Bedford, Nova Scotia

Coordinates: 44°43′56″N 63°39′24″W / 44.73212°N 63.65676°W / 44.73212; -63.65676
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Administrative district and former town
From top, left to right: DeWolf Park, CN Bridge over Fish Hatchery Park, The Bedford Waterfront
Bedford is located in Nova Scotia
Location of Bedford, Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 44°43′56″N 63°39′24″W / 44.73212°N 63.65676°W / 44.73212; -63.65676
ProvinceNova Scotia
MunicipalityHalifax Regional Municipality
IncorporatedJuly 1, 1980 (Township)
Amalgamation into the HRMApril 1, 1996
 • Councillor
District Councillor
 • MLAs
 • MP
Federal reps
 • Total39.79 km2 (15.36 sq mi)
Highest elevation
107 m (351 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total36,354
 • Density914/km2 (2,370/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (ADT)
Postal code span
B4A to B4B
Area code(s)782, 902

Bedford (pop. 36,354 [2]) is a former town and now a district of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated on the north west shore of the Bedford Basin in the central area of the municipality. It borders the neighbouring communities of Hammonds Plains to the west, Sackville to the north, Dartmouth to the east, and Main Land Halifax to the south. Bedford was named in honour of John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, Secretary of State for the colonies in 1749.


The area of Bedford has evidence of Indigenous peoples dating back thousands of years. Petroglyphs are found at Bedford Petroglyphs National Historic Site.[3] The Bedford area is known as Kwipek to the Mi'kmaq First Nation.[4]

Scott Manor House (built 1770)

On 21 July 1749, Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports.[5] The British quickly began to build other settlements. To guard against the Acadians, the French, and the Mi'kmaq, British fortifications were erected in Halifax (1749), Bedford (Fort Sackville) (1749), Dartmouth (1750), Lunenburg (1753) and Lawrencetown (1754).

The history of Bedford began when Governor Edward Cornwallis organised his men and began the construction of a road leading to Minas Basin on the Bay of Fundy after establishing the garrison at Halifax. To protect it, he hired John Gorham and his Rangers to erect a fort on the shore of Bedford Basin. It was named Fort Sackville after Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset.[6] The area around the fort became known as Sackville until the mid-1850s, when it became Bedford.

In 1752, among the first to receive a large land grant was military officer George Scott in the Fort Sackville area. Scott later participated in the Expulsion of the Acadians, specifically the St. John River Campaign (1758). His brother, Joseph, was paymaster at the Halifax Garrison in the 1760s, received two grants in 1759 and 1765. And built Scott Manor House in 1770.

Anthony Holland established the Acadian Paper Mill on the Basin around 1819 to provide paper to produce the Halifax newspaper Acadian Recorder.

When the railway went through the station named Millview, the Moirs, Son and Co. moved a part of the Moirs Mill factory to Bedford. The Moirs Mill generating station built in the early 1930s to supply the necessary electricity required to run the factory.

A map of the Bedford area of HRM.

On 1 July 1980, Bedford was incorporated as a town. The Town only had two Mayors from 1 July 1980 until 1 April 1996; the first Mayor of Bedford was Francene Cosman. The second and final Mayor of Bedford was Peter J. Kelly. Peter J. Kelly would later serve as Mayor of the Municipality of Halifax, from 2000 to 2012.

On 1 April 1996, Halifax County was dissolved and all of its places (cities, suburbs, towns, and villages) were turned into communities of a single-tier municipality named Halifax Regional Municipality. Subsequently, Bedford was turned into a community within the new Municipality of Halifax.


Bedford is approximately 18 km (11 mi) from Downtown Halifax.[7] Bedford covers 3,979 hectares (39.79 km2) of land area.[8] As Bedford is quite centralized in the municipality its borders are formed by the community boundaries it shares with its neighbours. To the north are the communities of Lower Sackville, Lakeview and Lucasville, Waverley and Dartmouth are to the east, Halifax and Timberlea to the south and finally Hammonds Plains to the west.

