Saskatoon, situated on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, is the largest city of the province of Saskatchewan. It is the only city between Winnipeg and Edmonton. Being 710 km (440 mi) northwest of Winnipeg and a little over 480 km (300 mi) southeast of Edmonton. The name Saskatoon comes from the Cree word "Mis-Sask-quak-toomina" for the Saskatoon berry, abundant locally. Saskatoon is often referred to as Bridge City as the river is spanned by 7 bridges, both rail and road. Much of the city's scenic delights and a whole host of events can be enjoyed on or along the river.
Saskatoon is a friendly, small, quiet and clean city with wide streets and a low skyline offering kind of a western flair. Saskatoon welcomes its visitors with open arms. It is home to the University of Saskatchewan, located at the higher east bank of the South Saskatchewan River that flows through the heart of the downtown core. Flanking the river are 120 hectares (300 acres) of breathtaking riverbank for both visitors and Saskatoonians to enjoy, complete with jogging and bicycling paths, trails, promenades and parks. In summer months you will find here outdoor theatre, jazz and concerts. In the winter, cross-country skiing and skating is most common.
Over 30 annual festivals and events throughout the year offer something for everyone. You will find many attractions ranging from historical sites and museums such as Wanuskewin Heritage Park and Western Development Museum to cultural delights offered by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra or the Mendel Art Gallery. Many boutiques and speciality shops excite and impress even the most seasoned shopper. Dining choices in Saskatoon range from gourmet continental cuisine to exotic Japanese flare. Sport fans enjoy the River Roar formula one powerboat races, university sports, and excellent golf courses. Saskatchewan Place, the province's largest indoor sports facility, adds to the eclectic mix of activities.
Saskatoon in Figures
Saskatoon is the largest city of the province (Population 212,000)
The altitude of Saskatoon is 481.5 meters above sea level.
The city covers an area of 144 sq. kilometres which includes over 120 hectares of riverbank parklands.
Saskatoon is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, receiving an average of 2,381 hours annually.
There are more than 130 beautiful parks in Saskatoon.
Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport is located on an 827 hectare site in the northwest region of Saskatoon, 10 minutes from the city centre. Numerous daily arrivals and departures link Saskatoon with all Canadian, American and International points.
For more information call 306-975-8900
Highway 16 winds south-east from Edmonton to Saskatoon to meet Trans-Canada-Highway just west of Winnipeg.
Train services are provided by VIA Rail. Trains arrive and depart regularly from the train station located at Chappell Drive - approx. 15 minutes west from downtown.
For more information call 1-888-842-7245
More convenient and much more choices are offered to bus travellers using Greyhound. The Bus Depot is located at the corner of 23rd Street East and Ontario Ave. The station is equipped with cafeteria, a small store and washrooms complete with shower facilities.
For more information call (306) 933-8000
Regina to Saskatoon 259 km (160 mi)
Calgary to Saskatoon 620 km (384 mi)
Edmonton to Saskatoon 528 km (327 mi)
Winnipeg to Saskatoon 829 km (514 mi)
Toronto to Saskatoon 2,927 km (1815 mi)
Traveling within Saskatoon
Saskatoon Transit Services provide frequent bus services to all parts of the city. Fares are reasonable. A Ticket and information kiosk is located at 226-23rd Street East. Special Needs Transportation (SNT) service in Saskatoon is provided for people who, because of a physical disability, are unable to use the regular transit system. For information on SNT call (306) 655-4346.
For more information call (306) 975-3100
The weather in Saskatoon is generally dry and sunny with summer daytime temperatures averaging from 20 ºC to 35 ºC (68 ºF to 100 ºF). Since evenings tend to be cool it is recommended to have a light sweater or jacket available. Winter temperatures vary from +5 ºC to -30 ºC (40 ºF to -35 ºF) with sufficient snowfall to ensure fun winter activities.
Things to do
Mendel Art Gallery
Location: 950 Spadina Crescent East
The Mendel Art Gallery features Mendel's permanent art collection and changing exhibitions of international, national and regional artwork. On premises you will find a tea lounge and gift shop with handcrafts, books, Inuit and Indian art and pottery. Limited wheelchair access.
