Spiritwood is a town in the boreal forest of central Saskatchewan, Canada with a population of approximately 1,000. Its location is 125 km west of Prince Albert and about 110 km northeast of North Battleford at the junction of Highway 3, Highway 24 and Highway 376. As the largest community in the region, the community functions as the major supply, service, and administrative headquarters for the trading area population which includes several First Nation reserves including Witchekan Lake, Big River and Pelican Lake.
The district began to be settled around 1911–12; however, growth in the area was slow until the coming of the railway in the late 1920s. The first settlers primarily engaged in ranching. The Spiritwood post office, which had been established in 1923, was named after Spiritwood Lake, North Dakota, the hometown of the first postmaster, Rupert J. Dumond. After the railway arrived, settlers of diverse origins poured into the district and many businesses were established. On October 1, 1935, Spiritwood was incorporated as a village and, by September 1, 1965, the community had grown large enough to attain town status.
This was the scene of the two deaths of RCMP officers in 2006, where after a 12-day manhunt, the suspect surrendered without incident.
Mixed farming predominates and consists primarily of grain production. A Spiritwood company with global connections that focuses on pig genetics, producing breeding stock and commercial swine, has roughly 50 employees. There is some forestry in the region north of Spiritwood.
The town has a complete range of recreational facilities.
Once renowned as hometown of the annual Silverbuckle Rodeo, a mid-summer attraction for many years, the grandstands are no more. "SpiritFest" is held annually in August. Spiritwood Museum is open seasonally throughout the summer months. The museum showcases the community's history, including an exhibition of antique farm tractors all freshly restored and in running condition. Campground facilities available with 12 sites (electrical hookups, water, and new black water dump installed in 2015) are conveniently located within walking distance of the community Tourist Booth and downtown shopping.
Spiritwood is located in the centre of an area that features six golf courses (three grass greens and three sand greens), six regional parks and 35 lakes, all within a 60-minute drive. The lakes have excellent fishing for perch, walleye, pike and trout. Its close proximity to an abundance of lakes and parks enhance the quality of life with camping, boating, fishing, golfing, hunting, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and hiking.
There is sewer/water capacity for 1,500 residents to allow for 50% community growth. Free Wi-Fi, Cellular service and Cable television are available.
There is no bus service available either to or from Spiritwood, so that with the railway gone and grain elevators closed, all bulk commodities including fertilizers, fuel, grain and livestock are transported by truck. Hwy 3, Hwy 24 and Hwy 376 provide access.
Spiritwood Airport (TC LID: CKH7), now defunct, was an uncontrolled public grass strip operated by Town of Spiritwood.
Leoville Airport (TC LID CJT9), is available 32 km north of Spiritwood, located 2 NM (3.7 km // 2.3 mi) west of Leoville, Saskatchewan. This is a public airport operated by the Village of Leoville with two runways. (Runway Direction 12/30; Length 2,400 ft // 732 m; Surface GRAVEL. Runway Direction 16/34; Length 3,400 ft // 1,036 m; Surface TREATED GRAVEL).
Northern Lakes Health Committee (NLHC), an energetic volunteer group (Chair: Tracy Schira-Parker) was set up at Spiritwood in May 2010 with directors selected to represent each of the surrounding communities, organizing fundraising events to support a physician recruitment initiative through a subcommittee.
Since 2006, Spiritwood & District Health Complex was closed "temporarily", leaving the community at large without acute care facilities. Completed in the fall of 2001, this modern $3.6 million facility encompasses approximately 8,000 square feet (740 m2) of new construction and 4,400 square feet (410 m2) of renovated space which is linked to the former Spiritwood Hospital and Idylwild Lodge to serve as one integrated facility.
Primary Care Services: Daytime only (Monday to Friday from 8AM to 7PM, Saturdays 10AM to 4PM) Primary Care Services by Nurse Practitioner/Physician and/or other resident and/or visiting professionals, are available by appointment (306-883-4400) at Spiritwood Health Complex, but subject to change due to weather or illness. Laboratory collection and X-rays limited to chest and extremities are available from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (closed from 12 to 12:30 PM). Spiritwood Collaborative Emergency Care Centre is open Monday to Friday 8AM to 8PM and Saturday 8AM to 4:30PM with a physician or Nurse Practitioner, and Saturday 4:30 to 8PM and Sunday and statutory holidays 8AM to 8PM with a Registered Nurse only. There is no urgent / emergent care available in Spiritwood at night after 8PM.
The Parkland Integrated Health Centre at Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, with five physicians in Shellbrook, supported by two physicians from Spiritwood, providing 24-hour on-call coverage, is the nearest Emergency Room (ER) department to Spiritwood and is located (82km eastwards on Saskatchewan Highway Route #3).
Victoria Hospital (PAPHR Regional Health Centre) is located at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (125 km eastwards on Saskatchewan Highway Route #3).
Spiritwood Ambulance Care Ltd is a contracted agency serving Spiritwood and district and available 24-hours/day to transport local emergency patients to the nearest available hospital for treatment. This agency also provides training to PAPHR First Responders and offers a variety of classes in First Aid and CPR.