Reference maps and plans

This guide presents a selection of maps available through Halifax Municipal Archives which are useful for general reference purposes. More specific maps and plans – such as those showing transit routes, subdivisions of property, individual buildings, roadway infrastructure, etc. – can be found among the more than 50,000 maps and plans in our collection. Some can be accessed online through the Archives Database, but the majority of the Halifax Engineering and Works Department maps and plans can only be accessed on-site at the Municipal Archives. Please contact us if you are looking for something specific. We also have a Featured Maps and Plans exhibit page which highlights some especially interesting maps and plans.

1749-1900  1900-1919  1920-1939  1940-1960  1960-1990  

Reference maps are listed in chronological order, with the title and date of the map in bold. When available, digital copies can be viewed by clicking on the image next to the description. It may take a few seconds to load these large files. Items that do not have a thumbnail image are too large and/or fragile to scan, but can be viewed in-person at the Municipal Archives. Some plans are copies from originals held at other institutions, but are presented here for ease of reference with links to the original source when known.

[Map of] Old Halifax, 1749-1830

This map depicts the original settled area of Halifax, showing locations of historic buildings and events. Sidebars give information about buildings, fortifications, inns and taverns, significant "firsts" in the city's history, as well as sketches of notable buildings. Compiled by George T. Bates [copied in 1970s]. CR10-020

Town of Halifax, 1750

Traced by H. Carroll, 1929, from a plan in "old folio in Crown Land Office.” CR10-038

Plan of the Peninsula of Halifax, 1758

Faded black and white line drawing of street plan layout and suburbs of Halifax peninsula

A copy of the original street layout and suburbs of Halifax. Also shows roadways, streams and waterways, and shorelines. By John H. Flugar. Reproduction [19--] (originally created 1758). CR10-069

Plan of the Town of Halifax, including North and South Suburbs, 1835

Copy of a plan of early Halifax, showing waterfront wharves, Fort George, the Naval Yard, Freshwater Brook, and numbered blocks and property lots. Originally created 1835, reproduction [19--]. CR10-080

The City of Halifax, 1841

Copy of a map traced from the original held at Nova Scotia Archives. Shows city boundaries, streets, wards, public buildings and land, and division of land at time of incorporation of the City of Halifax. Drawn by J.G. McKenzie, Surveyor General's Office, under the direction of John Spry Morris, Surveyor General of Nova Scotia. Traced by George MacLaren, 1947. CR10-022

Plan of the City of Halifax (“Fuller Plan”), December 1851

Copy of a Plan of the City of Halifax, commonly referred to as the "Fuller Plan," showing ward boundaries, prominent buildings and houses, churches, and waterways including Freshwater Brook. Published by E.G. Fuller; J. Irons, [draftsperson?]. CR10-021

Gossip Survey plans, [1858-1859], 1862

The first formal Survey of the City of Halifax was done by William Gossip, Jr., on contract as surveyor with the City. The field work for the survey began in spring 1857 and finished in 1858. Each survey sheet depicts part of a particular street, showing elevations, cross streets, and the frontage (not the full footprint) of buildings along the street, colour-coded to building material type. 102-39P-A

Map of Halifax, 1860

Map of Halifax peninsula showing water and sewer pipes. Also shown are streets, wharves, ward boundaries, Citadel hill, churches and government buildings, tidewater line, the number of houses on respective blocks, main sewers, size of pipes as indicated on a colour-coded index, and fire plugs. 102-39P-A-3-139

This base map is the same as CR30E.42, though that map shows a smaller portion of the peninsula and is a photocopy.

Topographical Township Map of Halifax County ("Church Map"), 1864-1865

Map is half of A.F. Church's Halifax County map. Map shows large portion of Halifax County, with insets showing the City of Halifax (including ward boundaries), Bedford Village, Tangier Village, Germantown, Sambro Village, Faulkland Village, Portuguese Cove and Peggy's Cove. Map also includes a business directory for City of Halifax and Town of Dartmouth. Survey drawn by H.F. Walling; published by A.F. Church & Co. CR10-067  A digital version of the full Church Map of Halifax County is available here.

Copy of a portion of the General Plan of Dartmouth on file in the Crown Land of Halifax, 1870

A map representing the general plan map of Dartmouth, including street names and building lots. Reproduction [19--?] (originally created 1870). CR10-092

City Atlas of Halifax Nova Scotia; From actual surveys and records ("Hopkins Atlas"), 1878

A colour image of map of downtown Halifax showing Grand Parade, wharves, and building footprints.

