Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia

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Eastern Passage
Suburban Community
The town centre of Eastern Passage, July 1, 2016.
The town centre of Eastern Passage, July 1, 2016.
Cow Bay & Eastern Passage planning area of municipal Halifax.
Cow Bay & Eastern Passage planning area of municipal Halifax.
Coordinates: 44°36′42″N 63°29′39″W / 44.611656°N 63.494098°W / 44.611656; -63.494098Coordinates: 44°36′42″N 63°29′39″W / 44.611656°N 63.494098°W / 44.611656; -63.494098
Country Canada
Province Nova Scotia
MunicipalityHalifax Regional Municipality
District3 - Dartmouth South - Eastern Passage
Foundedcirca 1798
 • TypeRegional Council
 • Governing CouncilHalifax Regional Council
 • Community CouncilHarbour East - Marine Drive Community Council
 • Total29.38 km2 (11.34 sq mi)
0-36 m (−118 ft)
 • Total11,740
 • Density399.59/km2 (1,034.9/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (ADT)
Canadian Postal code
Area code(s)902
Places in Nova Scotia

Eastern Passage (2011 population: 11,666) is an unincorporated suburban community in Halifax Regional Municipality Nova Scotia, Canada.

Eastern Passage has historically been tied to the fishing industry. Its waterfront has several small wharves and piers. The construction of CFB Shearwater, a military air base, at the northern boundary of the community during World War I, and the construction of the Imperial Oil (later Esso), Texaco (later Ultramar) oil refineries, the Volvo Halifax Assembly plant and automobile import/export facility following World War II redefined the local economy. New highway connections have resulted in the majority of area residents commuting to Downtown Halifax or Dartmouth.


Located at the southeastern edge of Halifax Harbour, fronting the Atlantic Ocean, Eastern Passage derives its name from the narrow strait separating the mainland from McNabs Island and Lawlor Island, both of which lie several hundred metres west of the community. This "Eastern Passage" into the harbour is not the main shipping channel due to its shallow depths; the main shipping channel lies west of McNabs Island. The Eastern Passage is largely used by small recreational boats and fishing vessels during inclement weather as the island affords shelter from prevailing winds.


Prior to the European settlers, Eastern Passage was a season home to the Mi'kmaq for thousands of years. Europeans began seasonal use of the channel starting about 1712 while the Mi'kmaq shifted to McNab's island. The Eastern Passage area was granted to ranger Joseph Gorham, but he did not settle the passage and the land was regranted in 1798 to Jacob Horn, the first recorded settler who was soon followed by other families.[1] The first European settlers who moved there were mainly German, French, Irish and English. These ethnic groups continue to make up a large portion of the population of Eastern Passage.

Fort Clarence (formerly the Eastern Battery), a large gun battery was constructed beside Eastern Passage in 1754 at the beginning of the French and Indian War. Built to defend the harbour, the battery provided a cross fire with batteries on Georges Island and McNabs Island. In the late 1790s a Martello Tower was built at each of the three sites.[2][3]

During the American Civil War, The iron Confederate naval cruiser Tallahassee sailed into Halifax Harbour on August 18, 1864 to take on bunker coal and water and then used the Eastern Passage channel to escape, for it was believed that Union naval forces were waiting at the main harbour entrance.

An American naval air station was constructed at Eastern Passage during World War I to patrol against German submarines. It was taken over by the Royal Canadian Air Force in the 1920s and became a large air base during World War II.

In the 1920s and 1930s, a number of Eastern Passage residents from the Hartlan and Henneberry families proved important sources of Canadian folk songs and stories to Nova Scotia folklorist Helen Creighton.

Serious reductions to the CFB Shearwater base in the 1990s and the shutdown of the Ultramar Refinery challenged the economy of Eastern Passage in the 1990s. One response was the redevelopment of the small craft harbour, long known as "the Crick" or "the cove" but rechristened in 1996 as "Fisherman's Cove", a tourist attraction which combines a working fishing harbour with gift shops and restaurants.

In 1996 Fishermans Cove opened as a tourist attraction. The attraction had things such as shops and restaurants.[4]

In the summer of 2003, the fourth season of Trailer Park Boys was filmed in Eastern Passage. It was the last season of the show filmed in a privately held park.


  • Population (2001): 8,872
  • Population (2006): 13,000+
  • Total Area: 29.38 km²
  • Latitude: 44.614296
  • Longitude: -63.470833


Ocean View Elementary School[edit]

  • Type: Elementary
  • Grades: Primary to 3

Tallahassee Community School[edit]

  • Type: Elementary
  • Grades: Primary to 3, including French Immersion
  • Constructed: 1991
  • Current Square Footage: 64,600 sq ft (6,000 m2).
  • Website: http://www.tcs.ednet.ns.ca/
  • Whether elementary students attend Ocean View or Tallahassee is dependent on where they live in the respective school's catchment area or are enrolled in the French Immersion programme.

