Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada, the province's capital and largest municipality. It lies on a deep natural harbor on the province's eastern coast. The municipality was formed in 1996 by Halifax County and the cities of Halifax, Dartmouth, and Bedford.
Halifax Regional Municipality is a major seaport and commercial center. Shipping, shipbuilding, and ship repairing are major activities. The harbor is ice-free all year and is the eastern terminus of Canada's two transcontinental railways. A large fishing fleet is based in the harbor. Numerous manufacturing plants operate in the area, particularly in or near Dartmouth. Military and naval bases contribute substantially to the local economy. Modern highways, two bridges across the harbor, and an international airport serve the metropolitan area.
The Citadel, a massive star-shaped fort, was completed in the 1850's and now houses museums that reflect the marine and military history of the area. Province House, built in 1818, is the oldest parliamentary building in use in Canada. Dalhousie University, St. Mary's University, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and the Technical University of Nova Scotia are educational institutions in Halifax Regional Municipality. Bedford Institute of Oceanography is in Dartmouth.
The city of Halifax was founded by the British in 1749 on the site of an earlier fishing community. The city served as an important naval and military base for the protection of British possessions in North America, especially during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. During both world wars the city of Halifax was a major naval base, convoy terminal, and embarkation center. The explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax Harbor in 1917 caused great property damage and the loss of some 2,000 lives.