The Canadian Prairies, Captured on Camera
This gorgeous gallery is the next best thing to a road trip through the fertile fields of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Land of Living Skies
“It is no wonder that Saskatchewan’s motto is ‘Land of Living Skies’,” writes photographer John Unruh of Parksville, B.C. Between the gravel road stretching to an endless horizon, the gently rolling fields, and of course, those incredible clouds, his spectacular shot truly embodies the beauty of the Canadian Prairies.
“This metal tank has always held my interest and I have photographed it many times, but this one is my favourite,” writes High River, Alberta’s Janice Storch. “The dark sky and lively canola, combined with the setting sun giving a deep glow to the metal is a wonderful reminder of all the colours and the different moods of the Canadian Prairies.”
Check out more sunset pictures that’ll take your breath away.
Saskatchewan is home to 40% of Canada’s cultivated farmland, with its grain production earning the province the moniker of “the breadbasket of Canada.” In a stirring homage to that bountiful harvest, shutterbug Ashley Detillieux snapped this striking shot near Bruno, Saskatchewan. “Fall is a very busy time of the year for farmers on the prairie provinces, but it can also be the most captivating,” she notes.
Here’s what harvest time looks like on the Canadian prairies.
The ruins of an old log house are a haunting echo of times gone by. There’s a sense of reverence for the past here, too—although the structure could presumably be dismantled and the trees clear-cut to maximize field space, the farmer has opted to grow around the site. Thanks to Doug Swanson of Huxley, Alberta for sending in this atmospheric photo.
Take a virtual tour of Saskatchewan’s ghost towns.
A Bale of a Time
Ask anyone who grew up on a cash-crop farm—stacking bales of hay and straw is one of the sweatiest, most backbreaking jobs around. Still, there’s beauty to be found, especially once the task is done, as photographer Nathan Takacs attests: “Beneath bluebell skies and hanging cotton-swab clouds, the work of a tireless farmer sits in wait for the next stages of its life.”
Do you know what these farm words mean?
The Murals of Moose Jaw
Although we’d heard of the famous murals in Legal, Alberta, this shot from Rhonda Beirnes painted the Saskatchewan city of Moose Jaw in a whole different light! “Moose Jaw is a prairie city that I really enjoyed exploring for the first time in the summer of 2022,” Rhonda writes. “The murals are outstanding! This one depicts the alleged bootlegging operation of Al Capone.”
Discover 10 historical landmarks every Canadian should visit.
All Things Bright and Beautiful
How could those brilliant yellow canola fields get any more colourful? Try tossing in a rainbow! Thanks to Heather Loewen of Cochrane, Alberta for sharing this unabashedly uplifting shot.
Check out more rainbow pictures from across the country.
Ashley Detillieux scaled the Conglomerate Cliffs for this shot—and it was well worth the effort! From her vantage point in Cypress Hills Provincial Park, the pristine landscape melts seamlessly into the horizon—”As far as the eye can see,” as Ashley puts it.
Discover 10 of the best hikes in Canada.
Autumn on the Canadian Prairies
This jaw-dropping sunset from Kim MacDonald Cameron of Bow Island, Alberta captures the prairies in transition. “The shift of cooler temperatures have arrived here in Southern Alberta and it’s wonderful,” she wrote at the time. “Shorter days, geese flying in, and frost on the pumpkins are sure signs that autumn is not far away.”
Here are more fall photos that celebrate the beauty of the Canadian autumn.
East or West?
“After setting up our campsite in Empress, Alberta, we rode our bikes along the many scenic roads in the area,” writes photographer Cathy Sands Unruh. “This border sign stands not far from the railway station and is as iconic as the freight trains that travel across the prairies.” We’re so glad you packed your camera for the journey, Cathy—what a fantastic photo!
Read the incredible story of how the Yellowhead Highway helped unite Western Canada.
Little Church on the Prairie
This white church was postcard-perfect to begin with, but frame it against a fiery sunset, and you’ve got a truly striking composition. Photographer Richard Main’s long journey from Thunder Bay, Ontario, was certainly rewarded with this unforgettable image.
Here are 10 great Canadian road trips everyone should take at least once.
Anna Van Rootselaar’s fantastic photo seems to capture the prairie breeze in motion. You can almost see the tall grass swaying in the wind…
“I snapped this picture of my dad standing next to the cairn that marks the spot of the one-room school house he attended as a child,” writes Sandy Sinclair. “He is looking toward the site of the farm where he grew up, near Souris, Manitoba.” Find out what the Hebron School used to look like.
Don’t miss these memoirs of a one-room schoolhouse teacher.
“We live in a small farming community and the word ‘prairies’ always makes me think of farmers and their fields,” writes Rebecca Bromberger of Barrhead, Alberta. Agriculture is certainly big business in the province, with the average Alberta farm covering a whopping 1,184 acres, according to the 2021 Census.
Check out this farmer’s impressive collection of old John Deere tractors.
For an up-close-and-personal experience with prairie bison, Douglas DeClercq took his trusty bike to Fort Whyte Alive in southwest Winnipeg. The magnificent animals are the largest mammals in North America.
Discover 50 unforgettable things to do in Winnipeg.
Name That Crop
Do not adjust your screen! Although we’re hard-wired to expect the Canadian Prairies to be bright yellow with canola, these pretty blue blossoms are an increasingly familiar sight in Saskatchewan—but do you know what crop it is?
According to photographer Gloria Pawliuk of Pense, Saskatchewan, it’s none other than flax. You may never look at your digestive aid the same way again!
If you enjoyed this virtual tour of the Canadian Prairies, be sure to check out this gorgeous gallery of old prairie grain elevators.