Oh Saskatchewan! Ten Things you may want to know about Where you Live.
Saskatchewan is know as the “Land of Living Skys”, as well as for producing the best CFL fans. Many great things big and small. Saskatchewan is also home to active sand dunes and where do you think the first ATM’s were used?
Cypress Hills is located in the southwestern corner of Saskatchewan. The interprovincial park includes a mix of wetlands, forests and grasslands and is the only park that straddles Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Cypress Hills is the highest point in the province. Lookout Point is 1,392 metres above seal level. Also home to Fort Walsh, which was the headquarters for the North West Mounted Police, which was later formed as Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), from 1878 to 1892.
The Athabasca Sand Dunes can be found in the northwest corner of Saskatchewan, close to the Northwest Territories. These dunes are said to be the most active formation in the world. They stretch for about 100 Kilometres on the south shore of Lake Athabasca. The Athabasca Sand Dunes are the largest active dune fields in Canada and the largest anywhere in the world.
According to legend, the dunes were created when a giant man killed a giant beaver with a spear. The giant beaver thrashed it’s huge and powerful tail around so much in battle that ground the surrounding soil into sand. We will let you be the judge of that.
The sand dunes were established as a Provincial Wilderness Park in order to protect the dunes, rare plants and wonderful scenery in 1992.
Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s)
Did you know the first ATM’s were developed by the Saskatchewan Credit Unions in 1977? People could access the machines only 18 hours a day, Monday to Sunday. You were only allowed to withdraw a maximum of $200.
Saskatchewan also had the first debit card transaction capabilities. Credit Union members could pay for purchases using plastic without running up credit card interest.
The federal riding of Prince Albert was the only constituency to have three prime ministers representing it. Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1896), William Lyon Mackenzie King (1926-1945) and John Diefenbaker (1957-1963). Although neither of these fellows were actually born in Saskatchewan, Diefenbaker moved to the province at a young age and grew up in Prince Albert.
Laurier won the Sask riding (now Prince Albert) in 1896. This was before Saskatchewan even became a province. He vacated his seat 18 days later to represent in Quebec.
King lost his North York, Ontario seat in 1925. He then won the Prince Albert seat after it was vacated in 1926. He held that seat until he was defeated in a general election that was held in 1945.
There is an interesting connection between Laurier and Diefenbaker. Laurier was visiting Saskatoon to lay the cornerstone at the University of Saskatchewan’s first building. As the story tells, Laurier purchased and news paper from then 15 year old Diefenbaker at the railway station. Later in the day, Laurier made a speech and had this to say about Diefenbaker: “After I talked to a newsboy this morning, he told me: ‘I can’t waste any more time on you, Prime Minister. I must get about my work.'”
Saskatchewan was once known as the “bread basket of the world”, but other provincial crops help feed the world. While Canada is the leading exporter of pulse crops in the world, and a lot of those come from Saskatchewan.
96% of lentils, 90% of chickpeas and 70% of dry pea crops grown in Canada in 2012 were produced in Saskatchewan. Out top export markets are India, China, Bangladesh, Turkey and the United States.
Wheres the Mustard?
Chances are the next time you put mustard on your dog or burger, it was made in Saskatchewan. Even though Saskatchewan farmers did not start producing mustard until the 1950’s, it accounts for about 75% of mustard production in Canada. In 2010, it was just over 150,000 tonnes. That’s a lot of Mustard!
Roads and Highways
I will bet you didn’t know that there are more roads in Saskatchewan than any other province in Canada. There are 26,000 kilometres of highways and a total road surface of 160,000 kilometres. Thats enough to circle the equator four times!
When we add rural and municipal roads there are over 250,000 Kilometres of roads in Saskatchewan. If your like me and love a long winding dirt road, chances are you’ll find one in Saskatchewan, but watch out for deer and other wildlife that share our great province.
The Canadian Light Source (CLS) is located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon and is home to the Synchrotron. The Synchrotron is one of the largest science projects in history and is the only one of it’s kind in Canada. It has hosted thousands or scientists and researchers from across the world. The particle beams can be used to research anything from viruses to dinosaurs.
More recently, the Canadian Light Source is used to help find other sources of medical isotopes.
Most of us would not think that water and the prairies go together, but those who have visited Saskatchewan know otherwise. Our province is home to approximately 100,000 lakes. One of the most unique lakes in the world is located here – Manitou Lake (located southeast of Saskatoon). The briny water in the lake possesses natural therapeutic skin and body care properties that can only be found in a few other places. Plus you can easily float on the water because it offers “impossible-to-sink-buoyancy.
Reindeer Lake is the second largest lake and also the deepest. It reaches 710 feet at Deep Bay which was created 140 million years ago by a meteorite.
Saskatchewan Lakes also create a fishing paradise! Anglers have caught three world record fish in our provincial lakes:
a 25.1 po€und burbot was caught in 2010 on Lake Diefenbaker.
a 48 pound rainbow trout was also caught on Lake Diefenbaker in 2010.
a 18.3 pound walley was caught on Tobin Lake in 2005. This was a world ice fishing record.
So put up your “Gone Fishin” sign and see what you can catch out there!
From Gordie Howe to Brian Trottier, some of the greatest NHL players have come from Saskatchewan. As a matter of fact, our province produces more NHL players that any other. Who is next best? Manitoba
Did you know that 17 players who have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame came from Saskatchewan.
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