Province House

The Nova Scotia House of Assembly is the birthplace of parliamentary democracy in Canada. Visit this grand Palladian building to discover the history of the province.

Province House is the home of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly and the oldest serving legislative building in the country. This National Historic Site of Canada stands impressively between the Grand Parade and the harbor. Visit to learn about Nova Scotia’s history and browse antiques from colonial times, as well as portraits and sculptures of notable figures.

Province House has accommodated the legislative branch of the provincial government of Nova Scotia since 1819. It’s the birthplace of parliamentary democracy in the British Empire outside the United Kingdom. The building once served as the colony’s Supreme Court, and has witnessed some momentous political and legal events.

The three-storey building is a classic example of Palladian architecture. The building features grand symmetrical design in sandstone, and is set back in a tree-lined garden. Enter the house to explore its stately interior.

Impromptu tours with Province House guides are available, but book ahead to avoid disappointment. Check out the stunning interior architecture of the former Supreme Court, now a library, and the Red Chamber. Stroll out into the courtyard to see the South African War Memorial and two wartime cannons. To the south side of Province House, you can see the statue of the Honorable Joseph Howe, the journalist whose heartfelt speech and acquittal at Province House led to the development of press freedom in Canada.

Visit Province House any day of the week during regular business hours. Legislative assembly sittings begin in the spring and fall seasons. Watch the proceedings from the visitor’s galleries during a sitting to see Nova Scotia’s Members of the Legislative Assembly in action. 

Province House sits three blocks back from the Halifax waterfront in the heart of downtown and is easily accessible by bus and ferry. Walk in from the Halifax harborfront boardwalk to enjoy a scenic route downtown. Entry is free.

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