4 reasons Moose Jaw’s tunnels are the new Butte toxic waste pit

We had some time to kill before heading north to Saskatoon, so we decided to visit the notorious hamlet of Moose Jaw, just a bit west of Regina. 

Back in the Roaring 1920’s, Moose Jaw served as Al Capone’s western-most distribution point for running illegal whiskey into the northern U.S.

How could anyone arrest that face?

Apparently back then, Moose Jaw was quite the entertainment destination, offering various forms of debauchery for local rail workers and farmhands. Sorta like Vegas but without electricity or Celine Dion. 

Suck it, Regina.
These days, Moose Jaw is a quaint little tourist village full of shops and history. After the fifth person told us we had to check out “The Tunnels” of Moose Jaw, we decided to see what the fuss was about.

Apparently Capone, being the paranoid syphillic gangster he was, built a bunch of tunnels and escape hatches under local buildings to hide his nefarious activities. “Dramatic” tours are now offered daily by local community theater actors and high school drama students. 

After completing the tour and comparing notes, Kevin and I discovered we had the exact same thought: Moose Jaw is the new Butte, Montana.

Here are 4 ways Moose Jaw’s tunnel tour outshines our visit to the Butte, Montana toxic waste site. 

1) 5 minutes of history jam packed into 45 minutes.

The 45-minute tunnel tour was long on dramatic interpretation of history, short on actual history. Viewing Butte’s waste pit took only 5 minutes. 

Most of the actual history is found in lobby photographs.

2) Butte waste dump: $4. Moose Jaw tunnels: $30.

As luck would have it, it was Kevin’s turn to pay.

I’m guessing our tour guide’s costume cost $26.

3) No dead bodies found in tunnels. 

We’re sure that Butte’s pit, being full of toxic waste, must have at least a couple dozen. 

No leftover whiskey was found in the tunnels either.

4) No photography allowed in the tunnels.

In Butte, we could take all the photos we wanted. Not that there was anything to see. 

Kevin says rules about photography are for suckers.

We’re now headed west toward Edmonton and Jasper. I’m doubting we’ll need a tour guide to explore the views.

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