The Rural Municipality (RM) of Moose Jaw (No.161) located in Southern Saskatchewan, is 30 minutes west of the Capital of Saskatchewan, Regina. The RM of Moose Jaw features major road and rail networks specifically Highway 2, Highway 39, and the TransCanada Highway.
Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN) Rail have major rail lines that run through the City of Moose Jaw, the RM’s largest municipality. 15 Wing Moose Jaw is home to the Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron and the NATO Flying Training Program. The RM also provides services to the communities of Boharm and Pasqua.
The RM of Moose Jaw has a central location. It lies at the eastern edge of the Missouri Coteau, at an elevation of 550 metres (1,800 feet). The Coteau separates the flat Regina Plain to the east and gently rolling landscapes of the Alberta Plateau to the southwest. The Regina Plain represents the bottom of a glacial lake that covered the area after the last Ice Age. It provides some of the best and most productive agricultural land in Saskatchewan.
There are hundreds of lakes and pothole sloughs for wildlife and waterfowl.
History of Moose Jaw No. 161
The region was a winter encampment for both Cree and Assiniboine Nations. During the fur trade era, Métis buffalo hunters had wintering cabins in the River Valley at ‘the turn’ where the fur trail from Fort Garry forged Moose Jaw Creek.
The RM’s first major permanent settlement began in 1881 when James Ross and Hector Sutherland arrived from Winnipeg to speculate on land they felt sure would be the choice of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) for a divisional point. The juncture of Moose Jaw and Thunder Creek was the best place to cross the river valley and there was abundant water supply for steam locomotives. By 1885, Moose Jaw was a major settlement. In addition to the homestead population and railway workers, there was an adjacent Sioux Village four miles south in the River Valley. These Sioux had retreated with Sitting Bull from Montana and the battle with General Custer.
In the summer of 1885, Moose Jaw was provisional home for a battalion of 390 soldiers from Halifax who were sent West by the Dominion Government to quell the Northwest Rebellion led by Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont.
The rapid settlement after the Turn of the Century brought Moose Jaw to prominence in Western Canada and ushered in a commercial and industrial boom period. The RM of Moose Jaw was established in 1911 and became quickly known for the industry in the region and for being a prime agricultural producer with an important rail infrastructure.
There are over 500 people in the RM of Moose Jaw to complement the near 35,000 who live in the city of Moose Jaw. The city serves as an important service centre for the people in the RM.
Main industry in the RM is agriculture. The reliable rail infrastructure operates well. The agriculture processing industry is associated with the operations such as Cargill, Simpson Seeds, and Pasqua Farms. 15 Wing Moose Jaw adds to the diversity of the local economy as the Air Base is home to not only the Snowbirds but also to the internationally renown NATO Flying Training in Canada Program.
The NFTC program instructs pilots from the UK, Italy, Denmark, and Singapore along with Canadian pilots. The RM also hosts a large asphalt manufacturer which is supplied with raw materials through a pipeline. There are other pipelines running through the RM that supply the province with natural gas.
The City of Moose Jaw quickly became Saskatchewan’s tourist destination through the latter part of the 1990s. One of the major attractions is the Tunnels of Moose Jaw. The Tunnels of Moose Jaw’s ‘Chicago Connection’ celebrates Moose Jaw’s notorious underworld past during the 1920s featuring bootlegging, gambling, and even Al Capone. The Tunnels of Moose Jaw also details the lives of Chinese immigrants underground at the Turn of the Century in ‘Passage to Fortune’ tour.
The Temple Gardens Mineral Spa located in beautiful historic downtown offers first class hotel and convention facilities with 183 rooms. Temple Gardens Mineral Spa pool uses geothermal waters for health enhancement. The Oasis Life Enhancement Centre offers a variety of spa treatments such as massage, reflexology, and advanced body, skin, and nail care.
The newly opened Casino Moose Jaw features electronic games, 150 slot machines and table games such as Roulette, Let it Ride Bonus, and Black Jack. The casino is adjacent to the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa.
