Nova Scotia Constitutional Timeline

An expanded version of what’s put forth by the Nova Scotia legislature.

1493 – May 4, Alexander VI, Pope of Rome, issued a bull, granting the New World. Spain laid claim to the entire North American Coast from Cape Florida to Cape Breton, as part of its territory of Bacalaos.

1496 – March 5, Henry VII, King of England issued a commission to John Cabot and his sons to search for an unknown land

1498 – March 5,  Letters Patents of King Henry the Seventh Granted unto John Cabot and his Three Sonnes, Lewis, Sebastian and Sancius for the “Discouerie of New and Unknowen Lands”

1502 – Henry VII commissioned Hugh Eliot and Thomas Ashurst to discover and take possession of the islands and continents in America; “and in his name and for his use, as his vassals, to enter upon, doss, conquer, govern, and hold any Mainland or Islands by them discovered.”

1524 – Francis I, King of France, said that he should like to see the clause in Adam’s will, which made the American continent the exclusive possession of his brothers of Spain and Portugal, is said to have sent out Verrazzano, a Florentine corsair, who, as has generally been believed, explored the entire coast from 30° to 50° North Latitude, and named the whole region New France.

1534 – King Francis commissioned Jacques Cartier to discover and take possession of Canada; “his successive voyages, within the six years following, opened the whole region of St. Lawrence and laid the foundation of French dominion on this continent.”

1578 – June 11, Letters patent granted by Elizabeth, Queen of England to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, knight, for “the inhabiting and planting of our people in America”.

1584 – March 25, Queen Elizabeth renewed Gilbert’s grant to Sir Walter Raleigh, his half-brother. Under this commission, Raleigh made an unsuccessful attempt to plant an English colony in Virginia, a name afterwards extended to the whole North Coast of America in honor of the “Virgin” Queen.

1603 – November 8, Henry IV, King of France, granted Sieur de Monts a royal patent conferring the possession of and sovereignty of the country between latitudes 40° and 46° (from Philadelphia as far north as Katahdin and Montreal). Samuel Champlain, geographer to the King, accompanied De Monts on his voyage, landing at the site of Liverpool, N.S., a region already known as “Acadia.”

1606 – April 10, King James claimed the whole of North America between 34° and 45° North latitude, granting it to the Plymouth and London Companies. This entire territory was placed under the management of one council, the Royal Council for Virginia. The Northern Colony encompassed the area from 38° to 45° North latitude.

1620 – November 3, Reorganization of the Plymouth Company in 1620 as the Council of Plymouth for New England, encompassing from 40° to 48° North latitude.

1621 – September 29, Charter granted to Sir William Alexander for Nova Scotia

1625 – July 12, A grant of the soil, barony, and domains of Nova Scotia to Sir Wm. Alexander of Minstrie

1630 – April 30, Conveyance of Nova-Scotia (Port-royal excepted) by Sir William Alexander to Sir Claude St. Etienne Lord of la Tour and of Uarre and to his son Sir Charles de St. Etienne Lord of St. Denniscourt, on condition that they continue subjects to the king of Scotland under the great seal of Scotland.

1632 – March 29, Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, between King Louis XIII. and Charles King of England for the restitution of the New France, Cadia and Canada and ships and goods taken from both sides.

1632 – May 14/24 – Concession of the River and Bay of St. Croix to Commander Razilly, by the Company of New France

1635/6 – January 15/25 – Concession of Acadia to Sir Charles La Tour, By The Company of New France.

1638 Grant to Charnesay and La Tour

1647 – February – Commission To Lord D’Aulney Charnizay, By Louis XIV of France.

1651/2 – February 25th,March 7th – Letters Patent Confirming Sir Charles La Tour In Acadia, By Louis XIV. Of France.

1654 – August 16, Capitulation of Port-Royal

1656 – August 9/19, The Grant of Acadia, By Oliver Cromwell

1656 – September 17/27 – Commission to Colonel Temple, By Oliver Cromwell

1667 – July 31, The treaty of peace and alliance between England and the United Provinces made at Breda

1668 – February 17, Act of cession of Acadia to the King of France

1689 – English Bill of Rights enacted

1691, October 7, A charter granted by King William and Queen Mary to the inhabitants of the province of Massachusetts Bay, in New England

1713 – March 31, Treaty of peace and friendship between Louis XIV. King of France, and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, made in Utrecht

1713 – April 11, Treaty of navigation and commerce between Louis XIV, king of France, and Anne, Queen of Great Britain

1719 – June 19, Commission to Richard Philips to be Governor (including a copy of the 1715 Instructions given to the Governor of Virginia, by which he was to conduct himself)

1725 – August 26, Explanatory Charter of Massachusetts Bay

1725 – December 15, A treaty with the Indians (Peace and Friendship Treaty, ratification at Annapolis)

1727 – July 25, Ratification at Casco Bay of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1725

1728 – May 13, Ratification at Annapolis Royal of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1725

1748, October 7–18, The general and definitive treaty of peace concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle

