Harbour is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia
, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality
.The harbour is called Jipugtug by the Mi'kmaq first nation, anglisized as Chebucto. It runs in a northwest-southeast direction.
Based on average vessel speeds, the harbour is strategically located approximately one hour's sailing time north of the Great Circle Route between the Eastern Seaboard and Europe
. As such, it is the first inbound and last outbound port of call in eastern North America
with transcontinental rail connections.
The harbour is largely formed by a drowned glacial valley which succumbed to sea level rise since glaciation. The Sackville River now empties into the upper end of the harbour in Bedford
Basin, however its original river bed has been charted by the Canadian Hydrographic Service throughout the length of the harbour and beyond.
The harbour includes the following geographic areas:
The harbour is home to several small islands.The harbour limit is actually formed by the northern end of its largest island - McNabs Island. The largest island entirely within the harbour limits is Georges Island, a glacial drumlin similar to its dryland counterpart at Citadel Hill
. Several small islands are located in the Bedford Basin near Bedford and Burnside
.Although outside the defined harbour limits, Lawlor Island and Devils Island
are also frequently included in descriptions of Halifax Harbour and the surrounding area.
Halifax's official harbour limit for navigational purposes is delineated by a line running from Herring Cove on the west side of the main channel, to the northern end of McNabs Island, then from McNabs Island across the Eastern Passage
to the actual community of Eastern Passage on the east side of the island. The harbour is marked by an extensive network of buoys and lighthouses, starting with Sambro
Island Lighthouse at the harbour approaches.