Welcome to Western Nova Scotia!
Located on the southern tip of Nova Scotia, the Western Region is home to over 48,000 people. Encompassing 5720 square kilometers, the region is further broken down into seven municipalities and two First Nations Communities.
It is located on the East Coast of Canada on the Atlantic Ocean. Nova Scotia is closer to Europe than many other North American provinces or states by airplane. It is also closer to New York and Boston than any other major Canadian city.
This part of Canada is also referred to as The Maritimes or Atlantic Canada. The Maritimes include three provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Atlantic Canada includes Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Western Nova Scotia’s expansive coastline has led to an economy built on seafaring and fishing. A vibrant tourism industry exists here with two ferries linking us to Bar Harbour, Maine USA and Saint John, New Brunswick.
We love talking about hockey, fishing, and the weather, not always in that order. We have excellent schools throughout the region that offer schooling in both English and French. We have several hundred kilometres of trails to explore and some of the province’s most beautiful beaches to enjoy in all seasons. If you prefer a darker night sky and more room to roam, some of the best real estate can be found in our rural areas.
Making people feel welcome is one of the many things that we do best. People around here are eager to help, no matter what you need — whether it’s a cup of sugar for your banana bread, advice on where to get your haircut or if you need a hand moving a couch into your new home. We love to lend a helping hand.
Whatever your lifestyle includes, there is something for you in Western NS. We’re so excited for you to get to know your new community and all it has to offer.
43.8o N 66.1o W
Cost of Living
The area also enjoys some of the warmest climates in Canada. They say in Nova Scotia, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it’ll change.” We’ve got it all — plenty of fog so it doesn’t get too hot in the summer, a cool breeze in the fall, and mild winters. Spring comes early and summer’s warm temperatures remain long into the autumn. Here are some tips to help you prepare for each season in Western Nova Scotia. Annual average temperature: 10°C to 22°C (50°F to 72°F) Description: Our summers can be humid, but there’s usually a cool breeze and occasional fog Attire: Light clothing, short sleeves, sandals, and sun protection (hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen) Favourite activities: Going to the beach, campfires, and picnics Be prepared for: High UV rates even when it’s foggy — wear your sunscreen or cover up Annual average temperature: 1°C to 19°C (34°F to 66°F) Description: Enjoy the crisp weather and fall colours Attire: Boots, jeans, sweaters, and light jackets Favourite activities: Hike on our trails, ride ATVs and enjoy the fall colours Be prepared for: Fall is hurricane season so prepare for windstorms Annual average temperature: -7°C to 5°C (19°F to 41°F) Description: It doesn’t get too cold in the winter, so the weather alternates between rain and snow Attire: Warm coats, boots, sweaters, mittens, hats, and scarves Favourite activities: Sledding, skating, and snowmobiling Be prepared for: Snowstorms and freezing rain — keep a scraper or snow brush in your car and put winter tires on your car Annual average temperature: 1°C to 15°C (34°F to 59°F) Description: Our springs tend to be wet but it’s exciting to see all the trees and flowers start to bloom Attire: Rain boots, waterproof jackets, light sweaters, and coats Favourite activities: Gardening, golfing, running, and walking Be prepared for: Gardening, golfing, running, and walking Consider the seasons and weather you will find when you arrive to know what clothing you will need.
Weather and Seasons
The area also enjoys some of the warmest climates in Canada. They say in Nova Scotia, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it’ll change.” We’ve got it all — plenty of fog so it doesn’t get too hot in the summer, a cool breeze in the fall, and mild winters. Spring comes early and summer’s warm temperatures remain long into the autumn.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for each season in Western Nova Scotia.
Annual average temperature: 10°C to 22°C (50°F to 72°F)
Description: Our summers can be humid, but there’s usually a cool breeze and occasional fog
Attire: Light clothing, short sleeves, sandals, and sun protection (hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen)
Favourite activities: Going to the beach, campfires, and picnics
Be prepared for: High UV rates even when it’s foggy — wear your sunscreen or cover up
Annual average temperature: 1°C to 19°C (34°F to 66°F)
Description: Enjoy the crisp weather and fall colours
Attire: Boots, jeans, sweaters, and light jackets
Favourite activities: Hike on our trails, ride ATVs and enjoy the fall colours
Be prepared for: Fall is hurricane season so prepare for windstorms
Annual average temperature: -7°C to 5°C (19°F to 41°F)
Description: It doesn’t get too cold in the winter, so the weather alternates between rain and snow
Attire: Warm coats, boots, sweaters, mittens, hats, and scarves
Favourite activities: Sledding, skating, and snowmobiling
Be prepared for: Snowstorms and freezing rain — keep a scraper or snow brush in your car and put winter tires on your car
Annual average temperature: 1°C to 15°C (34°F to 59°F)
Description: Our springs tend to be wet but it’s exciting to see all the trees and flowers start to bloom
Attire: Rain boots, waterproof jackets, light sweaters, and coats
Favourite activities: Gardening, golfing, running, and walking
Be prepared for: Gardening, golfing, running, and walking
Consider the seasons and weather you will find when you arrive to know what clothing you will need.