1749 – September 4, Renewal of the Peace and Friendship treaty of 1725

1752 – November 22, Treaty between Thomas Hopson, Governor in Chief in and over His Majesty’s Province of Nova Scotia and Major Jean Baptiste Cope, Chief Sachem of the Tribe of the MickMack Indians inhabiting the Eastern Coast…

1758 – Nova Scotia Legislature established (consisting of the Lieutenant Governor, his Council and the newly established, elected legislative assembly called the House of Assembly)

1760 – March, Treaty of Peace and Friendship concluded by the Governor of Nova Scotia with Paul Laurent, Chief of the La Heve tribe of Indians

1761 – November 9, Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Jonathon Belcher and Francis Muis

1763 – February 10, France ceded, for the last time, the rest of Acadia, including Cape Breton Island (‘île Royale), the future New Brunswick and St John’s Island (later re-named Prince Edward Island), to the British (Treaty of Paris) and it was joined to Nova Scotia

1763 – October 7, Royal Proclamation

1769 – Prince Edward Island established as a colony separate from Nova Scotia

1779 – September 22, Treaty signed at Windsor between John Julien, Chief and Michael Francklin, representing the Government of Nova Scotia

1784 – Cape Breton Island and New Brunswick established as colonies separate from Nova Scotia

1820 – Cape Breton Island re-joined to Nova Scotia

1838 – Separate Executive Council and Legislative Council established

1848 – Responsible government was established in Nova Scotia (Members of the Legislature appointed a majority of those in the Legislative Council)

1867 – “Union” of provinces of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as the “self-governing” federal colony of the Dominion of Canada (British North America Act, 1867 — now known in Canada as Constitution Act, 1867) & the Parliament of Canada established (consisting of the Queen, the Senate and the House of Commons)

1928 – Abolition of the Legislative Council (leaving the Legislature consisting of the Lieutenant Governor and the House of Assembly)

1931 – Canadian “independence” legally recognized (Statute of Westminster, 1931)

1960 – Canadian Bill of Rights enacted

1982 – “Patriation” of the amendment of the Constitution of Canada & adoption of the Constitution Act, 1982, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Canada Act 1982)

Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. J. Stockdale, 1787.

Legislature of the State of Maine. “The Revised Statutes of the State of Maine, Passed August 29, 1883, and Taking Effect January 1,1884.”, Portland, Loring, Short & Harmon and William M. Marks. 1884.

Farnham, Miss Mary Frances. “Documentary History of the State of Maine: Volume VII Containing The Farnham Papers 1603-1688”. Maine Historical Society. Portland. 1901.,

Kennedy, William P. Statutes, Treaties and Documents of the Canadian Constitution: 1713-1929. Oxford Univ. Pr., 1930.

Harvard Law School Library. “Description Legislative history regarding treaties of commerce with France, Spain relating to New Foundland, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton,” ca. 1715? Small Manuscript Collection, Harvard Law School Library., Accessed 07 June 2021

Thorpe, Francis Newton. “The Federal and State constitutions: colonial charters, and other organic laws of the States, territories, and Colonies, now or heretofore forming the United States of America” Washington : Govt. Print. Off. 1909.

Murdoch, Beamish. “Epitome of the laws of Nova-Scotia” [Halifax, N.S.? : s.n.], 1832 (Halifax, N.S. : J. Howe) Volume One:, Volume Two:, Volume Three:, Volume Four:

Marshall, John G. “The justice of the peace, and county and township officer in the province of Nova Scotia : being a guide to such justice and officers in the discharge of their official duties” [Halifax, N.S.? : s.n.], 1837 (Halifax [N.S.] : Gossip & Coade), Second Edition:

Livingston, Walter Ross. Responsible Government In Nova Scotia: a Study of the Constitutional Beginnings of the British Commonwealth. Iowa City: The University, 1930.

Bourinot, John George. “The constitution of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia” [S.l. : s.n., 1896?],

Laing, David, editor. “Royal letters, charters, and tracts, relating to the colonization of New Scotland, and the institution of the Order of knight baronets of Nova Scotia. -1638“. [Edinburgh Printed by G. Robb, 1867]

Labaree, Leonard Woods. “Royal Instructions to British Colonial Governors 1670–1776“. Vol. I and Vol. II. The American Historical Association. (New York : D. Appleton-Century Company, 1935),

Beamish Murdoch, “On the origin and sources of the Law of Nova Scotia” (An essay on the Origin and Sources of the Law of Nova Scotia read before the Law Students Society, Halifax, N.S., 29 August 1863), (1984) 8:3 DLJ 197.

Shirley B. Elliott, “An Historical Review of Nova Scotia Legal Literature: a select bibliography”, Comment, (1984) 8:3 DLJ 197.

Single-Family House Values in Metropolitan Halifax, 1981

“The overall pattern of home values in metropolitan Halifax has been strongly influenced by the early (mid-nineteenth-century) establishment of a prestige sector in the South End. This sector failed to develop outward due to the barrier of the Northwest Arm, which, paradoxically, was not bridged, since to have done so would have marred the original attraction of the sector.

While nearly all ‘exclusive’ housing remains in pockets on or near the Arm, new prestige housing areas have been developed in the suburbs, wherever fine settings and the absence of wartime shacks allow. In particular, the presence of extensive ‘low-value’ tracts south of Armdale has forced most new high-value developments in Halifax to the north mainland. Finally, while public housing has tended only to reinforce the low-value pattern established by 1950, publicly funded land developments, particularly Forest Hills, have created large peripheral areas of below-median value.”

Published in Canadian Geographer | Hugh Millward | 1983,,

Peri-urban residential development in the Halifax region 1960–2000: magnets, constraints, and planning policies

“Since the late 1950s there has been an explosion of residential development within the commuter belt of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This city region is unusual in having very little farming or pre-existing settlement, so that land prices are low, and development controls have been minimal. Conversely, however, the predominantly hardrock environment presents severe difficulties for the extension of sewer and water lines, and has thus constrained the growth of serviced residential subdivisions. This paper documents the regional progression of both suburban residential development, which is generally serviced, and exurban or country residential development (CRD), which is generally unserviced.

The author’s aims are, first, to describe the locational sequence of peri-urban residential development in the Halifax city region over the 40-year period 1960-2000. Secondly, to analyze and explain that sequence in terms of three sets of factors: magnets or attractors for residential development, constraints or inhibitors, and planning policies designed to control or direct development. Thirdly, to identify lessons from the past which suggest useful policy options for planning of future residential patterns. An assessment of past development processes and current options is particularly timely, since the region’s four municipal units (the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth, the town of Bedford, and the Municipality of the County of Halifax) amalgamated in 1996 to form the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM–see Millward 1996, 12-14). This regional government now stands ready to prepare a new land-use and transportation plan for the region.

While Halifax’s special environmental circumstances have produced a pattern of development which is unique in its particulars, many of the driving factors operative in the Halifax region are also actively or potentially operative throughout the developed world. The lessons from a detailed case study should therefore have considerable transferability, particularly to other city regions possessing high personal mobility in combination with low rural land valuations. Halifax allows an exceptionally clear view of the dramatic effects of automobile-induced commuter development, since its hinterland was remarkably devoid of resource-based settlement prior to 1950, there are no alternative urban employment centres within commuting range, rural land prices are extremely low, and competition or conflict between housing and resource industries has been minimal. The combined effect of these conditions is that pre-1960 housing within the commuter-shed has been swamped by post-1960 development, both in suburban and exurban areas. The paper also has wider relevance in that it highlights the local importance of broad shifts in styles of governance and planning philosophies. These shifts occurred worldwide after 1980, and the Halifax case illustrates the impact of policy and funding changes on the promotion and control of peri-urban residential development.

The Regional Situation to 1960 Halifax was founded as a fortress and naval base, not as the central place for a region of agricultural settlement (Millward 1993). Indeed, the physical environment almost precludes farming, being a forbidding land of glacially-scoured igneous and metamorphic rocks (granite, slate, and greywacke), poorly-drained, strewn with boulders, and lacking topsoil. Within the area depicted on Figure 1, only a few areas had sufficient depth to bedrock to enable settlement for semi-subsistence farming (Canada Land Inventory classes 3 to 5): these are the softrock environments to the north and a discontinuous area of drumlinized glacial till extending from Halifax east to Chezzetcook. Glacial till also enabled small pockets of farming in the Sackville river valley at Hammonds Plains, and on the north-east margins of St. Margaret’s Bay. Elsewhere the interior remained virtually unsettled through to 1960, with the exception of several Black communities–North Preston and Beechville (near Lakeside)–which began life as subsistence farming communities despite their lack of topsoil (see Henry 1973; Pachai 1987/1990).”

Published in Canadian Geographer | Hugh Millward | 2002,,

Dartmouth, N.S. 1980 City Street & Industrial Park Information

Points of Interest:

(1) Tourist Bureau
(2) Dartmouth Heritage Museum
(3) Historical Park: cairn celebrating 353 Alderney Settlers 1753 [sic], granite mill stones retrieved from harbour at entrance, panoramic view of Halifax from Pagoda
(4) Christ Church: oldest in Dartmouth, 1817
(5) Geary Street cemetery: [–supposedly] Graves of [Mi’kmaq] and their Chief Paul, [–otherwise known as the old Catholic burying ground]
(6) Dartmouth Shipyards: former location of the Whale Oil Plant
(7) Jackson House: Quaker Whaler house, oldest landmark 1785, also in area of 19th century houses
(8) Former location of Sugar Refinery: Built in 1884, moved to St. John W.W.2
(9) Sullivan’s Pond, cairns marking entrance to Shubenacadie Canal, [indigenous]-carved Totem Pole, gift from B.C. at First Canada Summer Games
(10) Bannook (sic) Canoe Club: Founded 1905
(11) MicMac Aquatic Club: Founded in 1923
(12) Senobe Aquatic Club: Founded 1965

Dartmouth: Dartmouth has been called “The City of Lakes”, but it is a city which looks to the sea as well. Indeed, from nowhere else on the shores of Halifax Harbour can one see the full panorama of landmarks and ocean-borne activity that is visible from the Dartmouth waterfront.

