Situated at the head of the Northwest Arm, from which it derives its name, Armdale borders the southern part of an isthmus connecting the Halifax Peninsula with the larger Chebucto Peninsula. As of 2011, the population of Armdale was approximately 9,904.
The Mi'kmaq people attacked the British blockhouse at Armdale numerous times during Father Le Loutre's War. In 1751, there were two attacks on blockhouses surrounding Halifax. Mi'kmaq attacked the North Blockhouse (located at the north end of Joseph Howe Drive) and killed the men on guard. They also attacked near the South Blockhouse (located at the south end of Joseph Howe Drive), at a saw-mill on a stream flowing out of Chocolate Lake into the Northwest Arm. They killed two men. ()
In 1753, when Lawrence became governor, the Mi'kmaq attacked again upon the sawmills near the South Blockhouse on the Northwest Arm, where they killed three British. The Mi'kmaq made three attempts to retrieve the bodies for their scalps.
Original names for the community included Dutch Village, North-West Arm, and Armdale District. During the 1960s, the city of Halifax amalgamated Armdale and neighbouring Spryfield, Fairview and Rockingham in a westward expansion off the Halifax Peninsula.
From 1969 until the creation of Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996, Armdale and its neighbouring communities west of the Halifax Peninsula were grouped under the colloquial term "Mainland Halifax".
The community was at the head of the Northwest Arm, west of the Canadian National Railway tracks leading to downtown Halifax. Armdale railway station was once located near the Chebucto Road underpass. The community also extended for a short distance up the St. Margaret's Bay Road, Herring Cove Road, and Purcell's Cove Road but was mostly concentrated in the valley near the junction of these roads.
The largest employer during the 20th century in the Armdale area was Simpson's and later Simpsons-Sears, which operated a large warehouse for its catalogue division beside the railway line. This was later superseded by Maritime Life Assurance Company, which was absorbed by Manulife Financial in 2004. Armdale had its own post office, which no longer operates.
Prior to and following amalgamation with the City of Halifax, Armdale developed into a residential neighborhood consisting of single family homes and small apartment buildings. A nearby commercial district in West End Halifax centred on the Halifax Shopping Centre and West End Mall has kept Armdale relatively free from retail development.
Today, the name Armdale is mostly associated with a traffic circle located at the junction of Herring Cove Road, St. Margaret's Bay Road, Quinpool Road, Chebucto Road, and Joseph Howe Drive.