Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia

Coordinates: 44°36′42″N 63°29′39″W / 44.611656°N 63.494098°W / 44.611656; -63.494098
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Eastern Passage
The town centre of Eastern Passage (1 July 2016)
The town centre of Eastern Passage (1 July 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; -63.494098
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
 • Total13.72 km2 (5.30 sq mi)
0−36 m (−118 ft)
 • Total11,738
 • Density855/km2 (2,210/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (ADT)
Canadian Postal code
Area code902
Places in Nova Scotia

Eastern Passage 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.


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.[3] 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.[4][5]

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.

During the second world war Hartlen's Point was bought out in order to build a military complex at the mouth of the harbor. This complex was called the Devil's Battery and is located underground.[6]

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 harbor, 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 Fisherman's Cove opened as a tourist attraction. The attraction had things such as shops and restaurants.[7]

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.


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 Lawlor Island and McNabs 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.

The community is south--south-west of Cow Bay, and south-east of Shearwater, and has 1,372 hectares (13.72 km2) of landmass.


Ocean View Elementary School[edit]

  • Type: Elementary
  • Grades: Primary to 3
  • Constructed: 1954
  • Current Square Footage: 44,061 sq ft (4,093.4 m2).
  • Website: http://www.oves.ednet.ns.ca/

Horizon Elementary School[edit]

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

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]

  • Type: High School
  • Grades: 9 to 12
  • Constructed: 2018
  • Current Square Footage: 78,575 sq ft (7,300 m²)
  • Website: https://ivh.hrce.ca/

Island View High School opened its doors to students on September 8, 2018, after a long fight from the community for their own High School.

Parks and Recreation[edit]


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.

Clubs, groups, and organizations[edit]

Hartlen Point Golf Club[8] is also located in Eastern Passage. Opened in 1965 the club is located next to the Devils Battery which is a military complex including tunnels and bunkers.

Guides and Scouts[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.

Community centres[edit]

  • Horizon Recreation Centre


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.

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


  • MacCormick's Beach Provincial Park
  • Oceanview Skate Park
  • Sand Key Drive Park

There are several parks and playgrounds in the area. Two playgrounds are located in the Heritage Hills subdivision (on Melrose and Serop Crescent, respectively), and there are playgrounds at Horizon, 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.

Youth sports[edit]

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

Eastern Passage Tigers Basketball is a youth basketball organization.

United DFC was formed in 2016, when four former soccer clubs (Cole Harbour Soccer, Dartmouth F.C., Dartmouth United, and Eastern Passage Soccer) merged and created United DFC. It 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. For years, the former Eastern Passage Soccer hosted the Dartmouth region’s year-end mini festival, which is called Soccer By The Sea.


  • Kinsale Court Community Path
  • Shearwater Flyer Trail
  • Tanner's Eastern Passage Trail


Although there is not any recent information that regards population from the 2016 census, or 2021 census, there is information from the 2011 census that records 11,738 people lived within the boundaries of Eastern Passage.[9] In 2011, the population density of the community was 855 people per km2.



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 Internet access, 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.

Public transportation[edit]

Eastern Passage is served by Halifax Transit routes 6B and 6C, which link the community to the Woodside Ferry Terminal as well as the Bridge Terminal in Dartmouth.[10]


  1. ^ "Halifax Regional Municipality Urban Forest Master Plan" (PDF). halifax.ca. Government of the Municipality of Halifax. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  2. ^ "COMMUNITY PROFILE FOR JANUARY: EASTERN PASSAGE". novascotia.ca. Government of Nova Scotia. 2 January 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  3. ^ Alfreda Withrow, One City, Many Communities, Nimbus Publishing, 1999, pp. 21–23.
  4. ^ "Fort Clarence". The Royal Engineers in Halifax. Public Archives of Nova Scotia.
  5. ^ "Sherbrooke". Chebucto.ns.ca. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  6. ^ Naftel, William (2008). Halifax at war : searchlights, squadrons and submarines, 1939-1945. Halifax, N.S.: Formac Pub. Co. ISBN 978-0-88780-739-8. OCLC 233522178.
  7. ^ "Welcome to Eastern Passage Online". Eastern Passage Nova Scotia. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  8. ^ "History of the Club - Hartlen Point Golf Club". hartlenpoint.ca. Retrieved 2022-10-13.
  9. ^ "COMMUNITY PROFILE FOR JANUARY: EASTERN PASSAGE". novascotia.ca. Government of Nova Scotia. 2 January 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  10. ^ "Routes & Schedules". Halifax Transit. Retrieved 19 February 2022.

External links[edit]