The Landings: Central waterfront Plazas (Chebucto Landing in Halifax and Alderney Landing in Dartmouth) will provide attractive surroundings for ferry passengers and other pedestrians near the new terminals being constructed by the Dartmouth Ferry Commission. As focal points for the major uphill streets (George Street and Portland Street), the Landings will be visual reminders of the presence, importance and new accessibility of the waterfront.

The Tour: The route selected for this tour takes in most of the attractions in the waterfront and neighbouring downtown area. The Dartmouth Heritage Museum is on the tour and well worth a visit, as is the historic Quaker house.

Areas of interest which are somewhat less accessible (due to adjacent construction activity, awkward pavement, or distances beyond the average tolerance) are noted for persons who wish to explore them (——–)

Historic waterfront: Dartmouth waterfront’s earliest recorded use was as an encampment for [Mi’kmaq] arriving each spring from the Bay of Fundy by way of the Shubenacadie River and connecting lakes.

Upon the arrival of English ships in 1749, the Dartmouth shore served as a source of timber for the settlers of Halifax, who built a sawmill above Dartmouth Cove.

When the ship “Alderney” arrived with additional settlers in 1750, Dartmouth became a community in its own right. A tidy little town developed, with waterfront businesses spilling out of the Cove and along the adjacent shore.

As the years went by, however, the waterfront of Dartmouth was rendered increasingly inaccessible to the public by both the rail line and the busy traffic of Alderney Drive. The area badly needed the revitalization effort now being undertaken by the Waterfront Development Corporation. As the first phases of this effort, the new Ferry Terminal Park and Harbour Walk are already turning the area back to the public and visitors to Dartmouth.

The Downtown: The most prominent feature of downtown Dartmouth is its Common, a legacy of the Quaker Whalers who settled here in 1785. Today, a network of footpaths and carefully laid stone walls rises to an expanse of greenery with an encircling view, 140 feet above sea level.

Another feature of downtown Dartmouth which cannot escape notice is the architecture. Wooden houses and churches of simple, graceful styles provide an interesting contrast to the predominantly stone and brick structures on the Halifax tour.

The walker who looks up at dormers, eaves and door trim will be rewarded with a variety of interesting “finds”, and will feel the charm of old Dartmouth.

Start here: Historical Text by Elizabeth Pacey.

1: Dartmouth Ferry – oldest salt-water ferry service in North America (licensed in 1752), introduced its newest ferries in 1979.

2: Dartmouth City Hall – built in 1967 as the first step in the direction of focusing attention on the downtown and waterfront

3: Propeller – from the ice breaker “John A. MacDonald”, this propeller was damaged in service in 1969, while escorting the “Manhattan” on its history making voyage through the Arctic Ocean.

4: Ferry Terminal Park – A walk along the water’s edge commands excellent views south towards McNabs Island and the smaller George’s Island, and north towards the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge. Across the harbor, downtown Halifax, Citadel Hill and the grey warships of the Canadian Armed Forces are visible. This popular park has been completed as part of the Waterfront Development Corporation Dartmouth Revitalization project and will have an extension along the curve of Alderney Drive (scheduled for completion Summer, 1980).

5: The Marine Slips – The earliest settlement in Dartmouth grew up around Dartmouth Cove, now the site of these drydocks noted for their outstanding recovery rate in repairing torpedoed ships during World War II.

6: Steps to Alderney Drive – a proposal by the WDCL for this central area will make access to the waterfront easier and more attractive. New steps will be located south of the existing ones, and will connect a waterfront plaza with the foot of Portland Street. Pedestrians on the main street will then enjoy a view of the water and the cluster of boats in a planned boat basin. The area will be called “Alderney Landing” after the ship which brought the first 353 settlers to Dartmouth.

7: Harbour Walk and Ferry Parking area – site planned for future redevelopment with parking included. Harbour Walk will remain.

8: Geary Street cemetery – Site of early [Mi’kmaq] graves, including those of two chieftains, as well as early 19th century headstones. This was the first Roman Catholic cemetery in Dartmouth.

9: Railway marshalling yards – best seen from the cemetery observation area.

10: “Mont Blanc” Gun – The heavily-laden munitions ship “Mont Blanc” was struck by another vessel, the “Imo”, in Halifax Harbour on December 6, 1917. The result was an explosion which devastated the northern areas of both Dartmouth and Halifax, killing or injuring thousands of persons. This explosion, the largest man-made one before Hiroshima, hurled the ship’s gun to Albro Lake, two miles away. Note also the 1500-pound anchor which was salvaged from an old sailing vessel.

11: Dartmouth Heritage Museum – Fascinating artifacts and models depicting life in Dartmouth are on display upstairs in the museum.

12: Tourist bureau – a source of information on other areas of Dartmouth.

13: Dartmouth Common – provides scenic views of the harbour entrance and the narrow Eastern Passage between McNabs Island and the oil refinery. During the American Civil War, the Confederate raider “Tallahassee”, which had come into port by day, escaped by night through the Eastern Passage, while two Union warships stood guard at the harbour entrance. (Exit the Common at King Street.)

