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For centuries, Nova Scotia has been the gateway to Canada. The region was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when the first European colonists arrived. A French settlement was founded in 1604 at Port Royal. The British Empire gained control of the region between 1713 and 1760, and established the capital at Halifax in 1749. Nova Scotia was a founding province of Canada (along with New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario) in 1867. English is the predominant language spoken in Nova Scotia, but the province is also home to a large French-speaking community. Nova Scotia is the second smallest province of Canada, with an area of 55,274 km² and a population of 934,405 (as of 2006). Nova Scotia is well known for its hospitality. Nova Scotians take pride in welcoming all to our province—whether visiting or coming to start a new life. Located on Canada’s southeast coast, Nova Scotia’s position on the North Atlantic Ocean has fueled the province’s economy and shaped its culture. Today, Nova Scotia is the most populous of Canada’s Maritime Provinces and a major economic hub for the region.

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