Seaside Elementary[edit]

  • Type: SR. Elementary
  • Grades: 4, 5
  • Constructed: 1974 (opened as Eastern Passage Junior High School)
  • Current Square Footage: 44,737 sq ft (4,156.2 m2).
  • Website: http://ses.hrsb.ca/

Eastern Passage Education Centre[edit]

Island View High School[edit]

High school (Grades 9–12) approx. 450 students are bused out of the community to neighbouring Cole Harbour District High School. An announcement was made in April 2012 that a high school could open in September 2014.[5][6][7] Though it has been discussed many times over the past decade, as of October 2016 Eastern Passage Students still attend Cole Harbour District High School. The new school is scheduled to be completed and turned over to the HRSB in time for opening in September 2018.[8] The cost to build the new school will be approximately 21 million dollars.[9]

Website: https://www.hrsb.ca/about-hrsb/operations-services/capital-projects/island-view-high-school


Parks and playgrounds[edit]

There are several parks and playgrounds in the area. Two are located in the Heritage Hills subdivision (on Melrose and Serop Crescent, respectively), and there are playgrounds at Tallahassee, Oceanview, and Seaside schools. In August 2006, a new skateboard park opened near Seaside Elementary. Around 2016 a dirt BMX park, originally promised by at the time MLA, Becky Kent was built.


There is a large playing field at Eastern Passage Education Centre, and numerous baseball and general purpose fields located within the vicinity of the three elementary schools.

Other recreation[edit]

A public tennis court is located near Seaside Elementary. The Tallahassee Recreation Centre (located in the Tallahassee Community School building) often has various activities going on year-round.

Several beaches are in the area. McCormick's Beach is located at Fisherman's Cove near the boardwalk. A salt water beach (Rainbow Haven Beach), is located towards the Cow Bay area of the community. A large serviced beach (MacDonald Beach) is located between Eastern Passage and Cole Harbour. There is also a smaller beach located down the road from MacDonald Beach.

Youth sports[edit]

Eastern Passage hosts a variety of youth sport programs, including soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball.

Eastern Passage Soccer is organized by Soccer Nova Scotia and features both mini and youth leagues. Mini soccer includes Under-6, U-8 and U-10 teams, which are composed of both boys and girls. Youth soccer is divided by gender; it includes U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18 teams. Registration for soccer starts in February and is open until June for both mini and youth leagues, and the soccer season ends in August. Towards the end 2016 Eastern Passage Soccer and Cole Harbour Soccer merged to form CHEP. 2017 commenced and finished votes on an even bigger merge, including Dartmouth United, Dartmouth FC, and the previously merged Cole Harbour and Eastern Passage soccer clubs. It was ultimately decided all 4 clubs would conjoin to create United DFC.

Eastern Passage Soccer has hosted the Dartmouth region’s year-end mini festival, which is called Soccer By The Sea, for years. Since the merge of the 4 clubs, the newly formed United DFC hosts the beloved year-end event. The tournament celebrated its 19th year in 2010, and has seen well over 1500 players over the two-and-a-half-day event.

Eastern Passage Tigers Basketball is a youth basketball organization dedicated to providing a safe athletic environment that focuses on the development of physical fitness, sportsmanship and team play for children in the Eastern Passage, Cow Bay and Shearwater communities.

Eastern Passage Tigers Basketball has teams for boys and girls in Steve Nash - Junior Mini (ages 8 & 9), Mini (ages 10 & 11), Bantam (ages 12 & 13), Midget (ages 14 & 15) and Juvenile (ages 16 & 17). Basketball registration begins in September and the season runs through March.

Scouts and guides[edit]

There are several active Scouts Canada and Girl Guides of Canada groups in Eastern Passage, such as 2nd and 3rd Eastern Passage Scouting Groups.

Sea Cadets[edit]

Eastern Passage is home to Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Iroquois and 24 magnificent, recipient of the Convoy Shield for the most proficient Sea Cadet Corps in the Maritime area.



While much of the community is serviced by municipal water, areas on the outer edges of the community require the use of well water and septic systems.


All of Eastern Passage is served by Aliant (Telephone and DSL Broadband) and Eastlink (Telephone, Cable Broadband, Cable TV). The area has cellular coverage for both GSM (Rogers/Fido) and CDMA (Telus/Aliant).

Health and fitness[edit]

The Tallahassee Recreation Centre periodically offers fitness programs and includes a fitness centre for drop-in use. Outdoor fitness equipment is also available in the adjacent park.


  1. ^ Alfreda Withrow, One City, Many Communities, Nimbus Publishing, 1999, pp. 21–23.
  2. ^ "Fort Clarence". The Royal Engineers in Halifax. Public Archives of Nova Scotia.
  3. ^ "Sherbrooke". Chebucto.ns.ca. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Eastern Passage Online". Eastern Passage Nova Scotia. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  5. ^ Herald News (April 2, 2012) - Eastern Passage parents overjoyed with new school news
  6. ^ CBC News (April 2, 2012) - High school to open in Eastern Passage
  7. ^ Halifax News Net (April 2, 2012) - Province invests in Eastern Passage high school students Archived January 15, 2013, at Archive.today
  8. ^ Bunn, ANDREA (August 30, 2016). "Bids sought for Eastern Passage high school". OTTAWA BUREAU. Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  9. ^ Laroche, Jean; Gorman, Michael. "Auditor general slams plan to build $21M Eastern Passage high school". CBC News. Retrieved 1 December 2016.

External links[edit]