3.3517292126441 (1359)
Posted by sonny 04/11/2009 @ 02:10

Tags : saskatoon, saskatchewan, counties, canada, world

News headlines
Officials blame computer glitch for restaurant inspection problems -
The same lack of follow-up was also uncovered in the Saskatoon Health Region's restaurant reports. In one case, an inspector cited issues related to food preparation, refrigeration and insect or rodent control. However, instead of returning for a...
Football all-stars huddle in Saskatoon - StarPhoenix
"We discussed whether or not we would continue to be a part of this," said Barry Radcliffe, chair of the host committee for the 2009 event in Saskatoon. "Our thought was let's take the longer view: What's good for our participants and what's good for...
Classes out at Saskatoon school damaged by fire and water -
The St. Mary Community School is one of the oldest schools in Saskatoon. (Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools) An inner-city Catholic school in Saskatoon has suspended classes until after the long weekend following a suspicious fire on Wednesday night....
Saskatoon taxi drivers protest work conditions - Calgary Herald
SASKATOON — A large and vocal group of local taxi drivers gathered to protest their work conditions Wednesday night. Around 70 cab drivers reportedly gathered at the Western Carpet One parking lot around 8 pm, many with signs adorning their windows...
Saskatoon worker avoids serious injury after touching live wire -
(Emily Elias/CBC) A worker with City of Saskatoon Light and Power is recovering after touching a live wire on Thursday afternoon. The man was in a bucket on a hoist, about six metres in the air, when he touched the wire. The worker was stunned,...
Saskatoon Restaurant Owner Worried About Health Inspection Website - 980 CJME News Talk Radio
At least one Saskatoon business owner is worried the new health inspection website may be giving customers the wrong idea. "The Ivy Dining and Lounge" was last inspected in November and a few violations were noted, including an "insect/rodent"...
Power Outages South and East of Saskatoon - 980 CJME News Talk Radio
Larry Christie, a spokesman for SaskPower, says a substation in Saskatoon that provides power to the Aberdeen, and Dundurn areas is malfunctioning, and power needs be re-routed. They're not sure how long that will take. The SaskPower outage line...
Stem cell doctor resigns - StarPhoenix
By Lana Haight, The StarPhoenixMay 16, 2009 The Saskatoon transplant hematologist who has been on holidays for almost three months is now out of a job. "Dr. (Michael) Voralia has tendered his resignation. We received his resignation today," said Ivan...
New home prices drop in March - The Canadian Press
Prices also declined in St. CatharinesNiagara (by 0.9 per cent), Saskatoon (0.7), Charlottetown (0.4), Toronto (0.3) and Hamilton (0.2). In St. John's, NL, new housing prices increased by 0.4 per cent compared with February, followed by Montreal (up...
Willie Desjardins in charge of getting world junior gold No. 6 for ... - The Canadian Press
Canada will attempt to win a record sixth straight gold medal at the 2010 world junior hockey championships, which will be held Saskatoon and Regina starting Dec. 26. Desjardins won't be able to escape the "six in a row" mantra, even at home....


Saskatoon skyline at night

Saskatoon is a city located in central Saskatchewan, Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River, with a census population of 202,340. Saskatoon is the most populous city in the province of Saskatchewan, and has been since the mid-1980s when it surpassed the provincial capital of Regina. Residents of Saskatoon are called Saskatonians.

Saskatoon is known as "Bridge City" for its seven river crossings. The name comes from the Cree inanimate noun "misâskwatôminihk," which refers to the sweet, violet-coloured berry that grows in the area.

In 1882, the Toronto-based Temperance Colonization Society was granted 21 sections of land straddling the South Saskatchewan River, between what is now Warman and Dundurn. The aim of the group was to escape the liquor trade in that city and set up a "dry" community in the Prairie region. The following year settlers, led by John Lake, arrived on the site of what is now Saskatoon and established the first permanent settlement. The settlers travelled by railway from Ontario to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and then completed the final leg via horse-drawn cart as the railway had yet to be completed to Saskatoon.

In 1885 the Northwest Rebellion affected the tiny community in a variety of ways. Chief Whitecap and Charles Trottier passed through the present day University campus on their way to join Louis Riel's armed forces at Batoche, Saskatchewan. Following the fighting at the Battle of Fish Creek, and the Battle of Batoche, wounded Canadian soldiers convalesced at the Marr Residence which is today a historic site. A few died in care and were buried in the Pioneer Cemetery near the Exhibition Grounds.

A town charter for the west side of the river was obtained in 1903 (Nutana became a village in that year). In 1906 Saskatoon became a city with a population of 4,500, which included the communities of Saskatoon, Riversdale, and Nutana. In 1955 Montgomery Place and in 1956 the neighbouring town of Sutherland were annexed by the fast growing City of Saskatoon.

The 2006 census listed Saskatoon as the largest city of Saskatchewan with a residential population of 202,340, which grew 2.8 per cent from 2001. A study released in July 2008 found that Saskatoon's population fell by about 2,000 people during the previous sixteen months, as more people move out of the city proper and into "bedroom communities". At the end of 2008, the City of Saskatoon claimed a population of 209,400.

According to the 2006 census, 17.7 per cent of the population consists of youths under the age of 15, while those over 65 constitute only 13 per cent of the population. The median age of Saskatoon residents is 35.5 years of age, four years younger than Canada as a whole.

The above land area figure was provided by the City of Saskatoon in January 2006 and takes into account recent annexations.

In terms of race, according to the 2001 census, 190,120 or 85.39% of the city's population were white Canadians, 19,900 or 8.93% were Aboriginals, with less than five percent belonging to other visible minorities such as Han Chinese, South Asians, etc. combined.

Some 78.5% of Saskatoon's inhabitants profess to be Christian, mostly Protestant and Roman Catholic. Another 19.6% of Saskatoon's inhabitants do not profess a religious faith at all. Minority faiths include Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam.

The Saskatoon area was inhabited long before any permanent settlement was established, to which the ongoing archæological work at Wanuskewin Heritage Park and other locations bears witness. Canada's First Nations population has been increasingly urbanized, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Saskatoon, where the First Nations population increased by 382% from 1981 to 2001; however, a portion of this increase, possibly as much as half, is believed to be due to more people identifying themselves as Aboriginal in the census rather than migration or birth rate. Saskatoon has a higher percentage of First Nations population than any other major Canadian city at nearly 9%, although Winnipeg and Regina both exceed 8%; in certain neighbourhoods such as Pleasant Hill, this percentage exceeds 40%.

The year 2008 saw growth in residential and non-residential construction in the city and surrounding areas, which drove gains in many other sectors, including the wholesale and retail trade sector, as well as the financial, insurance and real estate sectors. Rising commodity prices also contributed to increases in the GDP for the agriculture, mining, oil and gas, and utilities sector, though beginning in the summer of 2008, falling commodity prices have hit Saskatoon's economy hard, with lay offs in the thousands.

Over 1000 new commercial or home-based businesses set up shop in Saskatoon in 2008, along with numerous expansions of existing companies. Over $900 Million was invested in residential and non-residential buildings in the past year, and nearly $2 Billion has been invested since 2006. There were also a substantial increase in housing starts over the past two years (2,319 in 2008, 2,380 in 2007) which is well above the average of 1,500 though this construction and empty speculation properties has resulted in an excess supply and accompanying drop in sales.

