SYDNEY, NS — A new driving school is opening in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and could be the first to offer classes in multiple South Asian languages.
The Halifax Driving School is offering its first lessons in Sydney on May 10, which will mark the launch of the business in Sydney, spokesman Noman Zafar said.
Offering Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and South Indian Telugu language lessons, the team of instructors also offer South Korean, Arabic, English and French language lessons.
Operating in Halifax for nearly two years, Zafar said he began noticing a number of Cape Breton University students or recent graduates taking courses.
Zafar asked them why they hadn’t learned to drive since arriving in Canada and their response was often that there were no driving schools offering languages of instruction other than English or French. .
“We realized there was a great need for this,” he said.
Since announcing via their social media platforms that they will be offering lessons in Sydney in different languages, Halifax Driving School has received a few inquiries a day – more than expected.
“The response has been very good,” Zafar said. “They call. They say, ‘Hi, when are you coming?’ “I saw your videos (YouTube). ‘My friend drove with you.'”
Answer to need
Zafar is one of nine driving instructors who make up the “team” that runs the Halifax Driving School. Seven of them, including Zafar, are full-time instructors and two work part-time.
An immigrant himself, Zafar moved to Canada in 2015 and settled in Halifax with his family. In 2016, he started operating Best Taxi Halifax, a taxi and airport tour company offering multilingual service. Born in Pakistan, Zafar speaks four languages, including Korean, so newcomers to Canada feel comfortable asking him for advice.
“When new immigrants arrive or new students arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we pick them up at the airport and help them, a little help, like about, you know, immigration, settling “, did he declare.
“(At that point) we realize we need a driving school because they (new immigrants) always say, ‘I need a license. I need a permit. Do you know any driving schools that can speak languages?”
Halifax Driving School
- Launch: 2020
- Opening in Sydney: May 2022
- Online: https://halifaxdrivingschool.com/
- Phone: 902-441-2015
- E-mail: [email protected]
Teaching offered in:
- Korean; Hindi; Urdu; Punjabi; Arab; English; French; Telugu
First opened in Halifax, the school has expanded to offer its services in Dartmouth, Bedford and Truro.
In Halifax, Zafar said they are “very busy” with a full class schedule where they are headquartered.
After operating in Sydney for three to four months, Zafar said they hope to open physical office space here as well.
“I love Cape Breton. Every summer I go with my family to Cape Breton and I always think, ‘Oh, I should do something here,'” he said.
“And finally I’m doing something and I can be in the Sydney area. It’s so peaceful here.”
In addition to driving lessons and road test preparation, the Halifax Driving School has two instructors licensed to teach defensive driving.
More information can be found online at or on Facebook.
Number of immigrants in Nova Scotia 2001-2021
Nicole Sullivan is a diversity, immigration and education reporter, who sometimes covers health, at the Cape Breton Post. Find her on Twitter @CBPostNSullivan.