Category Archives: Northumberland Shore

Art Out and About Antigonish

 

 

Antigonish has long been a centre for the arts and artists.  In the past year there have been a lot of new additions to art exhibit spaces and the arts are flourishing.   There are many wonderful galleries and exhibits to explore and enjoy as you stroll along Main Street and then take a drive for more.  See how many you can visit and be sure and add your comments and suggest any others that you find.

Main Street Mural Andrew Murray

Main Street Mural Andrew Murray

Starting from the Post Office end of town and heading East on the right side of the street:

  • ASAP, 319 Main St. (next to the Post Office)  www.asapartcentre.com All of Us Society for Art Presentation, is a newly formed artist-run centre founded by local artists and art supporters.
  • People’s Place Library, 283 Main Street www.parl.ns.ca/peoplesplace/guide Browse the community art in the Bistro area changing monthly.  Permanent exhibits commissioned from local artists are found throughout the building.   July displays the GoArts juried works from 25 artists in a variety of medium.  Free WiFi, friendly staff, great collection of books and bulletin board with local happenings.   Bring in your coffee or lunch to enjoy in the Bistro while you meet or play board games.
  • Bergengren Credit Union, 257 Main St. www.docstoc.com/docs/72284899/THE-GIFT –   Frieze by Fenn Martin “The Gift”- celebrating the journey of the Bergengren through 75 years.
  • McLeod Gallery, 219 Main Street, Kirk Place. www.antigonishphotographersexhibit.com Antigonish Photographers Exhibit.  July and August.  “Scottish Ayres”.  Photography exhibit by APx.
  • Prissy Pig Café and Deli, 20 St. Andrew’s Street (corner of Main St) www.facebook.com/prissypigcafedeli – – Peter Jowett photography exhibit July and August.  Have lunch or a brunch from this great local food restaurant.

Starting from the Post Office end of town and heading East on the left side of the street:

  • The Tall and Small Café, 342 Main St.  The café expanded recently and now has ample seating room and a delicious vegetarian menu.  Changing exhibits of art and photography are displayed along the walls in both rooms.  July Exhibit – Ruth Young.
  • The Made in Nova Scotia Store – 324 Main Street  www.themadeinnovacotiastore.com A treasure trove of hand-made crafts from Nova Scotia.
  • Aphrodite Art and Fashion, 292 Main Streetwww.aphroditeartandfashion.com Enjoy whimsical and elegant selection of art from Atlantic artists in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.  Including works from Wayne Boucher, Ann Manuel and many others.
  • Andrew Murraywww.antigonishculturealive.ca/aca-outstanding-artist-of-the-year-2011 See Andrew’s murals on several of the buildings along Main Street and his interior design of Cameron’s Jewelry.
  • Down to Earth Art Gallery and Fine Framing, 240 Main Street.    www.downtoearth.ca Featuring works by J. Franklin Wright, Alan Syliboy and others.
  • Lyghtesome Gallery, 166 Main Street. www.lyghtesome.ns.ca This gallery has been a mainstay of culture in Antigonish since 1975 and exhibits works from Linda Johns, Anna Syperek, Julia Redgrave and many others. A fine selection of original paintings, sculpture, prints, cards and works of art. The Summer Showcase of Gallery Artists July 6 — Aug 31 – “A Slice of Nova Scotia at its Visual Best”.  New and recent works by gallery artists. Special Feature: “Unheard Music”, Linda Johns’ newest ltd. ed. book

Slideshow of a few of the locations:

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Off Main and out of town:

  • St FX Art Gallery – Bottom floor, Bloomfield Center, St. Francis Xavier University.  The summer exhibit is from the permanent collection.
  • Old Barn Gallery.  Melanson Road, Pomquet (30 minutes east of Antigonish off Highway 104). www.facebook.com/OldBarnGalleryDecor Beautiful display of arts and antiques set in an old barn and surrounded by gorgeous flower gardens.
  • C.A.  MacLean A Matter of Tastes.  3931 Highway 7 (10 minutes from Antigonish) www.amatteroftastes.ca Featuring works by Vicki (V.L.) MacLean

