Moose Jaw is a city in south-central Saskatchewan, Canada on the Moose Jaw River 71 km (45 miles) west of Regina. Residents of Moose Jaw are known as Moose Javians. It is probably best known as a retirement and tourist city that serves as a hub to the hundreds of small towns and farms in the surrounding region of Saskatchewan. Tourist attractions include the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, Captain Jacks River Boat Tour, The Western Development Museum, Casino Moose Jaw, the Murals of Moose Jaw, and Hopkins Dining Parlour.
There are many parks in Moose Jaw. Crescent Park is located downtown and features a creek, swans, and an amphitheatre. "Wakamow Park" follows the Moose Jaw River and features both natural and maintained areas. There are many trails throughout the park for hiking and biking. There are also RV camping and canoe rentals in the park.
The Warriors are Moose Jaw's hockey team which plays in the Western Hockey League at the Moose Jaw Civic Centre.
Local institutions include five high schools, 15 elementary schools, and the 57-member Moose Jaw Fire Department. Moose Jaw is also home to the Palliser Campus of the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST).
It is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway.
The largest lake in southern Saskatchewan, Old Wives Lake, is located 19 miles southwest of the city.
The origins of the name "Moose Jaw" are vague, though it appears to be of First Nations
origin. One local legend holds that the Indian word Moosoochapiskanissippi
means "the river shaped like the jaw of a moose". The name of the settlement might come from the creek that flowed through the settlement.
Another legend holds that the name comes from the word Moosoochapiskun which means "the place where the white man mended the cart with the jawbone of the moose."
A third legend explains that the name came from the Cree word moosegaw which means "warm breezes". In the winter, Moose Jaw is often warmer than the surrounding communities.
CFB Moose Jaw
The area surrounding Moose Jaw has a high number of cloudless days, making it a good site for training pilots. The Royal Canadian Air Force under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan established RCAF Station Moose Jaw in 1940. Following the war, the RCAF remained in the community and used the facility for training pilots through the Cold War. The facility changed its name to CFB Moose Jaw in 1968 and it is currently Canada's primary military flight training centre and the home of 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron (aka the "Snowbirds").
CFB Moose Jaw's primary lodger unit is "15 Wing." In the Canadian Forces Air Command, the lodger unit is frequently referred to as 15 Wing Moose Jaw. The base usually holds an Armed Forces Day each year, as well as hosting the annual Saskatchewan Air Show.
Near the northern terminus of Sk Hwy 39
is Moose Jaw
, also called "Little Chicago". Moose Jaw, is a city of 32,132 at the Sk Hwy 1 Trans–Canada
and Sk Hwy 2
intersection.Capone's Car, Moose Family and Mac the Moose are all large roadside attractions of Moose Jaw
. Moose Jaw Trolley Company (1912) is still an operating electric cable trolleys offering tours of Moose Jaw
. Temple Garden's Mineral Spa, Tunnels of Moose Jaw, and History of Transportation Western Development Museum
. are major sites of interest of this city. The juncture of Moose Jaw and Thunder Creek produced the best source of water for steam engines, and Moose Jaw became the CPR
divisional point. AgPro Inland Grain Terminal operated by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. These large capacity concrete grain terminals are replacing the smaller grain elevators which were numerous along the highway, sentinels of most communities along the route. Improved technology for harvest, transport and road construction have made the large inland terminals more viable economically. The rural governing body around Moose Jaw is Moose Jaw No 161
which serves 1,228 residents (2006 census) which includes the Moose Jaw, Canadian Forces Base. Meat-processing plants, salt, potash, urea fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia and ethanol producers abound in this area with easy transport access to the Trans–Canada Highway.
Moose Jaw has had many members of the Canadian Royal Family visit the city. Edward, Prince of Wales
, who owned a ranch in Alberta, visited in 1919, 1924, and 1927. Prince George
, future king and father of Queen Elizabeth II
, paid a visit in 1926. King George VI
and his wife Queen Elizabeth
(later known as Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother) visited during the Royal tour in 1939. Queen Elizabeth II
first visited in 1959, and has come to the city a few times since.
The Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward) became Colonel-in-Chief of the Saskatchewan Dragoons of Moose Jaw on visiting Saskatchewan in 2003, when he congratulated the regiment on its "contribution to Canada's proud tradition of citizen-soldiers in the community." Involved in peacekeeping operations in Cyprus, the Golan Heights, Bosnia and Croatia, the regiment has also provided aid during floods and forest fires in the prairies. The Prince returned to visit his regiment in 2006.
The Earl of Wessex also inaugurated the Queen's Jubilee Rose Garden in Moose Jaw on his visit in 2003. Other Royal connections to the city include King George School and Prince Arthur Community School, both named for members of the Royal Family. Before it shut down and became Cornerstone Christian School, the South Hill school was formerly named King Edward Elementary School.
Baseball has been an important part of Moose Jaw since its first days as the city won territorial championships in 1895. Most recently, the 2004 Junior All-Star team (age 13/14) won a Canadian Championship and became the first team from Saskatchewan to win a game at the Little League World Series. Notable sports teams of Moose Jaw:
- Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL hockey team
- Moose Jaw Millers, Western Canada League baseball team
- Moose Jaw Junior All Stars
- Moose Jaw Canucks, former hockey team
- Moose Jaw Robin Hoods and Moose Jaw Maple Leafs, former senior hockey teams
- Moose Jaw Maroons, former professional team once sponsored by a local brewery
- Moose Jaw KORCs, former hockey team
- Moose Jaw Moose's Jaws Moose Jaws, former professional curling team
- Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs, former Prairie Baseball League baseball team; a notable alumnus is Shawn Wooten.
- Moose Jaw Rotary Track Club, only cross country running and track and field club
- Moose Jaw Mustangs, Prairie Gold Lacrosse League team
The tunnels underneath the city were built for maintenance of the heating systems under the buildings in the downtown area. During the era of Prohibition in the United States bootleggers used these same tunnels. The tunnels are now a tourist attraction, with two interactive guided tours available. One tour is called the "Passage to Fortune" and tells the story of the early Chinese immigrants in Canada. The other tour is the "Chicago Connection" and tells the story of bootlegging; the story including possible visits by Al Capone to Moose Jaw in the 1920s.
Ku Klux Klan
Although Moose Jaw is known as the 'Friendly City', it is not well known that the city was the centre of the Ku Klux Klan in Saskatchewan. The first KKK rally in Moose Jaw was held on June 7, 1927, with over four hundred members attending. The second (and last) Klan rally was held on 26 October 1927. It was held only ten days after the KKK organizer Hugh Emmons's arrest. Over one thousand people attended. It was the last rally, but in 1929 the KKK sponsored a labor Day picnic in River Park. There were racist speeches and a cross burning, but the focus of the day was on sporting events.
- Moose Jaw Times-Herald — daily newspaper
- 800 AM — CHAB, oldies (800 CHAB)
- 100.7 FM — CILG-FM, country music (Country 100)
- 103.9 FM — CJAW-FM, adult contemporary (Mix 103)
Notable Moose Javians
- Tyler G. Dash, Well known archaeologist, who was responsible for the major discovery of early Anglo-Saxon jewelry assemblages at Bishopstone, East Sussex, England.
- W.G. "Bill" Davies, leftist politician and member of the Order of Canada )PDF)
- Phyllis Dewar, swimmer who went on to the Olympics and broke many records
- Ken Doraty, hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs
- Bud McCaig, Canadian businessman and a co-owner of the Calgary Flames NHL franchise
- Jim McLean, author, poet, artist
- Mike Mintenko, freestyle and butterfly swimmer
- David Mitchell, First NCAA Div. 1 lacrosse player from SK, first National Lacrosse League player from MJ
- Ken Mitchell, author
- Kid Moose, boxer
- Scott Munroe, AHL hockey player, Philadelphia Phantoms
- Duncan MacLellan, Local Baseball Star
- Carrie Olver, Broadcaster
- Fergie Olver, Canadian TV Personality
The creators of Atomic Betty
modeled the fictional town in the series, Moose Jaw Heights, after Moose Jaw.
The book Quidditch Through the Ages has a Moose Jaw Quidditch team listed as the Moose Jaw Meteorites.
Moose Jaw's population grew to 32,132 according to the 2006 census, which showed virtually no increase from 2001.