Population Growth & cost of living: In 2006-2007 Saskatoon has increased growth due to the influx of inter-provincial migrants, who were drawn to the previously low cost of living in the region. This has caused housing starts to hit their highest level in over 30 years as of February 2008. Saskatoon's overall economic output was predicted to have increased by 4.7% in 2007 and real estate costs have risen about 50% in 2007 alone, decreasing the previous cost of living advantage.

A recent study found that from January 2007 to July 2008 Saskatoon's population has actually shrunk by 2,000 residents. This would in part explain the increasing inventory of available housing, despite a major drop in housing starts. The consulting company "Generation 5" which predicted that Saskatoon had lost over 2,000 residents, partially based on a substantial increase in vacant houses, and houses for sale, was promptly fired by the City of Saskatoon.

The rising house costs have caused great strain to lower income families who can no longer afford the higher living costs. Many renters have been forced out of their place of residence due to recent condo conversions and rental vacancy rates have dropped to 0.6% as of October 2007.

The housing boom in Saskatoon has cooled, with inventory up 4 times year over year, and sales down more than 30%, still housing in Saskatoon is among Canada's most expensive, with an average house taking 4.6 years of income to purchase. This compares to only 4.2 years in Edmonton, 3.5 years in Regina, 3.4 years in Ottawa and a scant 3.0 years in Winnipeg, and also moves Saskatoon housing into the "seriously unaffordable" category. However, Saskatoon's housing market has significantly cooled in recent months (from May 2008) as global economic conditions deteriorate, relieving some of the previous housing strain. House prices have dropped 9.2% after hitting the peak in June 2008 to currently Feb 2009 (was down 14.1% from June 2008 to December 2008) and sales have plummeted by 34%, ending a year long boom in the housing market.

Saskatoon has an agricultural biotechnology research base. Some of this research takes place at Innovation Place Research Park and the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). The U of S hosts the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) that conducts infectious diseases research to develop infectious diseases controls for humans and animals.

The University of Saskatchewan is also home to the Saskatchewan Isotope Laboratory, which studies environmental and climate change around the world. These studies provide secular records of environmental change that are critical to developing more accurate models of future environmental and climate variability that will dictate the economic well-being of the Prairie Provinces over the coming decades.

The U of S campus is the major employer in the city. As well, the campus is home to the Canadian Light Source, which is the largest scientific project completed in Canada in over 50 years. The 179 million dollar project resulted in a national synchrotron radiation facility that is used for a wide range of world-class scientific research.

The world's largest publicly traded uranium company, Cameco, and the world's largest potash producer, PotashCorp, have corporate headquarters in Saskatoon. Nearly two-thirds of the world's recoverable potash reserves are located in the Saskatoon region. Uranium plays an important role in Saskatoon's economy, with the city also hosting AREVA NC Canadian headquarters (a subsidiary of France-based AREVA). Many medium-sized mining companies also have their head office or regional offices in Saskatoon, such as Shore Gold, Denison Mines, Great West Exploration, and Claude Resources. Recently, lay offs in Saskatoon area Potash have neared 2,000 to add to hundreds each lay offs in oil and gas, uranium and gold/diamonds.

Recently it had been hoped Saskatoon could be a northern hub for oil and gas exploration, but oil leading the recent commodity crash has made Saskatchewan's northern oil reserves not economically feasible, due to remote location, low quality and technical difficulty in extracting. Unless oil prices rebound significantly, the province's oil industry is likely in for a prolonged slow down.

Food processing is an important industry in Saskatoon. The city is the headquarters of Mitchell's Gourmet Foods, formerly known as Intercontinental Packers, which produces the Olympic Fine Meats line of products and is one of Canada's largest meat processors, employing more than 1,400 people. However, in late 2006, Maple Leaf Foods, owners of Mitchell's, announced it would be closing down its major plant in Saskatoon resulting in the loss of approximately 450 local jobs, along with an additional 350 jobs that were expected to be created by the construction of a new Mitchell's "kill plant" in the city's north end. Maple Leaf still operates a large sausage factory and is constructing a major distribution centre in the Marquis Industrial Area. Flour milling was always a traditional industry in Saskatoon and the two large mills stand high and prominent on Saskatoon's skyline. The mills were at one time run by Quaker Oats and Robin Hood, but processing here now takes place under the companies of Horizon Milling GP and Dover Mills. At one time Saskatoon was a notable beer brewing city with both Labatt's and Carling O'Keefe having breweries in the city, but both companies are now gone from the city. Great Western Brewing Company makes its products at the old Carling O'Keefe plant. Cargill Canada operates a canola seed crushing facility just east of the city.

Saskatoon is home to several manufacturing companies such as Hitachi Canadian Industries, a large CNH Global (Case New Holland) factory, Cover-All Building Systems, Siemens Laserworks Inc, Akzo Nobel, and Centennial Foods, as well as several companies in the Information Technology and telecom fields. Robin Hood flour is milled in Saskatoon. Design and printing of tickets for companies such as Air Canada, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, the NBA, the NFL, and concerts (Ticketmaster) is done in Saskatoon by Mercury Graphics.

SED Systems, Vecima Networks, Solido Design Automation, Saskatchewan Research Council, AMEC North America, Bayer Crop Science, Becker Underwood, and General Electric Healthcare all have a significant presence in Saskatoon, most located at Innovation Place. Saskatoon also hosts a Marriott International call centre which opened in 2005. First Nations Bank of Canada and Federated Co-operatives Limited executive offices are located in Saskatoon. In March 2008, Hatch Ltd announced it would open an office in Saskatoon employing 200 people. Many of the technology companies are located in Innovation Place Research Park.

In terms of commercial development, Saskatoon was slow in embracing the big-box store format that replaced the traditional shopping mall in the mid-to-late 1990s, with the city's first true "power centre" not opening until the early 2000s. One of the city's main commercial districts, 8th Street East, experienced an influx of new businesses in the early 2000s after a number of automobile dealerships relocated to a new "auto mall" on the city's south side, leaving large vacancies along 8th Street. The opening of the city's first power centre, Preston Crossing, in 2002–2003 saw several major retailers such as Wal-Mart Canada and Canadian Tire leave their original shopping mall locations in favour of the new site, requiring the malls to scramble to find replacement tenants.

Construction of a second power centre on the city's south side is under way. The development of these larger centres has led to something of a decrease in services in the downtown areas, with the few grocery stores in that region going out of business or closing their doors in favour of the larger stores in the peripheral regions of the city.

However, both these "power centers" are quite small, and combined still trail Regina's Victoria Avenue East as Saskatchewan's dominant commercial hub.

The downtown core is seeing increased development with projects such as River Landing, lofts and entertainment going ahead . Located in the downtown core, Midtown Plaza is the largest shopping centre in the city with Sears Canada and The Bay as anchors. The city is also home to Market Mall and The Centre on the east side, Confederation Mall on the west side and The Mall at Lawson Heights in the north end.