Upcoming Art Events 2012

  • Gathering of the Arts.  GoArts 2012. July 9 – 30. www.antigonishculturealive.ca Peoples’ Place Library.  Exhibition of juried art work from 25 local artists from Antigonish Culture Alive. Opening reception July 9.
  • Art Ceilidh Studio Tour.  July 13 – 14.  www.facebook.com/events/241118522665990 Part of the Highland Games week celebrations.  Tours of artist galleries and studios in and around Antigonish.  Start your tour at Lyghtesome Gallery for maps and directions.
  • Antigonight: Art After Dark. September 21-22.  http://antigonightfest.tumblr.comNighttime participatory festival for all the arts, celebrating the rich arts community of northeastern Nova Scotia.
  • Antigonish International Film Festival.  October 19-20. www.antigonishfilmfest.org Over 40 documentary films.  Peoples’ Place and Empire Capitol Theatre.   Community Dinner and arts at the Prissy Pig Oct 20.

July in Antigonish an Arts Celebration. The Casket, June 26, 2012 by Richard MacKenzie

Directions

View Larger Map

Denise Davies is a travel writer, photographer, filmmaker and entrepreneur.  This article appeared in the Highland Heart, June 29.  www.highlandheart.ca

 

Jimtown and Ogden’s Pond

 

 

 

Marsh grasses Ogden's Pond

Marsh grasses Ogden's Pond

We have been having some beautiful weather in September – more like summer than July and August. It’s a great time to explore the outdoors. I ended up at the beach on Jimtown Road at the end of an afternoon drive. The rain clouds were building up but there was a great spotlight from the sun shining on the beach as I arrived which gave a dramatic look to Ogden’s Pond which is on your left, and the marsh grasses with the dark sky in the background.

 

Chapel

Chapel

On the side road there is a lovely white chapel in a shady and grassy area.

 

The beach has easy access and good for walking on the sand. Great place to relax and watch the waves, look for shells or skip rocks. Ogden’s Pond is great for bird watching. The water flows in to the ocean here.

 

Rainbow at Jimtown evening

Rainbow at Jimtown evening

I was lucky to catch a rainbow over the ocean with the setting sun behind me. You can see parts of Cape Breton Island from here.

 

There are lovely views of Crystal Cliffs to your left.

From Antigonish head out Route 337 on the Sunrise Trail. The turnoff is about 12KM from Antigonish – Just past Mahoneys Beach. The sign is marked as “Jimtown Road”.

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Jimtown Road – Google Maps  View Larger Map
View Larger Map
View Larger Map

 

Sunrise – Antigonish Landing

 

 

Sunrise and rolling mist

Sunrise and rolling mist

6AM sky looking great so headed to the Antigonish Landing for an early morning walk.  What a glorious time of day to see the sun burning off the morning mist and watching the mist drifting along the estuary and up over the rolling hills.  The hills with small farms gradually appeared through the layers of mist showing new vistas as the day progressed.

 

Jeweled web

Jeweled web

Dew drops highlighting the spiders’ webs turned them into jeweled wonders.  What a combination of function, geometry, and beauty.  I even caught sight of a lovely spider waiting its prey.  Lots of bird song in the air and of course ducks swimming in the river.  A grey heron flew into a nearby tree and another flew by just keeping above the water line.

The water was so calm that it reflected the nearby Queen Anne’s Lace, Goldenrod and other wild flowers.  Apple trees and choke cherries are found along the trail.

Hills through the mist

Hills through the mist

Antigonish Landing is an estuary leading out around marsh land and islands out to the open ocean.  Rivers empty in to this tidal estuary.  The walking trail is a great place for walking and running.  There are parking places and access from just past the old train station – just cross the tracks and turn right, or continue up past the hospital and turn right at Tony’s Meats.

Photo Gallery

 

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More Information

Old Barn Gallery and Design

 

 

Old Barn Gallery

Where can you enjoy stepping back into history, see beautiful art, smell the flowers, admire the horses and experience a 166 year old barn transformed into an attractive gallery where you can browse and enjoy a delightful hour or two?

 

Where else but at the Old Barn Gallery and Design at Beaver Dam Farm Resort in Pomquet. The farm is owned by Carol and Arthur Rivoire  who built it up over 30+ years.  The gallery opened in July 2011 with partnership of Ed Mattie.  They realized that their collection of antiques, paintings and arts and crafts would be wonderful to share with a broader audience.  They setup their gallery in the 166 year old barn which gives the perfect ambiance for enjoying a peak into the past as well and enjoying arts from the current artists and crafts people in the area.

Quilts

Such a variety!  Old fashioned quilts – and new quilts with traditional or newly crafted designs. Paintings by owner Arthur Rivoire, local artist and partner Ed Mattie and others, antique dishes, wood carvings from burls with beautiful and exotic shapes and texture, old cradles, sleigh, and other home implements from the early 1900s,  handmade rugs, locally made wool blankets that remind you of your childhood, colorful antique boxes and containers, hand knitted items,  and more.  Carol Rivoire is welcoming and knowledgeable and loves to chat about the collection.

The gallery is surrounded by beautiful flower gardens, trails, horse stables and paddocks.  It is a delight to visit and I plan to go back often to enjoy more of the area.  It is very easy to get to and is only about 15 minutes drive from Antigonish. A great outing.

Photo Gallery

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More Information

Mahoneys Beach

 

 

Mahoneys Beach is situated at the mouth of Antigonish Harbour along the Sunrise Trail, just 11 KM out of Antigonish on Route 337.

 

View on Route 337

View on Route 337
Along the route are beautiful views of rolling farmland, dairy farms and some spectacular glimpses of the meandering Antigonish Harbour.
Mahoneys Beach

Mahoneys Beach

 

Mahoneys Beach is a relaxing sand and beach stone sand bar that you can walk along at low tide. Explore the lagoons and sandbar, the tide pools, and beach grasses and flowers.

Heron Fishing in Tide Pool

 

I was lucky to see herons skimming along the coastline, wading in the tidal pools and fishing.

Kayak at Mahoneys Beach on a calm day

 

On a calm day people were enjoying kayaking along the coast line. The many coves and islets make it an interesting place to explore.

Mahoneys Beach Collage

Mahoneys Beach Collage

Things to take

  • Beach shoes for walking on rocks
  • Hat, sun glasses, sun screen, long sleeve shirt
  • Insect repellent
  • Water
  • Snack – or grab a sandwich or Salad from the Prissy Pig Café and Deli on your way out of town
  • Camera

Directions

  • Head out of Antigonish past the hospital towards Cape George on Hwy 337 , along the Sunrise Trail approximately 11 KM. Turn right.
  • Parking available. No lifeguards or beach services

Aerial View of Coastline and Antigonish Harbour

Mahoney’s Beach – Aerial View Google

New People’s Place Library

 

 

WOW –  by 5PM today “more than 5,000 people had come through the doors” of the new People’s Place Library in Antigonish according to Eric Stackhouse, Chief Librarian of Pictou – Antigonish Regional Library.  This new happening place on Main Street was buzzing with excitement as people had the opportunity to explore all the nooks and crannies of the building.

People of all ages from toddlers up to seniors all found something just made to order for them – in the children’s room toddlers were listening to a story and looking at the picture book, in another corner two children were putting on a puppet show for their younger sister, other children were admiring the large fish tank.

All over the building there is a variety of beautiful and colorful art work – pennants hanging from the ceiling, paintings displayed in the windows, a beautiful circular stained glass interior window, a huge fireplace with welcoming arm chairs and a carved sculpture mantle, a loom with a resident weaver who will be weaving on site over the next few months, a curving stone bench near the entrance way that reminds you of the sea, and a great mural above the reception desk.

People were lined up to get a library card, check out books and ask questions from the helpful staff.  The staff have been eagerly awaiting their chance to move into this new building which is a dream come true for many who have worked in cramped and difficult conditions for years.

ACALA – the  Antigonish County Adult Learning Association, and Health Connections now have their new home here.  There are study carrels that are perfect for quiet study of for 2 or 3 people to work together.  A large meeting room with a folding door that opens out into the community kitchen, and a small meeting room setup with a multimedia system, whiteboard and work group tables will be perfect for smaller meetings.  There are several areas that are inviting to sit and read or chat or work on a project together.   Computer workstations are available – or you can bring your own computer for the WiFi free area.

Although the outside area is not fully complete you can walk between College Street and the Post Office and when this is fully paved the outside area will be inviting with its patios and  views of Brierly Brook.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone on the tremendous effort that went into the planning and implementation of this new community area on Main Street – the Antigonish Town and County Library – indeed The People’s Place.  It looks like it will become a hub of traffic and interest right in the centre of Antigonish and has opportunities for people of all ages.

Here are a few photos from the opening day – May 24, 2011

Articles

Library Has Room To Spare.  Halifax Chronicle Herald

Art Walk Antigonish

 

 

For a small town, Antigonish has a lot going on in the arts.  Enjoy a walk through town sampling exhibits and art.  The culture of creative people and the support and interest of the community makes this a “happening” place in the arts.

You can do this walk over a day – or spread out your visits.  Park your car and enjoy the spring weather and stroll.  This walk goes from the West end of Main Street (the Post Office end) ending at the East end where Main Street is getting a new bridge.   This walk on Main Street of less than 1 kilometer – plus one side trip to campus will impress you with the variety and creativity of the community.  The current exhibitions listed are for May, 2011.  Check the location websites or just drop in for changes.

ASAP Gallery Opening

ASAP Gallery Opening

ASAP:  All of Us Society for Art Presentation – A small new gallery space currently exhibiting paintings, photography and drawings from 5 art students of St FX – Kara Grant, Steve Scannell, Kevin MacIssac, Travis Myette, and TJ Ediger.  I enjoyed the recent gallery opening and getting to meet the next generation artists.  This place is at the back of the white building between the Post Office and Shoppers.   The summer hours are not posted yet – just see if the door is open and go down the stairs.  Kara Grant will be artist in residence till August.  The Studio, 319 Main St.

Cross the street to the Tall and Small

Tall and Small Cafe

Tall and Small Cafe

The Tall and Small Cafe – This popular café currently displays art from John Watt.  Grab a coffee or a delicious blueberry spritzer.   Hearty vegetarian sandwiches and home made soups are on daily specials.   Art exhibition in June by artists Vicki MacLean and Rudolph Hennninger.  342 Main St.

 

Almost next door

The Made In Nova Scotia Store

The Made In Nova Scotia Store Suzanne Craig Bio Prints

The Made in Nova Scotia Store – Selection of framed or matted photographs, photo gift cards and bio art prints.  All items in the store are from local artists and artisans.   www.themadeinnovacotiastore.com 324 Main Street

Cross the street

People’s Place Library – The opening is scheduled for May 24.  Art is an important and integral part of the new library complex.  Fourteen public art pieces will be permanently located in both the interior and exterior spaces of the new library. These include paintings, murals, textiles, sculptures, and more by local artists and artisans. In addition space for changing exhibits are featured in the foyer.  Artists and Artisans selected for the People’s Place Project 283 Main St. www.peoplesplace.ca See Article in The Casket on opening

On the corner of Main and College Street

Bergengren - Frieze by Fenn Martin

Bergengren - Frieze by Fenn Martin

Bergengren Credit Union –   Frieze by Fenn Martin “The Gift”  Read the story of the work which celebrates the journey of the Bergengren through 75 years.  257 Main St.

 

 

Just off Main Street  on College Street across from the old Town Hall

Alcove Restaurant

Alcove Restaurant - Julia Redgrave Exhibit

Alcove Restaurant – The current art exhibit is works by Julia Redgraves.  Enjoy an international quality lunch or dinner in a cozy atmosphere www.alcovebistro.ca 76 College Street

 

 

Continue on Main Street

Down to Earth Art Gallery and Fine Framing – Visit the gallery of J. Franklin Wright, A native of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with beautiful marine paintings and limited edition prints.  Art by Maureen St. Clair, Alan Syliboy, April Burns, prints and photographs by local artists and photographers. http://www.downtoearth.ca 240 Main St.

Lyghtesome Gallery

Lyghtesome Gallery – This gallery has been a mainstay of culture in Antigonish since 1975. Promoting  artists from Antigonish and across the Atlantic region.  The May feature is the “Retrospective”  exhibit of Julia Redgraves coinciding with the St. F.X. University Gallery exhibition.   The gallery has a fine selection of original paintings, sculpture, prints, cards and works of art. www.lyghtesome.ns.ca 166 Main St.

Continue to the East end of Main Street, pass Columbus Field, where the yearly Highland Games are held in July.  On the corner of St. Andrew’s Street.

