The Tennis Club was formed in approximately 1911 and continues operation over one hundred years later. The courts are still in their original location along 3 rd Ave NE. According to a 1929 statistic, Moose Jaw had the highest percentage of British people of any Canadian city, and as a result tennis was a favorite sport.
The public library was built in 1912. It was built from special plans and considered a jewel of architecture. Some of the many beautiful architectural features included large windows for good lighting, and marble pillars and stairways. Highlighting this “jewel” was a stunning rosette stained glass dome above the main foyer. In the book rooms, unique glass floors, dividing the first and second floors, were also built to improve lighting. The library was renovated in 1966 and 1992 with the creation and later expansion of the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery.
The lawn bowling club was organized in 1918. Although not originally located in Crescent Park, it was later moved from the old city hall park, on Fairford Street West, into Crescent Park in 1953. It has been there ever since.
The Natatorium opened in 1932, replacing the greenhouse that was originally built there. It was developed as a result of the find of hot mineral water following an attempt to drill for oil on Manitoba Street East in about 1928 – 32. It was to be a public and therapeutic pool, and included baths like the ones at Watrous, Saskatchewan. When it was built, the Natatorium was the largest pool between Winnipeg and Vancouver and became a source of municipal pride and a key economic asset for the community. Between 1932 and 1957 the pool attracted as many as 100,000 visitors per year. After the deterioration of the well mineral water use was discontinued and was replaced by city water. The indoor pool closed in 1996 and the Natatorium is now used for change rooms and to house the filtration system for the Phyllis Dewer Outdoor Pool.
The Natatorium is a dedicated heritage property. Its value lies in its role as a relief project during the Great Depression and in its association with swimmer Phyllis Dewer, Moose Jaw’s first Olympian and one of its most decorated athletes. Dewar tenaciously trained at the Natatorium regularly after it opened. Unknown outside her own community and largely without the benefit professional coaching, Dewar surprised Canadians by winning four gold medals in her four events at the 1934 British Empire Games in London, England. Falling ill during the subsequent Olympic games she did not repeat her strong showing. The outdoor pool adjacent to the Natatorium, built in 1966, is named in her honour.
Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery
The doors of the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery opened in 1967 in a building attached to the Moose Jaw Public Library in Crescent Park. In 1992. the organization moved into a greatly expanded and improved state-of-the-art facility in the same location. The art gallery features a diversity of visual art exhibits throughout the year and has also worked to install a number of mosaics, murals and sculptures in Crescent Park and throughout the city. The museum is of interest to locals and visitors alike with its exhibits relating to the history of Moose Jaw and area.
There have been several additions and improvements to Crescent Park over the years.
In 1967, funds were raised from the “Heritage on Review” celebration that were used to construct the Crescent Park fountain in celebration of Canada’s centennial. The unveiling ceremony took place in 1969. The fountain was set in the centre of a star shaped flowerbed and can be lit up at night. The star shaped flowerbed has since been replaced by the current circular pathway and pair of semi-circular hedges and flowerbeds. The fountain was replaced in 2005-06 in celebration of Saskatchewan’s centennial. The current fountain was designed to echo architectural elements of the cenotaph, 4 th Ave bridge, and Moose Jaw Public Library.
The amphitheatre officially opened on June 10, 1972. The waterfall was constructed in 1974. In 1978 our city’s coat of arms was fashioned into a flowerbed to celebrate Moose Jaw’s Diamond Jubilee. Queen Elizabeth II visited Moose Jaw, including Crescent Park, that same summer. A plaque at the west end of the bridge between the Langdon Crescent entrance and the cenotaph commemorates the royal visit.
The Crescent Park Foundation was officially registered as a society on June 21, 1971. The foundation is now registered as a non-profit corporation and continues to raise money to improve Crescent Park. One of their earliest projects was the installation of fountains in the serpentine, which were decommissioned in 2016.
The first major project by the Crescent Park Foundation was the erection of the sandstone arch that stands at the Fairford Street East entrance to the park in 1985 to commemorate Saskatchewan’s Heritage Year and the Centennial of Parks Canada. It was originally part of King Edward School, built in about 1905 and demolished in 1980. In 1987 the Foundation continued their work to beautify the entrances to Crescent Park by constructing two sets of stone pillars connected by curved stone walls to form an entrance from Athabasca St E near the library. Additional pillars at other entrances to the park from Athabasca St E and 3 rd Ave NE were completed in 1989. Care was taken to ensure the new pillars resembled as closely as possible the original pillars that had been built in the 1930s.
Between the amphitheatre and art gallery are a pair of time capsules. The first was built in 1982, it is to be opened in 2083. The exterior is constructed of brick salvaged from the Victoria School, demolished in 1978 due to age. The second was constructed in 2003 for Moose Jaw’s Centennial and is to be opened on Moose Jaw’s Bicentennial in 2103.
The public washroom was moved to from the original city hall site to Crescent Park in 1986. It was the last public washroom of its kind in Saskatchewan and therefore named a heritage building. It continues to provide public washrooms in its new location during the spring and summer. The spray park beside the washrooms was opened in 1991.
More recent additions include the tree stump sculptures in the northwest corner of the park, carved in 2016-17, the Canada 150 mosaic and perennial bed at the Langdon Crescent Entrance, and the dance floor in front of the amphitheatre, installed in 2019. The park continues to be maintained and updated to provide residents and visitors with a park to enjoy for many more decades.