The 10 Best Unusual Things You Didn’t Know But Should On Nova Scotia, Canada – Atlantic Ocean

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Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada




Strategically located as North America‘s inbound and at the same time last outbound gateway, Port of Halifax is a natural deep-water harbor and ice-free all year round. It’s two days closer to Europe, one day closer to Southeast Asia via the Suez Canal than any other port in the eastern coast of North America.

About 17 of the world’s top shipping lines call at the Port of Halifax and that include transshipment, feeder ship services and vessels with direct access to the Canadian National Railway inland network. It handles over 1,500 ships yearly generating 15,000 jobs and $2 billion in economic impact to Canada. More than that, while it is one of the world’s natural harbor for breakbulks, roll-on/roll-off, containerized and project cargoes, Halifax Port is also a port of call for cruise ships from around the world.

An Overview on Nova Scotia:

Before John Cabot, the 1st European to reach Nova Scotia‘s coast in 1497, there were the native Indians Mi’kmaq tribes that lived in the area for about 5 centuries earlier. However it was the French who made the first European settlement in 1605 and named their territory “Acadie”. But after a century of fighting, the British took control of Acadia in 1713.

Nova Scotia is a Latin name for “New Scotland” that reflected the origins of the early settlers. The British Empire established a new capital at Halifax in 1749 and in 1867, Nova Scotia was one of the founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation. The province became a major ship building giant in the 1840s, in fact one ship owner, Samuel Cunard founded the famous Cunard Line steamship company during those times.

Since the 1950s, Nova Scotia had struggled financially with only lobster and shellfish exports as the mainstays in their economy. But offshore oil and gas production began in 1992 that brought new revenues and opportunities to the province. On April 2020, a killing spree occurred in the province which became the deadliest frenzy in Canada‘s history.

Map showing the location of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In three occasions I’ve been to Nova Scotia (Port of Halifax), my first time in 1998 (M/T Knock Muir), then again in the following year of 1999 (M/T Knock Sheen) and returned again on November 2003 aboard M/T Karen Knutsen. Pretty and peaceful which is located in Eastern Canada the area is almost surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean except of a small landmass that connects it to the rest of the country. Famous for its high tides and lobsters, Nova Scotia offers a rare and stunning natural beauty, let’s check out some of the best unusual things you didn’t know but should about Canada‘s smallest province.

1. Cabot Trail in Cape Breton is one of the topmost scenic drives in the world.

A breathtaking scenery with a rich history, the Cabot Trail, a best unusual thing you didn’t know but should on Nova Scotia is the most famous scenic roadways in the world according to Lonely Planet. Winding through a mix of paths, stairs, roads and the spectacular beauty of Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada, this beautiful landscape will take you from unrivaled views to small fishing villages with intriguing pasts. More than just a trail, it provides you of historical and cultural experiences to enjoy along the way.

2. At low tide, you can actually walk on the ocean floor at Bay of Fundy, home to the world’s highest tides.

The change of tides at Bay of Fundy.

Located at the middle between the equator and the North Pole, the Bay of Fundy is an extraordinary coastal environment, a best unusual thing you did not know but should on Canada‘s east coast. While Fundy has the world’s highest tides, twice a day, its waters rise (high tide) and recede (low tide) by a difference of 19 meters. When it’s low tide, you can walk down via a staircase and stroll on the seabed to marvel at the stunning view but be sure to climb up after six hours because the mudflats where you once walked will be covered again with 42 feet of water. An adventure that you can’t experience at anywhere else, you will also witness a tidal bore, another natural phenomenon of the Bay of Fundy, its high tides cause to reverse the flow of several rivers in the upper bay area like the Salmon River.

3. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in Halifax is the most photographed lighthouse in the world while the Swiss Air Flight 111 Memorial stands nearby.

A prime tourist destination, the iconic Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is the most pictured lighthouse on earth, a best unusual thing you didn’t know but should here in Nova Scotia. Beyond a lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove is actually a quaint lobster-fishing community with the houses dotted along the wave-washed boulders at the narrow inlet of the Atlantic coast. And not far from the lighthouse is the Swiss Air Memorial site where Flight 111 had crashed into the ocean southwest of Halifax Stanfield International Airport at St. Margaret’s (Peggy’s) Bay on September 2, 1998 so it is “two birds in one shot” sort of visit when you’re here.

4. Enjoy a hammock with a view to the ocean at the Halifax waterfront which is the longest continuous boardwalks in the world.




