Alison Colby-Campbell, Driving in Canada, Driving in Nova Scotia, humor, Nova Scotia Driving Safety

Nova Scotia Sign Language – Personality Quiz

I love Nova Scotia.  A lot.

Despite multiple meetings in the province every year for my work with Nova Star Cruises, (Shameless self promotion: Nova Star the overnight ferry with cruise caliber amenities that travels daily from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. We’re talking Atlantic Canada for my American friends who are geographically challenged), when I do have vacation time, I still choose Nova Scotia.

IMG_0906 for Lisa ArnoldMy most recent trip had three destinations planned – Halifax, the city of everything, Wolfeville in the midst of the fastest growing wine region in North America, and Digby, the home to the world’s largest scallop fleet and so much more. Okay four destinations if you also include all the miles in between. It’s a three-hour drive from Yarmouth, where the Nova Star terminal is, to Halifax but you could stretch the trip for days, if you wanted to take in everything.  I will report on my roadtrip in subsequent posts. But in my belief that we all should visit Nova Scotia (it’s awesome overload), comes the caveat that we should all understand the Nova Scotia road signs when we go…

First, remember that speed limit signs are in kilometers so I spent hours of effort trying to calculate as follows “if the speed limit sign says 90, the speed is about half plus a little extra, so 50-ish”. My audible calculations drove my husband crazy enough that he got out that loathsome-to-men-everywhere implement – his car instruction manual to switch the speedometer to kilometers  That’s akin to asking for directions for goodness sake. Did you even know your car is most likely capable of switching over?

motorcycle sign Nova Scotia 20150721_084331_resized

Nova Scotians are about the nicest people in the universe. Where else would you see a sign  so welcoming and friendly to motorcyclists? (Do you know the largest motorcycle rally in Canada is held September 2-6 2015 in Digby, Nova Scotia and two of the Sons of Anarchy will be at the event this year, and that motorcycles (even RVs) are welcome on Nova Star. My friend Laura Simmons of Wharf Rat Rally sent me that picture) So I know they aren’t trying to confuse me, but I’m  a natural at confusing myself.

This American doesn’t quite think in a straight line. So here is my quiz for you to see if you think like a Nova Scotian (understand the signs) or a Colby-Campbell (not really getting it).

IMG_0675 Nova Scotia Road Signs

1. Does the above mean:

a) Excellent checkerboard park on right

b) Some seriously bad piece of road on right

c) Make up your own

IMG_0829 Road Signs NS

2. Does the above mean:

a) Shuffleboard or pool tables ahead

b) Wine ahead

c) Make up your own

road signs ns 50363093) Does the above mean?

a) Your car will spontaneously compress at 0 degrees Celsius

b) Bridges Freeze First (that’s how we say that in the States, and by the way we turn these signs away when it’s summer.)

c) Make up your own

IMG_0847 Road signs NS

4. Does the above sign mean:

a) Seriously, I got nothing

b) Balance Rock Ahead

c) Make up your own

IMG_0715 road Signs NS

5. Does the above mean?

a) Manger scene ahead, because there’s no room at the inn

b) Hotel rooms ahead

c) Make up your own

IMG_0714 NS Road Signs6. Does the above sign mean, (Note: read #7 before answering #6):

a) Old fashioned jail (gaol) cell ahead

b) Museum

c) Make up your own

IMG_0849 Road Signs NS7. Does the above sign mean:

a) Mens room

b) Museum

c) Make up your own

IMG_0717 Road Signs NS8. Does the above sign mean:

a) This is where you’re “at”

b) WiFi

c) Make up your own

IMG_0830 Road Signs NS9. Does the above sign mean:

a) Clothing-optional hippy commune ahead

b) Greenhouse ahead

c) Make up you own

IMG_0845 Road Signs NS10. Does the above sign mean:

a) Crown site aka a site of royal significance ahead

b) Bumpy road

c) Make up your own

IMG_0872 Road Signs NS

11. Does the above mean:

a) Something is up ahead 1 km, we’re not quite sure what it is, but if you find out please report back. Thank you.

b) Information ahead

c) Make up your own

NS Road sign truck edited

12. Does the above mean:

a) Truck carrying steaming heap of something will crash into a cinder block wall. How do they predict such things?

b) Construction traffic could be entering or leaving on the right and may be moving slower than through traffic. Be careful whenever there are differences in speeds. (In which case a picture really is worth a thousand words)

c) Make up your own

Answer key:

All ‘A’ answers are mine, all ‘B’ answers are Nova Scotian; all ‘C’ answers make you a cool and colorful person who should definitely be my friend.

Now here are my very few gripes –

2. Come on, show me the bottle, grapes are just fruit until it’s wine in a bottle, or on desperate days in a box.

4. Balance rock is a fabulous natural formation following an awesome short trail through many types of landscape culminating in 235 steps down, and conversely 235 steps back up. It’s in Digby. But what the heck – that is the worst sign ever in the one place I saw it without the label on it. But I definitely want the design-the-sign job, it appears as though you design whatever the heck you want. Note the day after we were at Balance Rock the area experienced a 3.8 or so earthquake. We hope that rock is still balancing. Someone please send pictures.

6 & 7 Both mean museum…seriously what’s that all about – do they distinguish between types of museums? Why is one a darker blue than the other? What does it all mean? My contact in NS said he only ever knew about the key sign.

12. Written description and the photo come from the official source.

Review your answers and come visit Nova Scotia and take your own pictures of road signs and send them to me. And let me know how many of you are “my people.”

(c)Alison Colby-Campbell


Click to access DH-Chapter3.pdf

4 thoughts on “Nova Scotia Sign Language – Personality Quiz”

  1. 1. Very, very, very, very (24 X black diamond) difficult ski run on right
    2. Bowling ball herding up ahead
    3. Single occupancy UFOs shooting lightning bolts while drinking very cold yards of ale (yah, that’s one weird sign, I agree!)
    4. WE’RE #1!
    5. Private quarters
    6. Lime pie ahead
    7. Densely settled (Mega-houses)
    8. You are here (Alison’s #a)
    9. Algonquin longhouse with sunflower garden ahead
    10. Drive slowly, triple-mountain vista up ahead
    11. Something up ahead maybe 1km, maybe 2, beats me. Whatever. 5 furlongs how about?
    12. I’m going with Alison’s #a on this one.


    1. Rambo – the Algonquin long house was exactly what I was thinking but couldn’t remember the name. RE #10 – perfectly excellent description RE #3 Professional help might be in order


    1. dgreernh glad to provide today’s chuckle. Jon and I laughed all through the process of finding the signs..head back to NS and check them out for yourself. … and then share of course


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