Moose Jaw, Sask, incorporated as a city in 1903, population 33 274 (2011c), 32 132 (2006c). The City of Moose Jaw is located 160 km north of the US border. The city lies in a sheltered valley at the confluence of the Moose Jaw River and Thunder Creek. Moose Jaw is governed by a mayor and 6 councillors elected at-large.

The city's colourful name is likely based on Indigenous sources and was perhaps first applied to a local creek that supposedly resembled the outline of a moose's jawbone; another explanation is that it comes from a Cree word for "warm breezes."

History

Moose Jaw was founded in 1882 when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) chose the site for the town. In 1883 the CPR made Moose Jaw a divisional point and built freight yards and repair facilities there. Another railway link was added in 1893 with the completion of the Soo Line from Chicago. Moose Jaw's growth was closely tied to the expansion of cereal agriculture. Though it became an important retail, wholesale and industrial centre, Moose Jaw never rivalled nearby Regina (65 km to the east), which shared the same tributary area. During Prohibition, the city was a hub for bootleggers using Moose Jaw's rail connections to the United States.

Population

Moose Jaw's greatest periods of growth were 1911-21 when the population increased 40%, the 1940s with an increase of 17% and the 1950s with an increase of 36%. The majority of Moose Jaw's population is native born and British in origin. People of German, Scandinavian and Ukrainian origin form the largest non-British elements. The 5 largest religious denominations are United Church, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Presbyterian.

Economy

An agricultural service centre, Moose Jaw is the province's fourth-largest city. It is located on the Trans-Canada Highway, the CP Rail main line and a branch line of CN, and is served by 2 bus lines. For decades the sprawling CPR shops and marshalling yards dominated the urban landscape and remained the lifeblood of Moose Jaw's economy. The railway's presence was diminished in the mid-1950s with the conversion to diesel locomotives.

South of Moose Jaw is 15 Wing Moose Jaw (formerly CFB Moose Jaw). It is the home of 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School and the principle site of the NATO Pilot Training Centre. The Wing, first established as a training facility in 1941, is now the city's largest employer. 15 Wing is also home to the internationally renowned Snowbirds aerobatics team.

Cultural Life

Crescent Park, in the heart of the city, is 11 ha in extent and includes the public library, the museum and art gallery, swimming pools and other recreational facilities. Moose Jaw's educational facilities include the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology. The city is served by cable companies, 2 radio stations, a daily newspaper, the Moose Jaw Times-Herald and a weekly newspaper, Moose Jaw This Week.

The city's tourist attractions include the Western Development Museum, Temple Gardens Mineral Spa (uses natural hot mineral water from an underground aquifer) and Casino Moose Jaw. Moose Jaw has a junior hockey team, the Warriors.