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The Cabri mural painted on the side of the Museum wall

I’ve often heard of Cabri, but like so many places, had yet to go there, until one rainy afternoon had us looking to go for a drive to discover some of the interesting little towns surrounding Swift Current.  And we were pleasantly surprised indeed.

In addition to being quite a happening little place, (a fact echoed by the newness of their Co-op Store – as accurate a measuring stick by Saskatchewan standards as any), what struck me about Cabri was that it had a real sense of community and history about it.  From it’s beautifully painted mural on the outside of it’s museum, (as seen above) to the menagerie that welcomes guests and residents alike as they pull into town.

It’s a sense of history, that will soon be celebrated in grand style when Cabri, like so many other communities in Saskatchewan this year, celebrates it’s Centennial on the coming August long weekend.

Over 500 people are expected to return home that weekend, and as Dianne Hahn the Town’s administrator describes Cabri, “it’s a small town with lots of activity and heart.”  And many will be drawn home to hear it beat.

Unfortunately for those reading this post there is WAY more information and lists of activities that Cabri’s Centennial Committee has in store for those who come for the weekend, so rather than duplicate their efforts here – just head on over to their page on the Town’s website, and see for yourself all that they have in store: http://www.cabri.ca/cabri_100_year_centennial.html

The Cabri Hotel – back in it’s Glory Days

Just know that there is a lot of history worth celebrating here – and it’s sure to be a great party.

A great place to both work and play, despite it’s long history, Cabri doesn’t seem to be victim to the aging demographic that has plagued so many of Saskatchewan’s small towns.  We saw plenty of kids enjoying a bike ride in the rain, and it even boasts a K to 12 school, that would suggest they have families that utilize it.  They’ll also be soon getting a new track for track and field purposes over the summer, and recently built a new spray park for area kids to cool off in.

And while many town residents head to the Cabri Regional Park come summer to camp and boat, the Cabri Ice Centre is the gathering place come winter time, featuring skating/hockey arena and a curling arena within.

They have three choices of restaurants where folks near and far can eat, and various local businesses, including this curious one that had me scratching my head, until I realized that Cabri was a destination for many hunters come the Fall season.

While Cabri will soon be celebrating a “Century of Strength” their Town Council’s proactive measures to keep the town’s infrastructure maintained, their new initiative to begin front street garbage pick-up just like their big city cousins, and the myriad of measures that all bear the words “new” or “recently,” shows me that they aren’t stuck in the past but are quite happily looking forward to a future.

How to GoHere: Cabri is one of the easiest destinations to reach.  From the Trans-Canada Hwy (East or West) take Highway 32 North and 55 km later (give or take .5) you’ll find the lovely little town of Cabri – here’s a Map.

Gotta Go:  I think I need to drink more water or coffee on these little excursions so I have more of a need to partake of the facilities.  Needless to say with a brand new Co-op, they’ll have one of the nicest/newest bathrooms for miles!

Good to Know: (Thanks to Dianne Hahn for providing many of these little known tidbits in honour of the Town’s Centennial).

  • One of the first things you need to know about Cabri is how to say the name. It’s pronounced Kay’ bree (with the accent on the first syllable). According to folklore, the name originated from the early explorers’ pronunciation of an aboriginal word for antelope.  Recent research indicates it may have been derived from the Latin name for the pronghorn (Antilocapridae), and an e-mail recently received  from Laval University in Quebec suggests that the Voyageurs and the French Metis thought the animal  looked a bit like a goat and  “cabri” is the French-Provincial word for  goat.  Whichever is correct, everyone will agree, ‘Cabri’ stands for the pronghorn so common to the area.
  • Interestingly enough, the pronghorn is not an antelope nor is it related to deer or goats.  It is the only animal in its classification and it has no near relatives anywhere on earth.
  • A drive in the country is still something special around Cabri.  Nearby sites include the Great Sand Hills, the scenic South Saskatchewan River, teepee rings, buffalo rubbing stone, archaeological digs and much more. Note as well, throughout the area, the heavy clay soil that is Cabri’s famous ‘gumbo’, and the “duck-hotel” that is Boggy Lake, a man-made lake that provides a natural nesting and staging area for water fowl.
  • Take time to enjoy the waving wheat fields and the spectacular sight from the top of Cator Hill.  It offers an endless horizon and an expansive prairie view of the flat and fertile checkerboard farmlands that stretch north of Cabri to the South Saskatchewan.
  • Of interest to note is that on July 3, 2012 the Town had divers from North Vancouver’s CAN-DIVE diving down to have a look at their reservoir’s water intake to see whether or not it would be feasible to raise the water intake in order to take in water of a better quality.  A pipe was placed on the intake to raise it to approximately five feet below the water’s surface in the morning, and by early afternoon there was already an improved difference in the water quality at the Water Treatment Plant.  So go ahead – drink the water!
  •  If you’re looking for something just a little different to see and do – you can head to the tiny little town of Shackleton just another 17km north up the road.  Here there are supposed to be some antique cars worth viewing (possibly in here?) – call Robert at 306-527-2910 to view them and while the notice we saw on the museum gives Ron’s number as well at 306-587-2736, I’d be more hesitant to call Ron – because I don’t think he’s really allowed to go near the place! lol (This seriously had us busting a gut when we read it!)
  • Enjoy a walk through the river hills.  The air is fresh and clean and you can see many different kinds of birds and animals in their natural habitats.  There is also a colorful variety of prairie grasses, wildflowers, wildberries, cactus, trees and bushes.
  •  As previously mentioned Cabri is a popular area for Hunters so wherever you go, watch for wildlife.  The area is renowned for its plentiful game: pronghorn antelope, mule and whitetail deer, partridge and migratory birds. Located in the heart of the North American Flyway it’s no surprise to see a variety of waterfowl near Cabri including lesser and greater Canada geese, white fronts and Ross geese and as many as 20 different species of ducks.
  • And while in Shackleton (if your name isn’t Ron), you can also stop by at the U-Pick Orchard.  Call Cam at 306-587-2414 to find out what’s in season and when it’s ripe for the pickin’
  • Those looking for accomodations in Cabri have a number of different options.  Seeing as the Oil and Gas Industry has picked up in the area.  They have an in-town campsite available for those that RV (though it will probably be PACKED on the August long weekend due to their Centennial Celebrations) – and there’s a couple of small hotels including the Sunrise Inn (phone 306-587-2433 for reservations) and the Cabri Inn (306-587-2775).
For more information about the Town of Cabri visit their website at http://www.cabri.ca or contact:
Dianne Hahn, Administrator
Town of Cabri
Box 200
Cabri, SK  S0N 0J0
Phone:  (306) 587-2500

e-mail:  townofcabri@sasktel.net