Introducing Moose Jaw
'Moose Jaw isn't a city or a municipality or even a geographic location! Moose Jaw is a damn virus that has permanently afflicted Regina and for which there is no known cure!'
So said a Regina newspaper editor about 100 years ago and, indeed, if there was ever a town that could say it had a sordid past, Moose Jaw is it. From simple beginnings as a Canadian Pacific Railway outpost, the town steadily grew in both size and infamy. It was rebellious, ripe with brothels, had brushes with the KKK and known for rampant corruption and even slavery.
In the 1920s it was a haven for Al Capone and his gang, who used the town as a base for smuggling whiskey into the US.
Small Canadian towns looking to extract riches from a dubious past can take heart in today's Moose Jaw, which dubs itself 'Little Chicago.' Its attractions, remarkably well preserved art-deco buildings, numerous murals and friendly locals make it unmissable.