Saskatoon is the home of Canada's first urban reserve, or Indian reserve created within existing city limits. (Other reserves had been absorbed into adjacent cities before this.) As part of the land claim process that was started in the 1950s and finalised in the 1992 Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement, the Muskeg Lake First Nation claimed a vacant 33-acre (130,000 m2) tract east of the Sutherland Industrial neighbourhood in 1984; the area was Crown land that had been intended for a correctional facility but never used. Following negotiations between the band, the City of Saskatoon, and the federal government, the area was designated as an Indian Reserve in 1988.

The City and the band formed an Urban Reserve Partnership, where the land is managed by the band but serviced by the City. The reserve is known as the McKnight Commercial Centre and is completely integrated into the neighbouring industrial area. It includes three buildings, with more than 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of floor space, that house over 40 businesses employing over 300 people, and further expansion due in 2007–2008. Instead of the businesses paying municipal taxes to the City, the band collects these taxes (which by agreement are the same as they would be anywhere else in the City) as well as the sales taxes; the band then pays the City a "fee for municipal services", which equals the amount of the municipal taxes, and remits the sales taxes to their respective governments. In return, the City built all the infrastructure needed to develop and service the land, including additional road access, and provides all services, including snow removal, policing, and utilities. This ensures that on-reserve businesses do not receive a tax advantage, although their Status Indian employees benefit because on-reserve income is non-taxable. (Status Indians are also exempt from paying sales taxes on a reserve.) The reserve includes a mixture of Aboriginal- and non-Aboriginal-owned businesses.

Following the success of the Muskeg Lake urban reserve, and following the same model, 28 more urban reserves have been created in Saskatchewan, including three each in Prince Albert, Yorkton and Fort Qu'Appelle.

The Sounding Sky urban reserve is the second urban reserve in Saskatoon. Owned by the One Arrow First Nation, it houses the Fire Creek gas station and confectionery at 20th Street and Avenue P. This land was declared an urban reserve in November 2005 and developed in 2006, replacing a small strip mall. There are three more parcels of land in Saskatoon that are owned by First Nations and expected to receive urban reserve status: Canterbury Towers (owned by the Yellow Quill First Nation) and Avord Towers (owned by The Battlefords Tribal Council), both office towers in the Central Business District; and an office complex in the Airport Business Area owned by the English River First Nation.

The city receives its power from the main SaskPower power grid. Within the original 1958 boundaries of the city power is distributed by Saskatoon Light & Power while in the remainder of the system power distribution is handled by SaskPower. The city's nearest power generation plant is located on Saskatoon's southwestern outskirts on Spadina Crescent (south of the city dump entrance on Power Road). The station was built in the 1950s and named after Queen Elizabeth II in 1959. This is a natural gas fired station to meet peak demand. SaskPower base load facilities are primarily hydro electric and coal fired.

Saskatoon is in a dry-prairie/savanna biome and experiences warm summers and very cold winters. The city has four distinct seasons. Average temperatures range from -17°C in January to 18.2°C in July. Saskatoon is fairly dry; the average annual precipitation is 347.2 mm (13.7in), with the summer being the wettest season. A positive aspect of the low precipitation is that Saskatoon is sunnier than average in Canada as a result, averaging 2,328 hours of bright sunshine annually. The extreme temperatures are also more tolerable on account of the typically low humidity. The same can be said for the summer months as there are usually only a few hot days over 30°C each summer, and most summer days are quite mild in comparison to the rest of populated North America.

Thunderstorms are common in the summer months and can be severe with torrential rain, hail, high winds, intense lightning and occasional tornadic activity. The frost-free growing season generally lasts from mid-May to mid-September, but due to Saskatoon's northerly location, damaging frosts have occurred well into June and again as early as August.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Saskatoon was -50°C in 1893. The lowest wind chill ever recorded was -60.9. The highest temperature ever recorded in Saskatoon was 40.6°C on 5 June 1988.

The "Blizzard of 2007" was described by many residents as the worst they had seen and paralyzed the city with its low visibility, extreme cold and large volume of snow. Winds rose to over 90 kilometres per hour and an estimated 25 centimetres of snow fell throughout the day. Many area residents took refuge overnight at area work places, shopping centres, hospitals and the university.

Saskatoon lies on a long belt of rich, potassic chernozem in middle-southern Saskatchewan and is found in the Aspen parkland biome. The lack of surrounding mountainous topography gives the city a relatively flat grid, though the city does sprawl over a few hills and into a few valleys. The lowest point in the city is the river, while the highest point is disputed between the suburb of Sutherland in the east side and the Silverwood-River Heights areas in the city's north end. Saskatoon, on a cross-section from west to east, has a general decline in elevation above sea level heading towards the river, and on the east bank of the river, the terrain is mostly level until outside the city, where it begins to decrease in elevation again.

Saskatoon is divided into east and west sides by the South Saskatchewan River. It is then divided into Suburban Development Areas (SDA) which are composed of neighbourhoods.

Historically, Saskatoon has had a high crime rate. The 2006 census crime data, released July 18, 2007, showed Saskatoon leading Canada in violent crime, with 1,606 violent crimes per 100,000 residents annually. Saskatoon leads the country in sexual assaults as well. Using this data, a March 5, 2009 Maclean's article labelled Saskatoon Canada's "Most Dangerous City" due to its current high per capita crime rate.

However, crime statistics produced by the Saskatoon Police Service shows that crime is on the decline. Saskatoon saw a 71% drop in murders last year (a total of 2, compared to 7 in 2007). In 2008 total crimes against people fell 8.06% and total crimes again property fell by 8.22%. Although a recent increase in crimes involving firearms, and increasingly powerful first nations gangs are both challenges Saskatoon must overcome if it wishes to shed its "Violent Crime Capital of Canada" label.

One of the city's landmarks is the Delta Bessborough Hotel, known to locals as the Bezz. Built by the Canadian National Railway, it was among the last railway hotels to be started before the Great Depression of the 1930s brought their era to a close. Although the building was completed in 1932, it did not open its doors until 1935 due to the Depression. The Bessborough and the Mendel Art Gallery are currently the only major structures located on the river side of Spadina Crescent. One of the most frequently-circulated photographs depicting Saskatoon is of the hotel framed in one of the arches of the Broadway Bridge.

The Meewasin Valley Trail follows the South Saskatchewan River through Saskatoon. Summer activities include cycling, jogging and walking through parks and natural areas. Cross-country skiing is popular during the winter months, along with skating in Kiwanis Memorial Park. Access points are found throughout the city with interpretive signage and washrooms located along the route. There are parks throughout the Meewasin Valley, with washrooms, picnic facilities, and lookout points along the river bank.

In the winter the Meewasin Skating Rink is open free to the public; it is located in Kiwanis Memorial Park beside the Delta Bessborough hotel. The outdoor rink has been open since 1980.

The city is currently redeveloping the south downtown region of River Landing which previously included the Saskatoon Arena, Riverview Collegiate (also headquarters of the Saskatoon Board of Education) and the city's main branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. This redevelopment will result in the development of a Hotel/Spa in the south-west downtown core, new theater complex, similar to the existing Galaxy in Regina, with twelve theatres with stadium-style seating owned by Cineplex Entertainment which opened in the Summer of 2006, parkland, a new facility for Persephone Theatre (currently located outside the downtown core), and a year round home for the Saskatoon Farmers Market. It is hoped this will open up the downtown area to 20 th street, which has struggled with high crime and image problems in gaining acceptance as part of downtown's commercial district.

