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St. Ninian's Cathedral

St. Ninian's Cathedral

On June 29th, 1867 the corner stone of the church was laid and the foundation blessed by Very Rev. Dr. John Cameron. Sylvester O'Donoghue, a native Irishmen, built the Cathedral. Originally, the architect Owen Hamill was retained to design and oversee the construction of the Church but he died prematurely in 1868. As such, St. Ninian's was completed by architect A. Levesque of Montreal.

The Church was constructed of local limestone and sandstone from the quarries at North Grant and Brierly Brook.

In 1899 interior decoration was contemplated and carried out from April 15th to July 1st, 1903 by Ozias Leduc (1864-1955), a Quebec artist, and his assistants. The free-hand wall and ceiling paintings were done in oil paint over a plaster finish. Over the central nave of the church, four of the most popular images of the Catholic faith are depicted: the Nativity, Christ as Good Shepherd, the Crucifixion, and the Ascension. Apostles and saints are depicted between the arches supporting the columns of the central nave. The stations of the cross, which were painted on canvas, are affixed to the furthermost right and left walls of the church.



Property Type:

Herititage Designation:

Reason(s) for Designation: 

Provincial Heritage Designation was awarded on June 24th, 2002. Saint Ninian’s Cathedral is valued for its historical association with the development of the Roman Catholic Church in Nova Scotia.


Full Address: 
121 St. Ninian Street Antigonish Nova Scotia B2G 2L8
Geographic Location: 

Latitude: 45.6206 Longitude: -61.9935

Construction Details: 
Construction Date: 29-06-1867 Builder Name: Sylvester O'Donoghue
Current Owner: 
Diocese of Antigonish Roman Catholic