Bedford, Nova Scotia

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Urban Community
Waterfront development in Bedford, NS at the tip of the Bedford Basin
Waterfront development in Bedford, NS at the tip of the Bedford Basin
Location of Bedford in Halifax Regional Municipality
Location of Bedford in Halifax Regional Municipality
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; -63.65676Coordinates: 44°43′56″N 63°39′24″W / 44.73212°N 63.65676°W / 44.73212; -63.65676
Country Canada
Province Nova Scotia
MunicipalityHalifax Regional Municipality
IncorporatedJuly 1, 1980
AmalgamatedApril 1, 1996
 • Governing BodyHalifax Regional Council
 • Community CouncilNorth West Community Council
 • Total39.79 km2 (15.36 sq mi)
Highest elevation
107 m (351 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total13,638
 • Density342/km2 (890/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (ADT)
Postal code span
B4A to B4B
Area code(s)902
Median Income$100,131 CDN[3]
Telephone Exchange832, 835, 444
NTS Map011D12

Bedford is a suburban community of Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada. It was an independent town from 1980 to 1996. Bedford is on the northwestern end of Bedford Basin, an extension of the Halifax Harbour, which ends just before Nova Scotia Highway 102 and the Bedford Bypass, next to Lower Sackville. Bedford is at the junctions of Trunks 1, 2, and 7.


The area of Bedford has evidence of Indigenous peoples dating back thousands of years. Petroglyphs are found at Bedford Petroglyphs National Historic Site.[4] The Bedford area is known as Kwipek to the Mi'kmaq First Nation.[5]

18th century[edit]

Scott Manor House (built 1770)

Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749.[6] The British quickly began to build other settlements. To guard against Mi'kmaq, Acadian and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, 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.[7] 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.

19th century[edit]

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.

The village adopted the name Bedford around 1850. The name is in honour of John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, Secretary of State for the colonies in 1749. In 1896, the name became official by an Act of Legislation.

20th century[edit]

A map of the Bedford area of HRM.

Bedford was incorporated as a town on July 1, 1980.[contradictory] On April 1, 1996, Bedford was amalgamated with Halifax, Dartmouth, and Halifax County Municipality to form the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) for the municipal level of government. The place name still exists, however, for 911, mail, legal, and other services.

The mayor of Bedford at the time of amalgamation, Peter J. Kelly, would later serve as mayor of HRM, from 2000 to 2012. The first mayor of Bedford was Francene Cosman.

The March 23, 1997 issue of Maclean's magazine rated Bedford as being the "Best Community to Live in Canada."


Bedford is approximately 18 km (11 mi) from Downtown Halifax.[8] Bedford covers 39.79 km2 (15.36 sq mi) of land area.[9]


Historical population
  • Median household income in 2000 was $64,963.
  • Unemployment rate in 2001 was 6.7.
  • Average house value in 2001 was $179,881.

Sports and recreation[edit]

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. There is an outdoor 25m pool and smaller splash pool located at the Lions Park on Shore Drive. In the summer there are numerous lakes suitable for swimming. The topography of the area limits the possible locations for soccer and football fields. However, there are fields at Basinview Drive Community School, Sunnyside Elementary (Eaglewood location), Rocky Lake Junior High, Charles P. Allen High School, Bedford South School, and Range Park. The community is currently home to six ice surfaces, at the Lebrun Centre, the Gary Martin Dome and the BMO Centre. Bedford is a well-established sailing community, and is home to the Bedford Basin Yacht Club and Marina.


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, Rubber Duck Dash, Free pancake breakfast, Dog show, Scott Manor House Tea Party, Kids' Extravaganza, Kids' Triathlon, Movies in the Park, and a Canada Day Celebration.[12]

The Light Up Bedford Parade is an annual parade that runs along the Bedford Highway from Bedford Place Mall and ends at DeWolf Park. At the park there is a hot chocolate stand, Christmas carol singing, contests, and prizes. 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 all residents of HRM are able to provide a Christmas dinner for their families. The parade takes place on the Sunday following the Light Up Halifax Parade, which is usually mid-November.


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

Bedford area also has two private schools :


Bedford is served by Halifax's transit authority, Halifax Transit. Routes 8, 87, 90, 91 and 93 directly serve Bedford while many more routes serve the nearby Cobequid terminal in Lower Sackville.

There is a fast ferry service planned for the Mill Cove area that would connect to the Ferry Terminal in Downtown Halifax. However, this proposed service is controversial due to disputes over projected costs and ridership levels.

Bedford is well serviced by taxis, buses, roads, highways, and sidewalks/walking paths.

Notable residents[edit]



  1. ^ "1996 Census of Canada; Electronic Area Profiles". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  2. ^ "1996 Census of Canada; Electronic Area Profiles". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Nova Scotia Community Counts web page - data modeled from Statistics Canada, National Household Survey, 2011".[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Bedford Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada". Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "Welcome to Mi'kma'ki". Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Cutherbertson and Architects, p. 48
  8. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Google Maps. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Electronic Area Profiles". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  10. ^ [1] Archived 2013-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, Censuses 1981-2001
  11. ^ [2], Census 2006
  12. ^ "Bedford Days web site". Archived from the original on 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  13. ^ [3]


External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML