Although a lot of people think that Canada is just Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, the country is a federation composed of ten provinces and three territories, which means that besides the national capital Ottawa, we have 13 capitals that many people do not even know exist. In fact, a lot of people do not care that Toronto is the capital of Ontario and that Montreal is not the capital of Quebec, just as Vancouver is not the capital of British Columbia.
As a consequence of thinking about these capitals, Brazilian Wave will present a series on the Capitals of Canada in the next few editions.
The first on the list is a city that is actually closer to Dublin in Ireland than Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. We are talking about Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia.
Its long history would not fit in this column, but, in brief, before the Village of Halifax was founded by the English in 1749, where the province of Nova Scotia is located nowadays, nearby there was another capital, Annapolis Royal (now Port Royal), which was part of the French colony of Acadia founded by the legendary Samuel de Champlain in 1605. The name of the village, founded by Edward Cornwallis, was in honour of George Montagu-Dunk, the 2nd Earl of Halifax, who became known as the “father of the colonies” for promoting trade between the United Kingdom and North America.
Due to its geographical location and its estuary, Halifax has become one of Canada’s main ports. Like Ellis Island in New York, in the United States, and Santos in Brazil, Halifax was the place of arrival of many immigrants to the country between the 1930s and 1950s. It is in Halifax that the Canadian Museum of Immigration is located at Pier 21, which currently even has a document on the 30 years of Brazilian immigration in Canadian lands.
Incidentally, Halifax has a strong connection to the Titanic shipwreck, as the ocean liner sank near its coast. There is a permanent exhibit about the ship inside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and in fact, some victims of the shipwreck were even buried in the city.
One of the great cities of the future
With over 400,000 inhabitants, Halifax is home to the largest population east of Quebec City. The capital was ranked by MoneySense magazine as the fourth best place to live in Canada in 2012 and second among the “big cities of the future.” both conducted by fDi magazine for cities in North and South America.
Speaking of living, the average selling price of a home in Halifax in 2011 was CAN$ 259,600 – one of the lowest in the country.
Continuing our talk about numbers, the city has six universities: Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Nova Scotia Community College and The Atlantic School of Theology. There are 81 students in secondary education per 1,000 people, three times the national average.