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Grenfell, Saskatchewan

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Grenfell, Saskatchewan

Town of Grenfell
Community Hall
Community Hall
Town of Grenfell is located in Saskatchewan
Town of Grenfell
Country Canada
Province Saskatchewan
Region Saskatchewan
Rural Municipality RM of Elcapo # 154
Post office Founded 1883
Incorporated (Village) 1894
Incorporated (Town) 1911
 • Mayor Lloyd Gwilliam
 • Total 3.17 km2 (1.22 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total 947
 • Density 300/km2 (770/sq mi)
Time zone CST
Postal code S0G 2B0
Area code(s) 306
Highways TransCanada Highway, Highway 47
Website Town of Grenfell

Grenfell (Canada 2011 Census population 1,049) is a town in Southern Saskatchewan, Canada. It is situated at the junction of Highway 47 and the Trans Canada Highway 80 miles (130 km) east of Regina, the provincial capital. It is 15 miles (24 km) south of the Qu'Appelle Valley where Crooked Lake Provincial Park (at Crooked Lake) and Bird's Point Resort (at Round Lake) are popular beach destinations in summer and are accessed by Highway 47.

European settlement from Ontario and the British Isles began in 1882 before the Canadian Pacific Railway reached the site of the town.[6] The post office was established in 1883; "the town’s name honours Pasco du Pre Grenfell, a railway company official."[7]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
  • Commerce 5
  • Infrastructure 6
    • Transportation 6.1
  • Education 7
  • Churches 8
  • Museums and other prominent points of interest 9
  • Military 10
  • Sports and recreation 11
  • Prominent Grenfell natives and residents 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14
  • Location 15


The settlement was the result of the westward expansion of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the town is named after Pasco du P. Grenfell, an early shareholder of the railway company and a prominent railwayman.[8] Initial settlement was from eastern Canada and the British Isles, followed shortly thereafter by Germans.[8]

The Grenfell cricket team, c. 1890. With many English immigrants it was cricket that was the more popular pastime, rather than baseball. While popular in the early days, its influence did not last.

Grenfell was incorporated as a town in 1911. It has a stable economic base and reasonable land prices.

The community sent men to war in both the First and Second World Wars. They are remembered at the local cenotaph.[9]

As in many other prairie towns, Chinese railworkers from the building of the CPR in the 1880s settled down and established local businesses: as late as the 1960s there were two Chinese cafés on Main Street.

Grenfell is close enough to the provincial commercial and political metropole of Regina that its residents do not feel impossibly remote and can repair there when occasion demands; it is far enough away that a lively local community persists. The town has long been known for cultural vitality; in 1974 the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus choir gave a concert in the Community Hall with the audience filling the hall, students accommodated by town and farm families. Eminent provincial academics, lawyers, medical doctors, lieutenant-governors, musicians and artists either came from or spent time working in Grenfell.


Grenfell is located in the Indian Head Plain of the Aspen Parkland ecoregion on the parkland of the Qu'Appelle flood plain. Grenfell is within the topographical area of Weed Hills. The bedrock geology belongs to that of the Mannville Group, a stratigraphical unit of Cretaceous age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin formed during the lower Cretaceous period.[10] The area is characterised by lush rolling grasslands, interspersed with poplar bluffs (in prairie Canadian terminology poplar groves surrounding sloughs) and open sloughs.[11] Sakimay First Nation consists of 11,295.2 ha located 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) northeast of Grenfell and includes 1,340 people on the Sakimay, Shesheep, Little Bone and Minoachuk reserves.[12] Grenfell Beach is located within the Sakimay Reserve area on Crooked Lake.[13]


Grenfell has a humid continental climate, with extreme seasonal temperatures. It has warm summers and cold winters, with the average daily temperatures ranging from −16 °C (3.2 °F) in January to 18 °C (64.4 °F) in July. Annually, temperatures exceed 30 °C (86 °F) on an average in late July Typically, summer lasts from late June until late August, and the humidity is seldom uncomfortably high. Winter lasts from November to March, and varies greatly in length and severity. Spring and autumn are both short and highly variable.[14]


The 2006 Statistics Canada data estimates the town's population at 947 residents, continuing a slight trend of population decline in the town since the 2001 Census, although unusual for prairie towns, Grenfell's population today is larger than in 1916.[15] Of the current adult population, 43.7 per cent were male and 55.8 per cent were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 1.6 per cent of the resident population of Grenfell.[15]

