Best of the west Moose Jaw ranks third in Canada for coolest down­town

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - JOSHUA SAN­TOS

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.”

JOSHUA SAN­TOS/TIMES-HERALD

Moose Jaw’s vi­brant down­town core was re­cently ac­knowl­edged by travel gi­ant Ex­pe­dia.

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