One of the charming things about this province is that it is mostly rural. There is only one large urban centre – Halifax – with a population under 500,000. The population of the whole province is just over one million; there are only 10 towns in the province with a population greater than 5,000. Nova Scotia is by no means backward. In fact, fibre-optic Internet was available in my Nova Scotia town of 9,000 before it was available in the Toronto suburb where I used to live. But Nova Scotians have a real connection with the sea and the land, and traditions can run deep.
In rural locations, there are a number of summer and autumn exhibitions showcasing traditional and current farming practices. Horse and oxen-pulls are highlight events. At the blacksmith shop in New Ross, horses and oxen are still shoed for the competitions. The New Ross shop is one of only a few that maintains the special hoist needed for shoeing an ox.