One of the Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia comprises a mainland peninsula and, across the Canso Strait, the adjacent Cape Breton Island. It is bounded on the N by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Northumberland Strait, across which lies Prince Edward Island; on the E and S by the Atlantic Ocean; and on the W by New Brunswick, from which it is largely separated by the Bay of Fundy but to which the Chignecto Isthmus connects it. The climate is moderate and rainfall abundant. The east coast is rocky, with numerous bays and coves, and is dotted with many charming fishing villages. Off the beautiful south shore is Sable Island, called the graveyard of the Atlantic for its many shipwrecks; on the west coast huge Fundy tides wash the shores, extending into the Minas Basin and the Annapolis River estuary.
Frequently visited historical sites include the Alexander Graham Bell Museum at Baddeck, the Shrine of Evangeline at Grand Pré, and the town of Annapolis Royal, site of the first permanent Canadian settlement (Port-Royal, 1610). Cape Breton Island (est. 1936) and Kejimkujik (est. 1968) national parks are in Nova Scotia. Abundant game, all types of fishing, and some of the best sailing on the continent attract visitors. The capital and largest city is Halifax; other important cities are Dartmouth, Sydney, Glace Bay, Truro, and New Glasgow.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.