Topographically, the area is situated over bedrock, with a high proportion of rockland and exposed bedrock ridges, dotted with many lakes and wetlands. In these ridge terrains, soils are typically dry, shallow, and coarse, and often degraded by a history of repeated wildfire.[9]

Bedford has several large lakes including: Marsh Lake, Sandy Lake, Kearny Lake and Paper Mill Lake, the latter being the secondary tributary of the Bedford Basin.

The main tributary of the Bedford Basin estuary is the Sackville River. The river has been heavily affected by ongoing development within its watershed and a chronic loss of riparian zones along its shores, especially in downtown Bedford, where the impervious surfaces of shopping centres and strip malls dominate the landscape. The secondary tributary of the Basin flows Paper Mill Lake then through Moirs Mill Pond adjacent to a commercial shopping district at the intersection of the Bedford Highway and Hammonds Plains Road. Both areas are composed almost entirely of impervious surfaces where contaminated stormwater and surface runoff are unable to permeate into the ground and instead flow directly into the Bedford Basin.[10]

The developed area of Bedford’s shore line is mainly long the Bedford Bay portion of the basin. It consists of a public waterfront boardwalk through a 1 km[11] portion of DeWolf Park and follows along to Lions Park and along Shore Drive. Its eastern shore consists of a "blast buffer zone" that surrounds Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Bedford; this is the Royal Canadian Navy’s weapons magazine for its Atlantic fleet.



There is a popular walkway along much of the Bedford Basin waterfront that begins at DeWolf park, and continues as the Bedford-Sackville Connector Greenway, a crushed gravel covered trail that meanders along the Sackville River.

On Shore Drive, there is an outdoor 25-metre pool and smaller splash pool located at Lions Park, and in the summer there are numerous lakes suitable for swimming.

Bedford is a well-established sailing community, and is home to the Bedford Basin Yacht Club and Marina.


The community is currently home to six ice surfaces, at the BMO Centre, Lebrun Centre, and the Gary Martin Dome.

The topography of the area limits the possible locations for football-and-soccer fields. However, there are fields at Basinview Drive Community School, Bedford South School, Charles P. Allen High School, Range Park, Rocky Lake Junior High, and Sunnyside Elementary (Eaglewood location).


Bedford Days has occurred annually at the end of June and beginning of July for over 30 years. Currently, most of the events take place at DeWolf Park. There is an opening celebration, a Canada Day celebration, free pancake-breakfast, dog show, Kids' Extravaganza, Kids' Triathlon, Movies in the Park, the Rubber Duck Dash, and the Scott Manor House Tea Party.[12]

The Light Up Bedford Parade is an annual parade that has been held since 1998[13] and takes place on the Sunday following the Light Up Halifax Parade, which usually is mid-November. It runs along the Bedford Highway from Bedford Place Mall and ends at DeWolf Park. At the park there is Christmas carol singing, contests-and-prizes, and a hot chocolate stand. At the conclusion of the parade, a Christmas Tree is lit. In addition to bringing the community together to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season, the parade serves as a fundraiser for the Turkey Club Society—which raises funds to ensure residents of Municipality of Halifax are able to provide a Christmas dinner for their families.


Although a well-established community, Bedford has not had demographic information released from the 2006, 2011, 2016, and the 2021 Canadian Censuses.

Historical population
From 1996 onward, Bedford became a community of the Municipality of Halifax
Source: [14][15]


Depending on where they live, students may attend the following schools in the Bedford area:

Public Schools[edit]

Primary Schools

  • Basinview Drive Elementary School - Grades Pre Primary to 5 (English)
  • Bedford South School - Grades Primary to 5 (English)
  • Rocky Lake Elementary - Grade 6 (English)
  • Rocky Lake Junior High School - Grades 7 to 9 (English and French)
  • Sunnyside Elementary (Eaglewood Drive) - Grades 3 to 5 (English) Grades 2 to 5 (French)
  • Sunnyside Elementary (Fort Sackville) - Grades Pre Primary to 1 (English) Grades Primary to 1 (French)
  • West Bedford School - Grades Pre-Primary to 8 (English and French)

Secondary Schools

Private Schools[edit]

  • Bedford Academy - Grades Primary to 9
  • Sandy Lake Seventh Day Adventist Academy - Grades Primary to 12

Le Conseil scolaire acadien provincial[edit]

These are French only schools for education in French as a first language to the population of Acadian and French-speaking origin residing in Nova Scotia.