Between 2001 and 2006, Grenfell's population decreased by 11.2 percent. During the same time period, the population of Saskatchewan decreased by 1.1 percent, while that of Canada grew by 5.4 percent. A recent economic boom in Saskatchewan and an atypical persistence of prosperity during the 2008 worldwide slump will have altered this trend. The population density of Grenfell averaged 3.5/km2 (9.1/sq mi), compared with an average of 1.6/km2 (4.1/sq mi) for the province.[15] According to data from 2001 (although with so small a population percentages are not especially informative) more than 12.1% of the town's residents identify themselves as Catholic; 37.5% of residents are Protestant, 4.2% are Christian and 3.2% of residents do not practise a religion.[16]

Whereas, the first settlers were from the British Isles and eastern Canada, later immigrants from Germany would also settle here.[1]


The town of Grenfell has a mayor as the highest ranking government official. The town also elects aldermen or councillors to form the municipal council. Currently the mayor is Lloyd Gwilliam, and is serving with councillors Rodney Wolfe, Gary Cole, Phillip Peter, Jeremie Taylor, Gilbert Heinemann, and Kevin Speidelsbach. The Chief Administrative Officer is currently a vacant position.[21]

Provincially Grenfell is within the constituency of Moosomin served by their Member of legislative assembly, the honourable Don Toth.[4]

Federally the Souris—Moose Mountain riding is represented by their Member of Parliament, Ed Komarnicki.[5]


By 1915, Grenfell hosted a flour mill company, one of 37 across the province.[22]

The CPR employed hundreds of Chinese labourers on its incremental westward growth from Ontario to British Columbia throughout the 1880s. Once the railroad was complete many Chinese returned to railroad towns like Grenfell to establish cafés and groceries which persisted until the latter part of the twentieth century. Well into that time Grenfell was served by two such Chinese cafés and groceries which considerably contributed to the amenity of its business district. Grenfell also had a women's clothing store on Main Street and the provisions of a bakeshop and movie theatre on Front Street well into the 1960s.

A cinema on Front Avenue opposite the railway line continued in business until the 1960s, much beyond the time when such facilities had lapsed in other, larger prairie towns which were closer to urban metropoles. No doubt this was in part because television transmission remained poor, Grenfell being a good 75 miles (121 km) east of the broadcast locus in Regina. However they might have regretted the lack of choice, community life was assuredly enhanced by first-release films being available only in the town cinema.

Access to both Regina and somewhat less quickly Winnipeg became vastly more convenient and fast with the great improvement in quality of the Trans-Canada Highway, even substantially eliminating the demand for train passenger transport. This constituted both an improvement in town and farm dwellers' overall quality of life but decline in its nature within the town without a lengthy drive.As in virtually all prairie Canadian towns the centre of commerce was from the beginning until very recently the grain elevators: assorted grain-buying companies maintained large depots to which farmers regularly brought wheat and other crops for sale whenever the centralised grain-buying board announced a quota.


Grenfell's hospital was first established in 1915, followed by a maternity home in 1933.[10] The hospital in Grenfell was one of 52 hospital closures announced April 15, 1993, by Health Minister Louise Simard.[23] Grenfell belongs to the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region, and a hospital is within a 10 minute drive. The Grenfell Medical Centre is staffed with a doctor, emergency room, lab and x-ray department. As well Grenfell is home to the Grefell and District Pioneer Home providing health care for senior citizens of the area.[24]


Grenfell is situated at the junction of Highway #47 and Trans Canada Highway #1 80 miles (130 km) east of Regina, the provincial capital. By 2004, the Saskatchewan Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway had been “twinned” from Alberta all the way eastward to Grenfell. The entire highway was divided by 2007.[25]




  • Town of Grenfell
  • Benjamin Parkyn Richardson, b: 1857 - Blenheim, Canada
  • Crooked Lake Provincial Park
  • [4] Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

