Metropolitan Halifax

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For other uses, see Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Town Clock as seen from Citadel Hill, with the Halifax Metro Centre to the left

Metropolitan Halifax (2011 pop.: 297,943[1]) is the urban part of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). The HRM also covers a large rural area of Nova Scotia. Metropolitan Halifax encompasses the former City of Halifax. With its amalgamation into HRM, the City of Halifax was officially dissolved, however the provincial government designated the area occupied by the now-former city as the Halifax Metropolitan Area, often referred to as Metro Halifax, or Halifax.

The dense urban core is centered on the Halifax Peninsula and sometimes also refers to the area of Dartmouth inside of the Circumferential Highway. Metropolitan Halifax is the most populous urban area in Atlantic Canada and home to Nova Scotia's capital district.

Metropolitan Halifax benefits from a process of increased rural depopulation and corresponding urban growth in Atlantic Canada during the late 20th century—a demographic shift that was delayed several decades in the region compared with other parts of North America.

Neighbourhoods[edit]

History[edit]

The town of Halifax was established by the British to gain control over the Maritime Region and counterbalance the French presence in Québec. For most of its early history, Halifax was the primary North Atlantic base for the Royal Navy, it prospered during times of conflict and languished during times of peace. Despite Halifax's status as the regional centre and colonial capital, the city had difficulty sustaining peacetime economic success in its early years.

The four municipalities in the Halifax urban area had been coordinating service delivery through the Halifax Metropolitan Authority since the late 1970s, but remained independent towns and cities until April 1, 1996. On that date, the Province created the Halifax Regional Municipality by dissolving and amalgamating the City of Halifax, the City of Dartmouth, the Town of Bedford and Municipality of the County of Halifax.

Culture[edit]

Neptune Theatre, a 43 year old establishment located on Argyle Street, is Halifax's largest theatre. It performs an assortment of professionally produced plays year-round. The Shakespeare by the Sea theatre company performs at nearby Point Pleasant Park. Eastern Front Theatre performs at Alderney Landing in Downtown Dartmouth which can easily be accessed from the area via the Metro Transit ferry service.

The Halifax Metro Centre is one of the largest buildings in Downtown Halifax, as well as the largest arena in Atlantic Canada. It is the home of the popular Halifax Mooseheads hockey team, and it also plays host to most of the major sporting events and concerts that visit Halifax. The Nova Scotia International Tattoo is held here every year. It is connected to the Downtown Halifax Link, and directly to the World Trade and Convention Centre. The Atlantic Film Festival, Atlantic Jazz Festival and the Halifax Pop Explosion also take place in some downtown venues.

Tourism[edit]

Downtown waterfront showing the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, CSS Acadia and HMCS Sackville.

There are several museums and art galleries in downtown Halifax. Pier 21, an immigrant entry point prominent throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, was opened to the public as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1999. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a maritime museum containing extensive galleries including a large exhibit on the famous Titantic, over 70 small craft and a 200-foot (61 m) steamship CSS Acadia. In summertime the preserved World War II corvette HMCS Sackville operates as a museum ship and Canada's naval memorial. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is housed in a 150 year old building containing over 9000 works of art.

The waterfront in Downtown Halifax is the site of the Halifax Harbourwalk, a 3 km boardwalk popular amongst tourists and locals alike. Many mid-sized ships dock here at one of the many wharfs. The harbourwalk is home to a Metro Transit ferry terminal, hundreds of stores, Historic Properties, several office buildings, the Casino Nova Scotia, and several public squares where buskers perform, most prominently at the annual Halifax International Busker Festival in August.

Downtown Halifax, being home to many small shops and vendors, is a major shopping area in the HRM. It is also home to several small malls, including Scotia Square, Barrington Place Shops, and Maritime Mall. Numerous malls on Spring Garden Road are also located nearby.

Bars on Argyle Street.

The area is home to approximately 200 restaurants and bars, providing an interesting array of world cuisine.[2] There are also over 60 sidewalk cafes that open in the summer months. The nightlife is made up of bars and small music venues as well as Casino Nova Scotia, a large facility built partially over the water.

Geography[edit]

Map showing the urban, suburban, commuter and rural areas of HRM

Topography[edit]

The urban area of HRM is located in the western end of the municipality, fronting on Halifax Harbour. The dense urban core is centered on the Halifax Peninsula and the area of Dartmouth inside of the Circumferential Highway. The suburban area stretches beyond Mainland Halifax to the west, Cole Harbour to the east, and Bedford, Lower Sackville, Fall River and Windsor Junction areas to the north.[3] The municipal government considers all of the urban, suburban and rural commuter shed to be a part of the Halifax urban area.

Unlike most cities with a sizable census metropolitan area, Halifax Regional Municipality's suburbs are incorporated into the Halifax Region proper, with the urban area including the urban core, suburban communities and a rural commuter shed that encompasses almost half the region.[4]

This urban area constitutes the most populous urban area on Canada's Atlantic coast, and the second largest coastal population centre in the country, after Vancouver. HRM currently accounts for 40% of Nova Scotia's population, and 15% of that of the Atlantic provinces.

The north eastern area of HRM, centered on Sheet Harbour, is completely rural. This area is not a part of the Halifax urban area, and has more in common with neighbouring counties such as Guysborough. and has little day to day interaction the rest of the region.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and urban areas, 2011 and 2006 censuses - 100% data: Nova Scotia. Statistics Canada. Accessed 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ Downtownhalifax.ns
  3. ^ Urban Core Boundaries. Halifax Regional Municipality. Accessed 15 November 2009.
  4. ^ Settlement Areas (HRMmaplg.jpg). Halifax Regional Municipality. Accessed 15 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Halifax Citadel, Nova Scotia". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°40′12″N 63°36′36″W / 44.67°N 63.6099°W / 44.67; -63.6099