There are a ton of really cool places in Saskatchewan. Through a spring, summer and fall of living in this super easy to draw province, I’m happy to have seen a bit of this place and am excited of everything else to explore in the years ahead.
My in-laws visited back in late August and September. Nearing the end of their trip and with a desire to see something else in their first visit to Saskatchewan, we decided on a day trip down to Moose Jaw. The easy drive from Saskatoon gave my mother and father in-law the experience of being out on the prairies. I was agreeable to this trip because I have always have wanted to visit Moose Jaw. First, it was a must see for me for the uniquely Canadian name alone. But I also have a fascination with oversized roadside attractions and wanted to see this guy up close – the town’s mascot – Mac the Moose.
From antler to hoof, Mac is more than thirty feet tall and looks out over the highway on the edge of town. Just beside him is a tutor jet, famous in Canada in this paint scheme as one of the “Snowbirds”, a tactical flying group that shows up at airshows across the land. The Snowbirds are based out of Moose Jaw, in part, due to the impeccable flying weather in this part of the province. Another super cool roadside attraction and well worth the stop.
Another reason to visit Moose Jaw is for the popular “Tunnels of Moose Jaw” attraction in the downtown area. No photography allowed, so no pictures here, but there are two theatrical tours to choose from. We selected the “Chicago Connection” tour that leads you underneath the streets of Moose Jaw in tunnels used for bootlegging in the 1920s. Relating the story of Al Capone’s connection to the town, we had a blast on the tour.
After that tour, we did a short walk around downtown Moose Jaw. One of the features I was drawn to was the selection of murals adorning the buildings in the historic downtown. One that immediately caught my eye was this tribute to the Snowbirds, clearly an important part of the town’s identity.
Whenever I travel, I like to do some exploring for public art, and literally around every corner downtown there was a discovery… like this prairie scene just off Main Street:
… or this colourful piece on the side of the Capitol Theatre:
The detail in this historical depiction of Main Street (including the windows, and one 3-D element in the window second from the left) drew me down a narrow alley between buildings:
Another that caught my eye was “Winter Carnival” by Grant McLaughlin showing a range of sports that help the town get through the long prairie winters.
And with far too limited time to visit all 47 murals, this was the last one I saw on our walk – “The First Run” that commemorates the 1911 first run of Moose Jaw’s street car:
A two hour drive down from Saskatoon, a few touristy activities and a lovely drive back made for a perfect day trip to Moose Jaw. On the next visit, I’ll definitely be looking to spend a bit more time – a few restaurants and the town’s spa caught my eye for a return visit.