Bedford is a suburban community at the northern tip of the Bedford Basin, which is an extension of the Halifax Harbour. The community traces its history to the establishment of Fort Sackville by the British military in 1749. The village that grew around the fort adopted the name Bedford in 1850.
The area of Bedford has evidence of indigenous peoples dating back thousands of years. Petroglyphs are found at Bedford Petroglyphs National Historic Site. The Bedford area is known as Kwipek to the Mi'kmaq First Nation.
Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749. By unilaterally establishing Halifax the British were violating earlier treaties with the Mi'kmaq (1726). The British quickly began to build other settlements. To guard against Mi'kmaq, Acadian and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, British fortifications were erected in Halifax (1749), Bedford (Fort Sackville) (1749), Dartmouth (1750), Lunenburg (1753) and Lawrencetown (1754).
The history of Bedford began when Governor Cornwallis organised his men and began the construction of a road leading to Minas Basin on the Bay of Fundy after establishing the garrison at Halifax. To protect it, he hired John Gorham and his Rangers to erect a fort on the shore of Bedford Basin. It was named Fort Sackville after Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset. The area around the fort became known as Sackville until the mid-1850s, when it became Bedford.
The village adopted the name Bedford around 1850. The name is in honour of John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, Secretary of State for the colonies in 1749. In 1996, Bedford was amalgamated with Halifax, Dartmouth, and Halifax County Municipality to form the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).
Bedford is on the northwestern end of Bedford Basin, an extension of the Halifax Harbour, which ends just before Nova Scotia Highway 102 and the Bedford Bypass, next to Lower Sackville. Bedford is at the junctions of Trunks 1, 2, and 7.
- Halifax Transit. Routes 66, 80, 81, 82, 86, 89, and 90 directly serve Bedford while many more routes serve the nearby Cobequid terminal in Lower Sackville. $3.
Bedford is well serviced by taxis, buses, roads, highways, sidewalks, and walking paths.
- 1 Scott Manor House, 15 Fort Sackville Rd, ☏ . Jul-Aug: 10AM-4PM daily; rest of year by appointment. The oldest standing building in Bedford and second-oldest in the Halifax Region. The house was built around 1770 next to Fort Sackville by merchant Joseph Scott on land once owned by his brother, British Army captain George Scott. Free.
- DeWolf Park, 150 Waterfront Drive. There is a popular walkway along much of the Bedford Basin waterfront that begins at DeWolf park, and continues as the Bedford-Sackville Connector Greenway, a crushed gravel covered trail that meanders along the Sackville River.
- Bedford is a well-established sailing community, and is home to the Bedford Basin Yacht Club and Marina.
- Bedford Days. Annually at the end of June and beginning of July. Most events take place at DeWolf Park. There is an opening celebration, Rubber Duck Dash, free pancake breakfast, dog show, Scott Manor House Tea Party, kids' Extravaganza, kids' triathlon, movies in the park, and a Canada Day celebration.
- The Light Up Bedford Parade is an annual parade that runs along the Bedford Highway from Bedford Place Mall and ends at DeWolf Park. At the park there is a hot chocolate stand, Christmas carol singing, contests, and prizes. At the conclusion of the parade, a Christmas tree is lit. The parade takes place on the Sunday following the Light Up Halifax Parade, which is usually mid-November.
- Sunnyside Mall, 1595 Bedford Highway. M-F 9:30AM–9PM, Sa 9:30AM–6PM, Su noon-5PM.
- Bedford Place Mall, 1658 Bedford Highway. M-F 9:30AM–9PM, Sa 9:30AM–6PM, Su noon-5PM. It has a Giant Tiger and an Atlantic Superstore.
- 1 The Chickenburger, 1531 Bedford Hwy (across from the Sunnyside Mall), ☏ . Su-Tu 9AM-10PM, W-Sa 9AM-8PM. A local institution since about 1940.
- Resto Urban Dining, 1516 Bedford Hwy, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa 11:30AM-10PM, Su 4-9PM. Gourmet pizza $14-16, pasta $15-20, mains $20-30, lunch dishes $15.
- Tartan Tea House, 1149 Bedford Hwy, ☏ . W-F 10AM-5PM, Sa Su noon-5PM (last service 4PM). Fine looseleaf teas from around the world, traditional English scones served with local & seasonal jams, and freshly made clotted cream. Cream tea $15 per person, other menus up to $45.
- Lemon Tree Restaurant, 805 Bedford Hwy, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-9PM. Turkish restaurant. Combos $14-26.
- Off Track Brewing, 275 Rocky Lake Dr Unit #3, ☏ . Summer: W noon-8PM, Th-Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-6PM. Pints and sample beer flights available in the tap room.
- 1 Stardust Motel, 1067 Bedford Hwy, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Rooms feature two double beds or one queen bed. Free wireless internet. Coin laundry on site. From $99.
- Esquire Motel, 771 Bedford Hwy. Microwave and refrigerator in room. Pets allowed. From $90.
|Routes through Bedford|
|Yarmouth ← Windsor ←||W E||→ END|
|Truro ← Jct S ←||N S||→ Halifax → END|
|Yarmouth ← Windsor ←||W E||→ END|
|Amherst ← Truro ←||N S||→ Halifax → END|
|END ←||W E||→ Dartmouth → Antigonish|