Hopkins Atlas, Plate A, CR10-004

Commonly known as the Hopkins Atlas, these detailed plans of the City of Halifax show the locations of all streets, buildings, parks and grounds, and institutions and public buildings as they were in 1878. Also identifies construction materials (brick, wood, stone, etc.). H.W. Hopkins, Provincial Surveying and Pub. Co. CR10-004

Full digitized copies of the Hopkins Atlas are available online from Nova Scotia Archives and Library and Archives Canada.

Map of the Town of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1878

An official tracing of a surveyed map of the Town of Dartmouth showing wards, streets, footprint of buildings, landowners, cemeteries, lakes and water courses. Drawn by H.W. Hopkins, Civil Engineer; Published by Provincial Surveying and Publishing Co., G.B. Vandervoort, Manager. 101-75.1

Panoramic View of the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1879

A perspective bird's-eye view map (not to scale) of the Halifax peninsula, as well as the western shore of the Northwest Arm. Shows streets, buildings, wharves, and natural features. A numbered index identifies notable buildings. Drawn by Albert Ruger. CR10-066

Plan of Halifax and Hants Counties, between 1885 and 1895

Plan of Halifax and Hants Counties showing railway tracks, lakes, sawmills, dams, and a “colored settlement” (an African Nova Scotian community). 102-39P-CC-8-5796

Ordnance Survey of Halifax and Dartmouth, 1888

Two early military maps showing topographic features of Halifax and Dartmouth. Maps also show city streets and house plots for both Halifax and Dartmouth. Maps created by City Ordnance Survey Office. Signed Chas. [Charles] S. Akers and Col. C.R.E. Reproduction 1894 (originally created 1888). CR10-083

A second sheet showing Albro's Big Lake, Albro's Little Lake, Topsail Lake, Second Dartmouth Lake, Stevens or Navy Island, and part of Tufts Cove is also available. CR10-83B

Halifax NS - the Atlantic Gateway of Canada, [1902-1920]

This map shows Halifax peninsula and part of Dartmouth. Map shows roads, ferries, public institutions, parks and grounds, wharves, shipping information, etc. Sidebars are an alphabetical listing of businesses, steamship information, and general information about Halifax and Dartmouth. Also includes facts bout Halifax. Circular lines radiate outward from City Hall in half-mile increments. Published by C.D. McAlpine; compiled and drawn by D.A. McDonald. 102-5A-26.13

Map of City and Harbor of Halifax, NS, 1910

A map of Halifax showing streets, name and location of businesses and public buildings, harbour depths, tram lines, ward divisions, steamship lines, and underwater cable lines. Business directory along edge of map. This was a promotional map, not known for its accuracy. Some streets shown between Robie Street and Lady Hammond Drive were never laid, and the rail lines may not have been as shown. Published by John W. Regan and C.D. McAlpine. 102-5A-26

Plan of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Shewing Water Distribution and Sewerage Systems, 1911

Map shows streets, lakes and waterways, pipe dimensions, extensions to water service shown in red, as well as cemeteries, Oland's Brewery, and the Rope Works factory. W. Bishop. 101-75.9


Geological Map of Nova Scotia - Halifax and Hants Counties, 1913

Geological map which shows roads, railway, lakes, geological information. Published by the Canadian Department of Mines Geological Survey. 102-5A-26.6

Map of Dartmouth, 1914

Map of Dartmouth published by C.D. McAlpine, with list of businesses and shops on either side of the map. 102-39P-T-6-2633

Map of Halifax showing typhoid areas, 1914

Map of Halifax showing streets, public areas such as the Common and Public Gardens, waterfront piers and terminals, etc. Has been annotated to identify locations of typhoid cases, with monthly counts written on left-hand side. 102-39P-T-4-2745

City of Halifax property assessment plans, [1917]-[196-?]

Series of 88 plans used by the City of Halifax Assessment Office to manage its property valuation activities. Each sheet shows property boundaries and dimensions. Plans have a number of handwritten annotations updating changes in property ownership, subdivision of properties, etc., though it is unknown when these were added or how accurate they may be. Changes to street names and street lines were also recorded over time. The base map also includes footprints and names of some buildings (mainly public, large commercial, and industrial buildings), rail lines, piers, wharves, tram lines. Base map appears to be from 1917. 102-19G

Map of Halifax, [192-?]

