Although Yorkton is often overlooked by visitors to Canada, people who take the time to explore this destination are sure to be glad that they did. Yorkton is a picturesque little town in eastern Saskatchewan, with a colorful cultural mix and a unique history.
It was founded as an agricultural community in the 1880s by farmers from Ontario; however, like many other regions across the prairies, it’s the Ukrainian community that features most strongly here.
The town’s most distinctive feature is the silver painted dome and barrel roof of the white bricked St Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. The breathtaking interior dome is painted in the tradition of Europe’s great religious artworks.
Yorkton’s branch of the Western Development Museum has some interesting exhibits, many of which are devoted to the various ethnic groups who have settled in the region. You’ll also find a replica of the interior of a 1902 Catholic church and a superb collection of early twentieth-century Fords and Buicks.
People who travel to Yorkton in the month of May should be sure to catch one of the shows at the Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival. Running annually since 1947, it is the oldest festival of its kind in North America.
Just south of the city, on the Yellowhead Highway near Rokeby, is the Parkland Heritage Centre, a modest but interesting group of nineteenth-century pioneer buildings brought here from other parts of Saskatchewan.
For those who are intrigued by the unique cultural history of the area, be sure to visit the National Doukhobour Heritage Village at Veregin, an hour’s drive northeast of Yorkton.
Nature lovers will enjoy the nearby Ravine Ecological Preserve, which is home to an amazing variety of plants, animals and birds native to the region’s parkland landscape. Further afield is Prince Albert National Park, located in the center of the province, where the aspen parkland of the south meets the boreal forests and lakes of the north.