Living Off Grid in Nova Scotia (Pros and Cons)

Nova Scotia is a good province for off grid living. Although the local climate is not ideal for growing crops, you can still grow some. Even though the local population is about one million, the population density is relatively low because most people live in smaller cities and villages. This province is ideal for generating electricity using solar and wind power systems. The local government provides many renewable energy incentives.

Nova Scotia is a peninsula, which means it is surrounded by water except for a small portion in the north. This means that local weather is primarily governed by tides and marine currents. This implies that you must be quite picky about where you live when it comes to off grid living.

Although this province has about 1 million individuals, most of them live in smaller towns and cities, which is ideal for living off the grid. Housing and property costs are far lower in these smaller cities and villages.

Should You Live Off Grid in Nova Scotia? 

What’s the Climate in Nova Scotia?

Peninsulas, such as Nova Scotia, typically have a maritime climate, yet this province actually has a humid continental climate. Summers are generally pleasant with a lot of rain, while winters are frigid with many snowfalls. Summer temperatures range between 57 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (14 and 25 degrees Celsius). In contrast, winter temperatures range between 16 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit (9 and 0 degrees Celsius).

Interested in checking out another province nearby? I recommend reading my Complete Guide to Off Grid Living in Prince Edward Island.

What Kind of Crops can you Grow in Nova Scotia? 

The climate in Nova Scotia is not ideal for growing crops. However, grains, carrots, blueberries, and other vegetables can be grown in some regions. Many people that live off the grid in this province have a modest vegetable garden, albeit the local weather makes growing food unreliable. Keep in mind that growing food near the shore will be quite tough unless you set up a greenhouse.

What Type of Wildlife is in Nova Scotia?

Whales, black bears, beavers, muskrats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, otters, cougars, lynx, bobcat, white-tailed deer, moose, and even wild horses can be found in Nova Scotia. There are several seas and freshwater fish in this province. The most frequent are brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, Atlantic cod, striped bass, smelt, and Atlantic salmon.

If you’re interested in hunting or fishing in Nova Scotia, I recommend that you check the local requirements and permits.

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Nova Scotia? 

Nova Scotia has an abundance of water. Due to the local climate, it also receives rain and snowfall. The average yearly rainfall for most of the province is roughly 43′′ (1100 mm); however, the northern sections can receive up to 78′′ (2000mm) of rain per year. In some years, the average yearly snowfall might range from 50′′ to 300′′.

How to Generate Off Grid Power in Nova Scotia?

Solar power: Nova Scotia has lots of sunshine all year. The local governments offer the SolarHomes Program, which provides a $0.60/Watt subsidy up to $6000. Although this is a wonderful program, some northern provinces offer up to $0.90/Watt and a far greater rebate ceiling.

Wind power: Because it is constantly windy in this province, generating power with wind turbines is probably the greatest alternative. There are also wind power discounts. However, most of them are region-specific.

Internet in an essential part of our modern-day life. Here’s how you can set up your Off Grid Internet.

Does Nova Scotia Have Off Grid Living Laws? 

Living off the grid is legal in Nova Scotia, as long as you follow the local laws regulating where and how to build. Nova Scotia has a fairly solid education system, but you can still educate your children; just check the homeschooling rules first.

What’s Road Access Like in Nova Scotia? 

Nova Scotia has a lot of highways, and most of them are pretty well maintained due to their small size. Road access will be difficult in isolated regions over the winter due to the heavy snowfall.

What’s the Cost of Land in Nova Scotia? 

Land and property prices in towns and cities along the shore tend to be rather high, while values drop further inland. The cheapest lands are generally found in the province’s southwestern regions.

What’s the Cost of Off Grid Living in Nova Scotia? 

The cost of life in Nova Scotia is similar to that of New Brunswick; in tourist locations, the cost of living is higher, but overall, the cost of living is comparable to the national average. Nova Scotia has an abundance of harbors and roads, making it relatively easy to transport things to and from the province, which implies that the high cost of transportation has little impact on the cost of living.

Want to check out a nearby state in the US? Maine is a great option for off grid living and very close to Nova Scotia.

What’s the Job Market Like in Nova Scotia? 

The unemployment rate in Nova Scotia is 6.9 percent, the same as the national average. The minimum payment is $11.55, which is $0.05 higher than the minimum wage in New Brunswick. Agriculture, commercial fishing, transportation, mining, forestry, and gas extraction are the most important sectors.

Are There Natural Disasters in Nova Scotia? 

Nova Scotia is prone to natural disasters such as floods, flash floods, landslides, blizzards, storms, and hurricanes due to its climate. Storms are the most prevalent natural disasters, and they can appear seemingly out of nowhere.

Can You Live Off Grid in Nova Scotia? 

Nova Scotia is a favorable province for off grid living because the climate is not as harsh as in the northern provinces and the human density is relatively low. The cost of housing and property is almost the same as the national average, which is also a significant benefit.

off grid living in nova scotia
This quarry is a known swimming hole in the summer.

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