Moose Jaw may be known as the friendly city, but their new slogan, “Canada’s Most Notorious City,” speaks to more than that.
“It spoke to our very colourful past that we are not embarrassed about. We were an underground mecca for many years and people still talk about it 100 years later,” said Jacki L’Heureux-Mason, Tourism Moose Jaw executive director.
The new slogan replaces “Surprisingly Unexpected,” a decision finalized by Tourism Moose Jaw, Moose Jaw Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business Association and the city this past weekend.
“One thing that was obvious is that we wanted to tell the story about our history,” L’Heureux-Mason said.
“’Notorious’ has a nice ring and edge to it. We were the possible home of a pretty infamous gangster, so why not tell the world?”
WATCH: The morning news team goes on the road and underground at the Tunnels of Moose Jaw
Moose Jaw’s underground tunnels are famously known for housing and employing Chinese immigrants in the 1900s and being used for bootlegging during Prohibition.
There’s also the tale of Rosie Dale, an owner of a brothel banished from the city, who trained her unmanned horses to come into to town and pick up customers.
“Saskatchewan is full of great places to see, Canada’s got great places to see, but we want people to think Moose Jaw first,” L’Heureux-Mason said.
“When people ask why is Moose Jaw is Canada’s most notorious city, we think we have a lot of tools to answer these questions.”
Saying “notorious” doesn’t just describe Moose Jaw’s colourful past, though. It also shines a positive light on the city.