Saskatoon is located on the Yellowhead Highway spur of the Trans-Canada Highway system, also known as Highway 16, which connects Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. Highways 5, 7, 11, 12, 14, 219, 684, and 762 all meet at Saskatoon, with highways 60 and 41 terminating just west and east of the city limits, respectively.

Construction of Saskatoon's ring road, Circle Drive, began in the mid-1960s, and is yet to be completed as of 2008. One of the missing links is in the southwest; on June 20, 2008, the mayor announced that funding for the $300 million project from the federal, provincial and city governments is now in place to build a six-lane bridge and 7 km of freeway to complete the south portion of the road. The project is expected to be completed in 2012.

The Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway have connections to Saskatoon. Saskatoon is a stop on The Canadian passenger transcontinental rail route operated by VIA Rail. The Saskatoon railway station is located in the west end of the city; it was opened in the late 1960s as a replacement for Saskatoon's original main station which was located on 1st Avenue downtown -- the relocation of the station sparked a major redevelopment of the downtown that included the construction of the Midtown Plaza, TCU Place (aka Centennial Auditorium) and other developments. The many provincial transportation connections and geographic location of Saskatoon give it one of its nicknames The Hub City. The Saskatchewan Railway Museum is located just outside the city. Recent debates about moving all the railways out of the city are raising questions about a future LRT system, but the city's Mayor says the population is too small.

Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International Airport provides scheduled and charter airline service for the city, and is a significant hub for mining and remote locations in Northern Saskatchewan. Non-stop scheduled destinations include Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa/Montreal, Minneapolis, Denver and Las Vegas. Seasonal and Charter service is provided to Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Churchill, MB. Air Canada, Westjet and Purolator Courier all have cargo facilities at the airport. Saskatoon/Corman Air Park is a general aviation airport located 15 km south-east of Saskatoon.

Transit services in Saskatoon are provided by Saskatoon Transit. The route system was revamped on July 2, 2006, creating increased access to most parts of the city.

Saskatoon has 78 elementary schools and 14 high schools (with three more under construction), serving about 37,000 students. Saskatoon has two school boards, The Saskatoon Public School Division and the Saskatoon Catholic School Division.

The western annexation of what is now called the Blairmore SDA also brought the Yarrow Youth Farm within the city limits; operated by the Province of Saskatchewan, this is a correction facility for at-risk youth. The City's current Projected Growth Map indicates that the farm is expected to be incorporated within planned development of the region.

The Mendel Art Gallery is situated on the bank of the South Saskatchewan River. Its permanent collection exceeds 5,000 works of art. In 2005, it began a major renovation project that will expand the size of the gallery by seventy per cent. In September 2005, however, the City of Saskatoon announced that it had entered discussions with the Mendel to the end of having the Mendel abandon its renovation/expansion project in favor of instead relocating the facility to a new arts and culture centre that is planned for the south downtown area; the Mendel has reportedly rejected this suggestion.

The Ukrainian Museum of Canada is also located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. The foremost attraction for Ukrainian culture in Saskatoon, it houses various artifacts such as textiles, tools, musical instruments and clothing, and displays them for public viewing. It has branches in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto.

The Meewasin Valley Centre, in Friendship Park, has information on Saskatoon's history, the South Saskatchewan River, and the future of the Meewasin Valley.

Saskatoon is also home of the Saskatchewan Western Development Museum. This museum, one of four throughout the province, documents early pioneer life in Saskatchewan. It is noted for its interior recreation of a "Boom Town" main street, including one original building relocated from its original site. The Saskatchewan Railway Museum is located just outside the city and includes displays of rolling stock and historic railway buildings from various parts of the province.

The Forestry Farm Park and Zoo is a National Historic Site situated in the north east region of the city. The Forestry Farm was a historic nursery (dating from 1913) responsible for growing many of the trees planted within the prairie provinces. In 1966 the nursery operations were discontinued and part of the region turned into a municipal park. The city zoo is also housed within the park and features over 80 species of animals.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a National Historic Site situated five km to the north of Saskatoon. It is an Aboriginal archaeological site and features displays, special events, and activities, recent renovations are on hold due to a lack of funds during the renovations.

Saskatoon's major arts venue is TCU Place, which is located adjacent to Midtown Plaza downtown. Since opening in 1967, it has hosted scores of concerts, theatrical performances, live events such as the Telemiracle telethon, high school graduation and university convocation ceremonies, and conventions. It is also home to the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. It recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to its main theatre (named in honor of former mayor and senator Sidney Buckwold).

For rock concerts and major shows, Credit Union Centre is the main venue. It is Saskatchewan's largest arena, with a capacity of 11,300 for sporting events and 14,000 for concerts. Musical acts from Saskatoon include Wide Mouth Mason and The Northern Pikes.

Saskatoon hosts many festivals and events in the summer, including the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival, the Jazz Festival, the Saskatchewan Children's Festival, the Saskatoon Fringe Theatre Festival (a showcase of alternative theatre), FolkFest (a cultural festival), and the Canada Remembers Airshow.

For over 25 years, Saskatoon has hosted a gathering of antique automobiles, (mainly from the 1960s) that has grown into an event called "Cruise Weekend". The event is usually held on the last weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in August. Activities include a poker derby, dances, and a show 'N' shine with over 800 cars from all over western Canada. No admission is charged and everyone is free to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere.

The city's annual exhibition (now called the Saskatoon Exhibition but also known in previous years as Pioneer Days and "The Ex") is held every August at Prairieland Park. In the late 1990s, the Saskatoon Exhibition was rescheduled to August so that it no longer was in direct competition with the Calgary Stampede, which frequently overlapped the event.

Saskatoon was the 2007 host city for the Juno Awards, Canada's foremost music industry honours.

Saskatoon was the 2008 host city for the Warped Tour.

Live theatre is a central, vibrant part of Saskatoon's culture. Saskatoon is host to a number of live theatre venues such as the Off Broadway Arts Centre, The Refinery, Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company and Persephone Theatre. Saskatoon is also home to performance groups such as Live Five, Troup du Jour, Saskatoon Gateway Players, Saskatoon Summer Players. Local improv groups such as The No-No's and Saskatoon Soaps have weekly performances at various venues around the city.

Saskatoon also boasts the only burlesque group in the Prairies, the Rosebud Burlesque.

Saskatoon, given its size, has few movie theatres. There is only one single-screen theatre in the city - the Broadway Theatre (Saskatoon), which primarily shows arthouse films - while the two-screen Roxy (formerly the Towne Cinema) is an "atmospheric-style" second-run theatre that recently reopened after sitting unused for over a decade. The remainder of the city's theatres are multiplexes. The only movie theatre in the downtown core is the Galaxy Cinemas; the Capitol 4 shut down on April 3, 2008. The city's other movie theatres are the Rainbow (a second-run cinema) and the Centre Cinemas, located adjacent to each other in The Centre mall on the city's east side. Located just east of Saskatoon is one of Western Canada's last remaining operational drive-in movie theatres, the Sundown Drive-In on Highway 5, which was still operational as of the fall of 2008.

