Gainsborough, Saskatchewan

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Village of Gainsborough
2011 image from viewpoint of 1978 painting "40 Below Zero" by William G. Hobbs.
2011 image from viewpoint of 1978 painting "40 Below Zero" by William G. Hobbs.
Village of Gainsborough is located in Saskatchewan
Village of Gainsborough
Village of Gainsborough
Village of Gainsborough is located in Canada
Village of Gainsborough
Village of Gainsborough
Coordinates: 49°10′34″N 101°27′30″W / 49.17611°N 101.45833°W / 49.17611; -101.45833
Country Canada
Province Saskatchewan
Region Saskatchewan
Census division 1
Rural Municipality Argyle
Post office Founded 1884-04-01
Incorporated (Village) 1882 first incorporated village in Saskatchewan
 • Mayor Victor Huish
 • Town Manager Jim Marr
 • Total 1.95 km2 (0.75 sq mi)
Population (2001)
 • Total 286
Time zone CST
Postal code S0C 0Z0
Area code(s) 306
Highways Highway 18
Waterways Gainsborough Creek

Gainsborough is a small farming community located on Highway 18 in the southeastern corner of Saskatchewan, Canada. The corner-most community in the province, it is approximately 4 miles from the Manitoba border, and 12 miles from the North Dakota and United States border.

The first post-office was established on April 1, 1884 as the community of Antler; on September 1, 1885 the name of the community changed to Gainsborough.[1]


8 miles east is the community of Pierson, MB. To the west 8 miles is the village of Carievale, SK. 16 miles straight north of Gainsborough is the hamlet of Fertile,SK. The closest communities to the south are Antler and Sherwood, North Dakota. Nearby towns to the north and west are Storthoaks, Carnduff, Glen Ewen, Oxbow and Bellegarde, Saskatchewan, while to the east are Lyleton, Tilston and Melita, Manitoba. The nearest population centers with more than 10,000 people are approximately an hour's drive away: Estevan, Saskatchewan which is westward on Highway 18, and Minot, North Dakota is a 75-minute drive almost directly south. Brandon, MB is a 2-hour drive away, while Regina, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, MB each approximately 3.0-3.5 hours away by car.

Antler is the closest border crossing station between Canada and the US, and like most small posts on the frontier it is closed overnight. Gainsborough is approximately equidistant to two 24-hour border crossings: North Portal, Saskatchewan 90 km to the west, and Boissevain, Manitoba 120 km to the east.


Founded in 1894, Gainsborough is the oldest incorporated village in the province of Saskatchewan. It is the seat of the Rural Municipality of Argyle #1.

The Gainsborough Creek forms most of the southern boundary of the town, while the rest of the community is bordered by open fields and pasture. A tributary of the Souris River, the creek is prone to flooding during the spring thaw. Though several nearby communities made national headlines as disaster areas during severe flooding in 2011, most buildings in Gainsborough did not require unusual extraordinary protection measures or sandbagging. In 2014, extended heavy rainfall in the region resulted in severe flash flooding that forced the complete evacuation of residents to neighbouring communities and made national headlines.[2][3][4][5] Provincial premier Brad Wall did an aerial survey of the flood area that allowed images and video of the flooded village to be recorded near the maximum height of the waters.[6][7]

Saskatchewan is in the CST Zone, and since 1967 it has not observed daylight saving time meaning that local clocks do not get changed in summer. A practical effect on border towns like Gainsborough is that they only align with neighbouring communities in Manitoba and North Dakota for half the year, which may lead to misunderstandings regarding the timing of scheduled inter-community events.

Primary income of community members is derived from agricultural businesses (farming, ranching) and petroleum drilling services.


