Antigonish, NS, incorporated as a town in 1889, population 4524 (2011c), 4236 (2006c). The Town of Antigonish is situated on a small plain just over a kilometre from Antigonish Harbour. Located midway between Halifax and Sydney, it is a university community which is also a market and service centre for surrounding communities. It is well known for its sporting and recreational facilities and its cultural activities. St Ninian's Cathedral (1868) is built of local blue limestone in the Romanesque style.
In 1784 a group of British soldiers first settled the area, then known as Dorchester. Population increased during the Napoleonic Wars, when Antigonish supplied much-needed timber to Britain. From 1821 onward the town was known as Antigonish. The name derives from the Micmac Articougnesche ("where the bears tear branches off trees").
In 1855 St Francis Xavier University was relocated to the town. In the 20th century the university led in the founding of the Antigonish Movement, a program of adult education and self-help; the Coady International Institute, which provides education for activists of developing nations; and the Co-operative Movement in Nova Scotia. Antigonish is also home to the Highland Games, the oldest celebration of Scottish dance and sports in North America, and to Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre.