Skip to content

Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

From the Vaults: Nova Scotia on Film

Read more articles by

The Nova Scotia Archives is pleased to share photos showcasing the changing faces of urban centers in Nova Scotia. You can learn more about the archives and explore thousands of photos, textual records, maps, art, and more on their website.

Last week, we at NSARM ended a year-long digitization project. Some of the films features were produced by the Nova Scotia Film Bureau (later Nova Scotia Information Service) under the supervisor of filmmaker Margaret Perry.

These films highlight Nova Scotia as a tourist destination and as a center of industry. An example of the later is the view of Sydney provided in the1956 film IDENTITY at the 8 minute mark:


Similar views of the Irving Oil refinery in Dartmouth are provided in the 1960s film MARINE HIGHWAY at 2:30:


Other films simply capture a part of the province as it was at a certain point in time. A 1930s home movie titled “Scenes of Halifax” show views of the city in the midst of the depression. Views of the waterfront and downtown start at 3:30:


Film from the days following the Halifax Explosion shows how the Richmond area in the city’s north end was destroyed:


There are 96 films in the project, all showing a unique glimpse of the province’s past. You can explore them on the NSARM site or on YouTube.