Civic Addressing

Seconds can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. Getting resources where they are needed as quickly as possible is vital. This is especially true when dealing with 911 emergencies. However, without clearly posted civic numbers to guide them, emergency responders can sometimes be challenged to locate the address of a 911 call. Know your E911 civic address and have it clearly posted so that police, firefighters and paramedics can locate you as quickly as possible if an emergency should occur.

The Eastern District Planning Commission assigns civic addresses and maintains the Nova Scotia Civic Address File for Inverness, Richmond, Victoria and Antigonish Counties.

Please refer to the Civic Addressing By-Laws for Antigonish,  Richmond, and Victoria Counties for posting, signage and street sign regulations.

What is a Civic Address?

Your civic number is the main physical feature used by responders when locating the source of a 911 call.

A civic address consists of three parts:

    1. Civic Number
    2. Road Name and Type
    3. The E911 community name and county or municipality

Example: 606 | Reeves St | Port Hawkesbury | Inverness County

  • All three parts make the address unique and must be used precisely in the event of a 911 call.
  • Civic addresses are primarily used for 911 emergency service but are also used as mailing addresses, for delivery services and are required in order to receive telephone service.
  • Civic numbers are assigned to buildings, they are not assigned to vacant parcels of land.

Issues With an Existing Address

If you have an issue with an existing number such as a conflicting information from an agency or property record, a wrong address on a tax bill e.g. or require an address confirmation for Canada Post registration, call the Civic Address Coordinator directly to resolve issues with existing civic numbers.

The following information is helpful in locating an existing civic address:

  • Property Identification Number
  • Provincial Assessment Account Number
  • A neighbour’s civic address
  • Road and Community Name

New Civic Numbers

If you are in the process of building or planning to build; if you need a number for a work site, seasonal site, or power connection to a seasonal trailer then call the Building Official for your county directly.

For new construction, the civic address is assigned after the building permit is approved and the Building Official makes the first visit to the site – determining the address requires a site visit which is coordinated with the initial inspection.

After the required information is obtained from the Building Official, the number is assigned by the Civic Address Coordinator and entered into the E911 system.

Note: If there are three or more addressed buildings on a driveway it must be designated a private lane, given its own name and each building re-addressed to this lane. If this is your situation, to avoid delays contact the Civic Address Coordinator to begin the road naming process.

A civic number sign is included in the building permit fee. The sign and your notification letter should be mailed out to you two to three weeks after the Building Official’s first visit to the site.
Please contact your Building Official if you need to know your address before you receive notification by mail.

See Frequently Asked Questions about getting a civic address.

Posting Your Civic Address

  • Civic numbers must be in Arabic numerals (12, not: XII or Twelve)
  • Have at least 48 inches between the bottom of the numbers and the ground.
  • The colour of the numbers must be reflective and clearly contrast the background. White numbers on a blue background work best.