For more information call (306) 975-7610
Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra
Location: Concert venues include Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium, 3rd Ave United Church and Adam Ballroom, Delta Bessborough
The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra offers three concert series; Master Series, Saskatchewan Chamber Orchestra Series and Music for Sunday Afternoon Series.
Box office Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm. Please phone to confirm concert dates and prices. Tickets also available at 1-800-970-7328.
For more information call (306) 665-6414
Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Location: 5 kms north of Saskatoon on Highway #11
Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a internationally unique National Historic Site interpreting 6,000 years of Northern Plains Indian culture. The 100-hectare site around the picturesque Opamihaw Valley features 19 pre-contact sites and 4 interpretive trails where you can see a buffalo jump, the mysterious medicine wheel and tipi rings. There is limited wheelchair access.
For more information call (306) 931-6767
Western Development Museum
Location: South of town at 2610 Lorne Ave.
The Western Development Museum brings alive a 1910 Boomtown complete with stores, workshops, a hotel, a printing shop and station. As a matter of fact it features the longest indoor museum street in Canada. The museum showcases the time of pioneer settlement and farm expansion in the Canadian West with interpretive displays and extensive artifact displays. Gift shop and café on premises. Ample free parking.
For more information call (306) 931-1910
Location: 10 minutes from downtown
Saskatchewan Place is the province's premier, multi-purpose trade, sports and entertainment facility with 13,000 seats and an average of over 150 event days each year. Saskatchewan Place is internationally recognised for its aggressive and unique events. For tickets call: (306) 938-7800, Or 1-800-970-SEAT (7328).
For more information call (306) 975-3155
Out of town attractions
Batoche National Historic Site
Location: 88 km northeast of Saskatoon
Batoche displays the remains of a Metis community on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. During the North West Rebellion 1885 the scene of the last battle took place here. Today visitors can see several buildings that have been restored. The church and rectory are the only buildings standing from 1885. The site showcases the lifestyle of the Metis between 1860 and 1900. The visitor reception center shows the events of the battle and the Metis social and economic life.
For more information call (306) 423-6227
Fort Battleford National Historic Site
Location: 153 km northwest of Saskatoon in the town of Battleford, 4.8 km southeast of North Battleford.
Fort Battleford is located 5 km from the town of North Battleford and showcases the role of the North West Mounted Police in the Canadian West. Established in 1876, the fort nowadays consists out of five original buildings, four of which are furnished with period furniture. The stockades and bastions are reconstructed and guides in costumes bring alive history.
For more information call (306) 937-2621
Festivals and Events
Canada Dairy Expo
Northern Saskatchewan International Children's Festival
SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
Canada Day Celebrations
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival
Great Northern River Roar / Taste of Saskachewan
Saskatoon International Fringe Festival
Canadian Cowboys Association Rodeo Finals
Saskatoon Fall Fair
Sundog Handcraft Faire
The Enchanted Forest
Long before white settlers were to arrive, this area was used by Native peoples. Hunting tribes were here approx. 6,000 years ago. Mainly Cree and Metis occupied the area.
The Canadian government under John A. Macdonald was urged to develop the country and offered large blocks of land to colonization companies. The Temperance Colonization Society (TCS), formed by Toronto's Methodist community saw a golden opportunity to escape the evils of the liquor traffic and recruited some 3100 colonists for this adventure. The government grant to the TCS was approx. 126,000 hectares (313,000 acres).
The first streets of Saskatoon were surveyed at a place in the middle of the TCS grant, on the east bank of the river. In spite of this hopeful start in 1883, Saskatoon grew very slowly.
In 1890, a railway line was built to link the west side of the river with Prince Alberta. A new settlement soon developed near the railway station. In 1901, this new settlement incorporated as a village and took the name Saskatoon while the original settlement on the east side was renamed to Nutana. West of the railway tracks a third settlement developed with the name Riversdale. In 1906, all three settlements amalgamated to form the city of Saskatoon.
Between 1955 and 1961, the city's boundaries were expanded significantly. The 1960s and 1970s saw continuing growth due to potash mine openings nearby and uranium mines in northern Saskatchewan.