On November 1st, the Lebanese flag was raised in the district of Nova Scotia to acknowledge and commemorate the efforts contributed by the Lebanese community to the home of Canada’s most mesmerizing landscapes.
According to the government of Nova Scotia, the month of November is recognized as Nova Scotia’s inaugural Lebanese Heritage Month since 2018.
This annual commemoration is a chance to honor and celebrate the lively Lebanese community and heritage.
It offers an opportunity for local citizens to learn more about Lebanese-Canadians and their vital role in helping to encourage growth, prosperity, and innovation throughout the province of Nova Scotia.
It is home to approximately 15,000 Lebanese, including both immigrants and their successors, with the largest number living in the Halifax metropolitan area.
The plaque reads, “This monument is a universal symbol of a proud, strong, and globally united Lebanese community…”
About 3.5% of the 400,000 population of Halifax traces its roots to Lebanon, which is more than one can say about the average 2% in other Canadian cities.
To understand why exactly the Lebanese community in Halifax and in the larger Canadian context is so important, one must examine the role the port city has played in the lives of immigrants.
There are records of Lebanese arriving in Halifax as early as the late 1800s, many of them from the Diman village and Akar region of Northern Lebanon.
Many in the first wave arrived in ships docking at Pier 21, which is recognized as Canada’s Ellis Island for welcoming the arrival of thousands of immigrants from all over the world. After a long sea voyage, many chose to remain in the city and develop new communities.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the civil war in Lebanon was vigorous, sending a second wave of Lebanese migrants to Halifax.
Many immigrants who went through Halifax flourished. Canadians of Lebanese descent are known to be among the most essential innovators and developers in the city, which is a major economic center in Atlantic Canada, with a large concentration of government services and private sector companies.
In fact, Lebanese businesses in Halifax create an average of almost 3000 jobs a year and are responsible for 75% of the rental properties.
Moreover, the Lebanese Chamber of Commerce gives out $10,000 a year in scholarships to students as well as matching Lebanese graduates with potential employers through their Connector Program.
The Lebanese community has had a significant impact on the cultural mix that is Halifax, which also includes the food, a well-known element of Lebanese culture in the city. The Lebanese influence has been major and is recognized as such.