nova scotia

This is how people in Nova Scotia give directions

While Nova Scotia is one of Canada's smallest provinces, getting around might not be so easy for out-of-towners, especially if you're asking for directions from locals.

In a recent Facebook post, one Nova Scotian is setting the record straight about the units of measure in his home province, which may be just a tad bit confusing to an outsider. 

The post jokingly reads: 

  • "Right next door" = 1-2 miles
  • "Right up the road" = 5-10 miles
  • "A couple of miles" = 10-20 miles
  • "Not too far" = 20-50 minutes 
  • "A little ways" = 1 hour
  • "A pretty good haul" = 2 hours
  • "Drive down there" = Literally any direction 

Fellow residents found this to be a hilariously accurate description of how Nova Scotians give directions.

"Sounds about right," one Facebook user commented. 

"Distance is a strange thing in the Maritimes," another wrote. 

For Shelby Ivany, a resident of Sydney, Nova Scotia, a joke like this draws from how small the province truly is. 

"It's almost assumed that other Nova Scotians just know where things are because of how small and close knit our communities are," she said. "There are so many personal connections and people know one another."

She also mentioned that it points to a friendly and comfortable nature. 

"It also plays into how friendly Nova Scotians are. Our drawn out way of explaining directions sounds friendlier than '20 miles south east' which is more direct."

If you're thinking of visiting Nova Scotia once the pandemic is over, it might be a good idea to keep Google Maps handy. 

Lead photo by

Bryan MacLellan on Facebook


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