What you need to know about Halifax

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There is much to see and do within the Halifax Regional Municipality, and with so many extraordinary experiences you may never want to leave. To help make your stay even more enjoyable, find in this section a collection of information to help you better plan your visit.

  • Capital city For Nova Scotia Province Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Population Halifax Regional Municipality 392,503 (Est. July 1, 2010) Nova Scotia 934,605 (Est. July 1, 2008)
  • Languages Both of Canada’s official languages – English and French – are spoken throughout Nova Scotia and Halifax.
  • Time Zone Nova Scotia is on Atlantic Daylight Time, which is four hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time and one hour later than North America’s Eastern Time Zone. Daylight Saving Time is in effect annually from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November.
  • Area Code 902 – This area code must be dialed for long distance calls into or within Nova Scotia
  • Airports Nova Scottie is served by airports in Halifax and Sydney. Most air traffic comes through Halifax Stanfield International Airport. There are smaller airports throughout the province, many of them served by private charters.
  • Holidays (2010)
    New Year’s – January 1
    Good Friday – April 2
    Easter Monday – April 5
    Victoria Day – May 24
    Canada Day – July 1
    Natal Holiday – August 2
    Labour Day – September 6
    Thanksgiving Day – October 11
    Remembrance Day – November 11
    Christmas – December 25
    Boxing Day – December 26
  • Currency Canada’s currency is based on the decimal system, with 100 cents to the dollar. You can exchange your currency for Canadian dollars at authorized currency exchange counters in Halifax, at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and at the Visitor Information Centre in Yarmouth. You can also exchange currency at banks, credit unions and trust companies throughout Nova Scotia
  • Banks A majority of stores, restaurants and accommodations throughout Nova Scotia accept major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Debit (bank) cards are readily used (Interac, Plus and Cirrus networks). Credit and debit card charges will appear on the purchaser’s statement, converted to the home currency.
  • Credit/Debit Cards Canada’s currency is based on the decimal system, with 100 cents to the dollar. You can exchange your currency for Canadian dollars at authorized currency exchange counters in Halifax, at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and at the Visitor Information Centre in Yarmouth. You can also exchange currency at banks, credit unions and trust companies throughout Nova Scotia
  • Sales Tax & Rebates The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is applied at a single rate of 15% to a base of goods and services. If you are a non-resident (non-Canadian) sponsor, organizer, exhibitor, incentive house, or a participant in an event, you may be eligible for a rebate of this tax. Foreign visitors may also be entitled to claim a rebate of the HST paid. For rebate forms and more detailed information click here to link to Canada Revenue Agency. Accommodations in Halifax charge a Hotel Levy of 2% on room rates to assist in marketing of Halifax as a business and leisure destination
  • Hospital/Medical Services Visitors to Canada are strongly urged to obtain health insurance before leaving their home country. Canadian hospital and medical services are excellent, but a hospital stay can be costly without adequate insurance coverage. Visitors taking prescribed medications are advised to take a copy of the prescription should it need to be renewed during the trip.
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