Are you thinking of a long distance move to Halifax? This Maritime city boasts a boatload of appeal… but it does have a couple of downsides as well. So before you start packing your boxes, dig deeper into the pros and cons of moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Pros of Moving to Halifax
1. Reasonable Housing Prices
Although Halifax housing prices used to be cheap compared to other cities in Canada, now they can more accurately be described as “reasonable.” Increased demand has driven up the cost to buy a home in Nova Scotia’s largest city somewhat. (There have even been bidding wars on a few choice properties recently!) Still, homeownership is a much more affordable dream in Halifax than in, say, Toronto or Vancouver.
2. Beautiful Scenery
The Atlantic Ocean. That’s where any description of Halifax’s gorgeous scenery has to start. Wherever you choose to live in the city, you’re never more than 30 minutes from the beautiful beachfront. You’ll also find plenty of parks and hiking trails to enjoy, and even two ski hills not far away. If your idea of attractive scenery runs more toward sites created by human beings, you’ll enjoy the local historic landmarks and picturesquely painted houses.
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3. Friendly People
Haligonians, as they are known (seriously!), tend to be a friendly bunch. Courteous and happy, they are very willing to strike up a conversation with strangers…. and no one stays a stranger very long. People who’ve made the move to Halifax mention the pleasant feeling of knowing your neighbours, pitching in to help each other, and joining together to build a community.
4. Big City Feel
With an estimated 414,000 residents as of 2021, Halifax could be described as a mid-sized urban centre. But perhaps because it has Canada’s second-fastest-growing population, it is developing a distinctly big city vibe. Its thriving entertainment scene includes a wide variety of festivals throughout the year and some sophisticated dining. Yet the area maintains a slower, more relaxed pace of life — great if you’d like to leave traffic jams behind.
5. Safe Place To Live
Good news! Halifax is a very safe place to live. The crime rate in Halifax is much lower than in most other parts of Canada — and it continues to drop. Contributing to this downward trend: a number of formerly dodgy areas are now being gentrified.
The Cons of Moving to Halifax
1. Not As Many Job Options
Nova Scotia’s economy is rather sluggish, due at least in part to its small population. Job opportunities tend to be limited and several fields, like teaching, are already saturated. While there is seasonal work available, most long-term jobs are either in physically demanding industries like construction and fishing or in minimum wage sectors such as call centres. However, if you are moving to Halifax with a work-from-home job or a retirement pension, you won’t have to worry.
2. Amenities Are Bit More Expensive
No doubt about it, the cost of living in Halifax is relatively high. You’ll have to shell out approximately 9% more for food and similar basic amenities here than in Montreal, for example. There are a few exceptions, however, such as low prices for fresh, delicious seafood.
3. Taxes Are Higher
Be prepared to pay higher taxes in Halifax. That includes income tax, property tax, and even sales tax. The reason for these higher taxes? There is not enough large industry in Nova Scotia to support the government and its services, so individual taxpayers need to make up the shortfall.
Should You Move to Halifax?
As you can see, Halifax offers a lot more pros than cons. If you love salty ocean breezes — and the thought of paying less for a private house in a beautiful setting by the sea, than you would for a condo in other Canadian cities — then Halifax could be the ideal home for you. Just make sure you have a reliable source of income.
The next step in your research is checking out the cost of moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Usually, long distance moving costs are based on total weight X distance. Cassidy’s experienced, reliable long distance movers will be happy to help you make the calculation.