Lydia and I spent our vacations for the past 14 years at Manitou Beach, a resort in Saskatchewan and well-known as the province’s “best kept secret”.
We loved it. The scenery is beautiful, there is mineral water lake nestled in the middle of the prairies. There is no air pollution and the white caps on the water brings fresh air.
The population used to be 257, but since the flood in 2006 has reduced in size to 150. The Resort Village of Manitou and the Sask. Government pitched in to build a berm at the lakeshore to prevent further flooding in the future.
There is so much to see; there used to be a brine shrimp factory that shipped brine to Asia. There is Camp Easter Seal that provides activities for the disabled. They are usually seen at the Manitou Hot Springs Hotel Spa, to help them with arthritis or other ailments.
When we spent four hours in the Spa it is so relaxing that bedtime is 8:30 p.m. and up bright and early. The end of October the locals harvest salt that gathers on the shoreline for domestic use or one can make mineral salve for healing.
The famous Danceland was built in the 1930’s where 5,000 sq ft of horsetail hair was installed under the floor to make it “cushiony” and sway when you dance. Every Tuesday it cost a toonie to attend the dance.
About six kilometers south of Manitou Lake is town of Watrous, Sk.
The population is less than 2000 people. The business community is one of the largest in Sask., for so few people. There are three huge dealerships: Mainline GM, Centennial Ford, and Mainline Chrysler, they sell new and used vehicles. They claim they are less expensive than the major dealers in Saskatoon and Regina because they sell by volume and their clientele are in the rural areas.
There is a huge John Deere dealer, a New Holland dealer, NAPA, Co-op and Hayter Drilling. There are three huge motels to accommodate tourists who cannot find accommodations at Manitou Lake.
Some residents and cottage owners in Manitou are from out of province, some from Alberta, Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.
We could have bought a cabin for $20,000 years ago but today one must pay over $200,000 yet the population has declined.
We believe the Resort Village of Manitou Lake would be an ideal retirement home or vacation away from home during the summer. Manitou Lake is noted as the “Dead Sea of Canada” because it contains 99 per cent salt and other minerals. This is why we float on the water.