External links

  • Annie I. Yule. Grit and growth: the story of Grenfell. (1980) Grenfell, Saskatchewan: Grenfell Historical Committee. [3] Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  1. ^ a b c McLennan, David (2006). "Grenfell". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  2. ^ National Archives, Archivia Net. "Post Offices and Postmasters". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  3. ^ Government of Saskatchewan, MRD Home. "Municipal Directory System". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  4. ^ a b Canadian Textiles Institute. (2005). "CTI Determine your provincial constituency". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  5. ^ a b Commissioner of Canada Elections, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada (2005). "Elections Canada On-line". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  6. ^ David McLennan, "Gremfell," The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan (retrieved March 23, 2014)
  7. ^ David McLennon, "Grenfell," Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  8. ^ a b c McLennon.
  9. ^ Grenfell Cenotaph. Retrieved 18 November 2007. Archived September 27, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b c Thorpe, J. (1999). Kai-iu Fung, Bill Barry, Wilson, Michael, ed. Natural Vegetation. Atlas of Saskatchewan Celebrating the Millennium (Millennium ed.) (Saskatchewan: University of Saskatchewan). pp. 46, 63, 76, 91, 160.  
  11. ^ Coupland, R.T. (1969). "Natural Vegetation of Saskatchewan". In J.H. Richards, K.I. Fung. Atlas of Saskatchewan. J.S. Rowe. Saskatoon, SK, CA: University of Saskatchewan. pp. 72–78. 
  12. ^ Thompson, Christian (2006). "Sakimay First Nation". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  13. ^ Barry, Bill (2005). Geographic Names of Saskatchewan.  
  14. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c d "2006 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  16. ^ a b "2001 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. 02/01/2007. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  17. ^ Taché, J. de Labroquerie (print version); Adamson, Julia (online version) (1918 republished to the internet 17-Oct-2000). Census of Prairie Provinces Population and Agriculture Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta. Ottawa: Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty. Table 3 Towns page 121 Alameda, Sk to Watson, Sk. 
  18. ^ "2011 Community Profiles".  
  19. ^ "2006 Community Profiles".  
  20. ^ "2001 Community Profiles".  
  21. ^ "Grenfell, Saskatchewan". Municipal Directory System. Government of Saskatchewan. December 9, 2008 3:. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  22. ^ Ambrosi, Raymond (2006). "Milling". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  23. ^ Houston, C. Stuart (2006). "Hospitals". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  24. ^ "Health Services". Town of Grenfell. iCompass Technologies Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  25. ^ Cousins, Brian (2006). "Transportation". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  26. ^ "History". Town of Grenfell. iCompass Technologies Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  27. ^ Adamson, Julia (1925). "Canadian Maps: January 1925 Waghorn's Guide. Post Offices in Man. Sask. Alta. and West Ontario." (Published online January 5, 2005). Online Historical Map Digitization Project. Waghorn. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f g "Grenfell". Sask Biz. Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  29. ^ "Grenfell Elementary Community School". Prairie Valley School Division. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  30. ^ "Grenfell High Community School". Prairie Valley School Division. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  31. ^ Adamson, Julia (15 Mar 2006). "Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project". Saskatchewan Gen Web. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  32. ^ a b c Yule, p.151
  33. ^ Yule, pp.154-55.
  34. ^ Yule, p.157.
  35. ^ Trevor Powell, "The Challenge of the Frontier," in Diocese of Qu'Appelle. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  36. ^ Yule, p.161
  37. ^ Yule, p.163.
  38. ^ a b Yule, p.163
  39. ^ Kasperski, Lindy (2006). "Polish Settlements". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  40. ^ a b c Yule, p.164.
  41. ^ a b Yule, p.165.
  42. ^ Yule, pp.165-66.
  43. ^ Yule, pp.167-68.
  44. ^ Trinity Presbyterian Church website. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  45. ^ "Attractions," in Town of Grenfell, Retrieved February 2, 2013. name="SaskBiz"
  46. ^ "Saskatchewan Regional Prks Association Zone 4 south east". Saskatchewan Regional Parks Association. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  47. ^ Charabin, Nadine (2006). "Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE)". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  48. ^ Chaput, John (2006). "10th Field Regiment". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  49. ^ Chaput, John (2006). "Soccer". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  50. ^ Wasiak, Edwin B. (2006). "Soccer". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  51. ^ Grade 7 class at Hnery Kelsey Public School (1973). E.T. Russell, ed. What's In a Name?.  
  52. ^ "Organisations". Town of Grenfell. iCompass Technologies Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  53. ^ "Billington Award to Lorne MacPherson,", September 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  54. ^ Mohr, Jeremy (2006). "Lake, Sir Richard Stuart (1860–1950)". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  55. ^ Benjamin Parkyn Richardson
  56. ^ "Papers of Dennis A. FitzGerald, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library" (PDF). March 1992. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  57. ^ "Quick Steps". Time Magazine. Apr 26, 1948. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  58. ^ Gruszka, John; Ray Ambrosi (2006). "Beekeeping". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  59. ^ Saunders, Gail (2006). "Staples, Rj (1904–72)". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  60. ^ Kyba, Patrick (2006). "Anderson, James Thomas Milton (1878–1946)". Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre  
  61. ^ "Cal Bricker Biography and Statistics - Olympics at Sports -". Sports Reference LLC. 200-2009. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  62. ^ "Calvin David (Cal) Bricker's Hall of Fame Bio". University of Toronto. Retrieved 009-05-18. 


