Nova Scotia, a province of Canada, consists of a long, narrow peninsula, and the island of Cape Breton, which is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Canso. It is bounded N. by Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St Lawrence ; NE., S., and SE. by the Atlantic ; W. by the Bay of Fundy; and NW. by New Brunswick, with which it is connected by an isthmus only 11 miles wide, separating the Bay of Fundy from Northumberland Strait. The greatest length is 350 miles, the greatest breadth 120 miles, and the area 20,907 sq. m. (13,380,480 acres) - one-third less than that of Scotland. One-fifth of the area consists of lakes, rivers, and inlets of the sea. Of upwards of 6,000,000 acres occupied, nearly 2,000,000 are in crop and pasture, and over 30,000 are gardens and orchards. Pop. (1806) 67,515; (1851) 276,117; (1871) 387,S00 ; (1901) 459,574.
The coast-line is about 1000 miles in length, and the shores abound with excellent harbours. There are numerous rivers, few of them more than 50 miles long. Bras d'Or in Cape Breton (q.v.) is a much indented sea-inlet. Lake Rossignol is 20 miles in length; Ship Harbour, a lake 15 miles long. Mines Basin, the east arm of the Bay of Fundy, penetrates 60 miles inland, and terminates in Cobequid Bay. The tides rise 30 to 50 feet in the basin with great impetuosity, and form a 'bore.' On each side of the Cobequid range are two extensive areas of fine arable lands; the Annapolis valley is especially rich. The northern part of Cape Breton is bold and steep (North Cape, 1800 feet). The principal cities and towns are Halifax, Dartmouth, Yarmouth, Truro, Pictou, Amherst, Windsor, Kent-ville, and Annapolis. The extreme of cold is 20° below zero, and of heat 98° in the shade. Spring is rather tedious, and the winter variable ; fogs are prevalent along the coasts, but do not penetrate far inland. Rye, oats, and barley, buckwheat, Indian corn, tomatoes, potatoes, turnips, and all root-crops grow in abundance ; wheat is not much grown ; hay is a very important crop. Apples, pears, plums, cherries, and other garden fruits attain the utmost perfection. Attention is now devoted to dairying and to the raising of live-stock. Sport is excellent throughout the province. The manufactures are limited, but are being developed. Mining (gold, coal, iron, etc.) is extensively carried on. The fisheries of Nova Scotia are among the finest in the world. The waters abound with mackerel, cod, herring, shad, salmon, halibut, haddock, lobsters, etc. The chief exports are fish, minerals, lumber, agricultural products, and general manufactures. There are 700 miles of railway. Education is free, and there are six colleges. The public affairs are administered by a lieutenant-governor, and executive council of twenty-one members, and a legislative assembly of thirty-eight members elected by the people for four years. The province is represented in the Dominion parliament by ten senators and eighteen members of the Lower House.
Discovered by Cabot in 1497, the country was partly settled in 1604 by the French, to whom it was known as Acadie. It long remained a bone of contention between France and England, but became finally British in 1713. The Acadians who refused to fall in with the new settlement were expelled in 1755 (Longfellow's Evangeline is not historically just); the well-being of Nova Scotia dates from the immigration of loyalists from the United States after the Revolutionary war. It entered the Dominion in 1867. See works by Haliburton (1829), Murdoch (1867), and Hannay (1889), besides the histories of Canada.