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Settlers from England (Yorkshire) and Scotland populated northern and eastern Nova Scotia; the Scots, who settled in substantial numbers in Cape Breton, gave the province a strong Gaelic culture.

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Winters in the inland areas are generally colder, with the coldest temperatures occurring in the highlands, and summers are slightly warmer.

Yearly precipitation (both rain and snow) varies considerably, depending on the section of the province, with total annual amounts ranging from less than 49 inches (1,250 mm) along the Northumberland Strait to more than 63 inches (1,600 mm) on the Cape Breton Highlands plateau. About one-quarter of the woodland is held as crown, or public, land.

Nova Scotia, Canadian province located on the eastern seaboard of North America, one of the four original provinces (along with New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec) that constituted the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

Roughly 360 miles (580 km) long but not more than about 80 miles (130 km) wide at any point, the province comprises the peninsula of Nova Scotia, Chignecto Isthmus, which seems to thrust the peninsula into the Atlantic Ocean, runs the province’s only land boundary, with New Brunswick to the west. Lawrence, the Northumberland and Cabot straits, separate Nova Scotia respectively from Prince Edward Island to the north and the island of Newfoundland to the northeast.

The Atlantic coastal regions experience the warmest winter and coolest summer temperatures.

At Halifax, on the central part of the Atlantic coast, the average daily temperature in January is about 24 °F (–4.5 °C), while in July the average daily temperature is nearly 66 °F (19 °C).German immigrants in the 1750s founded the seaport of Lunenburg.Beginning in the 20th century, there were smaller migrations of Dutch, Italian, Polish, Arab, Chinese, South Asian, and other peoples, especially to the urban centres of Halifax and Sydney.The early European settlement tended to hug the coastline; the sea provided the main means of transportation, and the economy was based on fisheries, the fur trade, and farming.Yet even with the development of railways and better roads in the 19th and 20th centuries, the interior of the province has remained sparsely settled.In a few pockets where clastic sedimentary rock, mostly sandstone, underlies the soil—as in the Annapolis Valley, along parts of the Northumberland Strait, and at Cobequid Bay—the land supports orchards and field crops.

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