Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan

One of my dream places to visit in Canada I was able to tick off on my road trip during July 2015 was DOG RIVER, but in real life known as Rouleau which is in Saskatchewan, less than an hour’s drive south of Regina. Why Rouleau you are asking? Have you not heard of the place? Well, I tell you. It is home for the hit Canadian comedy television show, Corner Gas which I discovered back in 2011 on the internet. How? Well, there was another show called Hiccups (which was aired after Corner Gas) which stars Brent Butt and Nancy Robertson, so I Wikipedia them as one does and found out they both starred in Corner Gas with Brent also creating the show. After episode one and the famous surveillance bush scene I was hooked. By the time I discovered the show, it had finished filming after six seasons but back in 2014 I was to discover a movie had been shot and released.

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
Grain elevator in Rouleau with the television show location still painted on it ‘Dog River’

That was it, I needed to go to Rouleau and see if the area was flat, backwards and crazy like it is in the show (if you don’t know Saskatchewan, its very flat and has lots of fields), I booked my flights and planned a route around western Canada and managed to somehow get two days in the province (easy to draw but hard to spell, see a map!) with the highlight being Rouleau. Was I the only British fan to know of the show and actually come to the middle of nowhere to visit the set. Who knows but this blog is about my findings.

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
The gas station (and the car I rented…I loved that car!)

Driving along the road from Moose Jaw (another town nearby which is also mentioned in the show for having the world’s largest moose, so I had to check that out as well!), I noticed the area was flatter than anywhere else in Saskatchewan (how can that happen, I know, take away more trees!). I was driving down the road for a long time with no end in sight. There was no traffic, no wildlife to encounter (but locals claim there are moose in the area), and no trains huddling down the line beside the road.

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
But where are the gas pumps? I need gas!

Then there it was, the set used for the actual gas station and the Ruby restaurant. I always thought it was a real gas station. I pulled up the Ford Taurus I rented beside the pumps (I always wanted to do this) then walked around. I was quite disappointed it was a brick building with painted cardboard and wood nailed onto the outside. From a distance, no one could tell this, still, its Corner Gas and the producers etc from the show has left this for the tourists (and there isn’t many of them, am I the only one to visit today?). Brent claims that the gas station is the only one in 60km on the show, I found an Esso garage a few meters behind it with the sales attendant fast asleep on his stool outside soaking up the sun. (Since writing the blog, the set for the gas station and Ruby have been taken down due to the building sinking into the ground).

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
The Ruby

Across the road is the famous grain elevator which can be seen for miles, the one which Lacy got listed as an historic building in the show and no one could knock it down despite the fact that there were lots of rats living in there.

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
I love this photo. Sums up Saskatchewan for me.

I drove into Main Street to see so many buildings which were used in the show, ranging from the police station, the insurance brokers and the Howler newspaper. The food market however got burnt down in real life after the movie was filmed here but now is under construction to rebuild the building.

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
Main Street in Rouleau
Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
Found this mural on Main Street of the show
Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
The post office on Main Street
Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
The Dog River Howler – the local newspaper in the show
Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
Main Street – Rouleau

I took in the bar which is open and was used for filming. The Dog River bar and hotel has had a major refurbishment since filming inside and doesn’t look the same. However they sell good beers and postcards of the show. The barmaid was telling me information about the show and the building whilst a local got talking to me about Saskatchewan and life around here. I think I lasted about an hour in the bar talking about the area. It was a great insight and I can’t believe people don’t want to leave this place to live elsewhere where there is much more going on.

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
Dog River Hotel (and yes it is a hotel) which is also home to the bar in the show (and the bar is in use! Yes!)

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
The bar

Afterwards I took a walk around the town and checked out Emily and Oscar’s house on the outskirts, the ice rink and the water tower which got vandalised on the show.

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
Emma and Leroy’s house in the show
Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan
Ice Hockey rink which was used in the show

Rouleau is such a charming place, if it was for the television show, then the local people would be having a much quieter life if it wasn’t for the one or two tourists like ourselves passing by every day. There is really not much to do here but if you are a fan of the show like me, then each building seen on the main streets will look very familiar to you. I still introduce the show now to friends back home, it may not have the British wit but it has a different type of comedy, one which slowly builds up to a joke. Some of the jokes are fantastic. Brent Butt has truly created a fantastic show and knows how to get a lot of Saskatchewan jokes into the script. Corner Gas will always remain one of my top shows ever and I was so glad I came out to the middle of Canada to see the place.

Corner Gas, TV show from Saskatchewan

Before I sign off this blog, this one of my favourite scripts ever from Corner Gas and was used at the very beginning of the first ever episode.

Brent: Want me to fill it up? (whilst standing at the gas pumps as a car has pulled up and a man winds down the window to reply to Brent’s answer).
Man: Sure. You know I’ve never driven across Saskatchewan before.
Brent: Well, you still haven’t really. About halfway to go yet.
Man: Sure is flat.
Brent: How do you mean?
Man: You know, flat. Nothing to see.
Brent: What do you mean, like topographically? Hey Hank (Brent’s friend who is an unemployed man in his 20’s who hangs out at the gas station), this guy says Saskatchewan is flat.
Hank: How do you mean?
Brent: Topographically, I guess. He says there’s nothin’ to see.
Hank: There’s lots to see. There’s nothin’ to block your view.
Brent: There’s lots to see. Nothin’ to block your view. Like the mountains back there. They’re uh… Well, what the hell? I could’ve sworn there was a big mountain range back there. Juttin’ up into the sky all purple and majestic. I must be thinkin’ of a postcard I saw or somethin’. Hey, it is kinda flat, thanks for pointin’ that out.
Man: You guys always this sarcastic?
Brent: Nothin’ else to do.

Away from Rouleau, I drove a lot of hours around Saskatchewan (mainly on the Trans-Canada-Highway-1) and here is some of the beautiful landscape and sights which I took in which includes the world’s largest moose in Moose Jaw (which is currently fighting it out with a town in Norway for the world’s largest moose!).

Views of Saskatchewan from the car

Views of Saskatchewan from the car

Views of Saskatchewan from the car
Found this whilst driving pass Medicine Hat (which is in Alberta on the road between Regina and Calgary)
Views of Saskatchewan from the car
Had to stop here, in my ‘real’ job in the UK, one of the railroad depots on my line is based in Aylesbury and have many friends there in Buckinghamshire.
Views of Saskatchewan from the car
Maidstone, another place I had to stop, because of my family coming from this area in Kent, UK. This is north of Regina.
Views of Saskatchewan from the car
Moose Jaw and the world’s largest Moose. Had to stop here as I love Moose
Views of Saskatchewan from the car
Typical view of driving around Saskatchewan
Views of Saskatchewan from the car
Thinking when will the view change??
Views of Saskatchewan from the car
When will it end? When will I see mountains or at least a hill?

Wanna explore Canada with me? Check out my Canadian travel blogs here

Views of Saskatchewan from the car Views of Saskatchewan from the car Views of Saskatchewan from the car


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