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23 Pros And Cons Of Living In Halifax (Expat Advice)

23 Pros And Cons Of Living In Halifax (Expat Advice)

Most people will think of Canada as nothing more than going to Montreal or checking out a place like Niagara Falls.

Yes, those are beautiful parts of Canada but this is a vast land with loads of opportunities for those who are moving here.

We often recommend checking out the East Coast in Canada because it’s a breathtaking sight. You are going to be impressed by its charm as soon as you are in a place like Halifax.

For expats moving to Halifax, you will want to know more about it.

Expats living in Halifax tend to enjoy their time here and it’s common to find retirees in Halifax because of how charming it is along with its natural beauty.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of moving to Halifax.

Pros Of Living In Halifax

Affordable Housing

When looking at the pros of moving to Halifax as an expat, it is important to consider your housing situation.

Where are you going to reside when you are here?

For the most part, the housing is affordable whether you are looking to rent in Halifax or buy a property in Halifax. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, you should be able to get a good deal here.

Good Education System

The education system is good here.

It’s normal for families to live in Halifax because the education system is strong and you can end up enjoying your time here as soon as you are in the system.

Kids will often go to well-rounded schools that focus on their development.

It’s also common for students to come for post-secondary education to Halifax. After all, Dalhousie University is a popular one in Canada.

Welcoming People

People on the East Coast are quite welcoming.

This is a part of their nature and that is the beauty of an easy-going lifestyle. They are not running after the natural hustle and bustle of life that might be visible in other places such as Toronto or Vancouver.

Instead, you get people that are laid back and enjoying life for all that it has to offer.

This leads to them being welcoming and open to new people.


We enjoy the spacious nature of Nova Scotia and Halifax.

There is ample space for those who want a bit of peace when they are living in Halifax. You will often find pockets where there is no one and life is not as busy as it might be in other provinces.

This is enjoyable for those who just want to be near the water and have a good time on their own.


When you are looking at the national parks of Canada, you will appreciate their beauty. The same beauty is seen in Halifax.

You often see people take the CAT Ferry to Nova Scotia to see this beauty in person.

The beautiful scenery of Halifax is hard to deny.

It’s going to take your breath away as soon as you are here and we do recommend taking the time to head to the coast and enjoy all that it has to offer.

Growing Economy

The economy is just starting to grow and that is a good sign for those who are looking to move at the right time.

Halifax is a growing economy, which means you are getting in at the right time.

This is also a good opportunity to buy a house and then have it appreciate. We feel this is one part of Canada where you can get a decent-sized house and know it is going to grow in value over time.

Easy To Drive Here

Driving is not a difficult task here.

We do find parking to be a bit challenging depending on where you are going in Halifax, but the driving experience is a joy.

People are not going to be on the road as much and you are going to have a relatively easy time getting from point A to point B in Halifax.

Low Crime Rate

Moving to Halifax as an expat means you are going to have one eye on the crime rate.

The crime rate in Halifax is low.

This is due to the good policing system in the region along with the smaller population. This makes it a lot easier for people to make the most of their time here and know the crime rate is going to be reasonable too.

Good Transit System

We found the transit system to be excellent.

Most people will assume the transit system is not going to be well-maintained in this part of Canada but that is untrue.

Instead, the bussing in Nova Scotia is world-class, especially in a city such as Halifax. This has a lot to do with the students in Halifax because they are studying here and they do require a proper transit system to get to where they need to.

Low Cost Of Living

The low cost of living is enticing for those who are going to be retiring in Halifax.

You are going to have most things taken care of including your healthcare, which means it’s all about getting the necessities right.

If that is what you want, you will enjoy staying in Halifax as an expat.

The low cost of living keeps things simple.

Good Food

The food is often underrated when it comes to living in Halifax.

There are numerous restaurants throughout the city and you can end up finding some of the best seafood dishes in the world here.

This is due to it being close to the water.

You are going to get top-tier lobster and other similar foods here and they do care about seafood a lot in this part of Canada.

Calm Weather

The weather is calm during most times of the year other than the winter.

The winter months are harsh in most parts of Canada and that is not going to change in Halifax. However, you are going to enjoy how calm it is for the rest of the year.

Cons Of Living In Halifax

High Tax Rate

The tax rate is a bummer.

This is a major concern for those who are going to be living in Halifax. The tax rate tends to be higher than in other parts of Canada, which is already known for having high tax rates.

This means you are going to be paying a huge chunk of your income to the government and that is also going to be topped off by things such as property tax and sales tax.

Keep this in mind when you move to Halifax as an expat.

Tends To Get Quiet Early In The Day

This is a concern for those who are more out there when it comes to having a bit of fun on the weekend or during the night.

You are not going to get this type of fun here.

Yes, those who love being outdoors are going to have a great time. However, those who just want to go clubbing or visit a bar are going to be underwhelmed in Halifax.

Average Nightlife

The nightlife goes hand in hand with the lack of entertainment in Halifax.

You will not get the type of entertainment you would in a larger city. This is simply the nature of living in Halifax and it’s something you are going to get used to.

We recommend taking the time to explore Halifax and see its natural beauty. You can go camping and have a great time doing other things.

Poor Job Prospects

If you are moving to Halifax with the hopes of landing a job then you are going to be climbing up a steep hill here.

It’s not going to be easy.

The job prospects are not going to be good and you are going to struggle to land a job. This is due to the lack of employment opportunities from the bigger companies in this part of Canada.

Harsh Winters

Some people are going to visit Canada in October and that sometimes does not paint a proper picture of what winter is like.

It snows a lot during the winter.

This is a major concern in the rest of Canada too, but it does become difficult to navigate through the city when you are dealing with blizzards all the time.

It’s common for the city to come to a halt during these blizzards.

Average Wages

The wages are not as high as in the rest of Canada.

The demand is not there, which means the wages are also lower. However, we would like to note that the cost of living in Halifax is also lower, which makes it palatable for you to get paid less for working in Halifax.

This is the give and take of working in Halifax over other cities in Canada.

Ineffective Roads

You are going to notice issues with the roads in Halifax.

This is not just about the quality of the roads but also how they are designed. They tend to be single lanes and there are also places where you are not going to find it easy to park the car as soon as you arrive.

This can be a real time-waster for those who just want to get out of their car after parking.

Lots Of Students During The Year

Dalhousie University has numerous students that flood the city during the year.

This tends to quieten in the summer, but then you also have tourists that pop over to Halifax for a quick visit.

This means things do get busy at certain times of the day and you are going to have to consider where you are staying to avoid some of the noisier parts. However, this is still not as bad as some of the major cities in Canada.

Hard To Travel

Traveling is not going to be easy when you are here.

It takes a long time to adjust.

You are going to have to pay more to travel to the same places and it’s also not as cheap to travel to other parts of Canada because Halifax is not central to the rest of the regions.


This is one of those cons that you are not going to consider until it is time to live in Halifax.

The pests are everywhere.

This is why you are going to have to be diligent about how your property is set up and how sealed it is. You don’t want the pests to get into the property as they are quite difficult to get out later.

Requires A Car

While Halifax has some of the most beautiful places in Canada, it is also going to require a vehicle.

This is due to how spread out things are.

This is one of the cons of having too much space in a city like Halifax. It is easy for the attractions to be spread out.

You will require a car to see these attractions.

Final Thoughts

These are the pros and cons of living in Halifax.

For those who are thinking about moving to Halifax, it’s one of the best East coast cities in Canada. You will enjoy the quiet, humble nature of this city and it’s a great place to be with your family.

We also recommend going through our guides on living in Edmonton, camping on Vancouver Island, spending time in Montreal, and staying in Victoria.