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Dr. Gus MacDonald House

8 Church Avenue, Souris, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/07/14

Front elevation; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2012
Front elevation
South and west elevations; Province of PEI, F. Pound, 2009
South and west elevations
Southwest corner door; Province of PEI, F. Pound, 2009
Southwest corner door

Other Name(s)

Dr. Gus MacDonald House
L. Eustace Shaw Jewellery Store

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2013/08/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Dr. Gus MacDonald House is a two storey, flat roofed, Italianate house, built in a flat iron style. It is prominently located near the corner of Church and Main Streets in Souris, Prince Edward Island.

Heritage Value

The Dr. Gus MacDonald house is valued as a rare example of a flat iron style building on Prince Edward Island, for its historical associations and its contributions to the Souris streetscape. The building was designed by William Richard "Billy Dick" Dingwell, and was constructed in 1894 by local builder Bernard Creamer for L. Eustace Shaw. The property served as a jewellery store and the Shaw residence until he left Souris in 1907. The house is also valued as the former residence and medical office of Dr. Augustine Adolphus MacDonald (1874-1970), known locally as "Dr. Gus".

Dr. Gus MacDonald spent his childhood in Souris with his uncle, Father Donald MacDonald of the local parish. In 1895 he graduated from St. Dunstan's University, after which he spent several years as a school teacher, before attending McGill University to receive his medical training. After two years of practicing medicine abroad, Dr. MacDonald returned to Souris to set up his medical practice.

Throughout his career, Dr. MacDonald was considered a hero of country medicine. He worked tirelessly to make himself available to all of his patients, and is remembered as being very generous with his time and expertise.

Dr. MacDonald served as representative for First Kings in the Island legislature in 1919, 1923, 1927 and 1931. He also served as Speaker of the House from 1931-1935. In 1968, Governor General Michener travelled to Souris to invest Dr. MacDonald into the Order of Canada.

In 1947 the building was moved from its original location across the street to make way for a gas station by then owners Frank and Beatrice Keays. From 1972 it was owned by Jimmy Hughes who operated the building as a tourist home. Hughes was mayor of Souris from 1979-1983, as were both his father and grandfather.

The building has maintained much of its original integrity with only minor alterations to the existing structure. It remains the only surviving example of a flat iron shaped building in the province.

Source : Heritage Division, Department of Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File # : 4310-20/M37

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the building is shown in the following character-defining elements:

- the unique flat iron design
- the flat roof
- the bracketing under the eaves
- the unique gingerbread trim with a sunburst design in its corners flanking the entrance
- the north facing corner door
- the long, narrow and paired first floor windows
- the squared bay window on south elevation
- the exterior hatch to cellar
- the second floor two-over-two paned windows



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Health and Research
Hospital or Other Health Care Institution

Architect / Designer



William Richard Dingwell

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Source : Heritage Division, Department of Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File # : 4310-20/M37

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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