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Nova Scotia: Room to live

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

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Imagine a place where you can leave work, head to the beach, and still be home in time for dinner. 

Located on the east coast of Canada, Nova Scotia’s low cost of living, safe and welcoming communities, and growing economy make it a great place to live and work. Offering the “best of both worlds”, in Nova Scotia you are never more than a few minutes from amenities found in the world’s largest cities - modern shopping malls, cozy cafés and bars, art galleries and museums. 


In Nova Scotia, you’ll find an abundance of natural beauty, diverse culture, and opportunities within your chosen career that help you feel a genuine sense of belonging. It’s a place where people care about helping each other, where achievement and quality of life is celebrated, where we care about communities, our prosperity and sustainability. 

Interested in immigrating to Nova Scotia, Canada? Learn more about the various immigration pathways.

More and more immigrants - skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and international students - are choosing Nova Scotia. In 2016, Nova Scotia welcomed a record number of immigrants, the highest since the 1940s.

A place to call home... Nova Scotia is Canada’s place to be

In addition to healthcare, education is free, too. From pre-primary to 12th grade, public education is offered with options of English or French, and for those who never want to stop learning, Nova Scotia is home to ten universities and 13 community college campuses. 

In Halifax, you can live and work in more than 200 urban and suburban communities, swim at 33 beaches, shop at nine farmers’ markets, visit 65 art galleries, and stroll through 61 parks. 

With four distinct seasons and never being more than 60 km from the water, Nova Scotia is ideal for the outdoor adventurer. Whether it is running, biking, surfing, hiking, sailing or skiing - Nova Scotia has activities for every season.

Affordable living

In Nova Scotia, real estate costs are competitive and land is affordable. If you’ve ever been envious of people who have backyards and gardens, or even a cottage, you’ll love taking a look at the homes available here.

In Nova Scotia’s capital, Halifax, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is CAD $794 (2015) per month, while the average three-bedroom home purchase price is CAD $503,961 (2016). Moving towards the city suburbs, the average three-bedroom purchase price is CAD $306,240 (2017). Prices are even lower as you move further into rural areas of the province; you can buy waterfront property, with a sizable land plot, for as little as CAD $140,000.



From snow to sunshine - Nova Scotia lies in a mid-temperate zone and has a moderate maritime climate. Our summers are very pleasant with temperatures ranging from a low of 18ºC to a high of 23ºC, meanwhile, our winters are moderately cold with temperatures ranging from a low of -10ºC to a high of 10ºC.

Staying connected

The province’s location and time zone, being the closest point in North America to Europe, offer the opportunity of staying connected with friends and family around the world. 

The Halifax Stanfield International Airport offers 355 weekly flights covering 73 routes (31 routes toward national destinations and 42 routes toward international destinations). Daily direct flights to hubs around the world include New York, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Paris and London.


Inspired cuisine, a lively arts scene, and music from every genre; Nova Scotia has its own brand of unique Maritime culture. Here you’ll find award-winning local wine and craft beer, world-renowned theatre, and opportunities to learn about our rich history.  


See where life can take you in a place where you feel at home, feel welcome – where there’s room to live. Visit www.novascotiaimmigration.com

Great for business 

A place for entrepreneurs

Located on Canada’s East Coast, Nova Scotia is one of the most competitive and business-friendly environments in Canada, attracting entrepreneurs from around the globe. With more than 30,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, representing over 92% of all businesses in Nova Scotia, and a target to have 4,200 new start-ups annually, business owners across the province are finding success and opportunities. 

  • Nova Scotia has the lowest operating costs for companies working in the digital services industry in North America and one of the highest digital media tax credits offered in Canada. 
  • Renowned companies including Mitsubishi UFJ Fund Services, Admiral Insurance, and Maitland Group have moved their operations to Halifax. 
  • Nova Scotia is home to more than 300 oceans-sector companies and 30% of Canada’s defense companies. It’s where IBM chose to locate their first Global Service Delivery Centre, where Tesla conducts its battery-storage research, where EY launched their Canadian Centre for Advanced Analytics and where Ubisoft – the third-largest video game producer in the world – developed and released its first mobile game.

