Nova Scotia Map: Regions, Geography, Facts & Figures

Nova Scotia, an enchanting maritime province in Canada, is located on the eastern seaboard of North America. This Canadian province is one of the four original provinces, along with New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec. It's known for its rich history, interesting local culture, and scenic landscapes that extend from Yarmouth to Sydney. The region is almost entirely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, heavily influenced by the sea, and home to over 1 million people.[1]Halifax, Nova Scotia's vibrant capital city, is a hub of cultural and economic activity.

If you want to discover more in-depth information on Nova Scotia as a province, check out our Nova Scotia Profile!

Plus, test your country knowledge with our Canadian geography quiz, How Well Do You Know Canada?

Map of Nova Scotia

Note: Nova Scotia, together with New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, form Canada's Maritime Provinces.

History of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's history is a fascinating blend of English and French influences, with a significant presence of local First Nations groups. The first permanent European settlement in Acadia was established by French colonists in 1604 on Saint Croix Island in what is now Maine. The settlers later moved to Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia) in 1605, marking the establishment of the first permanent European settlement north of Florida.

Later, in the 18th century, the region saw an influx of English settlers, particularly from New England. The historic town of Lunenburg, known for its unique architecture and heritage, is a testament to these early settlers.

The province played a crucial role during the age of exploration. For instance, John Cabot is believed to have sailed through the Cabot Strait in 1497. Over the centuries, Nova Scotia has seen waves of immigration from various parts of the world, contributing to its multicultural fabric.

Acadia, Nova Scotia, and the Maritimes

Nova Scotia's history is deeply intertwined with the story of the Acadian people, who have left an indelible mark on the province's culture, language, and identity.

Acadia is a region of North America that was part of the French colonial empire in the 17th and 18th centuries. The territory was located in what is now Eastern Canada's Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island), as well as parts of Quebec, and present-day Maine to the Kennebec River.

The Acadians, as the French settlers came to be known, developed a unique culture and way of life distinct from their French origins, influenced by their relationships with the indigenous Mi'kmaq people, the English, and the land and sea of their new home.

In the mid-18th century, during the Seven Years War, many Acadians were forcibly deported by the British in what became known as the Great Expulsion, or Le Grand Dérangement. Today, the descendants of the Acadians are found in the modern-day French-speaking communities of the Maritime provinces, as well as Louisiana, where they are known as Cajuns.

The term "Acadia" is also used in a cultural context to refer to areas of French settlement in the Maritimes, as well as the culture and heritage of the people living there.

Geography of Nova Scotia

Visible on a Canada map, Nova Scotia includes over 3,800 coastal islands besides the mainland. The province is well-known for its diverse topography, which can be appreciated on the provincial map or regional maps. It's bordered by the Bay of Fundy and the Northumberland Strait, with Prince Edward Island close by. Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotian mainland, is connected by the Canso Causeway.

The province's geography also features the Bras d'Or Lake, a large inland sea, or “barra”, as locals call it. The lush Cape Breton Highlands are part of the northern extension of the Appalachian mountain range that extends from Newfoundland to the U.S. state of Maine.

Tourist Attractions in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is a tourist's delight, offering a mix of natural beauty, historical sites, and cultural experiences.[2] The province is home to several national parks, including the famous Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Visitors can explore the historic site of Louisbourg, enjoy a scenic drive along the Cabot Trail, or experience charming fishing towns along the coast like Yarmouth. Other small towns like Truro give tourists a taste of easy living and quaint architecture.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lunenburg and the picturesque town of Annapolis Royal are must-visits for history buffs. For those interested in marine life, a visit to the Bay of Fundy, known for its high tides, is a must. To access Novia Scotia, ferry lines can shuttle visitors from the mainland and other islands like Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec, and more, with information found on the provincial website, From whale-watching to exploring the rugged coastline, there's something for everyone in Nova Scotia.

Peggy's cove lighthouse
Image Source: Getty Images

People Also Ask...

If you're inspecting topographic maps of Nova Scotia, you may have some queries about the region. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers.

What Is Nova Scotia Most Known For?

Nova Scotia is known for its stunning coastal beauty, historic sites, and rich maritime heritage. The province is also famous for its seafood, particularly lobster and scallops.

What Is the Capital of Nova Scotia?

The capital of Nova Scotia is Halifax. It's a major economic center with a large concentration of government services and private sector companies.

Is Nova Scotia a Good Place To Visit?

Yes, Nova Scotia is a great place to visit. It offers a range of activities for all types of travelers. You can explore historic sites, enjoy the local cuisine, visit beautiful national parks, or relax by the sea.

Is Nova Scotia in Canada or USA?

Nova Scotia is a province in Canada. It's located on the east coast and bounded by New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and the Atlantic Ocean, but is geographically close to New England states like Maine.

What Language Is Spoken In Nova Scotia?

The official language of Nova Scotia is English. However, there are many minority languages spoken in various parts of the province. These include Mi’kmaq, French, Gaelic, and German.

More:  Almanac: Canada · Encyclopedia: Canada · North America · North America: Map


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[1] NOVA SCOTIA QUARTERLY POPULATION ESTIMATES AS OF JULY 1, 2023. (2023, July 1). Nova Scotia Department of Finance - Statistics. Retrieved October 30, 2023, from

[2] Scotia, B. T. T. D. I. N. (n.d.). Nova Scotia travel. Lonely Planet. Retrieved October 30, 2023, from