Tiny Davin, Saskatchewan, a 'ghost town' no more

It turns out reports of the death of Davin, Saskatchewan have been greatly exaggerated.

Although census counted 0 residents, hamlet in fact has 49

A tiny hamlet east of Regina does not have zero residents, despite what the 2011 census says, Dean Gutheil reports. 1:48

It turns out reports of the death of Davin, Saskatchewan have been greatly exaggerated.

According to the 2006 census, the community located just off Highway 48, about 35 kilometres southeast of Regina, had 49 residents.

Davin is about 35 kilometres southeast of Regina, just off Highway 48. (Google Maps)

However, in the most recent census, in 2011, Davin had zero residents and was taken off the federal list of communities.

That came as a shock to residents like Tamara Perry.

They must have, you know... went by us. They blinked and missed.- Tamara Perry wonders how the census missed Davin

"How did we get the zero?" she asked. "They must have, you know... went by us. They blinked and missed."

Perry noted that Davin, with a makeshift post office, no bar and no gas station, isn't exactly a bustling metropolis. But it exists.

"We're not a ghost town, we just don't have anything," she said.

Infrastructure dollars at stake

A population of zero would have prevented Davin, one of many small communities in the Rural Municipality of Lajord, from getting about $5,000 in government money for infrastructure.

Tamara Perry says there's not a lot to see in Davin, but the hamlet is definitely not a ghost town. (CBC)

Lajord administrator Rod Heise got the surprising news in a letter from the province.

"The most recent census said that it was zero," he said. "John Wayne could have rode in there and he'd been right at home. It was a ghost town, yep."

In fact, Heise said, there were 49 people living there. It's not clear how the mistake occurred.

Insult to hamlet, MP says

It was an insult to the hamlet, said Ralph Goodale, the Liberal MP for the riding of Wascana, which includes Davin.

Goodale said he raised the matter in the Parliament in the spring, but the government sloughed him off.

However, he gave credit to the newly appointed industry minister, James Moore, for treating the matter seriously later in the year.

Goodale said he obtained a list of all the residents of Davin and submitted it to Moore in August.

Moore confirmed Wednesday that a mistake had been made, and it would be corrected, Goodale said.

That means the community will be eligible once again for infrastructure money.

Meanwhile, life goes on in Davin, and Perry says she'll do her part to keep the tiny town alive.

"Come and visit us in Davin," she told a CBC reporter who dropped by Thursday.

"We exist. Please come again."


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