Cris Moresca is a hobbyist photographer based out of Avonlea, Saskatchewan. She enjoys traveling through rural areas in the province and capturing the beauty hidden in the smallest corners of our communities, then researching the rich stories behind her subjects. While visiting Weyburn for her children's recent hockey games, Moresca discovered some of the striking and unique historical buildings that distinguish our landscape and became enamored with the history that our city holds. She said that after a brief tour of Weyburn, she knew she would have to make a trip back to see more.

"During our first visit we went to the Royal Hotel and I was astonished with the structure, the interior, everything," she exalted. "My boyfriend and I drove around some more and I said that I'm going back, I'll take pictures of everything."

That is exactly what she did. Moresca found herself in Weyburn for sports once again and while her kids were waiting for their games, she took the opportunity to search for more buildings of interest.

"The first thing I saw is the Knox Presbyterian Church and I was blown away. It was Sunday morning while we're driving around, and I heard a bell ringing," she recounted. "For 10 minutes I stood in front of it, just listening to the bell, and yeah, that fascinated me."

The surly steeple and impressive stained glass of the church has certainly captured the attention of many pedestrians in its lifetime, but other, more quaint structures such as the old City Hall received equal admiration in the eyes of Moresca. So, why does she hold such passion for structures that we might regard as 'dusty' and 'old'? Moresca suggests that it's because historical buildings are such a rare sight in her home country. 

"I grew up from a poor area in the Philippines, far from the cities," she said. "You can only see historical places if you drive, like, 24 hours. There's not much, and it's not really from our culture. If there is one building that's 100 years old, it's from the Spanish colonization. It's not like here in Saskatchewan, where one town will have 10 buildings from when they first settled. In the Philippines you will need to travel through planes to another island to see those beauties."

Moresca first discovered the wealth of history hidden around Saskatchewan when she moved to the province about 5 years ago. She and her boyfriend would search on Google Maps for old railways, then follow them to see what sort of abandoned treasures they could find. These journeys inspired Cris to document the discoveries with the first camera she could get her hands on, purchased used from Facebook Marketplace. Since then, her ability to preserve a beautiful building and share it with others has motivated her to continue exploring new places. She feels that taking the time to notice the history that surrounds us is important because without recognition, these places and their stories could vanish. 

"Try to appreciate what you have there, and be grateful," she advised. "When you're grateful for something, you'll hold on to it, you'll treasure it, and you'll try to save it. There are so many opportunities to explore in Saskatchewan because there is history everywhere you look, and every day there is beauty."

Moresca was uncertain of exactly where her next adventure would take place, but she did confirm that another trip to Weyburn is on her list of priorities. She seemed to have some unfinished business with Tommy Douglas to attend to. 

"I will surely be back to visit the Tommy Douglas Performing Arts Centre," she affirmed. "To be honest, I didn't know about Tommy Douglas until I researched him and learned about his contributions to the country, so I would like to visit the building that was dedicated to him and learn more about him."

Moresca's passionate retelling of her brief visits to Weyburn are a testament to the unique cityscape that we may sometimes take for granted. The next time you find yourself strolling past the Eaglesham residence, or you happen to catch a glimpse of the Signal Hill Water Tower, pause and marvel at the fact that these structures can be found nowhere else in the world, and remember that the history they represent is the very culture that defines our community. 

Please enjoy the gallery of photos below and explore Click and Go on Facebook for more of Moresca's work.