14: Mystery House – in 1846, resident Dr. MacDonald disappeared mysteriously. The only clue in the unsolved case was the remnant of a tunnel leading out from the basement of the house.

15: Grace United Church – rebuilt in 1919 after the Explosion.

16: Nos. 53-55 Ochterloney Street – early New England style architecture (c.1800) with simple dormers, now restored for the Fire Department Offices.

17: Jackson House – best remaining example of a Quaker House. Nantucket Whalers, mainly Quaker by religion, came to Dartmouth in 1785 to avoid the high British tariff on American whale oil imposed after the American War or Independence. Restored by the Museum Society, the house is open to the public in July and August.

18: Christ Church (Anglican) – built in 1817, a fine simple Georgian structure with rounded windows, decorative cornices and plasters.

19: Christ Church Cemetery – First used by the Quakers, this cemetery is tucked in behind the gentle slope of Dartmouth Common.

20: Victoria Road Baptist Church – This ecumenical building, built in 1844, was once the parish hall for the Anglican Christ Church and was moved on rollers in 1906 to this site to serve a Baptist congregation.

21: Sullivan’s Pond – Dredged out in 1833 as part of the old Shubenacadie Canal system, this gracefully landscaped pond is located three blocks off the map. A Kwakiuti totem pole commemorates the 1969 Young Canada Games.

22: Starr Manufacturing Company – Became internationally renowned for its ice skates, selling 11 million pairs in 50 different models.

23: St. James Church – build in 1871 near the site of a 1749 [Mi’kmaq] raid on the sawmill built by the settlers of Halifax.

24: Portland Street – this commercial district is involved in a redevelopment scheme which will include repaving, landscaping and refurbishing of storefronts.

25: Corner of King and Portland Streets – two buildings with five-sided Scottish dormers, a characteristic Halifax/Dartmouth style, introduced by stone-cutters and masons who came in 1826 to build the Shubenacadie Canal. The Canal connected Halifax Harbour with the Bay of Fundy though a system of locks across the province. This engineering feat was 36 years in the planning and construction phase and 10 years in operation, from 1861 to 1871. The canal followed an ancient Micmac canoe route used for annual migration to the shores of Chebucto, the [Mi’kmaq] name for the harbor. The first stage in the canal system was located in the area visible down King Street (an inclined railway from Dartmouth Cove to Sullivan’s Pond).

26: Proposed housing – the waterfront development plan anticipates new housing on these sites, as an adjunct to the effort to revitalize Portland Street.

27: Wentworth Cannon – brought from the estate of Governor John Wentworth, once located just beyond Dartmouth. Wentworth was Surveyor General of his Majesty’s Woods in North America, then Governor of New Hampshire from 1767 to 1775, and later Governor of Nova Scotia from 1792 to 1808.

28: Alderney Landing – from this point Alderney Landing will open up a view of the harbour.

“Dartmouth: #1 with Industry in Atlantic Canada. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia has been the first choice for expansion and development for over 450 local and national firms. Dartmouth’s industrial parks offer a superior location with good connections by land, rail, sea and air. Products are never far away from the U.S., Europe and other Canadian cities. Dartmouth offers the largest pool of skilled manpower available in Atlantic Canada and over 150 site-ready acres in a retail trading zone of a half a million people.

So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of government incentive programs and call on the Dartmouth Industrial Commission for aid in expansion or relocation. Make Dartmouth your company’s first choice for the future.”

“Dartmouth, City of Lakes. The City of Dartmouth, with a population of over 65,000 is the second largest community in Nova Scotia. Since incorporation as a city in 1961, Dartmouth has enjoyed record growth and prosperity.

Located on the eastern slopes of Halifax Harbour, Dartmouth features a chain of 23 sparkling lakes complemented by public parks and recreation areas. The lakes provide swimming at public beaches and boating areas for the use of all. Canoeing and rowing clubs are situated on Lake Banook.

For the tourist and holiday maker, Dartmouth offers a quiet, peaceful atmosphere with plenty of hotels and motels. For the camper, the City-operated Shubie Park campsite provides electricity and water services for both tents and trailers.

Five shopping malls (MicMac, Woodlawn, Penhorn, K-Mart Shopping Plaza, the Dartmouth Shopping Centre) and the City’s Downtown shopping area offer a wide variety of goods and services to the shopper.

Come to Dartmouth. Stay a day or a week. You will find that we have much to offer and that you will enjoy our City, our scenic lakes and our friendly hospitality!”

“Listening to us can make your life more pleasant, CFDR 680, Nova Scotia’s strongest Radio Voice, 50,000 watts.”

Dartmouth Inn, with a Telex number listed!

Little Nashville, the Harbour Lites Country Cabaret

Little Nashville, one of only a few establishments in the area that had a cabaret license, aka Harbour lights lounge.

“City Boundary”

“Dartmouth, N.S. 1980 City Street & Industrial Park Information”, City of Dartmouth Chamber of Commerce. 1980.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

  1. freedom of conscience and religion.
  2. freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.
  3. freedom of peaceful assembly;
  4. freedom of association.

