Is my driver's license valid in Canada?American driver’s licenses are valid for varying periods of time. The international Driving permit is also valid, but must be accompanied at all times by the visitor’s state or national license. Every car must carry evidence of its registration (vehicle permit). If you don't own the vehicle, carry a letter from the owner or a copy of the vehicle rental contract.
Do I have to wear a seatbelt while in Nova Scotia?In Nova Scotia you are required to wear a seatbelt while the vehicle is in operation. The driver is responsible for ensuring that all children under 16 are wearing a seatbelt or other appropriate restraint such as a baby seat. Your child cannot be carried on the lap of a front seat passenger.
What are the differences between speeds given in Kilometres and those in miles?Canadian speed limits are posted on road signs in kilometres (1.6km = 1 mile). Highway speed limits are usually between 80km/h – 100 km/h or 50mph to 65mph. On city streets, speed limits are typically 50km/h or 30-35 mph. To convert miles to kilometres multiply the number of miles by 1.6. To convert kilometres to miles multiply the number of kilometres by 0.6.
Does Greyhound bus have a travel service to Canada from the U.S.?Greyhound travels through Canada, to and from Montreal, Quebec, to Port Hardy, at the north tip of Vancouver Island. Sometimes the bus company name is different, but most reservations can be made through Greyhound. **Greyhound in the USA and Greyhound in Canada are completely separate companies.
Are there major bus lines in Nova Scotia?SMT (Eastern) Ltd. and Acadian Lines provide excellent service throughout the province of Nova Scotia. There are connections with SMT Eastern from the neighboring province of New Brunswick, Voyager from Quebec and Ontario, and Greyhound from the United States. Acadian Lines also provides daily service throughout Nova Scotia (902-453-8912). For further information visit the Acadian Lines website. There is extensive shuttle service within Nova Scotia. Please contact the nearest tourist information centre for a listing or call 1-800-565-0000.
How do I get around Halifax without a car?Metro transit provides convenient and reliable bus service throughout Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and portions of the county. Metro transit also operates three ferries for the Dartmouth and Woodside ferry terminals with free transfers connecting to transit buses. The cost of metro transit is $2.00 for an adult and $1.40 for child/senior. For more information call MetroInfo at 490-6600.
Metro Transit Online
From June to September, downtown Halifax offers a complimentary shuttle (Fred) service in the downtown Halifax area. It is easily recognized, as its color is a vibrant canary yellow with a baby blue water wave. Service hours for Fred are 11:00am - 6: 00pm. Route maps and schedules are available at Visitor Information Centres and shopping mall information booths.
Metro Transit: Fred
Taxicabs are readily accessible in all major cities and most towns throughout Nova Scotia.
Is there an airport in Nova Scotia?Major airports are located in Halifax, Sydney and Yarmouth, with the Halifax International Airport serving as the "hub" airport for the entire Atlantic region, providing direct connections throughout North America, as well as with Europe and beyond. Limousine services and car rentals are available at the Halifax International, Yarmouth International and Sydney airports. There is a shuttle bus to and from hotels in the Halifax area.
Ferry ServicesFerry services in Nova Scotia provide connections to and from Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
Bar Harbor, Maine - Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Daily service, May to October; twice daily July and August. Reservations required. 1-888-249-7245; (902) 566-3838; fax (902) 566-1550; Passengers should be at the terminal one hour prior to sailing.
Newfoundland - Nova Scotia
Marine Atlantic Inc. is a Canadian Federal Crown Corporation that operates ferries across the Cabot Straight between the Islands of Newfoundland and mainland Nova Scotia. The ferries operate year-round between Port aux Basques, NFLD and North Sydney, NS. During the summer months they also operate between Argentia NFLD and North Sydney, NS. For information on rates and reservation visit the Marine Atlantic website.
Prince Edward Island - Nova Scotia
Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, to Caribou, Nova Scotia, daily service May 1 to December 20, operated by Northumberland Ferries Ltd., In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, call toll-free 1-800-565-0201. From other areas, call (902) 566-3838.
Saint John, New Brunswick - Digby, Nova Scotia
Daily service year-round; three trips daily during peak months. Reservations recommended. Bay Ferries. 1-888-249-7245; (902) 566-3838; fax (902) 566-1550.
How can I get from/to Halifax and Dartmouth?Halifax has two bridges connecting the city to Dartmouth. Tolls at the present are $0.75 or a single token. The Angus L. MacDonald Bridge is the only bridge allowing pedestrian and cycle traffic. Large trucks and those with campers should use the A. Murray MacKay Bridge. If you would prefer not to drive on the bridges you can take the scenic route through Bedford.
|Do any highways in Nova Scotia have tolls?|
Yes. The Cobequid Pass on Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) 104, which begins at the Nova Scotia / New Brunswick border is a toll road. At present, the toll fee is $3.50 per passenger vehicle. An alternative non-toll route is Highway 4 through the Wentworth Valley, restrictions apply to commercial vehicles.
There is also a toll of $0.75 per passenger vehicle on both bridges between the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth.
