© Times-Herald photo by Nathan Liewicki
One of the last shots from a portion of one of Moose Jaw's famed murals. Later in the day it and the remainder of the Jubilee Block was knocked down by an excavator.
Wednesday night, Moose Javians could do nothing more than sit back and watch as one more historical building burned to the ground.
Although the skeleton of what once housed both businesses and homes still stood in place early Thursday morning, the hard work, local dreams, and history that once lived within those walls slowly came down as fire crews worked into the late morning to bring the building to the ground.
Moose Jaw has lost not one, but many, of its historical buildings to fire in the last 10 years.
Although some losses have made way for new business, others have left an empty gap both in the city block they once inhabited and the hearts of those who grew up and were a part of their historic story.
Although the Jubilee Block has been a staple on High Street West for more than 100 years, the businesses that it housed were relatively new and were set to be a part of the city’s future.
Once known for being a block of banks, High Street has been developing into a local hot spot for both those who call the city home and those visiting. Although the businesses and buildings that line the street are appealing to the eye, what makes High Street — and furthermore, Moose Jaw — special is the unique selection of locally owned shops and dinning.
On top of losing four local businesses, 20 residents have also lost their homes.
- Read more special articles:
- Lost to the fires on High Street West
- Twenty residents affected by blaze
- Loss of century-old Jubilee Block a cultural blow
- Moose Jaw community rallies for fire victims
Moose Jaw is already struggling to meet the needs of residents and families requiring low-income housing, so to lose a building that fulfilled those needs is just one more hurdle the city is going to have to jump.
With the help of the local Salvation Army and Canadian Red Cross, those affected and displaced because of the fire are being cared for at this time. However, that assistance can only take them so far.
In the coming weeks, months, and possibly year, the reminder of what was will linger. For those who knew what once stood at the corner of First Avenue and High Street West, had shopped or dined at the businesses or called the Jubilee home, the sight of the empty lot might fill them with sadness.
Those who never had the opportunity to enjoy what the building once offered will fill that void with questions.
In the end, Moose Jaw lost a building, and yes, that is sad, but when all is said and done, Moose Jaw lost a building — that is all.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.