In 1882, settlers arrived in the area (then called the Northwest Territories) from Ontario and called the area’s trading post York City. The town lay on the Yellowhead Trail connecting Winnipeg with Saskatoon, Edmonton, and the North. When the railway came in 1890, the community relocated 3 kilometres to the south and was renamed Yorkton. A plaque marks the original town site, along with some millstones from the original mill.
The city is the hub of the parklands in east-central Saskatchewan, and has a population of 16,000 (2019). Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park, just northwest of the town provides much recreational opportunities with its miles of sandy beaches and dunes.
Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival (late May), Yellowhead Arabian Horse Show (June), Ethnic Day (early June), Yorkton Exhibition (July), Threshermen’s Show and Seniors’ Festival (late July), Powwow and Chuckwagon Races (late Aug).
Parkland Heritage and Farmstead Centre
10 km southeast on highway 16
This museum consists of an early Canadian home, a Ukrainian home, an schoolhouse, a church and several
stores. The Centre is host to the Old Time Fiddling Contest (June). Open late May to late September,
weekdays 1 pm – 8 pm, Saturday 1 pm – 5 pm. Admission fee.
Western Development Museum
1/2 kilometre west on highway 16
This museum focuses on the cultural routes of the Western Canada’s settlers. It also hosts the
Threshermens’ Show and Seniors Festival in early August. Open late May to late September,
daily 9 pm – 6 pm. Admission fee.
Yorkton Arts Council Gallery
49 Smith Street, Godfrey Dean Centre 2nd Floor
Displays of various local, and regional art in a variety of media. Open Tuesday through Sunday
2 pm – 5 pm (closed holidays). Donations accepted.
Painted Hand Casino
30 3rd Ave N
This casino, managed by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, provides a number of games of
chance: including blackjack, poker, roulette, “let it ride” Caribbean stud, and slot machines.
Open Monday to Saturday: 10 am -2 am Sunday: 12 noon – 2 am
48 km north on highway 9, 10 km east on highway 5 (between Canora and Kamsack)
The pacifist Doukhobours fled Russia around the turn of the century to avoid persecution and
conscription into the Tsar’s army. The National Doukhobour Heritage Village was opened in 1980
and includes many early buildings of the settlement. Early homes reveal the life of pioneer
Doukhobours, including household articles and utensils.
York Lake Regional Park
(just south of the city)
This park offers a number of recreational activities including barbecuing, boating, camping,
golfing, skeet shooting, swimming, and walking trails.