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Facts about Nova Scotia for Kids

Located almost exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada, with an area of 21,300 sq mi, including Cape Breton and some 3,800 coastal islands.

  • In French, it is called “Nouvelle-Ecosse”, which is a literal translation from Latin to French.
  • Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotia mainland, is also part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small island notorious for its shipwrecks, approximately 175 km (110 mi) from the province’s southern coast.
  • Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is almost surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental rather than maritime.
  • The province is surrounded by three major bodies of water, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east.
  • The highest temperature ever recorded in the province was 38.3 °C (101 °F) on August 19, 1935, at Collegeville, which is located about 15 km southwest of Antigonish.
  • The annual temperatures are: Spring from 1 °C (34 °F) to 17 °C (63 °F) Summer from 14 °C (57 °F) to 28 °C (82 °F) Fall about 5 °C (41 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F) Winter about −9 °C (16 °F) to 0 °C (32 °F) Due to the ocean’s moderating effect Nova Scotia, on average is the warmest of the provinces in Canada.
  • However due to the relatively cooler waters off the coast of Nova Scotia, tropical storms are usually weak by the time they reach Nova Scotia.
  • The last hurricane was category-one Hurricane Earl in September 2010, and the last tropical storm was Tropical Storm Noel in 2007.
  • During the first 80 years the French and Acadians were in Nova Scotia, there were nine significant battles as the English and Scottish (later British), Dutch and French fought for possession of the colony.
  • During the 17th Century there was the Acadian Civil War (1640-45).
  • At the beginning, there was ambivalence in Nova Scotia, “the 14th American Colony” as some called it, over whether the colony should join the Americans in the war against Britain and rebellion flared at the Battle of Fort Cumberland and the Siege of Saint John (1777)).
  • While many American privateers were captured in battles such as the Naval battle off Halifax, many more continued attacks on shipping and settlements until the final months of the war.
  • After the British were defeated in the Thirteen Colonies, its troops helped evacuate approximately 30,000 United Empire Loyalists (American Tories), who settled in Nova Scotia, with land grants by the Crown as some compensation for their losses.
  • Approximately 3,000 members of the Loyalist migration were Black Loyalists who founded the largest free Black settlement in North American at Birchtown, near Shelburne.
  • However unfair treatment and harsh conditions caused about one-third of the Black Loyalists to resettle in Sierra Leone in 1792 where they founded Freetown and became known in Africa as the Nova Scotian Settlers.
  • During this century, Nova Scotia was the first colony in British North America and in the British Empire to achieve responsible government in January–February 1848 and become self-governing through the efforts of Joseph Howe.
  • Immediately after the Civil War, Pro-Confederation premier Charles Tupper led Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, along with New Brunswick and the Province of Canada.
  • Nova Scotia produced internationally recognized shipbuilders Donald McKay and William Dawson Lawrence.
  • Of the 899,270 singular responses to the census question concerning “mother tongue” the most-commonly reported languages were: In addition, there were also 105 responses of both English and a “non-official language”; 25 of both French and a “non-official language”; 495 of both English and French; 10 of English, French, and a “non-official language”; and about 10,300 people who either did not respond to the question, or reported multiple non-official languages, or else gave another unenumerated response.
  • Per capita GDP in 2010 was $38,475, significantly lower than the national average per capita GDP of $47,605 and a little more than half that of Canada’s richest province, Alberta.
  • Nova Scotia has the fourth-largest film industry in Canada hosting over 100 productions yearly, more than half of which are the products of international film and television producers.
  • The Minister of Education is responsible for the administration and delivery of education, as defined by the Education Act and other acts relating to colleges, universities and private schools.