Department of Mines
Geological Survey 1914

This section is based on information extracted from the book entitled “The Canadian Northern Railway” by T.D. Regehr. Photographs and logo are from website http://collections.ic.gc.ca/.

Beginning in the early spring of 1905, the Canadian Northern Railway concentrated its efforts on completing track-laying between Kamsack, Saskatchewan and Edmonton, Alberta and between Melfort and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.


Canadian Northern
Locomotive c1910

The small but rapidly growing centre of Saskatoon was bypassed, as Canadian Northern decided for technical and strategic reasons to run their main line eight miles to the north. Clark’s Crossing was generally considered the best place to cross the South Saskatchewan River, so Canadian Northern followed well–established prairie trails and old survey routes in selecting that location. As well, they expected that the more northerly location would prevent rival companies form building into the rich farming areas north of Saskatoon, between the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers.


Canadian Northern
Train c1910

Because the Qu’Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway’s route was already established between Regina and Prince Albert, it was necessary to establish a diamond where the two routes crossed at Warman, Saskatchewan. In 1906, the owners of Canadian Northern Railway purchased the Qu’Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway, which had been leased by the Canadian Pacific Railway since its construction in the late 1880s, thereby providing access to Saskatoon for the Canadian Northern Railway.


Canadian Northern
Car c1910

With this purchase, Canadian Northern Railway became an effective competitor of the Canadian Pacific in Saskatchewan and made 1906 the most important year in Canadian Northern’s development in Saskatchewan.

Canadian Northern was not only responsible for Warman’s existence, but also for the rapid development over its first few years and the establishment of many of the businesses that were quickly sprang up such as banks, stores, hotels, restaurants, schools and churches.