This community church impresses with its soaring Gothic spires, its beautiful stained-glass windows and the echoing acoustics of its choir.
St. Dunstan’s Basilica is one of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in Charlottetown’s historic center. Visit the church to admire its artistic features and striking façade, which dominates the city’s skyline. Attend Mass to experience its welcoming community spirit and moving acoustics. Inaugurated in 1919, St. Dunstan’s Basilica is the fourth church to stand on the same site.
The church’s exterior showcases a French-Gothic architectural style dominated by tall spires. These are some of the highest points of the city’s skyline and are crowned by 10-foot-high (3-meter) crosses. Look for the sculptures set beside the main doors. These represent the Four Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Step inside to discover a Latin cross layout and cavernous vaulted ceiling. Large arches flank the nave and depictions of the Stations of the Cross adorn the church walls. Take a moment to appreciate the colorful windows, decorated with the representations of almost 300 angels. Stand at the lavish altar, beautified with 23 statues and overlooked by a 14-foot-wide (4.3-meter) rose window.
Visit the church during Mass and sit among the friendly worshippers. Listen as the sounds of the pipe organ and choir resonate throughout the church. You can also hear the organ at free chamber music recitals.
Located on Great George Street, the church is part of Charlottetown’s historic district. Make a short walk here from the Confederation Centre of the Arts or Province House. Just south is Peake’s Wharf Historical Waterfront, where you can browse handicraft shops and join seal-spotting boat tours. If you drive, use metered parking available on the streets outside of the church.
St. Dunstan’s Basilica is open daily and admission is free, although donations are welcome. Mass services take place daily from Monday to Friday and twice a day on weekends. This is an active church, so be respectful of worshippers when visiting and taking photographs.