The New Student's Reference Work/Nova Scotia
No′va Sco′tia, the most easterly portion of Canada, is a peninsula thrust into the Atlantic from the east of North America. It is the most conspicuous physical feature between Florida and Newfoundland. Cape Breton, its eastern extremity, is really an island, separated by the Strait of Canso. Nova Scotia is 350 miles long, with a breadth varying from 50 to 100 miles, and contains an area of 20,907 square miles. The isthmus that connects it with New Brunswick is 13 miles wide, and on other sides it is washed by the Bay of Fundy, the Atlantic and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Its coast is indented with natural harbors, there being no fewer than 12 on the Atlantic seaboard capable of sheltering the largest vessels. The interior is intersected with chains of attractive hills, and dotted with lakes, and drained by rivers. Many of the rivers are navigable for short distances inland, and with the Bay of Fundy they produce the rich intervales and dike-lands whose productiveness is one of the chief features of the province. Nova Scotia is a favorite tourist section. There are Minas Basin and the Evangeline District about Wolfville and Grand Pré, the picturesque Annapolis valley, La Have River, known as Nova Scotia’s Rhine, and the marvellous beauty of the Bras d’Or lakes in Cape Breton. Cobequid Mountains strike across the north of Nova Scotia from Cape Chignecto to Cape Porcupine.
The population in 1911 was 492,338 largely of Canadian birth, chiefly British. There were 45,000 French (Acadians) and 41,000 Germans. The Roman Catholic religion leads as to numbers, next the Presbyterians, then the Baptists. The Intercolonial Railway enters at Amherst from New Brunswick. It runs to Halifax by Truro and Windsor Junction. The Dominion Atlantic Railway runs from Halifax north to Minas Basin and to Yarmouth.
The climate is temperate, being moderated winter and summer by the sea which surrounds the province. The mercury seldom falls to zero. Cape Breton has an ideal summer climate, and the entire province is noted for the longevity of its people.
Agriculture is the most valuable industry. Rich and cultivated farms can be had at low rentals. The dikelands are exceedingly rich, being fertilized by deposits from tidal waters. The apple is the chief Nova Scotia product. The valley of apple-orchards runs from Windsor to Annapolis, 80 miles, along the northern side of the province. Nova Scotia has the largest number of sailing-ships and steamers of any province in the Dominion engaged in its trade. The cod, lobster, mackerel and herring fisheries are very profitable, there being 14,000 men engaged in the industry. The coal-deposits are owned by the government and leased on a royalty system to mining companies. The province gets half its revenue in this way. There is no direct taxation for provincial purposes. It keeps up roads, bridges, etc., and thus lightens municipal taxation. The value of the coal-production exceeds $50,000,000. The Cape Breton mines are the largest producers, and have built up the port of Sydney, the population of which has quadrupled in ten years (now 10,000).
Nova Scotia is especially proud of her free, public-school system, which is open to the children of all the people. In each of the 18 counties a high school or academy carries on the work of the public school to a higher plane, and universities carry the work still further and crown the educational structure. There also is a provincial normal school at Truro. Dalhousie College and the University (undenominational) are at Halifax. The University of King’s College at Windsor is Anglican, and that of Acadia College at Wolfville is Baptist. St. Francis Xavier College at Antigonish and St. Anne’s College at Digby are Roman Catholic. There are a Presbyterian Theological College at Halifax, a school for the blind and one for the deaf and dumb.
Halifax port is open all the year round and is the terminus of the Intercolonial Railway.