Primary Schools

Secondary Schools


Bedford has many different modes of transport for the inhabitants of the community. Cycling paths, footpaths, sidewalks give many options.

There are highways-and-roads for motorists, but Bedford's network (like all of the built-up area of Halifax) sees traffic congestion on these roads during the many peak hours. The 11.5 km (7.1 mi) section[16] of the Bedford Highway is notorious for slow speeds at morning-and-evening peak hours.

Halifax Transit provides services to the community of Bedford. Many routes give access to places within the urban agglomeration of Halifax, and some routes give access to places outside of the urban agglomeration.

Recently, there have been several different modes of public-transportation proposed within Halifax to support its current and continued growth. There is a fast ferry service planned for the Mill Cove area that would connect to the Ferry Terminal in Downtown Halifax. Furthermore, there have been proposals to re-introduce Commuter (Light) Rail within Halifax's urban area. However, these proposed services are controversial due to disputes over projected costs and ridership levels.

Public transit[edit]

Handicapped/disabled access Wheelchair – Uses Accessible Low Floor (ALF) buses only.
Rush Hour Service Only
Bicycle facilities Designated Bike Route
MetroLink Service
MetroX Service

Route number Route name Features Inner terminal Outer terminal Notes
88 Bedford Commons Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities Sackville Cobequid The two terminals on this route are the Cobequid Terminal-and-the Sackvile Terminal, which both are in Lower Sackville. However, the route enters the community of Bedford on Damascus Road in Bedford Commons.
90 Larry Uteck Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities Water Street West Bedford Park & Ride This route goes from a North-South direction on the western side of the built-up area of Halifax Harbour. It provides a route from West Bedford to Downtown.
91 Hemlock Ravine Handicapped/disabled access Bicycle facilities Mumford; Bayers Road Centre West Bedford Park & Ride Route 91 takes passengers from the West Bedford Park & Ride to either the Bayers Road Centre, or the Mumford Terminal.
194 West Bedford Express Scotia Square West Bedford Park & Ride
196 Basinview Express Riverview Crescent/Rockmanor Drive Scotia Square

Notable residents[edit]



  1. ^ "2022 District Boundary Review – Phase Two p. 41" (PDF). Halifax Regional Municipality. November 28, 2022.
  2. ^ "2022 District Boundary Review – Phase Two p. 41" (PDF). Halifax Regional Municipality. November 28, 2022.
  3. ^ "Bedford Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada". Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Mi'kma'ki". Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008; Thomas Beamish Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 7
  6. ^ Cutherbertson and Architects, p. 48
  7. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  8. ^ "Electronic Area Profiles". Statistics Canada. October 29, 1998. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  9. ^ "Halifax Regional Municipality: Urban Forest Master Plan p.67" (PDF). Halifax Regional Municipality. July 2013.
  10. ^ "Halifax Regional Municipality: Urban Forest Master Plan p.67" (PDF). Halifax Regional Municipality. July 2013.
  11. ^ "DeWolf Park Boardwalk".
  12. ^ "Bedford Days web site". Archived from the original on August 24, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  13. ^ "Light Up Bedford Parade - About The Parade".
  14. ^ Archived 2013-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, Censuses 1981-2001
  15. ^ Census 2006
  16. ^ "Bedford Highway". Shape Your City Halifax. Government of Halifax Regional Municipality. Retrieved May 21, 2023.


External links[edit]