The Moose Jaw Trolley Company builds on the rich history of Moose Jaw by replicating one of the original electric cable trolleys that were operational from 1911-1932. The Moose Jaw Trolley Company offers a guided historic tour of Moose Jaw. The tour guides will point out and provide details on historic homes and businesses, interesting facts and legends, and profile Moose Jaw’s 33 murals. Trolley runs May to October, actual start dates vary upon the weather.
Western Development Museum/History of Transportation is themed the ‘Story of Transportation’ and traces history relating to aviation, railways, surface and water travel on the prairies, including an auto collection, antique snowmobiles, and vintage aircraft, the Snowbird Gallery, and the only short line steam railway functioning in Saskatchewan.
Festival of Words: This summer festival celebrates and promotes the imaginative uses of language, oral, and written to entertain and enlighten audiences. The Festival provides inspiring and entertaining programs for diverse ages and interest groups in many areas such as fiction, poetry drama, non-fiction, filmmaking, song, comedy, journalism, and storytelling.
Most events and facilities are situated within the City of Moose Jaw.
Recreation and sport: Green spaces are abundant in Moose Jaw. The City Parks Department administers six major community parks, as well as numerous neighbourhood parks.
The Wakamow Valley offers a variety of recreation facilities set in a natural environment including picnic and barbeque sites, waking, biking and hiking rails, playgrounds, and canoe launch.
Swimming Pools: Kinsmen Sportsplex indoor aquatic centre. A variety of activities are available for swimmers and non-swimmers. Waterslides, diving towers, zero depth beach pool, water toys, and steam and sauna facilities all make for an enjoyable water experience.
Ice Skating: The Parks and Recreation Department operates and maintains four (4) indoor artificial ice surfaces in the city. The Kinsmen Arena and Pla-Mor Palace (2 ice rinks) are home to numerous minor sport programs including speed skating, figure skating, hockey, and general public skating. The Civic Centre is home to the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League.
Curling: Hillcrest Sports Centre operates 12 sheets during the winter. A Pro Shop is also present within the complex. 15 Wing also operates a 4-sheet facility.
Golf: The City is home to three 18-hole golf courses.
There are 13 primary and 5 secondary schools in Moose Jaw. A range of special education programs are provided, including French Immersion, learning assistance programs, and a hearing impaired program. Schools are heavily involved in music, drama, and sports programs, and offer computer sciences at both elementary and secondary levels.
Palliser Campus is one of four Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) campuses in Saskatchewan, and offers quality training in Business Programs, Engineering Technologies, Adult Basic Education, Industrial Trades, and Community/Extension Services.
In addition to on-campus programming, Palliser Campus delivers extensive training programs to business, industry, and Aboriginal groups in the Moose Jaw area and across the province.
Palliser Campus, through arrangements with the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan, offers undergraduates with accredited courses in Moose Jaw.
Moose Jaw Union Hospital offers major acute care facilities in the region. It offers comprehensive general health care services and provides specialist care in medical, pediatrics and maternity, mental health, emergency patient, ambulatory care, portable CT Scanner, and most orthopedic and general surgeries. Services include laboratory, diagnostic imaging, physiotherapy, cardiac rehabilitation, and diabetic counseling.
The City of Moose Jaw is the location of the fourth largest Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment in Saskatchewan. The detachment services the majority of communities within the Moose Jaw REDA service area.
The RCMP works within the RM of Moose Jaw. It enforces federal laws, provides contract policing to many cities, towns, villages, municipalities, and First Nations’ communities province wide. The RCMP participates in peacekeeping efforts and supplies world-leading expertise in areas like forensics and criminal intelligence to regional and international police services.
The Moose Jaw Fire Department is a professional, ‘Career’ Fire Fighting Department represented by two fire stations. The Moose Jaw Fire Department has a service agreement with the RM of Moose Jaw. Along with fire fighting the Moose Jaw Fire Department does fire investigations, fire inspections, community services, and has an Emergency Measures Organization.