A civic address is an identification system using a consistent method to address and locate buildings. The three main components are the Civic Number, Street Name, and the Community Name.
All roadways are divided into intervals and civic numbers are assigned depending on where the driveway intersects the road. This provincially determined system allows room for future development.
Why Should I Post my Civic Number?
Property owners are responsible for posting their civic number at the end of their driveway in a location visible from the road. Having a visible civic number can help mail and delivery services, telecommunication providers, emergency response, and friends and family find you, and for navigation purposes.
Assigning a Civic Number
New civic numbers are assigned during the development and building permit application process. Once a permit is issued, a civic number will be assigned automatically.
When the number has been assigned, the Planning and Development Department will mail a notice to the property owner advising them of the civic number. As part of the process, the Planning and Development Department will also update the Nova Scotia Civic Addressing file which is the system used by emergency responders and telecommunication providers. Due to this it is important that residents do not try to assign themselves a civic number. When this occurs emergency responders are not aware of the address if an emergency call is placed from that location.
Information On Using 911
When a call is placed to 911, the caller's phone number, civic address, and associated police, fire, and ambulance emergency responders are listed on the 911 screen (unless the call is made from a cell phone). Under this system, even if the caller cannot speak when calling 911, the operator can still see the civic address and send emergency responders. 911 is also able to handle TDD calls from people with hearing impairments.
The 911 center does not dispatch emergency services; the operator links the caller to the appropriate dispatch agency which will send the required services.
To make sure you can be found in an emergency post your civic number where it can be seen clearly from the road, day or night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a civic address be assigned to my vacant property?
The Municipality does not generally assign civic addresses to vacant building lots until there is a building permit approved for a main structure. Exceptions can include agriculture uses if there are employees on-site regularly, or lands which are used for public recreation, such as trails, parks or publicly used spaces.
Can I get a civic address for my RV?
Can Nova Scotia power connect my power without a civic address?
Yes, all you need is an active building permit number.
Can I pick the civic number assigned to my property?
No, the civic address is assigned using a provincially designed system to ensure the correct address is assigned for each property based on where the driveway intersects with the road. Preferred numbers cannot be requested.
If I do not have a civic address, how can people find me?
If you have not been assigned a civic address because you are still in the early stages of building, you could post the lot number assigned on the plan of subdivision to aid people in locating your property. A lot number sign must clearly state that it is a lot number and not a civic address (i.e. Lot 1). Once a civic address is assigned, you should no longer post the lot number.
Where can I get my civic address sign?
Civic address signs can be ordered from most Fire Departments. Contact your local fire department to find out how to get yours!