Nova Scotia, one of the three Maritime and one of the four Atlantic provinces of
Canada, bordered on the north by the Bay of Fundy, the province of New Brunswick,
Northumberland Strait, and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and on the east, south, and west
by the Atlantic Ocean. Nova Scotia consists primarily of a mainland section, linked to
New Brunswick by the Isthmus of Chignecto, and Cape Breton Island, separated from the
mainland by the Strait of Canso.
On July 1, 1867, Nova Scotia became one of the founding members of the Canadian
Confederation. The province's name, which is Latin for New Scotland, was first applied
to the region in the 1620s by settlers from Scotland.
Nova Scotia can be divided into four major geographical regions-the Atlantic
Uplands, the Nova Scotia Highlands, the Annapolis Lowland, and the Maritime Plain.
The Atlantic Uplands, which occupy most of the southern part of the province, are made
up of ancient resistant rocks largely overlain by rocky glacial deposits.
The Nova Scotia
Highlands are composed of three separate areas of uplands. The western section includes
North Mountain, a long ridge of traprock along the Bay of Fundy; the central section
takes in the Cobequid Mountains, which rise to 367 m (1204 ft) atop Nuttby Mountain;
and the eastern section contains the Cape Breton Highlands, with the province's highest
point. The Annapolis Lowland, in the west, is a small area with considerable fertile soil.
Nova Scotia's fourth region, the Maritime Plain, occupies a small region fronting on
Northumberland Strait. The plain is characterized by a low, undulating landscape and
substantial areas of fertile soil.
The area now known as Nova Scotia was originally inhabited by tribes of
Abenaki and Micmac peoples. The Venetian explorer John Cabot, sailing under the