The community surrounding the Cole Harbour Woodside United Church is made up of three distinct communities, Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage, and Woodside. These three are all suburbs of the greater community of Dartmouth. Neighbouring communities include Lawrencetown, Lake Echo, Preston, and Waverley.
Cole Harbour is a bedroom community with a population of approximately 30,000, composed of mainly single-family dwellings, duplexes and apartment buildings. The community is expected to continue growing, as new housing subdivisions are constantly being developed. The real estate market is good and houses turn over quickly, as Cole Harbour tends to be a transient neighbourhood. All services can be found in the community including doctors, dentists, allied health professionals, veterinary services, pharmacies, banking, car repair, hair stylists, and shopping. It is served by two medium-sized shopping centres, a library, and a community recreation centre. There are a number of elementary, junior high, and high schools in the area. In addition to a second United church, there are two Roman Catholic churches, two Baptist churches, a Mormon congregation, an Anglican church, a Lutheran church, a Jehovah’s Witness church, a Pentecostal church, a Wesleyan church and a Salvation Army congregation. Some small commercial development is present but most residents work in Halifax or Dartmouth. There are white-collar professionals and blue-collar workers, as well as Military personnel living in Cole Harbour.
Eastern Passage has a population of approximately 15,000. There is a small strip mall and services such as banking, dentistry, and hairdressing available within the community. Eastern Passage is the proud home of Fisherman’s Cove, a tourism destination constructed to resemble a historic fishing village and includes a Marine Interpretation Centre, shops, and restaurants. There is one elementary school for primary to grade 5, a school for grade 6, and a newly built junior high school. High school students are currently bussed to Cole Harbour District High School, but it is hoped that there will soon be a new high school for Eastern Passage. There are three churches in the area – an Anglican church, a Roman Catholic church, and a Baptist church. There is a small fishing base remaining in Eastern Passage and some employment in the service industry, however, most people work in Halifax or Dartmouth.
Woodside is broken down into North and South. Combined, the population is approximately 20,000. There are a couple of strip malls, a grocery store, and services such as banking, dentistry, doctors, and hair dressers within the community. There are two elementary schools and one junior high. High school students are bussed to Dartmouth High School. There are three churches in the area – a Baptist church, a Roman Catholic church, and an Anglican church. There is an Industrial Park which employs many people, along with the Imperial Oil Refinery, and the Irving Oil depot. The most recent Nova Scotia Community College is also located in Woodside across the street from the Dartmouth General Hospital. Like Cole Harbour and Eastern Passage, most people work in Halifax or in other parts of Dartmouth.
Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage and Woodside (as neighbourhoods of Dartmouth) are all part of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Halifax has an International airport and two military bases, including a small helicopter squadron and civilian airport at Shearwater, very close to Eastern Passage. There are major shopping malls in both Dartmouth and Halifax and a downtown shopping area in Halifax. There are also two areas for shopping in many of the “big box” stores found across Canada. Both have live theatre, art galleries, and a large variety of restaurants to choose from. There is a community hospital in Dartmouth and Halifax has a children’s and women’s hospital, as well as the tertiary care centre for the Maritimes. There are five universities in the metro area and Nova Scotia Community College campuses in both Halifax and Dartmouth.