Best of the west Moose Jaw ranks third in Canada for coolest downtown
I’m a big fan of our downtown. I think that our downtown businesses have done a really great job of keeping things a little bit eclectic. Jacki L’Heureux-Mason, Executive Director, Moose Jaw Tourism
Moose Jaw beat out Winnipeg, Quebec City and even Vancouver for third coolest downtown centre in Canada.
St. Thomas, Ont. was number one and Toronto, Ont. placed second in an online poll conducted by Expedia.ca.
“I’m excited. I think it’s great. It’s not something that I was aware of that they do a grading system, but I’m really proud of our city to have been ranked to number three,” said Mayor Fraser Tolmie.
The travel company pays homage to Crescent Park, the murals around town, and friendly locals.
They also acknowledged Browns Socialhouse as the toast of the town and Cask 82’s wine specials, live music and 1-a.m. closing time.
The municipality is also ranked above Longueuil, Que., Brandon, Man., Lunenburg, N.S. and Burnaby, B.C.
A big part of Moose Jaw ranking high in the list is due to the independently-owned stores possessing a unique look, with inviting staff.
“I’m a big fan of our downtown. I think that our downtown businesses have done a really great job of keeping things a little bit eclectic,” said Jacki L’Heureux-Mason, executive director of Tourism Moose Jaw. “It’s all independently owned stores.”
L’Heureux-Mason mentioned the scenic location with the CP Rail Station building, city hall, and other historic buildings adding to the mix of small business shops. People may find chain stores around them but independent shops offer items they cannot buy elsewhere.
“I think a big part of it is you just don’t find a lot of chain stores downtown. Nothing wrong with a good chain store, we always use it to shop, but I think people can find those things in their hometown,” said L’HeureuxMason.
Tolmie said the shops showcase the entrepreneurial spirit of local business owners and the gracious, friendly cit- izens add to the environment.
“Some of our shopkeepers have really beautiful designed stores. It’s not just the outside, it’s the inside of the stores as well,” he said.
The city lives up to its neighbourly moniker of the Friendly City, which adds to the wholesome environment.
“Working at the tourism centre, one of the comments we hear all the time are the facts that our people are just so friendly,” she said. “I think that’s a truly Saskatchewan feeling but we capitalize on that, embrace that and make it part of who we are.”
At times it may take some national acknowledgment for Moose Javians to realize how fortunate they are to have history and character in the downtown core.
“Not only do I encourage our visitors to come to our downtown, but I would encourage our residents to take an afternoon or a full day to stroll down as if you never been here before,” Tolmie said. “Take note of the wonderful businesses, architecture and all around character for which others give us credit.”
Moose Jaw’s vibrant downtown core was recently acknowledged by travel giant Expedia.