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Moose Jaw
City of Moose Jaw
City Hall
City Hall
"The Jaw", "Band City", "Little Chicago"
Country Canada
Province Saskatchewan
 • Total 46.82 km2 (18.08 sq mi)
 • Total 33,274
 • Density 710.7/km2 (1,841/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Moose Javian
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
Postal code span
S6H to S6K
Area code(s) 306

Moose Jaw is a city in south-central Saskatchewan, Canada, on the Moose Jaw River. It is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway, 77 km (48 mi) west of Regina. Residents of Moose Jaw are known as Moose Javians. The city is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Moose Jaw No. 161.

Moose Jaw is an industrial centre and important railway junction for the area's agricultural produce. CFB Moose Jaw is a NATO flight training school, and is home to the Snowbirds, Canada's military aerobatic air show flight demonstration team. Moose Jaw also has a casino and geothermal spa.


Cree and Assiniboine people used the Moose Jaw area as a winter encampment. The Missouri Coteau sheltered the valley and gave it warm breezes. The narrow river crossing and abundance of water and game made it a good location for settlement. Traditional native fur traders and Métis buffalo hunters created the first permanent settlement at a place called "the turn", at present-day Kingways Park.

The confluence of the Moose Jaw River and Thunder Creek was chosen and registered in 1881 as a site for a division point for the Canadian Pacific Railway, whose construction was significant in Confederation of Canada. The water supply there was significant for steam locomotives. Settlement began there in 1882 and the city was incorporated in 1903. The railways played an important role in the early development of Moose Jaw, with the city having both a Canadian Pacific Railway Station and a Canadian National Railway Station. A dam was built on the river in 1883 to create a year-round water supply.

Marked on a map as Moose Jaw Bone Creek in an 1857 survey by surveyor John Palliser, two theories exist as to how the city got its name. The first is it comes from the Plains Cree name moscâstani-sîpiy meaning "a warm place by the river", indicative of the protection from the weather the Coteau range provides to the river valley containing the city and also the Plains Cree word moose gaw, meaning warm breezes. The other is on the map of the city, the Moose Jaw River is shaped like a moose's jaw.

Military presence

Ct114 tutor snowbirds stcatharines 1
CT-114 Tutor of the Snowbirds

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.

The Saskatchewan Dragoons are a reserve armoured regiment with an armoury in the city's north end.

Royal presence

Moose Jaw has been visited by many members of the Royal Family. Edward, Prince of Wales, who owned a ranch in Pekisko, Alberta, visited in 1919, 1924, and 1927. Prince Albert, 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 the separate Cornerstone Christian School, the South Hill school was formerly named King Edward Elementary School.


Moose Jaw's climate is transitional between semiarid and humid continental (Köppen BSk and Dfb, respectively) Moose Jaw's winters are long, cold and dry, while its summers are short, but very warm and relatively wet. The coldest month is January, with a mean temperature of -12.3 °C, while the warmest is July, with a mean temperature of 19.3 °C. The driest month is February, in which an average of 11.1 mm of precipitation falls, while the wettest month is July, which brings an average of 63 mm. Annual average precipitation is 365 mm.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Moose Jaw was 43.3 °C (110 °F) on 5 July 1937. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −47.8 °C (−54 °F) on 4 February 1907.

Climate data for CFB Moose Jaw, 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1894–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.9
Average high °C (°F) -6.9
Daily mean °C (°F) -12.3
Average low °C (°F) -17.7
Record low °C (°F) -47.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 16.8
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.4
Snowfall cm (inches) 21.2
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 9.9 7.8 8.4 7.8 10.5 12.4 10.4 9.2 7.9 6.8 8.5 10.4 110.2
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.75 0.76 2.3 5.6 10.2 12.4 10.4 9.2 7.7 4.8 1.9 0.69 66.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 9.8 7.5 7.3 2.9 0.88 0.06 0.0 0.0 0.71 2.5 7.4 10.9 50.1
Sunshine hours 106.1 141.4 164.4 229.5 262.6 289.1 331.8 301.2 194.0 168.8 102.0 86.2 2,377.0
Source: Environment Canada


  • Caribou Heights
  • Churchill Park
  • City View
  • Crescent View
  • Earnscliffe
  • Fairview
  • Grand View
  • Hill Crest
  • Kingsway Park
  • Lynbrook Heights
  • Mooscana
  • Morningside
  • Mosaic Place
  • New Currie
  • Palliser Heights
  • Parkdale Boulevard
  • Pleasant View
  • Prairie Heights
  • Regal Heights
  • River Park
  • River View
  • Ross Park
  • Rothesay Park
  • Slater
  • Sunningdale
  • Sunnyside
  • Tapley
  • University
  • University Heights
  • Victoria Heights
  • Wellesley Park
  • WestHeath
  • Westmore


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1901 1,558 —    
1911 13,823 +787.2%
1921 19,285 +39.5%
1931 21,299 +10.4%
1941 20,496 −3.8%
1951 24,355 +18.8%
1961 33,206 +36.3%
1971 31,854 −4.1%
1981 33,941 +6.6%
1991 33,593 −1.0%
1996 32,973 −1.8%
2001 32,131 −2.6%
2006 32,132 +0.0%
2011 33,274 +3.6%

Moose Jaw's population was 32,132 according to the 2006 census, which showed virtually no increase from 2001.