  • Dr. Cal Bricker, a Grenfell dentist, competed in the Olympics. In the London 1908 Summer Olympics he gained a bronze medal in the men's long jump, and during the 1912 Summer Olympics held in Stockholm he won the silver medal, again for men's long jump.[61] Bricker was inducted into the University of Toronto, Saskatchewan and Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.[62] Canadian athletes who excel in jumping activities are awarded the Cal D. Bricker Memorial trophy.[28]
James Thomas Milton Anderson.
  • R.J. Staples, born 1904 in Grenfell, was a prominent educater in the field of music. After receiving his education at the University of Saskatchewan he taught at several schools in Saskatchewan followed by serving as advisor on school music courses and provincial supervisor. He introduced workshops in school music methods and was instrumental in the introduction of the recorder in Canadian schools.[59]
  • John Hubbard of Grenfell became the first president of the Saskatchewan Beekeepers Association in 1923. He organised the first meeting at his apiary in Grenfell in 1920[58]
  • Dennis A. FitzGerald born January 1, 1903, in Grenfell and graduated Grenfell High School in 1919.[56] FitzGerald became director of the United States Department of Agriculture's Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations, as chief of ECA's food division. Paul Hoffman, his superior in the division, said of him on his appointment, "He's probably the greatest authority on food procurement and distribution in the world."[57]
  • Benjamin Parkyn Richardson, MLA 1888-1891, as also the first president of the Grenfell Agricultural Society which was established in 1884.[28] "In the death of Benjamin Parkyn Richardson, the district of Grenfell has lost one of its early pioneers and the town one of its most prominent and active citizens. Coming to what was then Grenfell in the spring of 1884, he at once identified himself with the interests of the West, at that time still uncertain, its future success- doubtful. The difficulties and discouragement of those early years, is still fresh and green in the memories of some who are still with us, but who, like him whose loss we now deplore, have lived to see the full dawn of a brighter day, and a truer knowledge of the land we live in." was reported in the Grenfell Sun, 1910.[55] He was also the director of the Hospital Board, chairman of the Public School Board, and editor of the Grenfell Sun, of which he was a founder.
Canadian prairie pioneer Benjamin Parkyn Richardson.
  • Frederick W. Johnson taught school in Grenfell before serving in the Second World War and then practising law for many years in Regina, being appointed to the Court of Queens Bench, serving as its Chief Justice from 1977 to 1983 and ultimately becoming the sixteenth Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan between 1983 to 1988. Johnson was also first chancellor of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.[28]
  • William J. Patterson, provincial premier from 1935 to 1944 and Lieutenant-Governor from 1951 to 1958 was born in Grenfell[1][8] as was Lorne MacPherson, the Canadian entertainment lawyer, founder of the Alberta Motion Picture Development Corporation and independent film producer.[53]
William John Patterson, Premier and Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan.
  • James Dill, Member of Council of the North-West Territories 1891-98.

Prominent Grenfell natives and residents

The Community Centre on Main Street has a substantial hall which has been used for presentation of university choir concerts with full audience indicating enthusiastic appreciation.