In Halifax, the waterfront bursting with energy all year long is a top unusual thing you didn’t know but should that always attracts both locals and visitors. On this public footpath by the harbor that stretches up to 10 blocks, you can have unlimited opportunities to experience the city’s local culture or you may just chill out on the hammocks at the area enjoying the view of the ocean.

5. Believe it or not, Point Pleasant Park, Halifax’s best park is rented from the British government for 10 cents a year.

A historic 75-acre of wooded spot of winding parks and trails, Point Pleasant Park which is located at the south end of Halifax peninsula is rented from the British government for 10 cents (or 1 shilling) a year, a best unusual thing you didn’t know but should on Nova Scotia. With a 999-year lease, this is a perfect nook for nature lovers or anyone seeking some peace and quiet, go inward to the woods to explore the Prince of Wales Tower built in the 1800s.

6. Still in Halifax, Fairview Lawn Cemetery holds 121 victims of the ill-fated RMS Titanic where you’ll find the grave of a certain J. Dawson.

A coincidence or did a real Jack Dawson played by Leonardo di Caprio in the movie Titanic exist?

Best known as the final resting place for over a hundred victims of the RMS Titanic that sank into the Atlantic on April 15, 1912, Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax holds more victims from this disaster than any other cemetery in the world, a top unusual thing you didn’t know but should on Nova Scotia. While the survivors rescued from RMS Carpathia were brought to New York City, those who perished from the mishap were buried at Halifax, most of them immortalized by gray granite tombstones. A popular spot in Halifax, you may likely find the grave of a J. Dawson as well.

7. Old Town Lunenburg is the best surviving British colonial town in North America.

It was once a rum-smuggling and ship building port town with the original 18th-19th century colorful buildings that amaze visitors still intact at the present. This is Old Town Lunenburg, a best thing you didn’t know but should which is the topmost preserved example of a British colonial town planning in North America. A foremost Canada‘s pride in Nova Scotia, this area was established in 1753 and made into a British Colonial settlement and it’s how the town was planned, constructed and maintained that draws visitors to this part, by merely admiring the architectures, you’ll notice how creative the early settlers were.

The colorful buildings and a step back in time experience at Old Town Lunenburg in Nova Scotia.

8. Up close and personal with the man who invented the telephone at Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

Get a rare chance to know the heart, mind and soul of a world-famous inventor whose brilliant creation has shaped the world today. The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, a best unusual thing you didn’t know but should is a 10-hectare property in Beddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia that showcases the largest memorabilia of artifacts and documents from Bell‘s years of scientific work. After his invention with the telephone, he took a cruising vacation with his family in 1885 to the North American east coast where he stumbled upon Cape Breton’s Bras d’Or Lake, fell in love with the place and built a posh summer house, now turned into a historic site.

9. The face of a cleric, victim of the Halifax Explotion of 1917 was imprinted permanently at St. Paul’s Church in Halifax.

A window of St. Paul’s Church in Halifax where the silhouette of a deacon was emblazoned permanently.

In 1917, a ship loaded with ammunition had exploded at the harbor in Halifax, a tragic event and a defining moment known in Canada‘s history as the Halifax Explotion. That disastrous event brought a lot of tales like the window at St. Paul’s Church, oldest building in town which bears the remnants of such unbelievable stories but true. Constructed in 1749, the windows of St. Paul‘s, though it is distance away were not spared from the blast with the face of a minister imprinted permanently on one part. In the following years, there were attempts to “wipe off” the glass but the face on the window remained which is a best unusual thing you didn’t know but should on Nova Scotia.

10. At a certain point, Nova Scotians considered the lobster as a “poor man’s staple.”

Lobster tacos




It may be regarded as a rare treat now but there was a time when locals considered the lobster as a “poor man’s food” and that prisoners rioted because they got so “sick” of having so much of it in their meals, a best unusual thing you didn’t know but should on Nova Scotia. Due to its overabundance lobsters used to be an indication of poverty in this side of Canada, but eventually Nova Scotians became proud of their lobsters as it was discovered they are low in fat and calories. It became a part of their culture, in fact the Nova Scotia Lobster Trail is a scheme where restaurants offer you a yummy lobster dining experience from lobster rolls to lobster tacos that you can enjoy.

Sometimes called as Canada’s ocean playground because of its location along the Atlantic, no matter where you are in Nova Scotia you’ll never far from the sea. Its charming coast makes the province a foremost vacation choice for everyone. A safe place to explore, there are many reasons to visit Canada‘s east coast and if you choose Nova Scotia, you will also discover your own reasons why you love this place.

reference: Wikipedia