A published map of Halifax and Dartmouth surrounded by business listings and advertisements, fire box numbers, a street index, and a geographic description of Halifax's wards and boundaries. Printing by Royal Print & Litho Limited. CR10-082

City of Halifax, 1930

A map showing the street plan of peninsular Halifax. Some building footprints and walking paths are shown on the map. CR10-087

Insurance Plan of Dartmouth, N.S, 1934

A Fire Insurance Plan of Dartmouth, showing the location, footprint and construction material of all buildings. Made by the Underwriters' Survey Bureau. CR10-111

Nova Scotia Archives has a comprehensive collection of fire insurance plans.

Illustrated Plan and Souvenir of the City of Halifax, 1935

Illustrated map of the Halifax City area, with business index. Map has been annotated post-printing with an illustration showing the location of a proposed Information Booth. Arthur W. Wallace; published by The Canadian Civic Map Service. 102-3B-32

[Map of] Halifax, Canada [and Dartmouth, Woodside and Imperoyal], 1937

Illustrated map showing streets, businesses, sketches of public buildings, bus and tram routes, and wharves and piers for Halifax and Dartmouth. Also includes an inset of tram routes, and an index to streets and businesses. Drawn by J. Bernard Dauphinee; Published by Karl A. Steeves Advertising. CR10-025

Map of Town of Dartmouth, 1937

Map shows street names, lake names, and town boundaries, by J.L. Allen. CR10-088

Halifax, Nova Scotia [tourist map], 1938

A reprint of a Halifax tourist map showing the peninsula and parts of Dartmouth, Armdale, and Williams Lake areas. Map shows streets, railways, forts, airport, parks, and identifies public buildings. There is a key to prominent public buildings, and clubs. On the back are "Handy Motor Trips About Halifax," with approximate Taxi Rates to places like Peggy's Cove; North and South End Sightseeing Tours; "Highlights of Halifax"; and a welcome address from the mayor. Original plan published 1938 by Halifax Tourist and Convention Bureau; reprint by Maps & Ducks, [200-?]. CR10-063

A Tourist Map of Dartmouth, [1939]

A hand-drawn (traced?) map showing streets, churches, sporting clubs, services, theatres, bowling alley, radio studio, public swimming pool, dump, cable stations, etc. R.A. Benjamin. CR10-079

Map of Halifax and surrounding lakes, 1943

Map shows Halifax peninsula, Dartmouth, Halifax Harbour, and County land in Herring Cove, as well as Birch Cove lakes, Otter Lake, Big Indian Lake, Hatchet Lake, Run Lake, and Cranberry Lakes. Streets are shown in Halifax and Dartmouth; Prospect Rd., St. Margaret’s Bay Rd., and Sambro Rd. are also shown. Survey produced by the Geographical Section of the Department of National Defence, no. 385b, reprinted 1943. 102-39P-Q-11-7354

Halifax Metro Area, 1945

Metropolitan Annex - map shows Halifax metro area, possibly as a planning map for annexation of Halifax County lands. Appears to show two proposed annexation areas, one drawn in black, and a much larger area in green. Also shows proposed highway system in red, including two bridges across the Northwest Arm. Proposed parkland is drawn in blue hatching, including area near lookoff south of York Redoubt and large Birch Cove Lakes area. Base topographical map D.N.D. no. 385b, reprinted 1945. 102-39P-RR-4-13221

The Only Authentic Map of the City of Halifax and Town of Dartmouth, 1945

Map shows streets, businesses, public buildings, tram and bus routes, coloured and keyed with street and business index. Published by Imperial Publishing Co. Ltd.; distributed by Maritime Merchant Ltd. Halifax. CR10-024

Map of Halifax, 1945

Two plans showing the planned extension of Connaught Avenue through the Horsefields property. (Base map is the same as CR10-087.) 102-39P-MM-6-10248

Map of Halifax, 1948

Wartime Housing Limited - Showing area with trees planted. (Base map is the same as CR10-087.) 102-39P-NN-2-10508

The only authentic map of the City of Halifax and Town of Dartmouth, 1949

Map shows streets, businesses, public buildings, trolley coach routes, and names of wharves. Published by Maritime Merchant Ltd. CR10-003

Similar maps published in 1941 (CR10-095) and 1945 (CR10-024).

Map of Metropolitan Halifax, 1954

These detailed maps of the larger Metropolitan Halifax Area show streets, railways, and other geographical features, from Eastern Passage to Bedford to Purcell's Cove. CR10-019

High-resolution PDFs:

City of Halifax electoral districts, 1958

City of Halifax electoral districts. Map of Halifax peninsula divided into electoral wards and ward subdivisions (e.g., 1A, 1B, 1C, etc.). Base map from 1958. 102-39P-SS-1-14088

This is an updated version of CR10-087

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1959

A map of the Town of Dartmouth, showing wharves, streets, lakes, churches and cemeteries, schools, public recreation areas, and the Town boundaries. 101-75.15

City of Halifax showing playground areas, [195-?]

Plan shows the location of recreation areas on the Halifax peninsula, including playgrounds, playing fields and parks; area available for playgrounds; schools without play areas; proposed areas for recreation; swimming, wading pools and beaches; school buildings; and playground buildings. Also shows vacant land and city-owned land available for industrial purposes. Land types are colour-coded. 102-39P-SS-2-14258

City of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1961

Map shows city streets and lakes, as well as the town boundary. Drawn by J.G. Kent. 101-75.2

Wards, City of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1961

Map shows city streets and lakes, as well as the town boundary and ward boundaries. Drawn by J.G. Kent, revised July 25, 1961. 101-75.10. The base map is 101-75.2

City of Dartmouth, 1964

Map of City of Dartmouth, showing streets and lakes. Drawn by I.A. Clark. 101-75.14

City of Dartmouth [map], 1964

A map of central and north Dartmouth, from Dartmouth Common to Albro Lake, and centred over Brightwood Golf Club and Crichton Park area. The map shows the city's elevation, building footprints, and streets. Produced by Atlantic Air Survey Co. Ltd. by combining aerial photographs taken in December, 1960. CR10-086

Halifax: Your personal guide, [1964]

A tourism brochure offering a guide to Halifax landmarks with photos, text, and an accompanying map. Features include schools, hotels, statues, parks, churches, libraries, notable buildings, bus routes, streets, railways, Exhibition Grounds, etc. Also shows the the proposed design for the streets above Africville, which were not completed. See the key to the numbered locations here: 917.1622 .H1741

Metropolitan Map and Street Guide: Halifax and Dartmouth, 1965

Copy of a street map of Halifax and Dartmouth showing location of homes and businesses. Distributed by H.H. Marshall Ltd. Reproduction from 2007, originally created in 1965. CR10-001

City of Dartmouth map, 1965-1972

Map shows streets, public buildings, numbered planning areas, and natural features of Dartmouth. Includes key to street names. CR10-018

Metropolitan Map and Street Guide of Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1968

Map showing the Halifax-Dartmouth area in 1968. Includes annotations added post-printing which showing helicopter landing points for the 1968 Natal Day Festivities. 102-93A.7

Map of Halifax and area to be annexed on January 1, 1969, [ca. 1968]



Halifax County [District maps], 1969

Map showing district boundaries as of January 1, 1969, as well as communities, lakes, and rivers. 312-84-1-10

The Master Plan, Halifax Nova Scotia, 1971

The Master Plan for the City of Halifax, showing schools, universities, hospitals, parks, streets (designated as arterial, collector, and parkway), DND land. Also shows areas targeted for future development, including high-density residential areas, proposed catchments, proposed industrial areas, experimental farming areas, and community and neighbourhood focal areas. 102-72.2

Insurance Plan of the City of Dartmouth, N.S. including Shearwater and Eastern Passage, 1961; partially revised 1973

Colour map of a section of downtown Dartmouth between North, King, Portland, and the Harbour.

(sample only - see entire volume at Archives)

Fire Insurance Plan of Dartmouth, showing the location, footprint and construction material of all buildings. Published by the Canadian Underwriters' Association in 1961, with revisions up to 1973. CR10-046  

Nova Scotia Archives has a much more comprehensive collection of fire insurance plans.

District Plan, Halifax County, 1976

A map of Halifax County, showing district boundaries. Also includes an inset of Lower Sackville showing subdivisions. 312-84-1-3

Street Map of City of Dartmouth, Westphal, Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage, Cow Bay, [199-?]

Map shows city and region boundaries, streets, communities. Map was produced by combining aerial photographs taken in 1987 and survey plans from 1988. CR10-090

Other Historical Local Map Collections