Aerial Videography - Dankin Saskatchewan Grain Elevator

I recently was out exploring southwestern Saskatchewan, in the hopes of capturing some interesting aerial video footage with my DJI Mavic 2 Pro, when a strange-looking grain elevator on the horizon caught my attention. Even from several miles away, I could tell something just wasn’t quite right about it. I had seen some photographs of a failing grain elevator in Saskatchewan on Instagram recently, but I hadn’t noted the location and wasn’t 100% sure if this was “the one”. 

Sure enough, as I approached, I could see clearly that the head house of this historic wooden elevator at the ghost town of Dankin had been twisted and sheared by wind. It made for a perfect opportunity to spend some time and capture both still photography and aerial video with my drone, something I’ve really enjoyed doing for both my Saskatchewan commercial photography clients and personal projects lately. 

This old elevator seems ready to collapse at any moment, but thankfully it held strong while I was there. These wooden relics of a time gone by are slowly fading into history across all of Canada’s prairie provinces, so it seemed like a special moment to document this one grain elevator as it began its slow and inevitable collapse.

With the industrialization that has taken place with farming over the past decades, old wooden grain elevators like this just don’t deliver the economies of scale that are now required to be economically viable. There may be a few holdouts still doing their duty, but for the most part they have been replaced by massive concrete elevators and inland terminals with significantly more capacity. 

While there is a certain romance for the ‘good old days’ with these wooden grain elevators, the costs associated with preserving or restoring them are prohibitive so most will slowly decay into the earth - or get demolished (itself a rather expensive proposition). Either way, I’m glad I was able to stop and spend some time with this one while it still stands.

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