Saskatoon has welcomed members of Canada's Royal Family since 1919. Queen Elizabeth most recently visited for the a gala concert at Credit Union Centre, before a live audience of 12,000 and television viewers nationwide in 2005. The Queen was presented with the key to the city on the same visit, after touring the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron and greeting thousands of well-wishers on a walkabout at the University of Saskatchewan. Sovereigns and consorts who have visited include Edward VIII as Prince of Wales in 1919, King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth in 1939, and Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, as Princess Elizabeth in 1951 and afterwards as Queen in 1959, 1978, 1987 and 2005. Other members of the Royal Family who have visited include Princess Margaret in 1980, the Prince of Wales (Charles) in 2001, the Princess Royal (Anne) in 1982 and 2004, the Duke and Duchess of York (Andrew and Sarah) in 1989, and the Earl of Wessex as Prince Edward in 1978. Governors General and Lieutenant Governors also pay regular visits to Saskatoon. Saskatonian Ramon John Hnatyshyn is credited with popularising his office as Governor General from 1990 to 1995. Lieutenant Governors Barnhart, Fedoruk, McNab, Monroe, Porteous and Worobetz were all former residents of Saskatoon.

Connections to the crown include the royal namesakes of about one hundred neighbourhoods, parks, streets, schools and other places. These include King George, Queen Elizabeth and Massey Place neighbourhoods, and Victoria, Coronation and Princess Diana parks. It was at one time considered that Saskatoon's Broadway Bridge would be renamed George V Bridge. Landmarks and institutions also have connections and these include the Royal University Hospital, one of four royal designations in Saskatchewan. Grade schools named for royals include Ecole Victoria School, King George School, Queen Elizabeth School, Prince Philip School and Princess Alexandra School. Existing and historic hotels with royal namesakes include the King George Hotel, the King Edward Hotel, the Queen's Hotel and the Patricia Hotel. The Hotel Bessborough was named for a Canadian Governor General who visited the landmark under construction in the 1930s. The Prince of Wales Promenade along the South Saskatchewan River is a focal point on the riverfront trails. In 2002, 378 Saskatoon residents were presented with Canada's Golden Jubilee Medal by vice-regals to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.

As for women's hockey, there is a strong youth female hockey presence in Saskatoon with a Midget AAA team and several youth teams in the city.

Canadian football is one of the most successful on field sports in Saskatoon. The Saskatoon Hilltops of the Canadian Junior Football League host their games at Gordie Howe Bowl. The Hilltops have won 12 national junior championships throughout their history. As well, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies are one of the top University football programs in Canada. The Huskies have played in four of the last five Vanier Cup games, including the 2006 Vanier Cup held in Saskatoon. As well, many Saskatonians support the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL. The Roughriders play in Regina but are notable for their strong support from all areas of the province.

The Saskatoon Yellow Jackets college summer league baseball team is a member of the Western Major Baseball League and play their games at Cairns Field. They are not affiliated with any Major League Baseball team nor do they carry any professional players. In the past other teams have attempted to grace Saskatoon's professional sports landscape including the Saskatoon Riot, Saskatoon Smokin' Guns, Saskatoon Stallions and the latest being the Saskatoon Legends, who folded during the 2003 season. However, there is hope that the Golden Baseball League will find an owner for its proposed Saskatoon franchise and begin play in 2008 or 2009 at Cairns Field.

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies play Canadian Interuniversity Sport league games at the University Campus. Their facilities include 4,997 seat Griffiths Stadium, 700 seat Rutherford Arena, and a partially new state-of-the-art Physical Activity Complex, with the exception of a small swimming pool which was not updated, that opened in August 2003 with the opening of the new College of Kinesiology Building. The Huskies participate in twelve sports at the CIS level and have been most successful in men's hockey and football, however, as of late, the football team has fallen on hard times, losing out in the first round of the play offs to lower ranked teams in both 2007 and 2008, possibly due to the loss of Paul Waldu, stand out defensive back whose 2006 interception got them to their last CIS championship game - which weak offense lost for them.

In 2007, two new sports teams came into being in Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan SWAT of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League and the Saskatoon Accelerators in the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League. The Accelerators play at Credit Union Centre, while the SWAT split their games between Credit Union Centre and Kinsmen Arena. The SWAT play Tier I, Junior B lacrosse and will play their inaugural season in early 2007. The indoor soccer franchise intends to begin full operations in 2008.

Motor racing is a popular sport in Saskatoon. Saskatchewan International Raceway has been in operation for over 40 years; SIR is home to 1/4 mile NHRA drag racing and holds racing events from May to September. As well, just north of the city lies Auto Clearing Motor Speedway; the track is home to local stock car racing, as well as races for several different Western Canadian series.

For horse racing fans, Marquis Downs at Prairieland Park offers live horse racing from May to October.

On the recreation side, Lions Skatepark was built in the Riversdale area in 2003. As well Saskatoon is home to several golf courses and various parks which include tennis courts, ball diamonds and soccer pitches for spring, summer and fall use and outdoor rinks for winter use. Blackstrap Ski Hill is also located 30 minutes south of the city, however, has been closed for both 2006 and 2007 seasons due to financial difficulty.

The Frozen Show The popular Canadian technology podcast is also filmed in Saskatoon that highlights the many Saskatchewan technology efforts.

To the top

Central Business District, Saskatoon

Bessborough Hotel located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River in the Central Business District, Saskatoon

The Central Business District is one of seven suburban development districts in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The central business district is Ward 6 of a Mayor-Council government represented by councillor Charlie Clark.. Formerly called West Saskatoon, this area arose when the steam engines built their pumping stations on the lower west bank of the South Saskatchewan River. Retail enterprises sprang up around the newly created train station and rail yards. The city of Saskatoon's Central Business District hosts many sophisticated world class shopping malls and boutiques.

In 1890 the Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway Line (QLLR) or The Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Steamboat and Railway Line {QLLSR) extended from Regina through to Prince Albert, crossing the South Saskatchewan River where the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge crosses the river presently. Steam engines could be refilled easier on the west banks of the river which were not so steep. Businesses sprang up around the pumping station forming the beginnings of the Central Business District. The first post offices were named Saskatoon and West Saskatoon. For clarification, the post offices adopted the titles Saskatoon down town and Nutana (meaning "first born") for the east side of the River settlement. Section 28, Twp.36, R.5, W3 was the location of West Saskatoon Post office located at 21st & 1st Ave.

With settlement on the west side of the river, 32 children needed to cross the river to attend the Stone School on the east side where there were 67 students in total. To cross the river, there was only the wooden rail bridge without walkway or by ferry. Another school - Pioneer School- was envisioned in 1900 at Third Avenue around 19th Street.

This area became a village of 100 citizens on November 16, 1901 named Saskatoon, and July 1, 1903 became a town. 1912, City Hall had official headquarters in the old King Edward School; 23rd St and 3rd Avenue. 1928 saw Eaton's opening in the building on 21 Street and Third Avenue, which later housed the Army and Navy Department Store and now the Saskatoon Board of Education offices. The armouries of the 29th Saskatchewan Light Horse Regimental Headquarters and 105th Fusiliers Division were constructed in south downtown in 1922. The Saskatoon Arena was constructed in 1937 on 19th Street and torn down in 1989.