3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

4. (1) No House of Commons and no legislative assembly shall continue for longer than five years from the date fixed for the return of the writs at a general election of its members.

(2) In time of real or apprehended war, invasion or insurrection, a House of Commons may be continued by Parliament and a legislative assembly may be continued by the legislature beyond five years if such continuation is not opposed by the votes of more than one-third of the members of the House of Commons or the legislative assembly, as the case may be.

5. There shall be a sitting of Parliament and of each legislature at least once every twelve months.

6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right:

  1. to move to and take up residence in any province; and
  2. to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.

(3) The rights specified in section (2) are subject to:

  1. any laws or practices of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence; and
  2. any laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services.

(4) Sections (2) and (3) do not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its  object the amelioration in a province of conditions of individuals in that province who are socially or economically disadvantaged if the rate of employment in that province is below the rate of employment in Canada.

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention

  1. to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;
  2. to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and
  3. to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

11. Any person charged with an offence has the right:

  1. to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;
  2. to be tried within a reasonable time;
  3. not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;
  4. to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;
  5. not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;
  6. except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;
  7. has the right not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;
  8. if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again;
  9. if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.

12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

13. A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

14. A party or witness in any proceedings who does not understand or speak the language in which the proceedings are conducted or who is deaf has the right to the assistance of an interpreter.

15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

(2) Section (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Official Languages of Canada

16.(1) English and French are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada.

Official Languages of New Brunswick

(2) English and French are the official languages of New Brunswick and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the legislature and government of New Brunswick.

Advancement of status and use

(3) Nothing in this Charter limits the authority of Parliament or a legislature to advance the equality of status or use of English and French.

English and French linguistic communities in New Brunswick

16.1(1) The English linguistic community and the French linguistic community in New Brunswick have equality of status and equal rights and privileges, including the right to such distinct educational and cultural institutions as are necessary for the preservation and promotion of those communities.

Role of the legislature and government of New Brunswick

(2) The role of the legislature and government of New Brunswick to preserve and promote the status, rights and privileges referred to subsection (1) is affirmed.

Proceedings of Parliament

17.(1) Everyone has the right to use English or French in any debates and other proceedings of Parliament.

Proceedings of New Brunswick Legislature

(2) Everyone has the right to use English or French in any debates and other proceedings of the legislature of New Brunswick.

Parliamentary statutes and records

18.(1) The statutes, records and journals of Parliament shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative.

New Brunswick statutes and records

(2) The statutes, records and journals of the legislature of New Brunswick shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative.

Proceedings in courts established by Parliament

19.(1) Either English or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading in or process issuing from, any court established by Parliament.

Proceedings in New Brunswick courts

(2) Either English or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading in or process issuing from, any court of New Brunswick.

Communications by public with federal institutions

20. (1) Any member of the public in Canada has the right to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any head or central office of an institution of the Parliament of Canada in English or French, and has the same right with respect to any other office of any such institution where

  1. there is a significant demand for communications with and services from that office in such language; or
  2. due to the nature of the office, it is reasonable that communications with and services from that office be available in both English and French.

Communications by public with New Brunswick institutions

(2) Any member of the public in New Brunswick has the right to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any office of an institution of the legislature or government of New Brunswick in English or French.

Continuation of existing constitutional provisions

21. Nothing in sections 16 to 20 abrogates or derogates from any right, privilege or obligation with respect to the English and French languages, or either of them, that exists or is continued by virtue of any other provision of the Constitution of Canada.

Rights and Privileges Preserved

22. Nothing in sections 16 to 20 abrogates or derogates from any legal or customary right or privilege acquired or enjoyed either before or after the coming into force of this Charter with respect to any language that is not English or French.

Language of instruction

23. (1) Citizens of Canada

(a) whose first language learned and still understood is that of the English or French linguistic minority population of the province in which they reside, or

(b) who have received their primary school instruction in Canada in English or French and reside in a province where the language in which they received that instruction is the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of the province,

have the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that language in that province.

Continuity of language instruction

(2) Citizens of Canada of whom any child has received or is receiving primary or secondary school instruction in English or French in Canada, have the right to have all their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in the same language.

Application where numbers warrant

(3) The right of citizens of Canada under sections (1) and (2) to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of a province;

(a) applies wherever in the province the number of children of citizens who have such a right is sufficient to warrant the provision to them out of public funds of minority language instruction; and

(b) includes, where the number of those children so warrants, the right to have them receive that instruction in minority language educational facilities provided out of public funds.


24.(1) Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

25. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any aboriginal, treaty or other rights or freedoms that pertain to the aboriginal peoples of Canada including:

  1. any rights or freedoms that have been recognized by the Royal Proclamation of October 7, 1763; and
  2. any rights or freedoms that now exist by way of land claim agreements or may be so acquired.

26. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada.

27. This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.

28. Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.

29. Nothing in this Charter abrogates or derogates from any rights or privileges guaranteed by or under the Constitution in respect of denominational, separate or dissentient schools.

