The earliest builders constructed shelters literally from the soil beneath their feet. Sod houses, cut from the ground, provided immediate protection from the rain and cold of Saskatchewan. Later, other materials such as softwood, brick, and sandstone were used by untrained builders, craftsmen, and architects to reflect the newly arrived populations' background.
With the opening of the west in the early 20th century came a rush of building activity. The influence of the Canadian government, eastern Canadian based banks, religious orders, and railroad companies, all of whom wished to establish their presence in the newly created province, is still evident today in many of the province's centres. Yet, it is the simple form of the prairie grain elevator, a symbol of almost every town in Saskatchewan, that is perhaps the best-known image of the province's architectural heritage.
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