We all make mistakes, and Norway's crossing of Moose Jaw won't be forgotten anytime soon. With a lasting Moose Truce nowhere in sight, tensions between The Land of the Living Skies and the Land of the Midnight Sun have never been more antler-raising. Moose Jaw is holding a summit of Norwegian politicians the next few days to find a moos-lution and Justin and Greg have opted to flee the country all together (or maybe they went to a hockey game in Vegas… tough to tell what those two are up to sometimes!).
In the meantime, unlike Norway, I can admit when I made a mistake. A few weeks past I wrote "The Top 10 ½ Tallest Statues in Saskatchewan" following countless hours of research… and within 30 minutes of hitting "publish", I received a correction. As the days rolled by more and more corrections came in, I decided a whole new list would be needed.
When creating this revised list, I had to make one rule: vehicles on top of stilts or on tall platforms do not count as statues. I didn't think I would have to make parameters around what a "statue" is, but I had to enforce this one or else I would be calling farms all around the province. So, sorry, Craik's Motorcycle Tower! Your farm owner didn't call me back and now he ruined it for everybody!
So, here are The Top 10 ½ Tallest Statues in Saskatchewan – Second Edition, with special thanks to Tourism Weyburn, The City of Weyburn, Tourism Estevan and Tourism Prince Albert for all their help
1. Parkside's Lilly and Lloydminster's Sky Dance
26 feet, or 7.9 metres tall.
On my first list Parkside's Lilly was number five, so you can tell the items on this list are going to be much taller than before.
Parkside's Lilly was created in 1990 in honour of Dr. A.J. Porter's 1934 plant nursery, which is now a provincial heritage property. Lloydminster's Sky Dance was created in 2005 in honour of Saskatchewan's centennial.
2. Bellevue's Pea-Plant
31 feet, or 9.5 metres tall.
A lot of people were excited to see Bellevue on my list since this cute little French community needs way more love than it gets, so I was worried when I was recreating this list that it would get snapped (both a pea reference, and a Marvel reference). Thankfully, this pea-plant statue that was built in 1995 just squeaks into the list.
3. Macklin's Bunnock and Moose Jaw's Mac the Moose
32 feet, or 9.8 metres tall.
It's tough to believe that the province's most famous moose, and the one that caused the Moose War, is a pipsqueak on the list of tallest statues. Mac the Moose was built in 1984 with the goal of attracting visitors to the city, while Macklin's Bunnock (horse ankle bone) structure was built in 1993 in honour of their community's love of the game.
4. Sceptre's Wheat and Langenburg's Goliath Swing
33 feet, or 10 metres tall.
Sceptre claims to have the tallest wheat sculpture in the world, but as stated in my last article (and this one) they aren't even close. Although I visited Sceptre a few summers back, I missed this giant sculpture. It was built in 1990.
Langenburg's Goliath Swing is a new addition to this list, and is the third variation of its kind, with previous versions being constructed in 1984 and 1986. This one was also built in 1990 in Gopherville. In 2004 it was moved to Langenburg.
5. Ituna's Oat Stem and Prince Albert's Eaglechild Totem Pole
34 feet, or 10.4 metres tall.
Although Ituna.ca says their sculpture is only 30-feet-tall, other sources say it is 34-feet-tall. Either way, this massive oat stem sculpture was created in 2014 by the Prairie Oat Growers Association. Canada is the third largest oat producer in the world, behind Russia and the EU, and this sculpture was to recognize that.
Prince Albert's Eaglechild totem pole, on the other hand, was constructed in 1975 by James Sutherland and several other Indigenous inmates from the Prince Albert penitentiary. They presented it as a gift to the city after over 100 hours of work. The totem pole is so large that the city had to hire people to specifically erect the giant statue.
(It's also way bigger than Regina's totem pole.)
6. Cut Knife's Tomahawk and Teepee
39.4 feet, or 12 metres tall.
Created in 1971 in honour of the anniversary of the 1871 treaty signing, this massive statue embraces First Nations culture by showcasing their most iconic symbols: a tomahawk and a teepee. In my earlier article I mentioned that the handle of the tomahawk was made out of a tree trunk, but apparently it has now been replaced with metal as the handle began to rot.
7. Rosthern's Wheat
43 feet, or 13.1 metres tall.
Towering ten feet higher than Sceptre's wheat statue, this statue was created in honour local farmer Seager Wheeler who won five world championships for his wheat. I'm still unable to determine when it was built, but I can tell you it is not the tallest wheat statue in the province. That title belongs to…
8. Weyburn's Wheat (x6)
45 – 50 feet, or 13.72 – 25.36 metres
Towering far above Rosthern's wheat statue, Weyburn's wheat statues are the largest in the province (or at least what I was able to find). Built between 2002-2003 these statues were constructed when the city received a Centenary Fund of $150,000. The sculptures were created by Louis Guigon, with their iconic drooping sheaths to symbolize overabundance. If you go to visit them, you'll also see a bronze statue of Tommy Douglas, the founder of Medicare.