The Central Business District is one of Saskatoon's seven suburban development districts. The Saskatoon downtown revitalization project began in the 1950s and 1960s when the Canadian National Railway yards were removed and replaced with a shopping mall in its image called the Midtown Plaza, and its neighbor the Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium and Convention Centre (recently re-named TCU Place). Eaton's and Simpson's Sears were the first anchors for the Midtown Plaza.

The present day City Hall was had it opening ceremonies on June 23, 1956 October 5, 1965 was the last day the Canadian National Railway (CNR) passenger train ran through downtown Saskatoon over the old CNR bridge; it was replaced by the Idylwyld Bridge {Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge} on October 28, 1966. April 1, 1968 saw the official opening ceremonies of the Centennial Auditorium, and a short while later, July 30, 1970 the Midtown Plaza opened; the Midtown Plaza was enlarged in the 1980s. The Hudson's Bay Company building on 23rd Street East and 2nd Avenue has been undergoing renovations to convert to condominium living, and the adjacent Bayside Centre is now owned by Ashley Furniture. The Hudson's Bay Company and Sears Canada are anchors in the Midtown Plaza shopping mall.

The village of Saskatoon, often referred to as West Saskatoon was incorporated in 1901. When Saskatoon, Riversdale and Nutana amalgamated to form the City of Saskatoon in 1903, James R. Wilson (Russell Wilson) was the first mayor. The city wards are represented by aldermen or councillors. In Saskatoon's non-partisan municipal politics, the central business district is currently a part of Saskatoon City Council Ward 6 , of which only the Central Business District on the west side of Saskatoon, the remainder of the ward includes neighborhoods to the east of the river. In 1912, the King Edward School building housed the City of Saskatoon City Hall Chambers in the heart of the Central Business District at Third Avenue and 23rd Street. The first King Edward School building was used as City Hall until 1956, when it was demolished and replaced with modern civic buildings. The municipal government holds weekly meetings Monday evenings at City Hall located at 222 3rd Avnue North located in the Central Business District.

Saskatoon and Saskatoon city were the federal electoral district in Saskatchewan, Canada, that represented the central business district in the Canadian House of Commons from 1908-1968. Currently the central business district is within the Saskatoon—Wanuskewin federal riding represented by Maurice Vellacott of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Provincially, the area is within the constituency of Saskatoon Centre. It is currently represented by David Forbes of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party.

The early layout consisted of a train bridge where the CNR Bridge ( present day site of the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge or Freeway/Idywyld Bridge ) Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge currently stands. The train yards, switching station, station house were all at the foot of the bridge. Warehouses sprang up along the rail tracks. Homes, and schools were scattered to the east of the train yards. Churches lined the river bank edge; Spadina Crescent was first named Church Road. The western side of the rail yard became the town of Riversdale, and were smaller sized lots. The eastern side was the town of West Saskatoon.

When the revitalisation downtown project commenced in the 1960s, the rail yards were refashioned into the current downtown core, a shopping mall, and two large at-grade parking lots (for the shopping mall). The rail bridge was demolished and an automotive bridge was constructed in its place. The layout started on Avenue A (now Idylwyld Avenue) and the riverbank for the QLLS. Streets are laid out east-west, and avenues north-south. First Avenue begins to the east of Avenue A and numbers rise consecutively towards Spadina Crescent. Streets are numerical incrementing northward.

Saskatoon is developing the South Central Business District, or block 146, which is called the River Landing Project. The CNR railyards and the Saskatoon Arena were the first buildings to fall; then the A. L. Cole Power Plant; and more recently, the Gathercole Building. It was once a high school, and later the Saskatoon Board of Education offices. Persephone Theatre is one of the first tenants on site, developing a new theatre to open in the winter of 2007. In December 2004, Premier Lorne Calvert, allocated $29.3 million to finance Saskatoon's River Landing project on the A. L. Cole Power Plant site.

Condominiums are located in the downtown core area which house mostly seniors, University of Saskatchewan students and employees of the downtown business sector. The average family income in the central business district is $60,479 amongst households which average 1.3 persons. Homeownership in this area is 22.5%. The average home selling price in 2006 was $253,240.

There is 2,300,000 square feet (214,000 m2) of retail and restaurants in 7,000,000 square feet (650,000 m2) of building development in the 2.3 acres (9,300 m2) allotted to the downtown core.

Second Avenue was revamped to provide angle parking and created a unique strip mall type of shopping area in the revitalised downtown core. The ceremonies of July 30, 1970 celebrated the opening of Saskatoon's enclosed downtown shopping mall named Midtown Plaza and developed on the former CNR yards.

The Scotia Centre Mall houses office of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and boutiques and restaurant.

Currently the downtown core hosts private vocational schools, career colleges and trade schools such as CDI College, Academy of Learning, Marca College, Marvel Schools - Saskatoon School of Esthetics and Hairstyling, McKay Career Training, Regency College, Saskatoon Business College and Universal Career College.

In the downtown core, there have been bowling alleys that have come and gone over the years. K.G. Bowl since 1962 is in the King George Hotel, Hunter's Bowling Alley off of 20th Street and 2nd Avenue, and Raks Bowl-a-drome on 3rd Avenue and 23rd Street.

The downtown area has been the home of different movie theatres over the years. Cineplex Odeon, recently closed down its Pacific Cinemas and now shows their movies at the new twelve-screen theatre complex called Galaxy Theatre. Famous Players Capitol 4 is on First Avenue, and became Empire Capitol 4 in 2005. The old Capitol Theatre (1929-1979) was located on Second Avenue, and was a single movie screen theatre and was demolished (amid public outcry) to make way for the Scotia Centre Mall in 1979. The Roxy Theatre, for time called the Towne Cinema, is located nearby in the Riversdale neighbourhood. Daylight Theatre (1935-1965), Midtown Cinemas (1970-2000) and Paramount Theatre (1969-1980) are previous movie theaters that no longer exist downtown.

The Saskatoon Arena housed events in Saskatoon, such as the early Western Hockey League's Saskatoon Quakers (and later the Saskatoon Blades) hockey games, wrestling events, concerts, and the Shrine Circus. These events are now hosted either at TCU Place, the exhibition grounds, or at Credit Union Centre (Sask Place).

The Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium was opened April 1, 1968. In 2006 the centre underwent major renovation with funding from TCU Financial. The name TCU Place Arts & Convention Centre is sponsored for 10 years. TCU Place - Saskatoon's Arts and Convention Centre hosts ballets, symphonies, musicals, plays, concerts, and conventions in the heart of downtown.

Mendel Art Gallery opened in 1964. The Mendel Art Gallery is located on Spadina Crescent East and overlooks the South Saskatchewan River near the base of the University Bridge . Frederick (Fred) Salomon Mendel, Intercontinental Packers Limited enterprenuer began the gallery in appreciation of a new life began in Saskatoon. The gallery hosts a permanent locations, and galleries of rotating collections to celebrate the arts.

Within this park various Saskatoon festivals and events are hosted, such as the Saskatoon Children's Festival, the Saskatoon Jazz Festival, public ice skating rink, Taste of Saskatchewan, and Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan. A previous event was "Louis Riel Day", with the Riel Relay, a team competitive event comprising running, canoeing, horseback riding being the highlights.

Saskatoon's tourist industry is expanding. Celebrate Saskatoon, the 100th birthday in 2006 kicked off many projects, developments, and celebrations. Conventions and get-togethers are easily hosted in this provincially central city with many downtown amenities. A variety of historic and contemporary hotels blend together to provide the traveller a home away from home in beautiful downtown Saskatoon.

