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Little Sands United Church

11352 Shore Road, Route 4, Little Sands, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/01/23

Showing south elevation; Little Sands United Church, 2005
Little Sands United Church
Showing south east elevation; Little Sands United Church, 2005
Little Sands United Church
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Other Name(s)

Little Sands United Church
Little Sands Presbyterian Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/04/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located on a treed lot near the highway in the rural community of Little Sands, the Little Sands United Church overlooks the nearby Northumberland Strait. The registration includes the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

This whimsical building is a rare example of a local church style in PEI, combining elements of the Neoclassical and Carpenter Gothic. The Little Sands United Church is valued for its unique architectural style and for its contribution to the local community. Built in 1898 under the guidance of D.J. MacLean, the congregation was originally Presbyterian. Before its construction, the Scottish settlers of the area worshipped with those of nearby Wood Islands in a crude 24' by 30' building at Wood Islands. Beginning in 1843, clergy from the Free Church of Scotland led the worship services. After the union of various branches of the Presbyterian Church in Canada in 1875, a new church was built at Little Sands. This was eventually replaced by the current structure in 1898. At the opening service, preachers from various denominations took part and sermons were rendered in both English and Gaelic. In 1925, the church became affiliated with the United Church of Canada.

The architectural style of the building is unique in PEI. The main body of the building exhibits Carpenter Gothic elements such as pointed arch windows, a gable roof with eave returns, and a circular window on the front elevation representing a "double Trinity". The side tower with its square windows and pedimented gables as well as the columns and pedestals under the tri-gabled verandah are Neoclassical. Other interesting features include the contrasting vertical and horizontal cladding which is wooden clapboard.

The building is well preserved and original except for the additions of a metal roof and a metal cone over the side tower. With its long history and pastoral location, the church contributes to Little Sands as a landmark in the community.

Source: PEI Heritage Advisory Committee Files

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of the church:
- the stone foundation and wooden construction
- the pointed arch tracery windows of the side elevations
- the square two over two windows of the front elevation and tower
- the circular "double Trinity" window of the front elevation
- the gable roof with eave returns and the tri-gabled front verandah
- the pedimented dormers of the side tower
- the hipped roof of the tower with bracketted cornice
- the vertical and horizontal clapboard
- the stick decoration in the upper gable end and on the tower's pedimented dormers
Other character-defining elements include:
- the location of the church in a rural setting overlooking the sea



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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Located in the Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4310-20/L2

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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