Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation
Saskatchewan Grain Elevators Study
An icon of the prairies, the country grain elevator has been a symbol of agriculture, transportation, and prairie communities since the late nineteenth century. It is a landmark in the Canadian west. But closures, demolition, and rail-line abandonment have become the new reality for these rural structures.
Where there were once about 3,300 in Saskatchewan alone, by 2010, it is estimated there were as few as 400. Their disappearance has not gone unnoticed. In 1999, the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation commissioned a study and inventory of the remaining, operational wooden grain elevators in the province. At that date, approximately 800 grain elevators remained in operation in the province.
In 2005-06, the Foundation, with the Heritage Resources Branch, built on the earlier study and commissioned a second inventory, which includes modern inland terminals. This inventory will form a baseline for tracking the on-going demolition of grain elevators. It will be of interest to researchers, communities where elevators are still located, the media, and the general public, all of whom continue to have an interest in the fate of this unique architectural form. The study identified approximately 525 remaining historic wooden grain elevators, and an additional 70-75 modern terminals.
Click here to view the full report.
Click here to view the inventory.
Click here to view Dr. Darin Barney "To hear the whistle blow: technology and politics on the Battle River branchline".
Click here to view "Nomadism to Settlement; Grain Elevators on the Canadian Prairies"
Click here to view Grain Elevator Conservation Booklet.
For further resources on grain elevators, see the Bibliography for Grain Elevators on the Canadian Prairies.
As well, a list of the most significant remaining elevators was compiled for possible future provincial recognition. Below you will find Statements of Significance for these eleven elevators.