Prissy Pig - Antigonish Photographers Exhibit

Prissy Pig - Antigonish Photographers Exhibit

Prissy Pig Café and Deli – Antigonish Photographers Exhibit till June 30. Photographs in wide variety of styles and themes on exhibit by:  Jeffrey Parker, Peter Jowett, Betty Cameron, Stan Mizgala, Danny Polson, Jennifer Polson, Anne Louise MacDonald, F.X MacDonald, Bernice MacDonald and Denise Davies.  Have lunch or a brunch from this great local food restaurant.  Antigonish Photographers Exhibit

Side trip to the St FX Campus.  Walk or drive up College Street from Main Street, turn right on St. Ninian’s Street and turn left up Notre Dame – just before the St. Ninian’s Cathedral.  Continue up over the top of the hill to the Bloomfield Centre the last building on your right. Student Union Building.

St FX Art Gallery - Julia Redgrave

St FX Art Gallery - Julia Redgrave

St FX Gallery – The current exhibit is by Julia Redgrave “Life at the Edge” – a series of eighteen large paintings moving through the seasons and each featuring a letter and theme of Life on the Edge. The colours and style are gripping and there is also on display smaller print reproductions.

Upcoming Art Events 2011

Antigonish Culture Alive newsletter – For artists and those interested in the arts this is a “must have” e-newsletter and quarterly print newsletter.  Whether you are local or visiting –  sign up to get the newsletter for a nominal fee to find out upcoming events to help you plan your calendar.  http://www.antigonishculturealive.ca/

Hike the Acadian Trail

The Pomquet Acadian Trail and Chez Deslaurier

Acadian Trail - Wildflowers

Colorful Wildflowers on the Acadian Trail

This October day was a perfect day for a hike with crisp clean air, deep blue sky with spectacular ocean views from a grassy meadow high above the ocean looking over St. George’s Bay and a view of Cape Breton in the distance.   The sunlight shone on fields of wild flowers in purples, yellows, golds, reds and orange with even a few butterflies and dragon flies humming around.

Chez Deslaurier is a tea house set in an old farm house on high ground, not

Chez Deslauriers

Chez Deslauriers – Pomquet

far from Pomquet.  This is an Acadian French area of Nova Scotia where French is spoken and Acadian traditions are still celebrated.

From the farm house you overlook Monk’s Head and a series of islands and islets and Pomquet Beach.  With the sun and cloud playing over the land and the sea you could sit for hours and watch the changes in the light and shadow.

Behind the farm house several old farm implements are set off in the grassy meadow.   Keep walking along the grassy track with the water to your right and you will come to the trail head for the “Acadian Trail”.

Pomquet Acadian Trail

Pomquet Acadian Trail – Map

The trail is well marked and has maps of the area with a choice of several loop trails. The trails wind  through a variety of natural areas. Numbered markers along the trails are linked to a self-guided interpretive brochure, available at Chez Deslauriers.  The walking is easy and suitable for families.  A longer trail continues along the water and along Monks Head.

The first part of the trail is along an old cart road through a grassy meadow

Acadian Trail

Acadian Trail

area.  In fall this was thick with wild flowers of all colors – Queen Anne’s Lace, wild roses, clover, daisies, asters and grasses.  Off to the right were the views of the deep blue ocean below and towards Cape Breton.    This grassy trail is along the cliff top with open fields and hedged with evergreens and the occasional fruit tree.

The path then descends with a choice of going to the right down to the beach.  We took the left fork which heads down into a beautiful forest area with a well kept trail.  There were many varieties of mosses in greens with patches of reds,

Acadian Trail Forest Path

Acadian Trail Forest Path

evergreens and many types of mushrooms.     The light filtering through the forest was cool and inviting and great for exploring.   This is a great place to go with your camera and bring along a book about trees or mosses.  You will definitely find lots to investigate.

A left turn at a small pond takes you back to the open old farm land and leads back up to the Chez Deslaurier house in a circle route.  The whole short loop route took less than an hour.    You can easily spend a day in the area exploring the different trails or head down to Pomquet Beach.

