Nova Scotia’s 580 kilometre peninsula is surrounded by four bodies of water – the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Fundy, the Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. With an area of 55,491 sq km, Nova Scotia is bigger than Denmark but smaller than Scotland. Nova Scotia consists of headlands, harbours and ocean beaches. Its shoreline covers 10,424 kilometers.
Nova Scotian climate is so harsh in wintertime that the seaboard Nova Scotian colonists of the eighteenth century earned the nickname ‘Bluenoses’ for their ability to stand the cold. The summers are warm and autumns are long and mild. It has a mild overall climate due to ocean currents.
The character of Nova Scotia has been conditioned by the North Atlantic weather. The farmers of the Annapolis Valley and their Acadian neighbours were quite distinct from the mariners of the Atlantic coast, and different again were the mixed bag of emigrants who came to work the coal mines and steel mills of central Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island from the 1880s – differences that remain noticeable today.
Over 80 percent of Nova Scotia’s population trace their ancestry to the British Isles. Those with French origin rank second (18 percent). More recent immigrants to Nova Scotia have included Chinese, African, Asian and eastern European groups. 22,000 residents of Nova Scotia have Aboriginal origins and are primarily of the Mi’Kmaq Nation. The largest population groups are found in the Halifax area.
The resources sector started with the sea and the teeming fish of the Scotian Shelf. The catch is composed mainly of cod, haddock and pollock, as well as lobsters, scallops and crab. Nova Scotia also has a highly developed forestry sector with four pulp and paper mills and several hundred sawmills.
The mining sector is mostly coal production. The province also creates millions of tonnes of gypsum, over 85 percent of Canada’s output. Other mined resources include salt, barite, crushed stone, peat, sand and gravel. In addition to that, Nova Scotia has a large commercial agriculture sector. Dairy is the dominant sector, followed by horticultural crops, poultry, eggs, beef cattle and hogs. Export commodities include blueberries, apples and processed fruits, vegetables and juices. The province’s physical location has made it well-suited for industry and trade. Harbour facilities, modern highways, air transportation, industrial parks, research and education facilities all contribute to providing a varied and positive climate for business.