Saskatoon Light & Power provides electrical utilities to all Saskatoon neighborhoods which existed prior to 1958. Water is treated and supplied by the City of Saskatoon Water and Wastewater Treatment Branch. There are health professional offices in the central business district, such as physician, dentist, optometric services. The three Saskatoon hospitals are located in other nearby neighborhoods. St. Paul's Hospital is located in Pleasant Hill, Royal University Hospital is located in the University of Saskatchewan Land Management area, and Saskatoon City Hospital is located in City Park. The Saskatoon Police Service Headquarters location is within the central business district located at 130 4th Avenue North. The Central Division oversees the Central Business District, the Riversdale Business District, SIAST and nine other residential areas. The central business district is served by the City of Saskatoon Saskatoon Fire & Protective Services, Fire Hall number 1 and head office is located at 125 Idylwyld Drive South, Riversdale.

Saskatoon Municipal Railway or Saskatoon Municipal Street Railway provided an electric railway in Saskatoon and the surrounding area, for instance connecting Saskatoon and the village of Sutherland. The Electric Railway operated between 1912 to 1951. Saskatoon Transit operated from 1949 to present. The early trolley cars operated from electric lines suspended above the streets, and the trolley cars ran on tracks. This system was employed between 1948-1974. The wires were in need of repair from ice accumulation in the winter months, and were subject to breakage. Motor buses supplemented this system starting in the late 1930s and are still in operation today.

The 23rd Street roadway between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue has been closed off to produce a hub city bus terminal. This produces access to anywhere in the city via a type of spoked wheel analogy. If you catch a city route bus on any of the spokes of the wheel or any neighborhood, they all pass through the hub, so a bus transfer will connect you to all sections and neighborhoods of the City of Saskatoon. The transit system has addded recent innovations such as the Bio Bus, Access Transit and Low Floor Service.

STC, the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, runs its main bus depot in downtown Saskatoon on 23rd Street and Pacific Avenue or the Warehouse district. It has provided passenger and parcel services across Saskatchewan since 1946.

22nd Street (Highway 14) is a major thoroughfare through Saskatoon. Highway 14 connects with Asquith, Biggar Wilkie, Unity, and Macklin en route to Alberta.

To the top

Saskatoon Transit

Streetcar #40 in original Saskatoon Municipal Railway livery at the Saskatchewan Railway Museum.

Saskatoon Transit is the public transport arm of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It operates a fleet of diesel buses. A total of 16 bus routes serve every area of the city, carrying 7.2 million passengers in 2005, an average of nearly 20,000 per day. Saskatoon Transit is a member of the Canadian Urban Transit Association.

The central transfer point for most bus routes has always been the block of 23rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and the neighbouring corners on 2nd and 3rd Avenues. In 1984, this block was permanently closed to regular traffic and a "Transit Terminal" constructed, consisting of widened sidewalks, heated shelters, and angled curbs to provide three "bays" on each side of the block. The 23rd Street Transit Terminal was opened on November 2, 1984. This terminal area is perceived by many as unsafe, and most of the businesses along this block have relocated; however, Saskatoon Transit has made some recent improvements, including a constant security guard presence and a Customer Service Centre where tickets, passes and schedules may be obtained. The 2005 Strategic Plan Study recommended that major improvements be carried out to the downtown terminal, but as of 2007 no changes have been made.

Diesel buses supplemented the streetcar service from at least 1938. In the 1940s a decision was made to replace streetcar service with trolley buses; the first trolley bus ran on November 22, 1948, starting a three-year transition period, and the last streetcar ran on November 10, 1951. With the demise of the streetcars, Saskatoon Municipal Railway was renamed Saskatoon Transit System on August 15, 1949. The trolley buses were in turn phased out and ran for the last time on May 10, 1974.

Although the official name is now Saskatoon Transit Services (as of 1998), it is generally known simply as Saskatoon Transit, which is what appears on their Web page, logo, and all their brochures.

Two of the original Saskatoon streetcars are on display and being restored at the Saskatchewan Railway Museum.

A comprehensive study of Saskatoon Transit's service was undertaken in 2005, outlining many deficiencies and making many recommendations. Transit ridership had fallen from 12.4 million passengers in 1987 to 7.2 million passengers in 2005, while the city's population increased from 182,000 to 214,000. The conclusions of the study were summarised in a Short Term Plan and a Long Term Plan. Most of the recommendations of the Short Term Plan have been implemented, and the Long Term Plan is being carried out, subject of course to funding and other considerations.

The routes in place prior to 2006 had not been substantially modified since the 1970s, and some since the 1950s, with the result that many neighbourhoods, particularly the newer suburbs, had poor service. Some areas such as Montgomery Place and Briarwood had no bus service at all on weekends. Many outlying neighbourhoods (e.g., Dundonald, Silverspring, Briarwood) had "stub routes" that deposited riders at a suburban mall transfer point, necessitating a transfer, and often two or three, to get anywhere in the city. Post-secondary institutions were under-served relative to the number of students using the buses; SIAST Kelsey Campus had only one major route serving it, so that trips to SIAST from most places in Saskatoon involved a transfer onto an overcrowded bus. Due to extreme congestion at the University of Saskatchewan, several routes bypassed the campus altogether, forcing students to cross College Drive on foot. Service to the airport was nonexistent, and service to industrial areas was extremely poor. Demand in these areas was also extremely low, at least in part due to the poor service.

The Market Mall terminal has been built, and a temporary terminal with car traffic prohibited has been built at the University, pending a longer-term solution. Work has yet to begin on improving or relocating the downtown terminal.

Starting in September 2007, University of Saskatchewan undergraduate students pay a mandatory fee (currently $69.50 per term) that turns their student card into a transit pass (the Universal Bus Pass or U-PASS). The University of Saskatchewan Students' Union held a referendum in February 2007, and the motion passed with 59% of voters approving. A follow-up referendum was held in November 2008 to decide whether to implement the U-PASS permanently; this also passed, with 80% of the voters in favour. A similar referendum in 2004 failed; it is believed that the improved routes, combined with allowing students in on-campus residences to opt out of the U-PASS, were the important factors that changed the result in 2007.

The names next to each route number are used on the "curtains" that display route information on the front of each bus.

The DART routes are Saskatoon Transit's flagship service. The four DART routes interline in the central sections to form two corridors with extremely frequent service. Along this portion of their routes, bus stops are widely spaced to increase speed, and there are "express" sections on each route with no stops for over a kilometre. The interlined routes 50/60 run from Confederation Mall to The Centre via downtown and the University of Saskatchewan, and routes 70/80 run from The Mall at Lawson Heights to the University Heights Suburban Centre via SIAST Kelsey Campus, downtown and the University. The routes continue past these points, each serving a residential loop at either end (a total of 8 loops). 27 of the newest buses in Saskatoon Transit's fleet have been given a distinctive mint-green DART livery and are used exclusively on the DART routes. Most of these buses are air-conditioned and all have bicycle racks on the front.

There are 13 non-DART bus routes. Although the buses serving these routes are generally older, about a third of the non-DART buses are now low-floor. Most have a blue livery to contrast with the DART buses.

