Halifax is a Canadian city, the provincial capital and largest city of Nova Scotia, and the economic centre of the Atlantic Provinces. As of 1991 the city contained 114,455 inhabitants, and in the late 1990s, all of Halifax County was amalgamated into the "Halifax Regional Municipality" or HRM, including neighbouring Dartmouth and Sable Island, 180km offshore. The population of HRM exceeds 350,000.
People from Halifax are called Haligonians.
Halifax was founded on July 9, 1749 as a military outpost for the British with a handful of farming settlers. It has the second-largest natural harbour in the world, which is also well protected and ideal for a military base, Citadel Hill.
Convoys of naval fleets would assemble in the Bedford Basin before heading out on duty. One particularly foggy morning during World War I resulted in the worst man-made explosion prior to nuclear weapons, the Halifax Explosion. An incoming ship laden with armaments struck an outgoing ship at the mouth of the harbour. Both caught fire and were abandoned, and minutes later the arms ship exploded, flattening a large portion of the city, leaving over 2000 dead and 9000 injured.
Presently the city still serves a major military purpose, as home of the East Coast Canadian Navy, and is Canada's largest naval base. The waterfront witnesses the brawny marine commerce of the North Atlantic Great Circle route along with Canada's East Coast Navy.
Halifax is home to five degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions: Dalhousie University, Saint Mary's University, The University of King's College, Mount Saint Vincent University and The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. The Former Technical University of Nova SCotia is now integrated with Dalhousie as Daltech. King's College shares Arts and Science Faculty with Dalhousie.
One of Halifax's first mayors, Alexander Keith, was a brewer and produced Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale. Unlike more popular Candian brands like Molson or Labatts, Alexander Keith's is more noteworthy for its taste than its television commercials. Also, if you do visit Halifax, you would do well to sample the variety of locally brewed beers: Garrison's Brown and Red Ales, the Clancy's line, Propeller Extra Special Bitter and their fine sodas, and the products of the various brewpubs including the Granite Brewery, the Rogue's Roost, and the (quite new) Olde Halifax Alehouse.
Notable personalities born in Halifax:
- Oswald Avery, physician and medical researcher
- Samuel Cunard, steamship line founder
- Ruby Keeler, dancer, actress
- Sarah McLachlan, singer
- John F. Stairs, businessman, statesman
- William Grant Stairs, Victorian explorer
- John Sparrow David Thompson, Prime Minister of Canada
- William Fenwick Williams, military leader
|North: St. Mary's|
|West: Colchester Subd. C, East Hants, West Hants||Halifax||East: (Atlantic Ocean)|