Armdale - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Armdale: An Area with a Rich History
Armdale is a historic area located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated at the head of the Northwest Arm, from which it takes its name. The area is bordered by the southern part of an isthmus connecting the Halifax Peninsula with the larger Chebucto Peninsula. In 2011, the population of Armdale was approximately 9,904.
The Mi'kmaq people, the Indigenous inhabitants of the region, attacked the British blockhouse at Armdale multiple times during Father Le Loutre's War. The North Blockhouse, located at the north end of Joseph Howe Drive, was assaulted in 1751, resulting in the elimination of the men on guard. The Mi'kmaq also attacked a saw-mill on a stream flowing out of Chocolate Lake into the Northwest Arm, located near the South Blockhouse at the south end of Joseph Howe Drive, where they killed two men. In 1753, when Charles Lawrence became governor, the Mi'kmaq attacked again, killing three British at the sawmills near the South Blockhouse on the Northwest Arm. The Mi'kmaq made three attempts to obtain the bodies for their scalps.
Initially, the neighborhood was known by various names such as Dutch Village, North-West Arm, and Armdale District. In the 1960s, the city of Halifax integrated Armdale and neighboring Spryfield, Fairview, and Rockingham, resulting in westward growth off the Halifax Peninsula.
From 1969 until the creation of the Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996, Armdale and its neighboring communities west of the Halifax Peninsula were organized under the colloquial term "Mainland Halifax."
The area was primarily concentrated in the valley near the junction of St. Margaret's Bay Road, Herring Cove Road, and Purcell's Cove Road. It extended for a short distance up these roads and was at the head of the Northwest Arm, west of the Canadian National Railway tracks leading into downtown Halifax. The railway station was once located near the Chebucto Road underpass.
During the 20th century, the largest company in the area was Simpson's and later Simpsons-Sears, which operated a large warehouse for its catalog division next to the railway line. This was later replaced by Maritime Life Assurance Company, which was acquired by Manulife Financial in 2004. The post office, which was once operational, is no longer in service.
Since amalgamation with the City of Halifax, Armdale has developed into a primarily residential area consisting of single-family homes and small apartment buildings. Retail development has been limited due to a nearby industrial district centered around the Halifax Shopping Centre and West End Mall.
Today, the word "Armdale" is primarily associated with the Armdale Rotary, a large traffic circle located at the intersection of Herring Cove Road, St. Margaret's Bay Road, Quinpool Road, Chebucto Road, and Joseph Howe Drive. The rotary serves as a key transportation hub connecting many of Halifax's major roads, including the Halifax Peninsula, Bedford Highway, and Bayers Road.
In addition to its transportation function, the Armdale Rotary is a landmark in Halifax and a popular meeting spot. The rotary features a small park in its center and is surrounded by various businesses, including banks, restaurants, and gas stations. It is also a popular spot for community events and gatherings, such as charity walks and parades.
Despite its association with the rotary, Armdale remains a distinct and historic neighborhood in Halifax. Its rich history and prime location at the head of the Northwest Arm make it a popular destination for visitors and residents alike. Whether you're a local or a visitor, there are plenty of things to do and see in and around the area. The neighborhood is surrounded by natural beauty, with the Northwest Arm offering opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and sailing. Residents can also take advantage of nearby parks like Long Lake Provincial Park, which boasts hiking trails, swimming spots, and scenic vistas.
If you’re planning a trip to Armdale, there are a few resources that can help you make the most of your visit. The Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre is a great place to start. They have six locations throughout the province, including one in Halifax, where you can drop in for information on Nova Scotia’s travel experiences. Their friendly and knowledgeable travel counsellors and tourism ambassadors can help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in there.
Another useful resource is the Tourism Nova Scotia website. Here you can find information on visitor centres, travel
guides, and top attractions and experiences throughout the province.