farm Museum, Sherbrook Village and the Black-Binney House.

The Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, Hatfield Farms and Oaklawn Farm are also popular with families. Festivals include the Halifax International Busker Festival, the Halifax Jazz Festival, the Atlantic Film Festival, and the Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton. The New Ross Christmas Festival, Digby Scallops Days and Deep Roots Music Festival are regional favourites as well.


Nova scotia is quickly becoming a popular destination for millennials, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is the province incredibly affordable, but it also boasts a unique lifestyle opportunity that has no equal. From quaint fishing villages to modern metropolitan cities, nova scotia offers a wide range of experiences for those looking for a fresh start








Data from the NSAR MLS® System, accessed on March 13, 2023

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