Provincial HighwaysIn Nova Scotia we drive on the right-hand side of the road. A yellow line separates lanes heading in opposite directions. Seat belt use in Nova Scotia is mandatory for all drivers and all passengers in automobiles. On motorcycles and bicycles, approved helmets are required.
All speed zones are posted in kilometres per hour. Do not confuse these figures with miles per hour. Nova Scotia's highways are patrolled by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and by air patrol. Substantial fines (minimum $107.50) are imposed for violating speed limits. Maximum traffic speeds in Nova Scotia, unless otherwise posted, are as follows: TransCanada & 100-series highways - 100 km/h or 62 mph, Other highways - 80 km/h or 50 mph. Please note that radar detectors are illegal in Nova Scotia and will be confiscated by the RCMP.
The minimum fine for littering along our highways is $387.50.
As part of our provincial highway infrastructure, there are 7 pay-per use ferries; four cable ferries and three ocean-going, self-propelled ferries. The ferries, which run year-round, range in price from $3.00-$5.00.
What should I know about bicycle use on provincial highways?Bicycles are generally subject to the same laws as other vehicles on the highway. They must travel on the extreme right-hand side of the road; they must obey all traffic signals and signs; if they are impeding traffic, they must pull over and let other vehicles past. They require a bell or horn and, if travelling at any time that visibility is limited, a headlight and reflectors. Drivers of other vehicles should treat bicycles as they would any other vehicle on the road. Bicycle riders in Nova Scotia are required to wear proper helmets.
Does Canada have a national rail service?National passenger rail service is operated by Via Rail. Despite cutbacks, it is still possible to go all the way from Vancouver to Halifax by train. You have to change trains at Toronto and at Montreal and the schedules are such that you must get off the train and make at least one overnight stop, which will be in Toronto if you are traveling east, or in either Toronto or Montreal if you are headed west. The Toronto-Vancouver train runs three times a week. In southern Ontario and Quebec, trains run several times a day between major centres.
For fares and schedules, consult a travel agent; visit the VIA Rail web site, or telephone:
- Newfoundland: 800-561-3926
- Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick: 800-561-3952
- Halifax NS: 902-429-8421
- Saint John NB: 902-642-2916
- Moncton NB: 902-857-9830
Outside Canada, consult a travel agent, or phone VIA Rail in the nearest major Canadian city.
Are there restrictions for Travel Trailers/Recreational Vehicles?Size limits of travel trailers are: height, 4.15 m (13.6 ft.); width, 2.6 m (8.6 ft.); combined maximum length of car and trailer, 21 m (68 ft.).
The following are required on trailers:
- Safety Chain
- Breakaway Switch - Required for trailers with a gross weight of more than 1 300 kg (3,000 lb.).
- Flares - For emergency purposes, (pot-type) flares are required when travel trailers or motorized homes are disabled on the highway. One must be displayed in front of the vehicle, the other in back. In lieu of (pot-type) flares, a red emergency reflector, lighted fuse or electrically operated red lantern may be used.
- License Plate Light
- Braking System - Required for trailers with a gross weight of 1 800 kg (4,000 lb.); either hand-type or electrical.
- Mounted Seats - Riding in a towed recreational vehicle is prohibited, but it is permitted in a truck camper equipped with permanent mounted seats.
- Automatic Safety Valve - No gas or oil appliance (e.g. water heater, refrigerator, furnace) may be operated within a moving trailer unless the appliance is equipped with an automatic safety valve.
- Mirrors - Towing mirrors must be attached to your car if the load or a trailer obscures rear vision. However, it is illegal to drive on the highway with the extra mirrors in place without the load or trailer attached to the car.
Are there city street regulations?Speed limits in Cities & towns 50 km/h or 30 mph and School zones (when children are present) 50 km/h or 30 mph.
Pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersections and at crosswalks, with responsibility not to interfere with the flow of traffic.
School buses must display flashing amber lights for approximately 150 m (500 ft.) before stopping to receive or discharge passengers. When the amber lights are flashing, drivers of all other vehicles should prepare to stop. While the school bus is stopped, the bus driver must display flashing red lights. All traffic from both directions must stop and remain stopped until the bus proceeds.
What do the different highway signs mean?The Trans Canada and 100-series highways are limited-access, rapid-transit highways. The Trans Canada Highway is a direct route from the New Brunswick border near Amherst to the Newfoundland ferry terminal in Cape Breton. Near Pictou a short extension, Highway 106 to Caribou, leads to Prince Edward Island via a ferry service.
Trans Canada Highway
Colour on Map: Green. Numbers 104, 105 and 106. All-weather, limited-access, rapid-transit highways.
Provincial All-Weather Highways
Colour on Map: Blue. Numbers from 100 to 199. All-weather, limited-access, rapid-transit highways. The last digit usually matches the number of the parallel trunk highway (e.g., Hwy 102 is parallel to Rte 2).
Colour on Map: Black. Numbers from 1 to 99. Trunk highways connecting major centres. These roads meet the standards of "arterial highways."
Colour on Map: Brown. Numbers from 200 to 399. May not meet arterial highway standards and may not necessarily connect geographic regions or population centres.
Tourist Attraction Signs
Blue signs on limited-access highways indicating Nova Scotia's major attractions.