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Birch Hills

Town, pop 957, located approximately 38 km SE of Prince Albert at the junction of Hwys 3 and 25. Fur traders had plied the South Saskatchewan River north of the community since the latter half of the 18th century, and the origins of Birch Hills date to the 1880s, when settlement of the district began. After the Canadian Northern Railway came through the area in 1905, new settlers began to pour into the district. They came from Ontario, the United States, Scandinavian countries (predominantly Norway), and other areas of Europe. By 1917 the population was approximately 250, and the district surrounding the community was proving to be some of the finest agricultural land in Saskatchewan. By the 1950s, the population of Birch Hills was over 500. It is one of the few rural communities in Saskatchewan not to have experienced a decline over the past few decades. The community’s proximity to Prince Albert has led to the creation of new residential subdivisions in recent years. Its commercial sector consists of approximately ninety businesses and services, including a health centre, a modern airport, a K–12 school, a weekly newspaper, and numerous recreational facilities.

David McLennan

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