Before 1900, Grenfell, Battleford, Saltcoats and Moosomin all hosted soccer teams.[49] In 1905 the Saskatchewan Soccer Association was first established in Grenfell.[28] In the 19th century, Grenfell boasted one of the dozen or so “town bands” or “citizens’ bands” of the North-West Territories.[50] The early English settlers had a flair for sporting activities, kept hounds and horses and also established a run similar to that of fox hunting runs in Britain in the 1800s.[51] One of Canada's first polo clubs started in Grenfell.[28] Currently, the town features an active snowmobiling club, the Grenfell Snowdrifters, and the Grenfell Spitfire Hockey club plays in the Qu'Appelle Valley Hockey League. The Flames are the recreational hockey club, and the Titans are the seniors ball club.[52]

Sports and recreation

[48] Grenfell was home to one of the seven chapters of the


Grenfell Regional Park located on the west side of Grenfell features picnic, playground area, showers, food services, and a nine hole sand greens golf course.[46]

Grenfell's Adare Museum has "a wide collection of artifacts" and a "military display, historical map of the area and [a] 1949 Fargo fire truck." It was a "Queen Anne revival style home" built in 1904 by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Fitz-Gerald, he "the editor and publisher of the first local newspaper in Grenfell in 1894," the purchaser of which house divided it into suites and "bequeathed [it] to the Town for senior citizens housing." Ultimately "the Grenfell Museum Association became curator and opened it as a museum on July 6, 1973."[45] A reputation for unusual community interest in culture was demonstrated in 1974 when the choir of the then-University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus chose to perform in Grenfell's Community Hall among its destinations on a provincial tour.

Museums and other prominent points of interest

[44] In 1991 a re-constituted Presbyterian congregation was established in Grenfell as Trinity Presbyterian Church.[43] The Ukrainian Catholics initially affiliated themselves with the Roman Catholics and worshipped jointly with them; in 1921 they were able to build their own church and in 1957 acquired the Lutherans’ old and now disused church building.[42] The Grenfell Revival Centre opened in a disused Lutheran church building in 1960.[41] The Baptists purchased the town’s disused first schoolhouse in 1895 for use as their church; their congregation dwindled over time and in the mid-1960s the Apostolic Church purchased the building; they subsequently built a new church and the Masons acquired the old Baptist church for use as a lodge.[41] before amalgamating with the United Church in 1964.[40] The

The Presbyterians, Methodists and Church of England all held services in the CPR depot beginning in 1883 and townspeople of all denominations attended regardless of affiliation.[32] By 1884 the Presbyterians had built the town’s first church[32] and in 1885 the Anglicans the town’s second, St Michael and All Angels’.[32] The Methodists built their first church in 1890 and, soon outgrowing it, a second in 1906, the first building being destroyed by fire concurrently with the opening of the new church.[33] The second Methodist church building remains that of the United Church of Canada congregation which came into existence as Grenfell United Church upon the unification of Canadian Presbyterians, Methodists and Congregationalists in 1925, the old Presbyterian church building being sold to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows as a lodge room.[34] It is reported that "[i]n publications of the day, clergy recounted their experiences. There were the monotonous, if not exhausting, trips in the heat of summer or the cold of winter made by the Rector of Grenfell, Frank V. Baker, arriving disappointed to find “… only a handful of people gathered” for a service."[35]

St. Michael's and All Angels Anglican.
Grenfell United Church 2011.


Historically several one-room school houses served Grenfell and area. Faulkner School District #53 was one of the first established in 1886 followed by Rillington #62, and Prospect #65. Grenfell #150 was located south of the town site. Le Cain #224, Tetlock #289, Brown Hill #353, Arlington #429, Sims #432, Wolf Hills #823, Gettel #1904, and Oakshela #2458 came next serving the community until the 1950s. By the 1960s only two of every former one-room schoolhouses were still in use.[31]

Grenfell Elementary Community School offers pre-school to grade 6 with an enrolment near 160 pupils.[29] Grenfell High Community School offers Grade 7 to Grade 12 to an enrolment of about 134 students.[30] Both a part of the Prairie Valley School Division #208.[28]

Grenfell is home to the Mechanic's Library Institute which was established in 1882 being one of the province's oldest libraries.[28]

MacPherson School, north of town, circa 1925.
Grenfell High School circa 1925.


[27].Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time. It is here that in 1925, the time zone changed from Broadview, Oakshela then Grenfell and continues west through Summerberry, Wolseley, Sintaluta, Indian Head. The line ran through Manitoba, Winnipeg Grenfell was located on the CPR West line between Regina and [26]

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