Moose Jaw

Overview

Introduction

Visitors to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, are greeted by "Mac the Moose," a giant moose statue that stands beside the visitors center.

The source of the town's name is uncertain but likely derives from the Cree word moosegaw, meaning "warm breezes." Today, Moose Jaw, located 125 mi/200 km southeast of Saskatoon, is an industrial town of brick warehouses and wide avenues.

There's some colorful history to the city. During the 1920s, bootleggers who smuggled booze to the U.S. operated out of Moose Jaw (underworld figures such as Al Capone are said to have visited). A network of tunnels beneath the city made a good place to store the illicit hooch—you can visit some of the passageways on the Tunnels of Moose Jaw "Chicago Connection" tour. The passageways predate the prohibition era, however: They were actually built in the late 1800s by Chinese railroad workers who hid there to avoid paying the head tax of the time.

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