Canning, Nova Scotia, Canada

Population: 761
House styles: Farmhouse-style houses and a mix of other styles, including Georgian, Craftsman, and mid-19th-century Italianate
Expect to pay: In the low $200,000s for a fixer-upper; remodeled period houses cost around $400,000

While Halifax, the province's capital, is heralded as a "city of the future," the agricultural village of Canning, about an hour's drive northwest, proudly clings to a more traditional way of life. Though residents of this once-bustling shipping and rail hub have access to conveniences such as big-box stores, you're more likely to find them frequenting local shops downtown, perusing fresh produce at one of the area's year-round farmers' markets or sampling the latest vintages from the local Blomidon Estate Winery. Canning also proudly hosts an annual Eagle Watch in January and February that features a daily pancake-and-sausage breakfast as an extra treat for the thousands of birders who flock to the area for the occasion. Many of the residents here, as in other farm towns and villages in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, are self-employed. But Canning's relatively low real-estate prices, plus its proximity to Halifax as well as the smaller towns of Kentville and Wolfville, make it an attractive choice for commuters, too.

Among the best for: Canada, Small Towns, Easy Commute, Retirees, First-Time Buyers
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