Antigonish, Nova Scotia

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On the drive to Cape Breton, you’ll pass through just one sizable town between New Glasgow and the Canso Causeway — Antigonish.  It’s a college town, that’s home to St. Francis Xavier University, and it has a nice downtown that’s worth walking around.  That’s what I did.

Location

Antigonish is located just north of Trans Canada Highway 104.  It’s about 213 kilometers from Halifax.

My Visit

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I spent a little while walking around downtown Antigonish.  As is common with most small towns in the northeast, there’s a church with a steeple.  This one appears to have a clock, too, but it wasn’t long before I realized that time was standing still.  It looks as if the clock’s hands are painted-on, permanently displaying a time of 10:30.  Hey, at least it’s right twice a day.

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Antigonish’s town hall displays a more accurate clock.  You’ll find this beautiful brick building at the corner of College and Main Streets.

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The town hall is not the same as the courthouse.  That building is just down the road — although I can’t explain why the front of the building appears to be one story tall, but the side looks like two stories.

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So what’s with the name Antigonish, you may ask?  It’s a Mi’kmaq word, which either means the place where the branches are torn off by bears gathering beechnuts or meeting place of five forked rivers.  I heard it pronounced while I was there, and the best way I can describe it is to put the emphasis on every syllable: AN-TI-GON-ISH.

Off of Highway 104 near Antigonish, you may be tempted by a restaurant called Mother Webb’s.  It’s the kind of place that makes you think it’s world famous, whether it is or not, because of all the distinctive road signs.  I didn’t stop for a steak, but the online reviews look pretty good, and it is a local landmark, so it may be worth checking out.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s a look at the drive from New Glasgow to Antigonish…

… and Antigonish on to Cape Breton:

The Bottom Line

Antigonish is a small town that’s worth a brief stop, if you’re in the mood to get out of the car and look around.

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