Year in Review
Below are highlights from the 2022 Year in Review Pt. 3: Recreation, Culture & Downtown.
Site Selection – Downtown Event and Entertainment District
The development of a new Downtown Event and Entertainment District in Saskatoon is a transformative project that will shape the downtown and the city for generations. This project takes time and careful planning. Selecting the location for this District is a pivotal decision because it is the first step for a District master plan and will also enable us to come up with better estimates of costs.
Throughout 2022, consultations, community engagement, and an advisory board were involved in offering feedback to inform where a new Downtown Event and Entertainment District should be located. City Council ultimately selected the Midtown North lot location for the site. More engagement will take place in 2023, as a district concept, design, and funding plans can now begin to be formulated.
Central Library Design and Construction
Demolition of the buildings and construction for the new central library project began in late 2022. Saskatoon Public Library also released the final design for the new library. Construction is estimated to take through 2025 with an opening date of 2026.
Farmers’ Market Building Lease
City Council approved a lease for Ideas Inc. to operate a new vision for the Farmers’ Market Building at River Landing, called “Gather Local Market”. The new market is scheduled to open in May 2023 and will return a community favourite to a familiar location in the Riversdale community. The new market plans to have 16 artisan and retail vendors, 8 restaurant vendors, and 6 distillery and brewery vendors as tenants. There will also be two dedicated farmers market days throughout the spring, summer, and fall featuring 30 farmers market vendors.
Outdoor Festival Site
Construction began on the permanent outdoor festival site in 2022, starting with the Festival Headquarters. Construction will continue in 2023 on Phase 1, which includes the Festival Headquarters and entry bosque as well as detailed studies for the next phases of the project. Once completed, the site will be able to host a variety of events and festivals with capacity for up to 7500 people.
Hoist the Hoops – Outdoor Basketball Court Project Expansion
An agreement between Jumpstart charity and Hoist the Hoops will expand a basketball court project and bring more opportunities to our city for basketball surfaces. The project now has two regulation FIBA 3 on 3 courts and a full size FIBA court, lights, and shade shelter. This project is being built at River Landing, further developing the area and offering space for recreation as well as other events. The project should be completed for use in 2023.
Recreation and Sport Tax Abatement
This project has been long in the making as a means to preserve some long standing community activities and traditions in Saskatoon. 2022 was the first year that the abatement was in place for community groups or sports facilities that own their own facility to be eligible. In this first year, the Granite, Sutherland, CN, and Nutana Curling Clubs, as well as Latrace Arena, Saskatoon Bridge Club, and Saskatoon Wildlife Federation qualified for the grant totaling 54% of their property tax.
East Side Leisure Centre
City Council agreed to partner with the YMCA as operator for a new joint East Side Leisure Centre. The proposed facility would provide aquatic, fitness, wellness, community development and leadership programs. It would be located in the Holmwood Sector, which includes Brighton. Administration will continue to work with the YMCA on an agreement in principle. We will also continue engaging Saskatoon Public Schools and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools on plans to integrate the Leisure Centre with two new high schools being planned in Holmwood.