Visiting the Tunnels

FAQ

What does the word "tunnels" represent?
The term tunnels refers to passageways and corridors which interconnect basements, storage rooms, and hidden chambers.

Have these tunnels existed for many years?
It is generally believed that the original passageways ran from the CPR Train Station under Manitoba Street to the Maple Leaf Hotel (now Brewster's) and from there under Main Street to the CER Restaurant (Exchange Cafe, now Capone's). These passageways and others like them would have been built around the time these businesses were constructed which was in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

What were the original tunnels used for?
We believe the earliest use was as utility tunnels between buildings. The steam engineers who maintained the boilers constructed these access passageways so they would not have to exit one building to get to the next.

Are the tunnels that are used for the tours real?
Yes. As previously stated the "tunnels" represent basement rooms and interconnected utility corridors. Those you travel through are a combination of original and recently constructed spaces.

Was Al Capone ever really in Moose Jaw?
We have no proof to physically link Al Capone to Moose Jaw but we have been told stories by several people which would place him here in the late 1920's. These people claim they have seen him themselves or to have family members who saw him. They and their families are well known in the community and we have no reason to doubt their recollections. For personal stories see History.

Who was Walter Johnson?
Walter Johnson was the Chief of the Moose Jaw Police Force from 1905 - 1922. During that time he was considered to be corruptable and as a result amassed a small fortune before he retired.

Did the Chinese immigrants dig the tunnels?
As we have said, most of the tunnel structure would have been in place as basement rooms and access corridors for the steam engineers long before the major influx of Chinese to Moose Jaw. Some may have worked and lived in these spaces to avoid prosecution for illegal status or persecution because of race.

What happened to Kim Lee?
Kim Lee, as well as her greatgrandfather Mah Lee from the Passage to Fortune tour, is a fictional character. She represents second or third generation Canadians whose ancestors came to Canada from China. Her story and that of Mah Lee is typical of many such stories uncovered in our research.

How can I get more information about Chinese immigration?
Two excellent books, Chinese pioneers by Ching Ma and Gold Mountain by Anthony B. Chan are out of print but should be available in your local library. Chinese in Canada by Peter Li is available in our gift shop. Material for the Passage to Fortune tour was obtained primarily from these sources.

Do you provide parking?
**Vehicles with out-of-province license plates do not have to plug parking meters. They will be ticketed if parked illegally (handicapped, zone, fire lane, etc.)**

Can I take photographs on the tours?
No, you can't take pictures on our tours.

Do I have to reserve ahead?
We advise you to book your tour in advance to avoid disappointment. Each tour accomodates only 15 guests at once so space is limited. See Book a Tour.

Are you open year round?
Yes. Tunnels of Moose Jaw is open year round except Christmas Day. Some minor exceptions may apply during the winter season. See Business Hours.