Land Surveys: History

Land Surveys began in Saskatchewan with the Dominion Land Survey System, which started in 1871. This survey system was based on the method used by the United States to allocate lands in the western part of the country after the American Revolution. The system divided land into townships that were six square miles each in terms of surface area. All land was surveyed - not just agricultural land.

Saskatchewan started to be surveyed in 1871 with the First System of Survey. The Second System of Survey was done in 1880 with the intent of making all quarters surveyed up to that point roughly the same size. The Third System of Survey began in 1881 and is still in use today. This Third System was actually modified in 1919 - 1920 to benefit veterans of the First World War, who were allocated an additional 80 acres adjoining their quarter sections, held in reserve until they developed their home quarters.

Early surveyors in Saskatchewan compiled their information from these surveys into Field Books, documents that show what markings were made by the surveyors, detailing structures, water bodies, roads and other features on the land that was surveyed.

Find out more about land surveying in Saskatchewan, by visiting the following pages:  
Tools & Measurements
Field Books
Measuring Land in Saskatchewan
Survey Monuments