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Antigonish

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Antigonish is the main town in the Northumberland Shore region of Nova Scotia.

Understand[edit]

Before European settlement, the area was the site of a seasonal Mi'kmaq settlement. The modern town was founded in 1784 and named Dorchester, but by the 1820s was commonly called Antigonish.

In the 1920s, the "Antigonish Movement" began at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, improving the economic and social conditions across Canada’s Maritimes. This eventually lead to the current credit union systems of Maritime Canada.

Nowadays, Antigonish is primarily a service hub for the surrounding region, with the largest employers being St. Martha's Regional Hospital and St. Francis Xavier University. The town is the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish, and thus is one of the smallest towns in Canada to have a cathedral.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Antigonish is at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway 104 and Highway 7. It is approximately 60 km east of New Glasgow and 120 km east of Truro.

By bus[edit]

Maritime​ Bus runs 2-3 times a day from:

  • Truro (1hr45min, adult $25.50, senior or student $22)
  • Halifax (3hr20min, adult $42, senior or student $36)
  • Sydney (3hr15min, adult $46, senior or student $39).

Get around[edit]

Map of Antigonish

Antigonish Community Transit runs a single bus route that runs on an hourly schedule M-F 8AM-6PM and Sa 9AM-1PM. They also offer a door-to-door service.

There are multiple taxi services in town.

See[edit]

The town has some distinctive architecture, particularly the campus of St. Francis Xavier University.

  • 1 Antigonish Highland Games, 91 Main St (Columbus Field), +1 902 863-4275. In a week-long celebration of its Scottish heritage, the town hosts its annual Highland Games every July. There are competitive events, concerts and other activities.
  • 2 St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), 5005 Chapel Square, +1 902-863-3300. One of the highest-ranked universities in Canada, StFX's campus has a mix of architectural styles - many of which are of interest to photographers.
    • 3 St Ninian's Cathedral, 121 Saint Ninian Street, +1 902 863-3147. One of two Roman Catholic churches located on the grounds of St. Francis Xavier University, St Ninian's Cathedral is the Episcopal Seat for the Diocese of Antigonish and the largest church in the town.
  • 4 Antigonish Heritage Museum, 20 East Main St, +1 902 863-6160, e-mail: . July-August: M-Sa 10AM-5PM; Sept-June: Tu-F 10AM-12PM and 1PM-4PM; closed holidays. A small-town museum in a converted railway station, strong in local historical and genealogical resources.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

On the west side of town, there are the usual big box stores.

  • 1 Peace by Chocolate, 32 Bay Street, +1 902 870-6077. 8AM-9PM. Chocolates, made on-premises by a Syrian refugee chocolatier and his family.
  • 2 Antigonish Market Square, 133 Church St, +1 902-863-1596. The closest shopping mall to StFX. Tenant stores include NSLC (a government-run liquor store) and PSEUDIO (an Atlantic Canada clothing-store chain).
  • The Made In Nova Scotia Store, 324 Main St, +1 902-867-2642. online sales only. A gift shop, specializing in items made in Nova Scotia. They are now selling online only.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Main Street Café, 158 Main Street (in the Maritime Inn). Daily 7AM-9PM (Su from 8AM). A focus on fresh seafood. Excellent seafood Primavera. Mains $15-25.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • 2 Homeward Inn, 41 James St, toll-free: +1-800-251-0008. A little out of the centre, close to the university Double $90.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Cape George Point is a half-hour's drive north of Antigonish. The views are spectacular (on a clear day, you can see both Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island) For those interested in literary travel, the point is the setting of Robert Munsch's book Lighthouse.

West to New Glasgow (and on to Truro), east to Cape Breton (the Canso Causeway is only 40 minutes away), or southeast to Guysborough.

Routes through Antigonish
TruroNew Glasgow  W Nova Scotia Highway 104 (TCH).png E  → Canso Causeway (becomes Nova Scotia Highway 105 (TCH).png) → BaddeckNorth Sydney
TruroNew Glasgow  W Nova Scotia 4.svg E  → Jct Nova Scotia 16.svg ESydney


This city travel guide to Antigonish is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.