The Chez Deslauriers property is maintained and administered by the

Mushrooms and Mosses

Mushrooms and Mosses

Pomquet Development Society, a volunteer organization aimed at promoting the Acadian culture and encouraging tourism in the community.  According to Collette Rennie of the Pomquet Development Society,  “The trails are open year-round. [The Society] will be performing maintenance on these trails before the summer ‘walking’ season as winter along the coast can create much damage. The tearoom will be open each Friday beginning on July 8 from 11 AM to 2 PM.  We serve a different traditional homemade Acadian meal each Friday, along with traditional Acadian meatpie ($8 per meal). “

Chez Deslauriers Tea Houase

Chez Deslauriers Tea House and Interpretive Centre

“The interpretive centre will be open during those times as well. As well, we will have two lobster roll dinners during the summer – on August 14 and September 11. Both will be from 3-6 PM and include local entertainment, BBQ and a delicious lobster roll meal. The interpretive centre will be available to visitors as well during these two events. This information will soon be posted on our website.” (http://www.pomquet.net/en/trails.html )

Photo Gallery

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How to get there

To get to  Pomquet, take either Exit 35 or 36 north off Highway 104.  Then turn right at the north end of Monk’s Head Road and follow the gravel road for approximately 1.5 km.  It is approximately a 25 minute drive from Antigonish or 40 minutes from the Canso Causway if you are coming from Cape Breton.

Antigonish to Chez DesLaurier


View Larger Map

Updates and more information

Treasure Trove of Local Artisans

Walk in to this tiny shop on Main Street of Antigonish and you are in the midst of a treasure trove of locally made items that engage all your senses.

The Made in Nova Scotia Store is not your normal tourist shop.  Everything here is hand made by known crafts men and women, artisans, cooks and artists.

Maple Products, Jams and Jellies

Maple Products, Jams and Jellies

Taste the jams and jellies with the flavors of Nova Scotia.  Enjoy the colors and feel of locally grown wool, hand knitted and woven shawls, mitts and sweaters.  Explore the exotic hand crafted candles and soaps with scents of lavender, pine, and unscented if that is your preference.  Marvel at the jewelry designed with local stones and beach glass with intricate designs in silver.   The choices go on and on – Mi’kmaq porcupine quill ear rings, leather moccasins; framed photos and gift cards; hand made quilts, beach stone lamps, wooden frames made from old barn wood.  Every corner has unique and local items.   You can find body products, blue berries, carved wooden salad servers made from Bird’s Eye Maple and even enjoy home made baked goods or buy free range eggs.

Anna DeCoste, the owner of The Made in Nova Scotia Store says “I had

Anna DaCoste, owner The Made in Nova Scotia Store

Anna DaCoste, owner The Made in Nova Scotia Store

been doing crafts for years and really just wanted a place to display my own things.  I have a lot of contacts with arts people in the area and the idea just snowballed in a very short time to setup the shop”.

Visitors to the shop are primarily tourists and visitors to Antigonish who are looking for gifts or mementos.  They comment that they are so pleased to find a store where they can buy everything local and to easily find such a variety in one location. Everything is made locally and you can learn about the person who made it. There are author bio cards and Anna knows the artisans personally and can give details about who they are and their backgrounds.  This is so different from the regular “tourist shop” where items might come from China.   Everything is made locally by a known artisan.   Local people come in to browse and bring in their visitors as a convenient location to find a wide variety of gifts.

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The Made in Nova Scotia Store is located on the ground floor of a handsome clapboard house that was built in 1857 by Alexander MacDonald, “Sandy the Carpenter” and was originally owned by Master Mariner and Ship Owner, Captain Dan MacDonald who lived here with his household of 13 people.  It is one of the charming buildings on Main Street that gives an old world charm to the town.

The store is a boon to the artisans of the Antigonish and surrounding areas.  This one-stop outlet gives crafts people a wonderful place to display their works all year round.

Winter shot of The Made in Nova Scotia Store

Winter shot of The Made in Nova Scotia Store

How to find it: The Made in Nova Scotia Store, 324 Main St. Antigonish NS, Canada (across from Shoppers Drug Mart).  Browse the website for products and shipping information. 

 

 

Links for more information

  • www.themadeinnovascotiastore.com
  • Click to read more about the HISTORY of the building
  • Nova Scotia – Book by David Orkin. Nova Scotia tells visitors where to eat the best smoked fish, find the most stunning beaches and pick the plumpest wild blueberries. Delving deeper than any other guide, it reveals the best of the province both on and off the beaten track.

Article and photos (c) Denise Davies.  For information on republishing please fill contact davies@eckova.com .