“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Nova Scotia Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 7, 2023

The Coat of Arms of Nova Scotia, via Wikipedia Commons

 Nova Scotia ranks 51st among provinces and states with markers in this database. Nova Scotia is a province in Canada located in the Atlantic Provinces. Nova Scotia is some 89 thousand square kilometers in size with a population of around 924 thousand people. The province is divided into 18 counties and regional municipalities and 17 of them have entries in this database. In Nova Scotia we have discovered historical markers in 76 cities and towns lying in 139 postal delivery areas.

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There are at least 467 historical markers in Nova Scotia, by our count. We have cataloged 467 historical markers and 34 war memorials—each individually presented on 499 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

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The first Nova Scotia marker in the database, Deadman's Island, was added July 3, 2011. It was photographed in Halifax in Halifax Region and was erected in 2005. The last one added was submitted on September 9, 2022, and titled Prince Valiant. It also is in Halifax in Halifax Region and had been erected in 2020. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Nova Scotia was erected in 1902. It was this one: South African War Monument, and one of our correspondents found it in Halifax in Halifax Region on October 10, 2014.

Nova Scotia Historical Topics
138 • Waterways and Vessels
128 • Settlements and Settlers
101 • Industry and Commerce
74 • Man-Made Features
45 • World War II
41 • Disasters
36 • World War I
34 • Colonial Era
31 • Charity and Public Work
29 • Churches and Religion
    ... and others ...

Nova Scotians don’t want to forget their Waterways and Vessels history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Nova Scotia about Waterways and Vessels—138 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is Settlements and Settlers with 128 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Waterways and Vessels topic was Halifax’s Cable Wharf, added September 30, 2014. It had been erected in Halifax in Halifax Region. The last one submitted was submitted on April 21, 2021, and titled Canadian Merchant Navy. It had been erected in Sydney in Cape Breton Region. The earliest marker erected with the Waterways and Vessels topic that we have listed was erected in 1926. It is First Lighthouse Tower, was found near Louisbourg in Cape Breton Region on December 29, 2014.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Nova Scotia? What we know is that Swissair Flight 111 Memorial / Monument commémoratif Swissair 111 is the most viewed entry in the database from Nova Scotia since it was added in 2011. It is located near Peggys Cove in Halifax Region. This year so far, the most viewed Nova Scotian entry is located in Halfway Cove in Guysborough County. It is The Voyage of Prince Henry Sinclair.

Counties, regional municipalities, Cities and Towns

The Nova Scotia county or regional municipality with the most historical markers listed in this database is Halifax Region, with 139 of them. It is followed by Yarmouth County with 69 markers. The Halifax area of Halifax Region has the highest number of markers within its limits, 87. In Yarmouth County the area with the most markers, 27, is Yarmouth.

Historical Markers in These
Nova Scotia Counties and regional municipalities
139 • Halifax Region
69 • Yarmouth County
51 • Cape Breton Region
35 • Guysborough County
30 • Cumberland County
30 • Pictou County
30 • Lunenburg County
26 • Annapolis County
24 • Inverness County
16 • Colchester County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Nova Scotia with the most markers we again find Halifax at the top of the list with 91 markers in or near it. It is followed by Dartmouth in Halifax Region with 29 markers. For the postal code with the most markers it’s B3J at the top of the list with 29 markers in its delivery area. It is followed by postal code B0S with 22 markers.

Historical Markers Near These
Nova Scotia Cities and Towns
91 • Halifax
29 • Dartmouth
27 • Yarmouth
26 • Lunenburg
25 • Annapolis Royal
21 • New Glasgow
17 • Louisbourg
13 • Cape Forchu
13 • Larrys River
12 • Peggy's Cove
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Halifax Region, the first marker added to the database from there, Deadman's Island, was added July 3, 2011, and was also the first one submitted in all of Nova Scotia. It was erected in 2005 in Halifax. The last one submitted—also the last one submitted in all of Nova Scotia—was uploaded on September 9, 2022, and is titled Prince Valiant and was erected in 2020, in Halifax. The earliest marker erected in Halifax Region that we have listed was erected in 1902. It was South African War Monument, found in Halifax on October 10, 2014.

Latest entry from Nova Scotia. Click to go there
By Rev. Ronald Irick, June 23, 2022
Latest Entry from Nova Scotia
“Prince Valiant”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Dartmouth. The first: Shubenacadie Canal, Port Wallace, was added October 14, 2014. The last: "Bridges for Canada"/« Ponts pour le Canada » added on January 22, 2018. It had been erected in 2003. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1959: Legion War Memorial, added on October 1, 2017.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

There is no organization in charge of erecting official historical markers province-wide in Nova Scotia today. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has erected numerous historical markers in Nova Scotia, and we have 42 of their Nova Scotia markers in the database. Also, a number of counties and regional municipalities have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Nova Scotia have been marked with history. Check out Regional Municipality of Halifax, Hants County and Antigonish County. We've only found, respectively, 4, 1, and 1 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Nova Scotia might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Feb. 7, 2023