Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Enlarge Bedford, Nova Scotia Downtown Dartmouth

Downtown Dartmouth skyline from the Halifax ferry, showing the ferry terminal, the World Peace Pavilion, and the King's Wharf development.
Downtown Dartmouth skyline from the Halifax ferry, showing the ferry terminal, the World Peace Pavilion, and the King's Wharf development.
City of Lakes, "The Darkside"[1]
Location of Dartmouth, shown in red
Location of Dartmouth, shown in red
Dartmouth is located in Nova Scotia
Location of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Dartmouth is located in Canada
Dartmouth (Canada)
Coordinates: 44°40′0″N 63°34′0″W / 44.66667°N 63.56667°W / 44.66667; -63.56667Coordinates: 44°40′0″N 63°34′0″W / 44.66667°N 63.56667°W / 44.66667; -63.56667
ProvinceNova Scotia
Incorporated CityJanuary 1, 1961
Amalgamated with HalifaxApril 1, 1996
NeighbourhoodsAlbro Lake, Bell Ayr Park, Brightwood, Burnside, Commodore Park, Crichton Park, Crystal Heights, Downtown Dartmouth, Ellenvale, Grahams Corner, Greenough Settlement, Harbourview, Highfield Park, Imperoyal, Keystone Village, Lancaster Ridge, Manor Park, Montebello, Nantucket, Port Wallace, Portland Estates, Portland Hills, Shannon Park, Southdale, Tam O'Shanter Ridge, Tufts Cove, Wallace Heights, Woodlawn, Woodside
 • Governing BodyHalifax Regional Council
 • Community CouncilHarbour East - Marine Drive Community Council
 • Districts3 - Dartmouth South - Eastern Passage. 5 - Dartmouth Centre. 6 - Harbourview - Burnside - Dartmouth East
 • Total58.57 km2 (22.61 sq mi)
Highest elevation
113 m (371 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total65,741
 • Density1,122.4/km2 (2,907/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−04:00 (AST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−03:00 (ADT)
Postal code span
B2V to B2Z, B3A-B
Area code(s)902
Telephone Exchanges433-5, 460-6, 468-9, 481
NTS Map011D12
Part of a series about Places in Nova Scotia

Dartmouth (/ˈdɑːrtməθ/ DART-məth) is a former city and current community located in the Halifax Regional Municipality of Nova Scotia, Canada. Dartmouth is located on the eastern shore of Halifax Harbour. Dartmouth has been nicknamed the City of Lakes, after the large number of lakes located within its boundaries.

On April 1, 1996, the provincial government amalgamated all the municipalities within the boundaries of Halifax County into a single-tier regional government named the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Dartmouth and its neighbouring city of Halifax, the town of Bedford and the Municipality of the County of Halifax were dissolved. The city of Dartmouth forms part of the urban core of the larger regional municipality and is officially designated as part of the "capital district" by the Halifax Regional Municipality. At the time that the City of Dartmouth was dissolved, the provincial government altered its status to a separate community to Halifax; however, its status as part of the metropolitan "Halifax" urban core existed prior to municipal reorganization in 1996.

Dartmouth is still an official geographic name that is used by all levels of government for legal purposes, postal service, mapping, 9-1-1 emergency response, municipal planning, and is recognized by the Halifax Regional Municipality as a civic addressing community. The official place name did not change, due to the confusion with similar street names, land use planning set out by the former "City of Dartmouth," and significant public pressure. Today the same development planning for Downtown Dartmouth and the rest of the region is still in force, as well as specific bylaws created prior to April 1, 1996.


Alderney Landing, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749.[3] By unilaterally establishing Halifax, the British were violating earlier treaties with the Miꞌkmaq (1726), which were signed after Father Rale's War.[4] The British quickly began to build other settlements. To guard against Miꞌkmaq, Acadian and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, British fortifications were erected in Halifax (1749), Dartmouth (1750), Bedford (Fort Sackville) (1751), Lunenburg (1753) and Lawrencetown (1754).

In 1750, the sailing ship Alderney arrived with 151 immigrants. Municipal officials at Halifax decided that these new arrivals should be settled on the eastern side of Halifax Harbour. During the early years, there were 8 Acadian and Miꞌkmaq raids on the new British settlement, such as the Raid on Dartmouth (1751).

The original settlement was made in an area the Miꞌkmaq called Ponamogoatitjg[5] (Boonamoogwaddy), which has been varyingly translated as "Tomcod Ground" or "Salmon Place" in reference to the fish which were presumably caught in this part of Halifax Harbour. The community was later given the English name of Dartmouth in honour of William Legge, 1st Earl of Dartmouth who was a former Secretary of State. By 1752, 53 families consisting of 193 people lived in the community.

Dartmouth was initially a sawmill and agricultural outpost of Halifax. However, in the mid 19th century, it grew, first with the construction of the Shubenacadie Canal and more importantly with the rise of successful industrial firms such as the Dartmouth Marine Slips, the Starr Manufacturing Company, and the Stairs Ropeworks.

In 1873, Dartmouth was incorporated as a town and a Town Hall was established in 1877. In 1955, the town was permanently linked to Halifax by the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge which led to rapid suburban growth. The Town of Dartmouth amalgamated with several neighbouring villages into the City of Dartmouth in 1961. The A. Murray MacKay Bridge opened in 1970, furthering commercial and residential growth. The Dartmouth General Hospital opened in 1976.

