History Corner - Postcards as a business medium in times of colonization

The first image above is an architect’s drawing of the proposed Yorkton Collegiate. The second is a photo of the Yorkton Collegiate likely taken in the 1920s. When architects were asked to design plans for a building they would hire an artist to make a drawing based on building plans they had prepared. The artist’s image would then be produced on a postcard which along with the building blue prints were examined by the builder and contractor. In this case, if we compare more closely the two images, we see that only minor changes to the original plan were made. The architect of this building was Walter William La Chance of Saskatoon. He came West from Ontario in 1905, during the building boom of settlement days. La Chance opened an office in Regina. The next year, he had established his main office in Saskatoon, with a branch in Prince Albert. A couple years later, he opened offices in North Battleford and in Yorkton. The Yorkton Collegiate Institute located on Darlington Street and First Avenue North (the school land included a stretch of Betts Avenue) was opened on December 20, 1911. In settlement days, and for years to come, the postcard was a very popular medium. It was great for those who were not inclined to letter writing. It was also used to advertise businesses and events. Today, architects use CAD software to make their drawings.

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Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince,
Heritage Researcher,
City of Yorkton Archives,
Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3

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