Having spent over 10 years living in Alberta, Jason felt it was time to truly capture the spirit of the Western Canadian prairies that captivate so many in his photography, from the highest point, to the expanses of golden canola, the pioneering spirit in the historic grain elevators, to the dust-filled and abandoned ghost towns of old - southern Saskatchewan is a mecca of deserted ghost towns.
The settlement of Canada’s west into what became Saskatchewan began in force in the early 1900’s. With the advance of the railway across the country, rail stations, post offices, schools and towns sprang up about every 10-15 kilometers along these small lines. However, as time advanced, so did the progression of the automobile, and this distance between towns ultimately became too close together, and smaller rail lines were closed as larger centers developed. The 1930’s depression years were hard on the Canadian prairies. This was followed by the development of major highways and additional migration of people into the cities. By the 1950’s and 1960’s, many of these smaller villages had been by-passed or left behind. Businesses moved to larger centers, and many of these places ultimately folded.
It is a rather sad and haunting story as you walk the deserted streets of towns that were once vibrant and loved by the residents who called them home. In many cases, they remain largely intact, as if their residents just up and moved away, leaving everything behind. In others they are dilapidated, dusty remnants of days gone by. Some of Jason’s visits included the towns of Plato, White Bear, Ponteix, Aneroid, Admiral, Dollard, and Robsart. The photos you see will tell a part of their story.