Bear River First Nation is a Mi’kma’ki community located on 3.34 square kilometres in Digby and Annapolis counties. The community was established in 1820 and is home to 108 band members on reserve and 226 off-reserve members, the Mi’kmaq Heritage and Cultural Centre, a health centre, and Muin Sipu Learning Centre. There’s also a gas station, church, and band hall on reserve.
Bear River First Nation is home to the Medicine Trail, a 1.5 km walk that showcases some of the special plants used in traditional Mi’kmaq medicine. It’s a special and spiritual place that represents the Mi’kmaq’s close relationship with Mother Earth. Along the trail you’ll find the rare black ash, which is used to make baskets; yellow birch flowers, which are used to make tea; wild sarsaparilla, a root that’s also used to make tea; and sweetfern, which has leaves and twigs that are used to make tea and poultices to treat poison ivy rashes and other external sores.
Bear River First Nation is governed by an elected Chief and Band Council, who each serve a two-year term.
A rugged, picturesque community situated along the Bay of Fundy, the Municipality encompasses a large swath of coastline along Highway 101 from Smith’s Cove to Weymouth, and deep inland. Fishing, seafood processing, tourism, and forestry are all economic drivers in the area. Significant opportunities exist to harness the tidal power of the Bay of Fundy as a designated “Port of Choice” or tidal energy – both service and repair. The Municipality has unlimited possibilities for manufacturing, and a skilled workforce to match.
Residents of the Municipality enjoy access to exceptional recreation facilities with the Municipal Arena, a pool, sports fields, a curling rink, and trail systems. Hikers and photography enthusiasts should be sure to check out Balancing Rock, on Long Island. It’s one of many breathtaking views offered in an area situated along the Bay of Fundy, which was nominated as one of the Seven Wonders of Canada.
For scallop lovers, Digby needs no introduction. Home of the world-famous Digby Scallops, many of the residents have been making their living from the sea since the town was settled in 1783.
Nestled along the western shore of the breathtaking Annapolis Basin, you can reach Digby via Highway 303, off Highway 101. The economy in the Town of Digby is driven by the world’s largest scallop fleet, tourism, and the Fundy Rose Ferry that links the town with Saint John, New Brunswick. A ferry has linked these locations for more than 200 years.
The Town of Digby is the largest centre in the county, and boasts a wide variety of retail stores, services, cafes, and cozy accommodations. Residents enjoy access to excellent health care facilities, vibrant public spaces, parks, and hiking trails. The town also features the Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa, with a championship course designed by Stanley Thompson. Digby’s full-service marina can accommodate most pleasure craft. The Town offers a high quality of life for below-average cost of living.
Camping, hiking, and historical sites make for great opportunities for recreation for residents and visitors alike. The town’s population swells to nearly 50,000 during the Labour Day weekend for Wharf Rat Rally, the largest motorcycle rally in Atlantic Canada. A popular draw for motorcycle enthusiasts all over Canada, this is an event not to be missed.
The Municipality of Clare is made up of predominantly French-speaking communities sprawled along St. Mary’s Bay and inland.
You can experience the quaint charm of the Acadian Shore by traveling along Highway 101, Highway 1, and Highway 340. Clare stretches 50 kilometres from Salmon River to Saint Bernard. From majestic, old churches to quaint homes dotting the coast, the drive alone is worth a Sunday afternoon.
Clare residents enjoy wonderful festivals, music, culture, and a way of life that is directly tied to their Acadian roots. If you enjoy cycling, be sure to check out the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie, a growing, premiere cycling event that focuses on fun for all participants.
The economy in Clare is driven primarily by fishing, seafood processing, and forestry. A rich history of boat manufacturing thrives to this day, with products from Clare being exported world-wide.
The Municipality of Clare is home to Nova Scotia’s only francophone university in Université Sainte-Anne. There are elementary and high schools serving students from primary through 12th grade.
With some of the most competitive housing prices, low commercial and residential assessment rates, and rugged beauty as far as the eye can see, the Municipality of Clare truly is a gem in the Western Region.
Located at the Southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, The Municipality of the District of Yarmouth (colloquially referred to as MoDY) is made up of a diverse collection of communities in a rural setting.
The Municipality is the point of intersection for Highways 101 and 103. Diversity is key here. Landscapes can vary from the majestic, rugged coastline at Cape Forchu, to rolling hills, old growth forests, working wharves and tucked-away communities ripe for discovery during a meandering Sunday drive.
With a fully operational international airport and a large business park that features a state-of-the-art contact centre, the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth has the flexibility to accommodate all manner of economic sectors. Fishing, farming, manufacturing, and technology sectors have an opportunity to flourish in the Municipality.
There are three schools within the Municipality, Maple Grove Education Centre, Port Maitland Consolidated Elementary School, and Carleton Consolidated School.