30. A reference in this Charter to a Province or to the legislative assembly or legislature of a province shall be deemed to include a reference to the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, or to the appropriate legislative authority thereof, as the case may be.

32.(1) This Charter applies:

  1. to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and
  2. to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.

(2) An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter referred to in the declaration.

(3) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease to have effect five years after it comes into force or on such earlier date as may be specified in the declaration.

(4) Parliament or the legislature of a province may re-enact a declaration made under subsection (1).

(5) Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment made under subsection (4).


34. This part may be cited as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


52.(1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.

52(2) The Constitution of Canada includes:

  1. the Canada Act 1982, including this Act;
  2. the Acts and orders referred to in the schedule; and
  3. any amendment to any Act or order referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

An Historical Review of Nova Scotia Legal Literature: a select bibliography

This paper is an amazing resource, like a cheat sheet for Nova Scotian constitutional law. The sources contained within reveal a wealth of knowledge that I think would otherwise be contained within a written constitution. Instead it is buried in a byzantine labyrinth of instructions, commissions, legislation and other sources, a “feature” of “‘constitutional’ monarchy” that certainly works against the people in order to obfuscate, perhaps the main driving force behind a failure to digest the whole of Nova Scotia’s constitution in order to define the essentials within.

“Expressed in simplest terms Nova Scotia law, generally speaking, is an amalgamation of English common law, English statute law and the provincial statutes which evolved following the convening of the first representative government at Halifax on October 2, 1758.

From the capture of Port Royal in 1710 (which by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 guaranteed Acadia to the British), to the establishment of an elected assembly 48 years later, law and order were maintained at first by military law and, following the appointment of Richard Philipps as governor at Annapolis Royal, by the issue of royal instructions dated June 19, 1719.

When Halifax was founded in 1749 Governor Cornwallis’ instructions from the Lords of Trade, April 29, 1749, granted him more sweeping powers, with the result that the colonists were governed in large measure by executive acts and royal instructions until the first assembly was called nine years later.”

“In 1829 Thomas Chandler Haliburton, in An historical and statistical account of Nova Scotia, commented on the paucity of material relating to the origin of the laws of the province. “In England there are many books written on the constitution of the Country, but in Nova Scotia, the inquisitive reader, while he finds enacted laws, will search in vain for any work professedly treating the origin of the authority that enacts them.”

Three years later this deficiency was in some considerable measure eliminated when Beamish Murdoch published the first volume of his Epitome of the laws of Nova Scotia, that brilliant commentary on the then existing laws, presenting their substance ‘in the plainest terms, fresh from the technical language in which they were written’. Completed the following year, the Epitome holds a unique position within the province’s legal literature, since no modern counterpart has been produced, nor has any other Canadian province brought forth an equivalent.”

“The statutes of the Province of Nova Scotia have been issued annually since the first session of the House of Assembly in 1758, with the exception of the years 1788 and 1810, when there was no session.”

Primary Sources:

Campbell v. Hall (1774), 1 Cowper 204; 98 E.R. 1045, 1558-1774. All E.R. Rep. 25a.
Decision whereby an act of the Crown could not deny or deprive a conquered colony of its representative institutions once it had been granted or promised an assembly.

Great Britain. Board of Trade to Lords Justices, June 19, 1719. “Commission and set of instructions to Governor Philipps“.
Article 10 ordered Philipps to conform to those instructions originally given to the Governor of Virginia, wherever applicable and until such time as government by council and assembly was called. PAC C.O. 217, v. 32, pp. 417-28.

Great Britain. Laws, Statutes, etc., British North America Act, 1867,30-31 Victoria, ch. 3 (sec. 92).
Sets out the powers designated to the four provinces at Confederation.

Houston, William. “Documents illustrative of the Canadian constitution“, ed. with notes and appendices. Toronto: Carswell, 1891.

Labaree, Leonard W. “Royal instructions to British colonial governors, 1670-1776“. New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1935.

Nova Scotia. Archives. “Selection from the public documents of the Province of Nova Scotia“, ed. by Thomas B. Akins. Halifax: Charles Annand, 1869.
Contains His Majesty’s Commission to His Excellency Governor Cornwallis, pp. 497-505. Also in PAC C.O. 218, v. 2, pp. 212 ff.

A calendar of two letter-books and one commission-book in the possession of the government of Nova Scotia, 1713-1741“, ed. by Archibald M. MacMechan. Halifax: Herald Printing House, 1900. (Nova Scotia Archives II).

Original minutes of His Majesty’s Council at Annapolis Royal, 1720-1739“, ed. by Archibald M. MacMechan. Halifax: McAlpine Publishing Co., 1908. (Nova Scotia Archives III).
Includes resolution of Governor Philipps on April 20, 1721 constituting H.M. Council a court, the first court of judicature administering the English common law within Canada. Also in RG1, v. 22, 1720-1736.

Nova Scotia. House of Assembly. Journals of the House of Assembly, 1758-
The Journals exist in manuscript only previous to 1761, the original held by the Nova Scotia Legislative Library. Before 1765 they were designated Votes of the House of Assembly and were thus indexed by Uniacke in 1789.

