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Town, pop 485, located NW of Kamsack, approximately 35 km from the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, on Hwys 8 and 49. The community is situated between the Assiniboine and Swan Rivers in a parkland setting, and cultivated land gives way to forest, lakes, and streams north of the town. During the first half of the 20th century, logging was a key part of the area economy. Today, the district surrounding Norquay sustains grain and livestock operations. Settlement of the area began in the late 1800s and increased in the early 1900s as railroads began to approach the region. Ranchers, homesteaders, lumbermen, and farmers were followed by store keepers, blacksmiths, teachers, and doctors. Settlers in the Norquay district were of diverse origins: at first, from eastern Canada, particularly Ontario, and from the British Isles; then, from the U.S. and continental Europe. Doukhobors disembarked the train at Yorkton and headed north; and many Scandinavians from both the U.S. and northern Europe arrived around 1906–08. Large numbers of Ukrainians arrived prior to World War I and again in the 1920s. In the 1930s, people from the dried out regions of southern Saskatchewan came to settle the forest fringes north of Norquay. With the arrival of the railway in 1911, the townsite developed and Norquay was incorporated as a village in 1913. The name of the community honours John Norquay, premier of Manitoba from 1878 to 1887. The village grew to have a population of just over 300 by the early 1940s; following World War II, however, Norquay developed significantly. By the early 1960s, the population was over 500 and, in 1963, Norquay attained town status. The community had a peak population of 575 in 1986. Today, the town has a range of businesses and services, a number of which are involved with the district’s agricultural industry. Hunting for bear, moose, elk, and white-tailed deer is popular in the area, as is fishing for pike, perch, walleye, and trout in both summer and winter months. A unique business in the town of Norquay is an award-winning magazine publishing company. Prairies North magazine, founded in 1998 as Saskatchewan Naturally magazine by Michelle and Lionel Hughes, has been nationally and internationally recognized for its journalistic and photographic portrayals of life in Saskatchewan.

David McLennan

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This web site was produced with financial assistance
provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
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Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.