Visitors to Gravelbourg are often astonished to find the impressive cathedral in a town of barely more than a thousand. In the early 20th century, the Gravelbourg area was the focus of a French-Canadian attempt to establish communities in Southern Saskatchewan.
The grand complex completed in 1923 consists of the cathedral, the Bishop's residence and the large convent school, and a college, now destroyed by fire. It was designed by the prominent Montreal architect, Joseph-Ernest Fortin.
Until about 1965, Gravelbourg even had its own French radio station. Today, the "Fransaskois" population of Saskatchewan has declined to less than 2%, and nearly all of them speak English much of the time.
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