I grew up in Kakabeka Falls, a small village in Northwestern Ontario. As a result of this upbringing, no matter where I have lived, no matter how big the urban centre, my heart is always drawn to small-town life. And I tell you, my heartstrings were tugged big time, as I traveled and experienced small town Saskatchewan this past summer.
When I am in Kakabeka, this longing for small town life is fed by evening walks through the village, or down to the falls during the day. Being able to walk down every street during an evening walk, greeting villagers who are out in their yards, or chatting with fellow walkers, really breathes a sense of home and belonging into my soul.
Even though I haven’t lived there for decades, that little village on the Kaministiquia River will always hold my heart. Over the last couple of years, I have toyed with the idea of moving back at some point, especially now that my mother has passed. It is where most of my family and my childhood friends (with whom I still maintain close friendships) still live. Whether I live there or not, it will always be home.
This summer, as I drove westward across the Canadian Prairies, toward Victoria, BC where I currently reside, my small town heartstrings were constantly being pulled. I had made the Eastbound trip with my Sister Sharon as we transported the Remains of our mother to fulfill her wish to be buried in Kakabeka Falls. Now, I was driving solo. With no real-time constraints, I stopped at small towns along the highways and byways I found myself on.
The beautiful green and gold fields of Saskatchewan are captivating. The number of photographs I took of those fields attest to my fascination. Small town Saskatchewan, surrounded by green and gold, are just as captivating. Tree lined streets, churches, grain elevators and some surprisingly grand architecture attest to the once thriving towns that dot the landscape. Many towns have struggled in recent decades, and their populations less than what they once were. But there is still life, simple, rich and welcoming.
There were three main reasons for stopping at the various small towns that called me to put on the brakes. First, the presence of a grain elevator; the second, cool old buildings that caught my eye; and third, an interesting name. This post is split up into those three categories where I will share photos and stories of some of the small towns I discovered.
And many discoveries there were!
Stay tuned. Next Thursday, I will show you some of the small towns, to which I was drawn first by the presence of a grain elevator. There won’t be more pictures of grain elevators, you’ll have to go to last Thursday’s post for that.
Are you from a small town? IF not, have you ever had the opportunity to experience small town life?
Leave a comment and tell me your small town story.