Growing a strong, diverse and dynamic company

Laura Rodgers, Lixar’s Talent Acquisition Specialist, says Lixar is developing cutting-edge applications. “Because we’re always on the leading edge, we often need people with highly specialized skill sets.” She says that the value of newcomers’ very specialized contributions go well beyond the talent they bring. “Newcomers add a fresh perspective and a new set of eyes to a solution. They offer insight that we may not have had before. They come with new ideas and life experiences that help diversify our environment.”

But after living in a city of 12 million, moving to Halifax was a tipping point to increase my quality of life.

At Lixar, 45% of the positions in the Halifax office are held by new Canadians. Project manager Daniel Gasparello moved to Halifax from Brazil in 2015. “Lixar employees quickly immersed me into the Haligonian culture. Don’t get me wrong, Lixar is a fast-paced company,” Daniel explains. “But after being living in a city of 12 million, moving to Halifax was a tipping point to increase my quality of life.” Laura says she’s most proud they’re able to make such a difference in people’s lives. “It gives people a new start at life, a new opportunity to build a life in a beautiful city. Plus, immigration helps inject youth into our province’s population.”


  • Immigrants in Nova Scotia earn more than immigrants in other parts of Canada (National average $36,000; Nova Scotia average $43,000).
  • Immigrants in Nova Scotia enjoy the lowest wage gap between immigrants and non-immigrants in the country (National average 20.6%; Nova Scotia average 2.8%).
  • Immigrants in Nova Scotia have a higher rate of employment (76%) compared to the Canadian average (73%).
  • Immigrants in Nova Scotia are two times more likely to work in their field if they are internationally trained, compared to those in other provinces.
  • Immigrants in Nova Scotia who start a business are more likely to be open after 3 years (71% for Nova Scotian immigrant businesses compared with the Canadian average of 48%).

*** Statistics according to research conducted by Dalhousie University, Conference Board of Canada, Statistics Canada and ISANS

Industries of opportunity

Financial Services

The financial capital of Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia is a premier global destination for shared services, middle/back office operations in banking, fund administration, insurance, and reinsurance.

Information and Communications Technology Nova Scotia has the right mix of established multinational firms, alongside an active start-up community, which results in a well-connected, global cluster.



The oceans industry in Nova Scotia produces goods and services including oceans technology, fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, shipbuilding, offshore oil and gas, ocean observation, transportation, marine centric defence and security, life sciences, and energy. 

Gaming and Interactive Media

Interactive digital media has exploded out of Nova Scotia’s creative community in recent years. There are now more than 20 studios in the province, employing more than 400 Nova Scotians. 

Natural Resources

Nova Scotia provides access to the largest tides in the world, some of the highest average wind speeds in Canada, a wealth of minerals and resources, and researchers that are attracting global attention.

Aerospace and Defence

Nova Scotia attracts globally recognized companies working in naval defence, shipbuilding, sonar and sensing, in-service support, cyber security, and training and simulation.

To learn more about Nova Scotia’s industries and business opportunities, visit www.novascotiabusiness.com/business.

Running a Business in Nova Scotia

Advanced manufacturing for oceans industries in Sydney, Nova Scotia 

Bob Deveaux is the Vice President of Finance & Corporate Services of CME Ltd., a Canadian leader specializing in advanced manufacturing, industrial services, and custom design. Here’s what he has to say about running a business in Nova Scotia. “The people of this province are extremely resourceful and resilient which aligns perfectly with the company’s culture. Nova Scotia has a strong work-life balance where we work hard, but also focus on family and community which results in a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Nova Scotia’s greatest asset is the ocean and from CME’s perspective it serves a dual role, one of work and one of play.”

To learn more about living, working, and playing in Nova Scotia, visit LiveHereNS.com