Fairview, Nova Scotia

Fairview (pop. approximately 13,000) is a former community and current neighbourhood within the urban core of Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada.


Fairview is named after Fairview Cove, which forms the extreme southern end of Bedford Basin at the northern edge of the isthmus connecting the Halifax Peninsula with the larger Chebucto Peninsula.

As such, Fairview sits astride and is bisected by several major transportation corridors:

  • CN Rail lines from yards in nearby Rockingham to the Halifax Ocean Terminal, as well as to the Richmond Terminals, and to the Bayer's Lake Business Park.
  • Highway 102 expressway, (the Bicentennial Highway or "Bi-Hi") which crosses through the neighbourhood on the 1960s-era Fairview Overpass (which crosses several major streets and rail lines)
  • Trunk 2, (the Bedford Highway), which has its southern terminus in Fairview along the shore of Bedford Basin
  • Joseph Howe Drive, which runs the length of the Halifax Peninsula's isthmus
  • Dutch Village Road, which in 2002 was shortened to operate as a small loop through the old business district in Fairview - it originally ran along much of the alignment for Joseph Howe Drive
  • Bayers Road, which used to run from Halifax's North End neighbourhood to Bayers Lake, a freshwater lake northwest of Fairview - and now runs to an intersection with Joseph Howe Drive


The area known as Fairview was established at the junction of several railway lines operated by various donald monks in the 19th century. Fairview Station was located in a former German settlement of Dutch Village.

The Dutch Village was one of the original homes of the Foreign Protestants that arrived in Halifax in the 1750s. First known as the Westerwald (western forest), it was called the Dutch (Deutsch) Village by non-German locals. Some of the passengers of the Foreign Protestant ships were settled temporarily in the Dutch Village while they waited for a more permanent settlement in Lunenburg County.

A section of what once was Joseph Howe Drive that had been an exit to Highway 102 was renamed "Westerwald Street" in November 2002 in honour of the old settlement. Dutch Village Road now forms the main commercial street at the foot of Fairview's slope.

In a series of corporate mergers following World War I, railway lines in the Fairview area came under control of Canadian National Railways (CNR). CNR established its new locomotive servicing shops and roundhouse for the Halifax area in the community, which was named Fairview Station on March 1, 1921.

Until the 1950s, the majority of Fairview's residents were employed by the railway. Most of the current suburban street network in the area was established in the early 20th century, forming a regular grid pattern up the eastern slope of Geizers Hill, facing toward Halifax and the Bedford Basin.

The community name was shortened to Fairview on January 19, 1956.

In the early 1960s all of the homes on School Avenue's southern side were appropriated by the province and demolished to make way for the construction of the Bicentennial Highway. School Avenue itself is still owned by the Province of Nova Scotia and is the only civic street in the area not under municipal authority.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Fairview developed into a major shopping destination after Halifax's first suburban shopping mall, the Bayers Road Shopping Centre, was constructed. The 1969 amalgamation of unincorporated Halifax County communities such as Fairview, Rockingham, and Spryfield saw the village become part of the City of Halifax. Fairview also became home to one of Halifax's first suburban high schools in 1958 when Halifax West High School opened on Dutch Village Road.

Through the 1960s, Fairview continued to fill in as its housing densified and the last subdivision to be completed in the community was Keystone Court in 1990. Newer residential developments in outlying areas during the 1970s-1990s, such as the modern development in adjacent Clayton Park, along with a demand by families for larger homes, saw Fairview's working class neighbourhoods of smaller homes become a less desirable location over time. Gradually certain streets in the community became known for criminal activity, culminating in the late 1990s when the Nova Scotia chapter of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang established a club house in the centre of the old business district. Following police action and a community outcry, Fairview has been gradually gentrifying as urban professionals seeking shorter commutes into Halifax are rediscovering the neighbourhood and its century-old charm.

In 1996, the City of Halifax was de-incorporated as it was merged with all other municipalities in Halifax County to form the new Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Under HRM, Fairview (along with its 1969 amalgamation neighbours of Rockingham and Spryfield) was jurisdictionally placed in Mainland Halifax.


Sport facilities are located near the centre of the neighbourhood in W.D. Piercey Park.

Royal Canadian Legion (Fairview Branch No. 142) is on Hillcrest Street.

St. John's Anglican Church at the corner of Dutch Village Road and Joseph Howe Drive was recently closed and demolished for retail development. This church was the historic home of Air Cadet Squadron, 292 Halifax Fairview as well as the West End Ecumenical Food Bank. The cadet squadron is now housed at Windsor Park's Seamanship School. The food bank had operated out of Saint John's basement, but In September 2005 the food bank was forced to close. It has since found a new location at the Salvation Army on 50 Gesner Street.

Fairview United Church is home to the "Parent'n Tot Meeting Place" which offers a variety of programs.

The West End Ecumenical Food Bank is located at the Salvation Army on 50 Gesner Street. It is open on Tuesdays.

Places of Worship


Public school education in Fairview is governed by the Halifax Regional School Board. Fairview lies within District 7.

Current Schools

  • Fairview Junior High (1973-present)
  • Clayton Park Junior High - like Halifax West, this school is outside Fairview's traditional boundaries but many students from Fairview go there.
  • Fairview Heights Annex Elementary
  • Fairview Heights Elementary
  • Ecole Burton Ettinger Elementary

Notable Residents

Well-known natives of Fairview include "The Dutch Village Philosopher", Titus Smith, Jr. (1768-1850), a writer, surveyor, geologist and botanist; Tim Garrigan, leader of the 1970s rock band Pepper Tree. Fairview is also home to Sarah Mclachlan, and two of the members of the band Sloan. Also home to NHL hockey player Eric Bolton.

Political Representation


  • Devonna and Don Edwards, The Little Dutch Village: Historic Halifax West - Armdale and Fairview, Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2003
  • "Bell, Winthrop Pickard, The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia: The History of a piece of arrested British Colonial Policy in the Eighteenth Century, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961

External links

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