Riverside United

Nestled in the woods, Riverside United Church is perhaps the quirkiest church in the Valley, with its own community and congregation who have maintained it passionately for almost 150 years.

The church is located in Elmsvale, at the intersection of Mooseland and Barren Roads, just across the Musquodoboit River. Elmsvale is a small village of farms mixed with forests sprawling down the side of the valley. Riverside has long served the nearby villages, including Higginsville, Newcomb’s Corner, and Deacontown.

Services are held bi-weekly in rotation with Middleton United with a choir but no Sunday school. The church can hold approximately 200 people and is wheelchair accessible and has a public address system and projector. A generous supply of peppermints are on hand for everyone's enjoyment.


The church is Riverside has always relied on volunteers and local families for love and maintenance, and it, in return, has been there for them. The church holds a few events each year, and is often used as a venue for local music.

The congregation at Riverside has always worked very closely with the Upper Musquodoboit Pastoral Charge to build connections across the Valley and better serve the unique needs of a very rural congregation.

The local area has recently seen something of a population boom with a gold mine re-opening in Moose River, and Riverside United hopes to keep serving families young and old for another 150 years.


In the 1800s, people in the various small villages between Middle and Upper Musquodoboit had to travel a significant distance for worship. In the winter, this could prove very difficult and so a group called for fundraising to build a church in Elmsvale. By the mid-1880s, they had raised $1,687 to build the church. Sales of pews to various families--some still in the area today--provided the vast majority of the proceeds.

In June 1925, at the founding of the United Church of Canada, Riverside joined with Middleton United to form the Middle Musquodoboit Pastoral Charge.


9691 Moose River Rd
Elmsvale,  NS
B0N 1X0