Canada’s Most Notorious City is Ready to Welcome the World.
Major land deals, international rivalry, and a quirky rebranding strategy—bold moves from this Prairie community with a memorable name: Moose Jaw.
Recently rebranded as “Canada’s Most Notorious City,” it’s making headlines internationally and at home with a highly publicized competition with a Norwegian city to claim title to the world’s tallest moose statue. It’s a marketer’s dream which has generated an estimated $7-million worth of free media coverage and netted the City a major award from the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC). The rivalry sparked a mini tourist boom in a city of 35,000 that already draws over 400,000 visitors per year to its attractions, most notoriously those connected to Al Capone and the 1920s bootlegging trade.
“The attention has been unprecedented, but Moose Jaw’s leadership is looking to capitalize on more than just the city’s notoriety as a tourist destination,” says Jim Dixon, manager of economic development. “We are eager to tell our story about what the city can offer businesses and investors in the province and around the world.”
On offer are sites within 750 greenfield acres, the City’s new South East Industrial Park, which recently sold—en masse—to a Richmond, B.C.-based developer. It is the biggest land deal in Moose Jaw’s history. The City’s leadership has an eye on attracting value-added agriculture opportunities from pea processing to ag-technology companies. Other potential opportunities in the city include craft distillery and brewing, manufacturing, and alternate energy.
The strategic location on both the TransCanada highway and Highway #2 is perfect for the transport and distribution of goods, and the city is connected to major rail lines CPR and CNR and is the beginning of the Soo Railway line which runs all the way to Chicago.
The City is looking forward in a big way. Led by a committed economic development team and a mayor with a vision, the future is bright. “Our team approach gathers expertise from across the organization and allows us to find and nurture the economic opportunities out there. We are harnessing all the talent we have to assist businesses and investors,” says Dixon.
The business climate in the city is excellent, with lower than average lease rates, as well as low commercial and residential taxes. The local airport is planning to expand its runway, paving the way for larger jets to land in Moose Jaw. The city is also in the middle of a major infrastructure renewal project, replacing aging water mains and securing the water delivery system to the city with a brand-new transmission line. Plus, a complete website refresh project underway that will showcase everything Moose Jaw has to offer from an economic perspective in a far more visually compelling way.
Finally, Moose Jaw offers a wonderful quality of life. Businesses and organizations have employees that want to create a life in a place that is welcoming, affordable, and comfortable. Moose Jaw is all of those things, and more. “We have seen our city become more diverse over the past 15 years, and that has made our home even better,” says Mayor Fraser Tolmie. “This is a community that embraces its residents, and offers a quality of life that encourages people to settle and call Moose Jaw home. It’s a place to buy a home, raise a family, and enjoy life.”
With a notoriously competitive, yet friendly, spirit, Moose Jaw anticipates more attention-grabbing headlines in the months and years to come.
Want to see what Moose Jaw can offer you? Visit moosejaweconomicdevelopment.com or call Jim Dixon, Manager of Economic Development at 306.693.7332 for more.