Canada census – Moose Jaw community profile
2011 2006
Population: 33,274 (3.6% from 2006) 32,132 (0.0% from 2001)
Land area: 50.68 km2 (19.57 sq mi) 46.82 km2 (18.08 sq mi)
Population density: 656.5/km2 (1,700/sq mi) 686.3/km2 (1,778/sq mi)
Median age: 41.6 (M: 39.9, F: 43.1)
Total private dwellings: 15,370 14,691
Median household income: $45,299
References: 2011 2006 earlier
Population by ethnic origin, 2011
Ethnic group Population Percent
European 26,100 80.7%
Other North American 9,200 28.4%
Asian 1,150 3.6%
Métis 905 2.8%
First Nations 825 2.6%
African 420 1.3%
Latin, Central and South American 140 0.4%
Oceania 105 0.3%
Caribbean 90 0.3%
Total respondent population 32345 100%

Arts and culture

Avro Anson bomber trainer
Avro Anson bomber trainer in the SWDM museum

Visual Arts

The Moose Jaw Art Guild is a community arts association made up of local artists dedicated to exhibiting, educating and fostering appreciation for visual arts.


Moose Jaw is home to one of four Saskatchewan Western Development Museums. The Moose Jaw SWDM museum specializes in the history of transportation and has a Snowbirds gallery.

The Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum is south of Moose Jaw on Sk Hwy 2. The car club at Moose Jaw agreed to the restoration of Tom Sukanen's ship at their museum site. Tom Sukanen was a Finnish homesteader who settled near Birsay and hoped to travel home again on his ship he assembled near the South Saskatchewan River. The Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum features a typical village replete with pioneer artifacts and tractors, cars and trucks restored by the Moose Jaw car club, and is run by volunteers.


Moose Jaw spa
The mineral spa in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Tourist attractions include the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, The Moose Jaw Trolley, the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort, Captain Jacks River Boat Tour, The Western Development Museum, Casino Moose Jaw and the Murals of Moose Jaw. Every July, the four-day Saskatchewan Festival of Words showcases top Canadian writers in a wide variety of genres. The Snowbirds flight demonstration team is based at CFB Moose Jaw, south of Moose Jaw in Bushell Park, where the now defunct airshow was performed from every summer.

There are many parks in Moose Jaw. Crescent Park is located downtown and features a creek, picnic tables, library, art museum, playground, outdoor swimming pool, water park, gymnasium, tennis court, lawn bowling field and an amphitheatre. Casino Moose Jaw and Temple Gardens Mineral Spa are across Fairford St. E. and 1st Ave. NE. from Crescent Park. "Wakamow Park" follows the Moose Jaw River and features both natural and maintained areas. There are many trails throughout the park for hiking and cycling as well as picnic tables, barbecues, a burger restaurant and two playgrounds. There is also an RV park, known as River Park Campground, which was founded in 1927 and is the longest running campground in North America. Canoe and kayak rentals are available across the road from the campground.

Old Wives Lake, a saline lake is 30 km southwest of the city on Highway 363. Buffalo Pound Lake a eutrophic prairie lake is 28 km north on Highway 2 and is the city's water supply. Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is on the south shore and can be accessed by Highway 202 and Highway 301.

Tunnels of Moose Jaw

A network of underground tunnels connecting buildings in downtown Moose Jaw was constructed beginning around 1908. They were originally built as an underground steam system that was abandoned.

Sports and recreation

Like most Canadian cities, hockey has played a large part of Moose Jaw's sporting culture, yet baseball has also 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 the 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 include:

  • Moose Jaw Warriors, Western Hockey League team
  • Moose Jaw Miller Express, Western Major Baseball League team
  • Moose Jaw Mustangs, Prairie Gold Lacrosse League team
  • Moose Jaw Rotary Track Club, Track and Field and cross country club
  • Lil Chicago Roller Derby's Moose Jaw Jaw Breakers - Women's Flat Track Roller Derby
  • Moose Jaw Chiefs, Prairie Gold Lacrosse League Senior team

Defunct sports teams

  • Moose Jaw Robin Hoods, senior hockey team and Western Canada League baseball team (1909–21)
  • Moose Jaw Maple Leafs, senior hockey team (1919–1923)
  • Moose Jaw Maroons, Prairie Hockey League team (1926–28)
  • Moose Jaw Canucks, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team (1935–1984)
  • Moose Jaw Generals, senior hockey team, winner of the Hardy Cup in 1985
  • Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs, Prairie League baseball team (1995–1997)
  • Moose Jaw Millers, Saskatchewan Rugby Football Union (Canadian football) team (?–c.1941)

In popular culture

In the fictional Harry Potter universe, Moose Jaw is the hometown of the professional Quidditch team the Moose Jaw Meteorites, which are considered one of the most accomplished Quidditch teams in the world. However, in the 1970s they were threatened with disbandment due to trailing fiery sparks from the end of their brooms during victory flights. Today, their games are considered a popular wizard tourist attraction.

In the 1977 movie Slap Shot, Guido Tenesi's character Billy Charlebois comes from Moose Jaw.

In the 1980 movie Atlantic City, Susan Sarandon's character Sally says her late husband's family is "in Moose Jaw, near Medicine Hat."

In the 1980 movie The Apple, the protagonists, Alphie and Bibi, hail from Moose Jaw.

In the television show "The Simpsons" S10E11, Springfield's baseball team the Isotopes threaten to move to Moose Jaw after lack of fan support.

In season 5, episode 2, of the Canadian Show Heartland - Jack and Tim go to visit Tim's son in Moose Jaw.

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