The Municipality of the District of Yarmouth offers a high quality of life, low cost of living, and a peaceful place to lay down roots and grow.
The Town of Yarmouth is the primary hub for all things business, education, health, finance, and lifestyle in the Western Region. Nestled at the ends of Highways 101 and 103 on the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, the town is the largest population centre in the area.
You’ll find Halifax, the provincial capital, just over 300 km away. The province of New Brunswick is to the north, separated by the Bay of Fundy. Maine, USA is located to the northwest, and linked to Yarmouth via Bar Harbour thanks to The Cat high-speed ferry.
During the summer months, the town is alive with festivals, sporting events, and live music. The Town of Yarmouth boasts the only satellite branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. You’ll find a variety of shops, services, and cafes in the downtown core.
Known for world-class hospitality, Yarmouth residents’ welcome newcomers with a smile and a helping hand. You’ll never run out of recommendations for incredible meals, secluded beaches, and great spots to unwind and take in the unspoiled nature in the area.
The Town of Yarmouth boasts several schools: Central Elementary School, Meadowfields Elementary School, Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School, NSCC’s Burridge Campus, the Yarmouth Campus of Dalhousie School of Nursing, and the Yarmouth County Learning Network.
The Yarmouth reserve is the most populated reserve in the Acadia First Nation. It was officially established on June 8, 1887 and is located in Yarmouth County on 27.7 hectares of land near the Yarmouth Airport.
Acadia First Nation is a welcoming, inclusive multigenerational Mi’kmaw Nation that is unique, self-sufficient, and sustainable. AFN strives to protect its waterways and lands, and values the traditions, culture, and spirituality of its people.
The Yarmouth reserve is home to a Community Health Centre staffed by a family doctor and a community nurse, as well as a Youth Centre that offers an after-school program, a drop-in program, and camps. Several businesses are run by the reserve including the AFN Entertainment Centre, which offers bingo, VLTs and hall rentals; Winner’s One Stop Restaurant, a casual dining establishment; and Your Winner’s World, a gas station, convenience store and 89 room “Tru by Hilton” hotel has also opened on the Yarmouth Reserve. Acadia First Nation is governed by an elected Chief and Band Council, who each serve a five-year term.
The Yarmouth reserve maintains the largest band membership on reserve in all of the Acadia First Nation and is considered its central hub since it’s the home of the main administration office.
The Municipality of Argyle is made up of a sprawling network of small communities surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, rivers, marshes, and lakes. Travelling along Highway 103 or the scenic Highway 3 will allow you to take in many of the beautiful villages dotting more than 150km of coastline.
Wharves are found in communities from Pubnico to Wedgeport and beyond, where the lucrative fishing industry drives the Municipality’s economy. Local restaurants make use of the country’s best lobster, haddock, and tuna in their renowned dishes. Be sure to try a lobster poutine if the opportunity presents itself.
Residents in the Municipality enjoy access to a wide variety of incredible recreation opportunities, from cycling along 47 km of trails to paddling before a picnic lunch at Glenwood Provincial Park. For the stargazers, a magnificent Deep Sky Eye Observatory is located in Quinan. The Municipality of the District Argyle is included in the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve.
A wide variety of festivals are held year-round; some highlights include the Wedgeport Tuna Tournament, Acadian Day festivals on August 15th, and the local favourite Quinan Picnic on Labour Day. Pancake breakfasts, lobster suppers, and turkey dinners are served at community halls throughout the Municipality.
The Municipality of the District of Barrington sits along a breathtaking, rugged stretch of shoreline on Nova Scotia’s southernmost tip.
The ‘lobster capital of Canada’ boasts conveniences like supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, high-speed internet, festivals, and recreation facilities in a welcoming, rural setting. Seafood connoisseurs will feel right at home at any of the small roadside take-outs or dine-in restaurants that serve only the freshest seafood and lobster.
Reach the Municipality of Barrington by traveling along the scenic ‘old’ Highway 309, Highway 3, or Highway 3 via Highway 103. You’ll find working waterfronts and wharves throughout the Municipality, including Shag Harbour, Wood’s Harbour, and Stoney Island. Snap artistic photos of world-famous Cape Island fishing boats (locally known as a Cape Islander) dotting the
The Municipality of the District of Barrington offers an exceptional quality of life for those who enjoy the great outdoors. For beach enthusiasts, Sand Hills Provincial Park features a white sand beach with amenities like picnic tables, boardwalks and washrooms maintained by the province’s Department of Lands & Forestry.
Barrington has a long, storied history in timber sports and logrolling. Generations of log rollers and timber sports athletes call the Municipality home. Ice hockey and baseball are also popular seasonal sports.
There are five schools within the Municipality. Barrington Municipal High School, Clark’s Harbour Elementary, Evelyn Richardson Elementary (better known as ‘ERMES’), Forest Ridge Academy, and Guiding Light Christian Academy.
The Municipality of the District of Barrington is perfect for those seeking a high quality of life in an affordable setting.