Nova Scotia. House of Assembly. Unpassed bills, 1762-1917. Originals. PANS RG5, Series 0.

Uniacke v. Dickson (1848), 2 NSR 287-302.
C.J. Halliburton ruled that English revenue laws are not applicable in Nova Scotia, except in so far as our legislature has seen fit to adopt their provision.

“The extent to which the infant Nova Scotia House of Assembly looked for guidance to the older American colonies in the drafting of legislation is an interesting and debatable subject. There is definite evidence that Massachusetts and Virginia played a role in this regard, notably with the former’s “Act for Preventing Trespasses“.

It is perhaps significant to point out that the Legislative Library has in its collection a number of worn, well thumbed volumes of American colonial statutes, including those of Massachusetts (1714, 1726, 1759, 1788); New Hampshire (1776); New York (1774); Rhode Island (1767); and Virginia (1752, 1769); as well as An abridgment of the laws of His Majesty’s Plantations in force (London, 1704).”

Secondary Sources

Beck, James Murray. The government of Nova Scotia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1957. (Canadian government series).

Blackstone, William. Commentaries on the laws of England. Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press, 1765.

Brebner, John Bartlet. The neutral Yankees of Nova Scotia: a marginal colony during the Revolutionary years. New York: Columbia University Press, 1937.
In particular chap. VIII, “Nova Scotia under Halifax rule”.

New England’s outpost: Acadia before the conquest of Canada. New York: Columbia University Press, 1927.

Calnek, W.A. History of the County of Annapolis, ed. and completed by A.W. Savary. Toronto: William Briggs, 1897.

Haliburton, Thomas Chandler. An historical and statistical account of Nova-Scotia in two volumes. Halifax: Joseph Howe, 1829.
Vol. II, chap. 5 gives a description of the courts in the Province and general observations on the laws.

Laskin, Bora. The British tradition in Canadian law. London: Stevens, 1969.

Manning, Helen Taft. British colonial government after the American Revolution, 1782-1820. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1932.
Chap. II: The colonies and their constitutions; chap. V: Colonial assemblies; chap. VI: Colonial courts, with reference to the ignorance of judiciary and lack of books.

Member of Assembly [pseud.]. An essay on the present state of the Province of Nova-Scotia, with some strictures on the measure pursued by Government from its first settlement by the English in the year 1749. London, 1774.
Gives a telling account of conditions in the Province following the founding of Halifax, with particular stress on the form of government and the disposition of certain legislation.

Murdoch, Beamish. A history of Nova-Scotia, or Acadie. Halifax: James Barnes, 1865-67. 3v.

Pownall, Thomas. The administration of the colonies; 4th ed. London: J. Wilkie, 1768.

Sprague, Alan B. Some American influences on the law and the law courts of the Province of Nova Scotia from 1749 to 1853. Submitted for the William Inglis Morse History Prize, 1935-36. Halifax: Dalhousie University, 1936. Typed manuscript.

Stokes, Anthony. A view of the constitution of the British colonies in North America and the West Indies. London: B. White, 1783.

Shirley B. Elliott, “An Historical Review of Nova Scotia Legal Literature: a select bibliography”, Comment, (1984) 8:3 DLJ 197.

“Dartmouth, a forgotten victim of the Halifax Explosion”


“It’s always called the Halifax Explosion, but the fiery blast from a collision of the ships Imo and Mont Blanc in Halifax Harbour’s Narrows the morning of Dec. 6, 1917 wreaked destruction on Dartmouth as well.

About 40 people on the Dartmouth side of the harbour were killed outright. More died over the next two weeks from injuries or from pneumonia that set in after a massive snowstorm that began the night of the disaster.

Former mayor Claude Morris, then a young pharmacy clerk, was lucky that day. Neither he nor his family suffered any serious injury from the blast. “There were two distinct blasts. I had no idea what it was, I was just running for home.” Running beside Morris was a blacksmith with the last name of Llyod, and Morris remembers the two wondered if the harbor had been bombed.”

Dartmouth Transit

Dartmouth Bus
Picture Taken at Dartmouth Shopping Center, Dartmouth High seen at extreme left, at right is Nantucket Ave.
Picture taken at the Dartmouth Shopping Center (
Picture appears to be taken on Canal Street (
Dartmouth Transit route map, 1983.
Dartmouth Transit route map, 1983.

See also:

Gillis, Robert A. “A Study of the Effects of Government Regulation on the Industry” 1992, Saint Mary’s University, MA thesis.

Delegate Support Patterns at Nova Scotian Leadership Conventions

“The final candidate, Roland Thornhill, 38, was something of an outsider and was viewed as a dark horse. Born in Newfoundland, Thornhill’s family had moved to Dartmouth when he was quite young. Thornhill had never sought provincial office, but was the mayor of Dartmouth. He was a businessman and a Protestant.”

Stewart, David K. “Delegate Support Patterns at Nova Scotian Leadership Conventions” Dalhousie Review, Volume 69, Number 1, 1989

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