Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday on Small Town Saskatchewan

Or: This is going to be fun :D

Saskatchewan, if you didn't know, has 1,033,381 people according to the 2011 Census results. A city must reach 5000 people to by granted status as a city. The five biggest are - Saskatoon at 222,189, Regina (our province's capital) at 193,100, Prince Albert at 35,129, Moose Jaw at 33,274 and Yorkton at 15,669.

My town has 1400 people. (We've gone up 200 since the last Census!) This is not that small where I live. The town where my aunt lives is 500 people. A village has to have at least 100 people and there's one near us that's only 300.

Keeping up?

So, my town has 1400 people. It's a little over a square mile. We have two grocery stores, three bars, three banks, two pharmacies, a clinic, a pool (in the summer because it's outdoor), a hockey rink, a library, a museum, a Subway (the restaurant), a Dairy Queen, a pizza/chicken place, a Chinese restaurant, two hair salons, a post office, a golf course, a park, four churches within a two block radius of my house, and more clothing stores than you'd expect. Oh, and almost all of our stores are on Main Street. (No, that's its name. Really.) You have about two blocks of stores and then after that are houses on one side and the highway on the other side. We have like three parking lots in the whole town. Main Street has a cement border going down the middle, and then people park on either side of it. Each of the sides is one way only. We have a movie theatre but it's only open during the winter because we have a drive-in in the summer. But the theatre takes like 2 months to get a movie after it comes out and they SUCK at advertising so I never know what's playing.

Things we don't have: A bookstore, a McDonalds, a Walmart, a hospital, a coffee shop, many, many things I couldn't begin to list here...

My town has two schools, an elementary school (kindergarten-grade six) and a high school (grade seven-twelve). They're bigger than you'd expect because people come in from out of town. (And let me tell you, a 2 and a half hour bus ride in the morning and after school SUCKS.) No college.

I work at the library and while I love it, it's small. Every single book fits into one room, then there's a program room in the back. There are five computers in the same room as the books and the picture books are in one corner of it. The YA section is very small.

Okay, so, weather. Summer can be hot, but usually it's not too terribly hot and it's usually pretty windy here. (Prairie province. It's always windy.) This year has been warmer than usual, which is nice, and less rainy. We had a couple years where we had a problem with flooding because it rained so much. Saskatchewan doesn't handle a lot of rain well. Spring came very early this year. Normally, we have snow until April.

Yes, April. It usually starts in late October. Then by December or January, you can count on at least a week straight of below -30*C. (That's about -22*F.) And that's not counting windchills. I've seen -45*C with a windchill of -49*C. (That's -49*F, windchill -56*F.) You know what the worst part is?

You still have to go out when it's -40. And if you're like me and you don't have a car, it's not fun. You wear a lot of layers.

Food. Eh, nothing much to speak of special here. Although apparently it's not normal to be able to buy perogies in the frozen section of your grocery store. (Perogies - dumplings stuffed with mashed potatoes and sometimes cheese.) Pizza here kind of sucks but I'm biased because I grew up in a predominately Italian city and I've had AMAZING pizza.

Sports. I'm not a sport person but we have a fair few things you can do. The kid I baby-sit takes karate. There's hockey and skating during the winter. The high school, when I went, had volleyball teams, badminton teams, basketball teams, a golf team and track and field. (No football team and no cheerleaders. They also don't have homecoming or Prom.)

Football is kind of a big deal. Go Roughriders. There is no possible way for me to explain this without my town sounding insane so I'm not even going to try.

One thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to my town is - we're in the middle of nowhere. There's like nothing for twenty minutes (driving) in any direction. The closest city (which is 10k) is fifty miles away. The next closest city is almost a hundred and thirty miles away.

We actually have a fairly large tourist population. There's a lake near us where people stay for the summer. There are cabins there, and camping, and waterslides. We also have a LOT of festivals. Our biggest one is probably the one we have in December which is A Christmas Carol themed. There's a parade and food vendors on Main Street and people dress up in period costumes. There's even a Scrooge. It's a lot of fun. People come from towns and cities all around us and even from the States.

People quad here a lot. It's also normal to see someone riding a lawnmower or a golfcart around town. Trucks are very popular because... well, small cars are kind of dumb in winter here. They get stuck. A lot. The shiny pretty cars come out in the summer, though. A lot of people rig here (oil drilling) because, even though it's hard and dangerous, it pays twenty bucks an hour, and small cars aren't really good for that, either.

Um... I think that might be about it.

OH. One more thing. I don't think I have an accent but KT thinks I do.

Tell me about where you live!

Peace and cookies,