The 10 regular routes are numbered 1–6 and 11–14. These routes provide comprehensive geographical coverage of every area of the city, except for the areas served by the DART residential loops. They are slower than their DART counterparts, with more frequent stops and less frequent service. All the routes meet downtown, except Route 13. All the single-digit routes except Route 2 also meet at the University, along with Route 13. The single-digit routes mainly serve residential areas, while the double-digit routes serve a mixture of residential and industrial areas.

Routes 21 and 22 are specialty routes that provide additional service for commuters. They only operate in one direction at a time—toward downtown during the morning rush hour, and away from downtown at other times (midday and afternoon peak for Route 21; afternoon peak only for Route 22). Route 21 serves Forest Grove and the northern half of Sutherland, and Route 22 serves Fairhaven and Parkridge.

Route 23, although numbered as a commuter route, is in fact a regular route serving two new subdivisions that are still under development; however, its service frequency is lower than the other routes. In addition, it does not serve the downtown terminal, but only the Confederation Mall terminal.

NOTES: DART bus frequency is half the above on non-interlined parts of the routes. Routes 21 and 22 provide peak-direction service only (towards downtown during morning peak, away from downtown at other times).

The most visible and immediate of the 2005 Strategic Plan Study was the complete overhaul of bus routes effective July 2, 2006. The new routes provide generally better service overall; however, quite a few areas have seen lower service levels, particularly older central neighbourhoods that used to have numerous redundant routes. This has resulted in inconveniences for many passengers, especially those who had used the system for a long time.

Service is now more evenly distributed throughout the city. Nearly every bus now goes to the downtown terminal, substantially reducing the number of transfers. 90% of Saskatoon has access to the University of Saskatchewan without needing to transfer, and peak service to the University is roughly doubled (57 buses/hour versus 33); SIAST Kelsey Campus is now served by a DART route as well as three other bus routes. The route changes have resulted in an increase of 2.3% in service hours (6,600 additional hours) with no additional buses or operating costs; part of this is the improved efficiency of the new routes, and part is due to additional service in off-peak hours.

Until about 1975, the Saskatchewan Council for Crippled Children and Adults (SCCCA) operated a 'contract' service that provided transportation for children and young adults who were physically challenged. These passengers were either attending school or a training center. Many persons with similar physical limitations had no access to transportation services, and began to put pressure on the SCCCA to extend the service to accommodate the general population. This would be a phone-in service, dispatchers were needed. Two buses were provided for this purpose, with the City of Saskatoon and the Province of Sask. providing funding for the service. The SCCCA continued to operate the service. In time, with a name change to the Sask. Abilities Council, the operation of 'Special Needs Transportation' continued until the end of 1998. In 1999, the Special Needs Transportation Advisory Committee was created for the purpose of determining public needs and direction for the City of Saskatoon. For some time prior to this date, the Board of Directors of the SAC were urging discontinuation of Public Transportation. After all, the SAC was a non-profit organization. The City of Saskatoon was advised several months in advance of this decision. A company called First Bus was therefore contracted to provide Public Transportation. After 5 years, the City of Saskatoon took over the service completely, making it a part of the regular Transit System. The buses are equipped with lifts for wheelchairs, and a tie-down system. Several buses are in operation - a computer system aids dispatchers in putting rides together in such a way that the buses are not wasting unused time. It is a door-to-door service. The service is available to anyone who had difficulty accessing regular transportation. Passengers must be registered. Access Transit in Saskatoon has been used as a model for other cities in Canada and the United States. It is a service which has provided independence to many residents.

Saskatoon Transit's fleet consists almost exclusively of 40-foot diesel buses, of which there are approximately 120 in service. Since 1995, all new buses have been New Flyer low floor buses; these now make up more than half the fleet, with 76 in service, of which 50 have been acquired since 2006. Eight of the low-floor buses are hybrid electric. 90 buses are required for peak hour service commitments.

In July 2008, a New Flyer 60LF electric hybrid articulated bus was test-driven by Saskatoon Transit.

One of the newest buses in service, a DART express with bike carrier.

On July 16, 2008, Saskatoon city council authorised a $4.2 million transit terminal to be constructed on a parking lot adjacent to the current on-street terminal. The new terminal would centre around a 600 square meter LEED-certified building with a green roof, surrounded by a ring of raised-platform stops. In addition to Saskatoon Transit, the building could also house a coffee shop and government offices such as social services or immigration.

To the top

Saskatoon City Council

Saskatoon City Council is the governing body of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The council consists of the mayor and ten councilors representing wards. The current council sits between 2006 and 2009. The next civic election will be held in 2009 .

Don Atchison is a Canadian politician who was elected mayor of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on October 22, 2003. Atchison was first elected to Saskatoon's city council as a councillor in 1994 and was re-elected in 1997. During his nine years on city council, Atchison sat on many boards and committees, including audit, budget, pension, administration and finance, planning and operations, Prairieland Exhibition, special needs transportation and "The Partnership" (an organization of downtown businesses). Don Atchison is the owner/operator of a longtime men’s clothing store in downtown Saskatoon. He and his wife Mardele have five children. He was re-elected on October 26, 2006 as mayor.

Darren Hill is the current councilor for Ward 1, which is located in Saskatoon's downtown core. He was born in 1968. He is the President & CEO for Junior Achievement of Saskatchewan.

Pat Lorje is the current councilor for Ward 2, which is located in the south-west corner of the city. She was formerly the councilor of Ward 2 from 1979-1991. She was then a provincial MLA in the riding of Saskatoon Southeast from 1991-2003. She moved to San Francisco for a couple of years after leaving politics. She recently moved back to Saskatoon.

Maurice Neault is the current councilor for Ward 3, which is in the far south-west side of the city. He was re-elected in the 2006 election by acclamation.

Myles Heidt is the current councilor in Ward 4, which is on the far west side of the city. He was first elected to city council in 1994, and was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2003, and in 2006 by acclamation.

Gordon Wyant is the current councilor for Ward 5, which is on the north west side of the city. He was first elected to the Public School Board as a trustee in 2000. He was then elected to city council in 2003, and was re-elected in 2006.

Charlie Clark is the current councilor for Ward 6, which is located in the central east side near the South Saskatchewan River, and includes the University of Saskatchewan. He was elected in the 2006 election.

Bob Pringle is the current councilor for Ward 7, which is in the south east side of the city. He was a provincial MLA for 10 year before being elected to city council in 2006.

Glen Penner is the current councilor for Ward 8, which is near the central east side at the end of the city. He was first elected to city council in 1972, and served until 1976. He then served a term as an MLA. He then served two more multi-term times on council, from 1979-1982 and 1988-1994. He was then re-elected in 2000, 2003, and 2006.

Tiffany Paulsen is the current councilor for Ward 9, which is in the far south east side of the city. She is a member of the Saskatoon City Council. She ran, unsuccessfully, for the Liberal Party of Canada in the Canadian federal election, 2004. She was first elected to city council in Ward 9 in the 2000 Saskatoon election. She ran again in 2003, and won by acclamation. She was re-elected in the 2006 election.

Bev Dubois is the current councilor for Ward 10, which is in the north east side of the city. She was first elected to city council in 2003, and was re-elected in 2006.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia