Halifax calls itself “Canada’s Smart City.” Sixty-three per cent of Halifax’s working population have a university degree or trades certificate or diploma — the highest level in Canada. Halifax has several universities and community colleges of its own, including the internationally-known Dalhousie University.
Halifax also has 138 schools for children and youth provided through the Halifax Regional School Board. Schools are free of charge. Some schools also offer before- and after-school programs for a fee.
There are also special education programs for children with disabilities.
Universities and Colleges in or Near Halifax
Mount Saint Vincent University
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
Nova Scotia Community College
Saint Mary's University
University of King's College
Elementary and Secondary Schools (for Children and Youth)
Halifax Regional School Board
Newcomers’ Guide to Nova Scotia Schools
Private schools may also be available.
Nova Scotia Department of Community Services
Halifax Regional Council created an Immigration Action Plan to welcome and support newcomers to Halifax in 2005. The Region is committed to providing excellent services to all residents, and in particular, ensuring the Region’s staff reflects the diversity of Halifax residents. For news, events and resources for newcomers, including the most recent version of the Newcomers Guide (now available in English, French and Arabic), please visit: www.halifax.ca/newcomers.
These organizations offer English language training:
Halifax Public Libraries
Other Language Training
These organizations provide all kinds of support to immigrants:
Citizen and Immigration Canada
Provides information on coming to Canada to immigrate, study, work and live. On this website you will find forms, policies and regulations, research, services, publications and visa offices.
Nova Scotia Office of Immigration works to promote immigration to Nova Scotia. Through the provincial nominee program, immigrants are welcomed to Nova Scotia and are encouraged to settle here.
Nova Scotia Community Services provides services to children, youth, and people with disabilities and provides housing and financial assistance.
Greater Halifax Partnership (GHP) works to promote and attract economic growth in Greater Halifax. Provides networking for newcomers. It also screens applicants under the “Community Identified” stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program.
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) is a community-based organization that has many services for newcomers. Newcomers often come here soon after they arrive. They provide settlement information, translation services, language assessment, English classes, writing and pronunciation classes, classes and programs to support professionals, Work in Nova Scotia (WINS), business start-up services and support, network opportunities, ESL tutors, crisis services and counselling for family problems.
Halifax Refugee Clinic has a mandate to provide legal representation for those claiming refugee status in Nova Scotia.
Multicultural Society of Nova Scotia
Creates a sense of belonging and respect for people of all cultures, including its annual Multicultural Festival.
YMCA Newcomer Services
YMCA is a community based organization that helps newcomers with new language, culture, community, recreation, active living, youth outreach and rural connections.
Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse (FANE)
Provides settlement and integration services to French-speaking immigrants to Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia Interpreting Services (NSIS) is a non-profit organization based in Halifax providing interpreting services in more than 40 languages.
African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes is an association to serve the needs of the African diaspora community of the Maritimes.
All Women’s Empowerment and Development Association (AWEDA) is a non-profit community-based organization dedicated to the social-cultural and economic empowerment of marginalized immigrant and refugee women focused on their effective integration into Canadian society.
Halifax Regional Municipality
The municipal government is not responsible for immigration and direct settlement services, yet it offers many services that newcomers can access. HRM also works with other levels of government and community based organizations to help them settle here. Some services include:
For a complete list of municipal services, visit: http://www.halifax.ca/CitizenGuide/.
Newcomer’s Guide to Halifax Regional Municipality
(available in English, French and Arabic)
Citizens Guide to Municipal Services
Newcomers’ Guide to Nova Scotia Schools
Connections Guide — an immigrant’s guide to starting a business in Nova Scotia
Hassim came to Halifax to study business at St. Mary’s University and participated in an apprenticeship program that landed him a job at a biotech firm in Bayers Lake. He has decided not to go back to Singapore because he is able to have a better quality of life here in Canada (Source: A Greater Halifax Economic Strategy 2011 – 2016).
Two Artists Speak:
“I think the biggest opportunity it [Halifax] provides is that it is a small community. So you get to know people. You can meet people quite quickly. And people are generally open to new filmmakers or new artists in the beginning. So I think that is definitely the biggest asset, just access to people with connections”.
Newcomer Visual Artist
Cited from Grant, J. and Buckwold, B. 2011. Attracting and Retaining Immigrant Artists: Challenges and Opportunities in Halifax. Atlantic Metropolis Centre – Working Paper Series.
“It’s not too busy but it’s busy enough”
Newcomer Visual Artist cited from Grant, J. and Buckwold, B. 2011. Attracting and Retaining Immigrant Artists: Challenges and Opportunities in Halifax. Atlantic Metropolis Centre – Working Paper Series.
Business Success Stories
Family Volunteering Video
HRM You Tube Channel