I just had a visit of Halifax. It is a quiet and beatiful city neat to the sea. Maybe u will go to Dalhousie Univ. You just go there before 1 week of the beginning of term (I was told Dalhousie Univ. provides temp residence) and you can walk around the street and you will find independant house give the bullitinbord outside their house for rent OR you can go to Apartments running by companies to find a residence.
Sure, if you have friendsthere, you can ask them to find one for you. Shareing with persons, the price is around C$350.00. If you rent a room in a house staying with owners, price is similar.