Reference maps and plans

This guide presents a selection of general reference maps available through Halifax Municipal Archives. More specific maps and plans – such as those that show transit routes, subdivisions of property, individual buildings, or certain intersections – can also be found among the over 50,000 maps and plans in our collection. Some can be found through the Archives Database, but the Halifax Engineering and Works Department maps and plans are not yet searchable on-line. 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-  

Reference maps are listed here from oldest to newest, with the title and date of the map in bold. When available, digital copies can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail 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

Poster-map of the original settled area of Halifax showing locations and drawings of historic buildings and events. Sidebars give information about buildings, fortifications, inns and taverns, notable "firsts" in the city. 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.


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

Plan of the Peninsula of Halifax, 1758
A copied plan of the original street layout and suburbs of Halifax showing roadways 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
A plan of early Halifax showing  waterfront wharves, Fort George, the Naval Yard and numbered blocks and property lots. Reproduction [19--] (originally created 1835). CR10-080.

The City of Halifax, 1841
A photocopy of a map traced from the original held at Nova Scotia Archives. Shows city boundaries, streets, wards, public buildings/land, division of land at time of incorporation of the City of Halifax. Created 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
Map of the City of Halifax, showing wards, prominent houses, churches, and waterways, including Freshwater Brook. Published by E.G. Fuller; J. Irons, [drafter?]. CR10-021

Gossip Survey plans, [1858-1859], 1862
The first Survey of the City of Halifax done by William Gossip, Jr., on contract as surveyor with the City. The field work for the survey was started in spring 1857 and done in 1858. Each sheet shows a particular section of a street, showing cross streets and the frontage (not the full footprint) for 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"), 1865
Half of A.F. Church's Halifax County map with business directories of City of Halifax, Dartmouth and enlarged inserts of Bedford Village, Tangier Village, Germantown, Sambro Villiage, Faulkland Village, Portuguese Cove and Peggy's Cove. Also shows City of Halifax wards. Survey drawn by H.F. Walling; published by A.F. Church & Co. CR10-067

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.

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

Sample page

City Atlas of Halifax Nova Scotia; From actual surveys and records ("Hopkins Atlas"), 1878
The Hopkins' Atlas is a very detailed plan showing street names, business names, building sizes, shape and construction materials, etc. H.W. Hopkins; Provincial Surveying and Pub. Co. CR10-004.

Fully digitized copies of the Hopkins Atlas are available online through 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 drawn to scale--of the peninsula of Halifax, as well as the western shore of the Northwest Arm. Shows streets, buildings, wharves, and natural features. A numbered index identifies 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]
Map which shows roads, ferries, names and locations of businesses in both Halifax and Dartmouth, radii from City hall, facts about Halifax, steamship lines out of Halifax; distances to other ports. 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 which shows streets, name and location of businesses and public buildings, harbour depths, tram lines, ward divisions, steamship lines & underwater cable lines. Business directory along edge of map. This was a promotional map, not known for its accuracy. Some streets shown between Robie and Lady Hammond 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 typhoid areas. 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. For many properties the property owner is penciled-in and was updated over time (it is uncertain for what time period ownership is accurate). Changes to street names and street lines were recorded over time; some property sub-divisions are over-written. The footprint and name of some buildings (mainly public, large commercial and industrial buildings) included in the base map. Also shows railways, 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 advertisements, fire box numbers, and 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

A coloured map of the Halifax City area, with business index. Contains illustration, added post-printing, of a marked location for 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
Map shows streets, businesses, sketches of public buildings, businesses, bus and tram routes, wharves, piers for Halifax and Dartmouth. Also has inset of tram routes, 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 including the peninsula, Dartmouth and Armdale, Williams Lake areas. Map shows streets, railways, forts, airport, parks, names 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 from the mayor. Original plan issued in 1938 by Halifax Tourist & Convention Bureau; reprint done by Maps & Ducks. Reproduction [200-?].  CR10-063.

A Tourist Map of Dartmouth, [1939]

A hand-drawn (or 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, and Prospect Rd., St. Margaret’s Bay Rd., and Sambro Rd. are 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 area 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. Produced by the Imperial Publishing Co. Ltd.; distributed by Maritime Merchant Ltd. Halifax. CR10-024

Map of Halifax, 1945
Two plans showing the planned extension of Connaught Ave. 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. 102-39P-NN-2-10508. Base map is the same as CR10-087.

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

Map shows streets, railways and geographical features of the larger Metropolitan Halifax Area, 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, and the Town boundaries. 101-75.15

City of Halifax showing playground areas, [195-?]
Plan shows Halifax peninsula identifying playgrounds, playing fields and parks; area available for playgrounds; schools without play areas; proposed areas for recreation; swimming, wading pools and beaches; school buildings; playground buildings; vacant land available for industrial purposes; and city-owned land available for industrial purposes. Land types are colour-coded. 102-39P-SS-2-14258. 

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 and revised July 25, 1961. 101-75.10. The base map for this map is 101-75.2


City of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1961
Map shows city streets and lakes, as well as the town boundary. Drawn by J.G. Kent and revised July 25, 1961. 101-75.2 Used as a base map for 101-75.10, ward boundaries map.

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. The map was created by combining aerial photographs taken in December, 1960. Map created by Atlantic Air Survey Co. Ltd. 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, and notable buildings. The map shows these features, bus routes, streets, railways and the proposed but never completed design for the streets above Africville, and the Exhibition Grounds. 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. There is a 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. Contains illustrations, added post-printing, 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, parks, streets (designated as arterial, collector, and parkway), high density residential designations, DND land, and proposed industrial areas. 102-72.2

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

(sample only - see entire volume at Archives)

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

Fire Insurance Plan of Dartmouth, showing the location, footprint and construction material of all buildings. Made by the Canadian Underwriters' Association. 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 with 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