The city was dissolved on April 1, 1996, when its government was amalgamated into the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Municipal government

Dartmouth is represented municipally in Halifax Regional Council by the following districts:

Angus A MacDonald Bridge (the 'old Bridge') Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The HRM community council for Dartmouth is the Harbour East - Marine Drive Community Council are held in various locations on the first Thursday of every month.

Residents of Dartmouth are known as Dartmouthians. As a community, Dartmouth has often tended to distinguish itself from the community and former city of Halifax, even under the present municipal amalgamation. Dartmouth is also the Halifax Regional Municipality's Public Works Eastern Region.


The city was not only a bedroom community for Halifax, but also had commerce and industries of its own, including the Volvo Halifax Assembly plant, and a molasses plant dating back to the days of the triangular trade with the West Indies. Today, Dartmouth is home to the shopping district of Dartmouth Crossing, as well as federal government offices, many located in the Queen Square building on Alderney Drive.

Transportation and communications

Ferry running between Halifax and Dartmouth, docked at Dartmouth Ferry Terminal.


Dartmouth is linked to Halifax by the oldest continuously operating salt water ferry service in North America with the first crossing having taken place in 1752. Early ferries were powered by horses, which were replaced with steam engines in 1830. During the early 20th century, ferries shuttled pedestrians and vehicles between the downtown areas of Halifax and Dartmouth. A railway trestle was built across Halifax Harbour in the late 19th century to bring rail service to Dartmouth however it was destroyed by a storm, requiring the present railway connection built around Bedford Basin.

During the early 1950s, construction began on the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, a suspension bridge crossing Halifax Harbour. It opened in 1955, ushering in an unprecedented development boom in Dartmouth. New subdivisions, shopping centres, office buildings and industrial parks have been built in recent decades. A second bridge, the A. Murray MacKay Bridge was opened in 1970 and the Highway 111 Circumferential Highway was built around Dartmouth to Woodside at this time.


Halifax skyline from Dartmouth, NS.

Natal Day


The former City of Dartmouth, at the time of the 1996 census, covered 58.57 km2 and housed 65,629 people.[12] After 1 April 1996, the former city was turned into an urban community of the Halifax Regional Municipality. As of 2016, the area of the former City of Dartmouth increased to 60.36 km2, and grew in population to 68,407 people. The former City of Dartmouth consisted of census-tracts 2050100.00-to-2050114.00.[13]

Census Tract Land Area (km2) Population Population Density (per km2)
2050100.00 5.86 3,855 657
2050101.00 1.67 3,343 2,001
2050102.00 1.32 4,623 3,502
2050103.00 1.89 4,228 2,237
2050104.01 1.24 2,015 1,625
2050104.02 4.85 8,522 1,757
2050105.01 1.19 3,082 2,589
2050105.02 2.11 4,613 2,186
2050106.01 1.56 3,538 2,267
2050106.02 8.96 5,106 569
2050107.00 1.54 3,000 1,948
2050108.00 2.27 4,769 2,100
2050109.00 1.27 3,200 2,519
2050110.00 0.81 1,481 1,828
2050111.00 0.97 3,132 3,228
2050112.00 1.65 2,014 1,220
2050113.00 3.06 1,317 430
2050114.00 18.14 6,569 362
Total 60.36 68,407 1,133 Former City of Dartmouth
Data cited from 2016.[14]


Display on Dartmouth waterfront, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Neighbourhoods of Dartmouth include:

The oldest structure in Dartmouth is the house of William Ray, a Quaker and cooper[15] from Nantucket who moved to Dartmouth in 1785-86 as a whaler. Its materials and construction methods closely resembles Quaker architecture in Nantucket, such as the asymmetrical facade design and stone foundation.[16] It is located at 59 Ochterloney Street and is believed to have been built around 1785 or 1786. Today it is a museum, furnished as a typical modest dwelling of a merchant of that time.[16][17]

Dartmouth's City hall was built in the early 1960s on the waterfront adjacent to the Alderney Ferry Terminal. The building was declared surplus and sold to Starfish Properties and will be redeveloped.[18]


Dartmouth has been home to several Canadian Forces installations:

Notable people


The City of Dartmouth Seal, located on a police badge.
Flag of the former City of Dartmouth



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-06-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "2001 Census Profile: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia". Statistics Canada. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008; Thomas Beamish Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 7
  4. ^ Wicken (2002), p. 181; Griffith, p. 390; Also see "Archived copy". northeastarch. Archived from the original on 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2014-02-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Wicken, William C. (2002). Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land and Donald Marshall Junior. University of Toronto Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-8020-7665-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  6. ^ 1762 Census
  7. ^ 104.pdf Archived April 23, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Canada Year Book 1932
  8. ^ 140.pdf Archived January 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Canada Year Book 1955
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2014-08-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Canada Year Book 1967
  10. ^ [1], 1996 Census of Canada: Electronic Area Profiles
  11. ^ [2], 2001 Community Profiles
  12. ^ "Electronic Area Profiles". Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Halifax". University of Toronto. University of Toronto. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Halifax Open Data". halifax.ca. Government of the Municipality of Halifax.
  15. ^ "HistoricPlaces.ca - HistoricPlaces.ca". www.historicplaces.ca. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  16. ^ a b Dartmouth Heritage Museum
  17. ^ Historic Places Canada
  18. ^ http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1465950-former-dartmouth-city-hall-gets-a-new-lease-on-life
  19. ^ "Arnie Patterson: Trudeau, rock 'n' roll and the Springhill Mine Disaster". The Globe and Mail. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2014-04-26.