Canada’s Best Places for Business 2016

Halifax, N.S.

scroll down
Population: 416,070
Annualized population growth (%) 0.67
Avg. household income ($): 81,627
Total value of building permits issued, most recent year ($): 695,018,000
Avg. office lease rate ($ psf/yr): 26.68
Corporate income tax rate (%): 31.0
City website:


Pop. within 1 hr commuting distance: 3,485
Adults who have completed apprenticeship, trades certificate or diploma (%): 9.26
Adults who have completed university degree (%): 30.69
Adults who have completed bachelor''s degree (%): 65.26
Unemployment rate, most recent month (%): 7.45


Avg. home price ($): 300,516
Avg. retail lease rate ($ psf/yr): 29.36
Avg. industrial lease rate ($psf/yr): 13.95
Avg. general lease rate ($psf/yr): 27.12
Peak electricity cost for businesses ($/kWh) N/A
Peak electricity cost for mid-size commercial business ($/kWh): 0.0839
Peak electricity cost for mid-size industrial business ($/kWh): 0.0751

Taxes & Regulation

Business license cost ($): $50 to $199
Avg. processing time for building permit, most recent calendar year: Less than 2 weeks
Non-residential property tax rate (% of assessed value): 3.547000
Commercial property tax rate (% of assessed value): N/A
Industrial property tax rate (% of assessed value): N/A
Small business income tax rate, if different (%): 13.5 (up to $350,000)/26.5 ($350,000–500,000)
Sales tax (%): 15
Special regulations or zoning: Halifax’s HRM-by-Design plan includes streamlined, fast-tracked development regulations for developments within the city's urban core


Largest employers: Department of National Defence (CFB Halifax); Capital District Health Authority; Dalhousie University
Leading industries: Education; Health Care; Technology
Value of capital projects >$5 million planned or under construction ($ million): 935,228,928
Special amenities: Halifax’s harbour is one of the deepest in the world and the closest major North American port to Europe. It hosts the annual East Coast Music Awards and the Halifax Pop Explosion festival. It is home to six universities and three college campuses.
Special economic development initiatives: The Halifax SmartBusiness program helps existing businesses navigate government and connect to resources. The Connector Program provides networking opportunities for recent graduates and immigrants.