Questions about Moving to Nova ScotiaWhat I Wish I knew before Moving to Nova Scotia, Canada

When we moved to Nova Scotia, we shipped a container with all our belongings from home and boy, are we thankful. 10 years ago it was pretty awful shopping here, not a lot of choice and expensive. Nowadays , there is definitely more choice – and IKEA is opening in 2017 so will help with competition and prices.

  • It takes a long time to grow good friends. You will meet a lot of new people when you move to Nova Scotia and it’s very easy to surround yourself with British people because that is familiar and ideal for sharing tips, but finding good friends takes a little longer.
  • It is trickier to get a job and that applies to the Canadian system in general. Every job seems to want degrees and bits of paper, rather than experience. You really have to push yourself and never give up.
  • getting a job in nova scotiaIf you apply for a job, it’s highly unusual for Companies to contact you if you are not successful for interview. Not even a courtesy letter saying “thank you, but no thank you”. Weird.



  • Wherever you go in Canada, the curries are not as good as the British ones. And here in Nova Scotia, curry houses are few and far between. You either learn to be a curry master in the kitchen or you make do with what’s available (ps. there’s an Indian Spice shop downtown Halifax which will help transform you into a Master-curry-chef).
  • You can’t buy chilled ready meals (Indian..Chinese..) in Supermarkets. No such thing.
  • You can’t buy alcohol in Supermarkets.
  • Flights are very expensive compared to Europe’s cheap flights and short distances.
  • Houses are cheaper in Nova Scotia and you get a LOT for your money, but maintaining it can be costly.
  • Be prepared for Canadian drivers to speed and tailgate you. Compared to other Canadian cities, Nova Scotia drivers are probably better (?) but I’ve seen more crashes here than I ever did in the UK – and they have SO much open space.
  • Proper bacon is harder to find. Everyone seems to like the streaky stuff. Sure it’s tasty but you have to nearly eat the whole packet to feel satisfied (not good for the blood cholesterol). Every now and then I crave some “proper” bacon.
  • Buying British goodies – chocolate, selection boxes at Christmas, Walkers crisps, Ribena etc. is very expensive. We have access to so many British foods through Pete’s, Delish Fine foods and even a few Supermarkets have a British section, but I can only part with the extortionate amount of money for special occasions.
  • You will convert dollars to sterling for the longest time…..

This is a work in progress and I’m sure I will be coming back to the list to add to it but that’s it for now folks….

I would love to hear what fellow ex-pats miss most, so please feel free to comment!

Life is definitely good in Nova Scotia, it’s just a little different 🙂



Jane & Richard Killeen-Payne

1-902 489-1804