Aberdeen's Pro-Life Millennium Cross
100 feet, or 30.48 metres
In 1994, Joseph Bayda Sr., was looking out his kitchen window and was inspired to erect a cross on a hill. Bayda expressed his dream to Myra Olver, and she replied that she would pray for a sign if the cross was to be built. Almost a year later that sign was given when an old woman delivered Olver a birthday card on St. Therese's birthday. When Olver went to thank the woman, she had disappeared. Immediately afterwards, Olver called Bayda and preparations to construct the cross began.
Twelve years later, in 2006, a 100-foot-high steel cross was constructed in Aberdeen. This Pro-Life Millennium Cross has become an annual pilgrimage destination in Saskatchewan, with the last pilgrimage being September 16, 2018.
9 ½ . Lloydminster's Border Markers
100 feet, or 30.48 metres
These four border markers were the top of my previous list, but they have since been dethroned for a new champion. Erected in 1994, these border markers were created to mark the boundary between Alberta and Saskatchewan.
10 ½ . Estevan's Oil Derrick
110 feet, or 33.53 metres
I heard various reports about this oil derrick. Was is still standing? Was it 100 feet tall, or 150 feet tall? Is it on the West side of the city, or outside Tourism Estevan's office? It took many, many phone-calls to determine that it is still standing, it's 110 feet tall and it's on the West side of the city. Why it's there and when it was constructed though, still eludes me. Nevertheless, it's the tallest statue in Saskatchewan.
(At least for now…)
There are a handful of other honourable mentions in the province too. While these are not the tallest, they're still weird, quirky and fun. They are Davidson's Coffeepot (24 feet tall), Rocanville Oil Can (23 feet tall), Daphne's Tireman (25 feet tall) and Turtleford Turtle (8 feet tall, but 28 feet long). If you want to read more about them, check out Robin and Arlene Karpan's Larger Than Life: Saskatchewan's Big Roadside Monuments book.
I'm hopefully not writing a third version of this article, but do you know of any other tall statues in the province? Tell me about them in the comments below!
Don't forget to pin it!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Get Your Complete List of What to See & Do in Regina!
Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shut its doors in 1970. A year later, in 1971, it would briefly reopen and house inmates from Holmesburg Prison after a devastating riot. After the prisoners were returned to Holmesburg, Eastern State would sit empty for over two decades. It would rot, decay and collapse. Trees and shrubs would grow into the structure and a clowder of cats would take residence. These hallowed halls would sit empty, the only noise being the chatter of startled birds and the trotter of feline paws.
The following decades would see various discussions of what to do with the building. Eventually, it was decided to preserve it and turn it into a tourist attraction. Although it officially opened for tours in 1994, attendants would have to sign a waiver and wear hardhats before entering until 2008. They had 10,000 visitors the opening year, a number of tourists not seen in the prison since 1858.
From 1829 to 1970, Eastern State Penitentiary underwent a variety of changes and transformations. This massive, sprawling, 11-acre complex was founded under the belief that solitary confinement was the cure needed to prevent criminals from committing future crimes. It was believed criminals who served in solitary confinement would turn to a higher power to reconcile with themselves for their crimes – hence feeling "penitent". To assist in this process, each cell was equipped with a slit window on the ceiling nicknamed "The Eye of God". It would be the only light source available to the inmate.
If you've ever passed through Medicine Hat, or you're spending a few days in the area, you've probably wondered what to do there. To most people outside the city, Medicine Hat might seem like a sleepy little prairie town in the Canadian Badlands; but for those who live in Hell's Basement, they'll tell you that this city is one of the most exciting places you can explore in all of Alberta.
I've gone to Medicine Hat three times in the past two years, and while I'm no expert on this thriving city, I know where the hidden gems are. If someone I know is passing through the area, I tell them they need to visit Medicine Hat. To help explain why, I put an article together for anyone else interested in visiting the Hat.
If you're spending 24 hours in Medicine Hat, you'll need somewhere to sleep. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a little under an hour away and a great place to camp. Camping in Cypress gives you the choice to explore the park, the city, and everywhere in between.
Last week Ford Canada flew my sister Krystal and I out to Prince Edward Island to take part in their Cross-Canada #FordEcoSport Tour. We were only the fifth of fifteen groups that will take part in the tour, so be sure to follow the hashtag to see what everybody is getting up to as well.
Our section of the tour was probably one of the longest in the program, as we had to drive from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to Saint John, New Brunswick, then to Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec and ending in Quebec City. The whole distance is about 1,020 kilometres, which is about 10 hours of driving, assuming we didn't stop to see anything along the way.