Canada census – Gainsborough, Saskatchewan community profile
Population: 250 (-12.6% from 2001)
Land area: 0.87 km2 (0.34 sq mi)
Population density: 286.1/km2 (741/sq mi)
Median age: "49.7" (M: 47.8, F: 51.1)
Total private dwellings: "120"
Median household income: $Not Available
References: 2006[8] earlier[9]

Notable people[edit]

  • Dr William G. Hobbs, a former physician in the Gainsborough Union Hospital (closed 1987?), did a painting of the main street of the town entitled "40 Below Zero" that won a national contest in 1978. The buildings pictured in it are no longer standing and the location on Railway Avenue is now known as Bennett Park.
  • Lew Morrison, former NHLer
  • Richard Widdifield, Canadian Artist, Born in Gainsborough in 1961
  • Dick Southam, former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament.

The Business community[edit]

Businesses (operating)
RM of Argyle #1
Gainsborough Swimming pool - open July and August
Movie Theater - open during the spring and fall
Riverside Hotel - beverage room, steak pit and coffee shop
Gainsborough Coop - hardware, fuel, lumber
Gainsborough and Area Health Centre - primarily for long-term care.
Credit Union - branch office of the Prairie Pride Credit Union
Gainsborough Library - branch of the Southeast Regional Library
Gainsborough Fine Foods (grocery)
Gainsborough Frozen Foods
A + H Farm Supplies and Insurance - SGI agent and Bus Depot
CA Shaw Insurance Broker
Gainsborough Community Rink - curling (4 sheets, artificial), skating (natural ice), beverage room[10]
Gainsborough Volunteer Fire Department
Happy Hours Club - Local Senior's establishment
Evergreen Lodge - Seniors apartments
Canada Post

As of 2012, the former Saskatchewan Wheat Pool building is the last standing grain elevator in the village.

Rebel Oilfield Maintenance
Cowan Oilfield Services
Several independent business provide construction and oilfield contracting

Businesses (closed)
Grain elevators: Operating: zero. Privately owned: one (formerly operated by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, who closed it in 1999).
Gainsborough Elementary School - closed in 2006. The property is now privately owned, and the building partially demolished.
Gainsborough Railway Station - now a privately owned home
Frankie's Soda Shop (Railway Street)
Willis' Pool Hall (Railway Street) - building was on current location of Bennet Park
Gainsborough Variety Store
Paterson Grain Elevator

Places of interest[edit]

Town Cenotaph with Anglican Christ Church in the background.

Bennet Park - located on Railway Avenue (main street), formerly the location of a pool hall, hardware store, and mechanic
Bowens Park - central to the southern half of the town along Antler Avenue
Memorial Cenotaph - Located adjacent to the theater on Bruce Street
Churches - two (Knox United, Anglican). The Anglican Christ Church is registered on the List of historic places in Saskatchewan
Community hall - basement with kitchen, main hall has a stage and upper meeting room
Sports field (a.k.a. Gainsborough Agricultural Grounds) - Kitchen facilities, three baseball diamonds, racetrack located north of the curling rink.
Campground facilities are located north of the Health Center adjacent to the sports fields. There is a privately owned museum with articles from the town's history that is opened by request.

Amenities, Associations and Clubs[edit]

  • Lions
  • Gainsborough Library, 401 Railway, S0C 020
  • Gainsborough Curling Club, Tel: (306) 685 2008
  • There is a small grass airstrip located in the north end of the town listed as the Gainsborough Airport.

See also[edit]

There is also a Gainsborough in the English county of Lincolnshire.
There is also a Gainsborough in New South Wales in Australia.


  1. ^ "Post Offices and Postmasters database". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  2. ^ "Village of Gainsborough evacuated". CJME. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  3. ^ "Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies". Global News Canadian Press. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Gainsborough still reeling after floods (video)". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  5. ^ "CTV News (video)". CTV News. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  6. ^ "Photos: Saskatchewan, after the flood". Leader Post. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  7. ^ "Rain ruins farms and homes in flooding - Video (@0:24)". Leader Post. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  8. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  9. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°10′N 101°27′W / 49.167°N 101.450°W / 49.167; -101.450