Weyburn is celebrating its centennial, not as a community (a milestone reached about a decade ago), but as a city, which is a fine distinction, but is an important one, as this more clearly defines the community’s character of the past century, and will continue to define it as we move into the coming century.
Consider, within the first decade of existence on the shores of the Souris River, the settlement of Weyburn grew up to become a small city in 1913, the same year the old City Hall and Collegiate buildings were built.
Over the decades, some of them tough ones for the community to get through, the young city of Weyburn became built up with residences and facilities suitable for a growing city to make available.
There were the booming 20s, when the landmark Court House was built on the north end of Third Street, and then the “Dirty Thirties” when the area (and country) were hit by the double whammy of the Great Depression and a massive drought. It was this hard time that brought a young minister with ideas of how to help people at large with the way the government operates — the minister, Rev. Tommy Douglas, went on to help found medicare and was voted to be “The Greatest Canadian” in a national vote held by the CBC.
The Second World War helped end the Depression and kick-started a time of growth and development with the first spurts of growth. If one looks to see how the city has grown since and continues to grow today, Weyburn became and remains as a place of exciting new developments.
To be sure, some great buildings have come and gone, along with the time and effort spent by local residents in using those facilities, such as (but not limited to) the Weyburn Mental Hospital, later the Souris Valley Extended Care Centre — now gone, with a new housing development rising from its ashes. The former Assiniboia School is gone, and the old Rink Arena, replaced today by the Co-op food store and Public Library; the Elks Hall is gone, with a condo development now in that place. Some historic facilities have new life today, such as the power station, now the home of the Soo Line Museum, and the old Federal Building, now City Hall.
Weyburn will continue to grow and evolve as a city, and change and expand, with many new developments underway, so who can say what the next century will bring to her citizens?