City Council Highlights
Below are some of the highlights from the September 2023 Council and Committee meetings. The full reports can be found at saskatoon.ca/meeting.
Lac La Ronge Indian Band Urban Reserve Creation
The signing ceremony for the creation of an Urban Reserve with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band was held September 11th, 2023.
This will be the City of Saskatoon’s 10th Urban Reserve. We have seen Urban Reserve agreements provide great value to both the First Nation and the City of Saskatoon – offering employment opportunities, strengthening partnerships, and fulfilling Treaty Land Entitlements.
These investments in our city help create prosperity for everyone and are a model of good partnership and cooperation.
Cairns Field Upgrades and Lease Agreement
Council approved a 10-year lease agreement between Saskatoon Entertainment Group and Gordie Howe Sports Complex Management Inc. This allows the new Saskatoon Berries baseball club to use Cairns Field as their home ballpark beginning in the 2024 season.
The agreement will also feature upgrades at Cairns Field including a clubhouse, improving a deck area, and the concession. SEG will be responsible for the upgrades to the facility and will also operate the concession providing a better fan experience and a benefit to local community groups.
It is a win-win to see another form of entertainment with the return of a baseball team in the Western Canadian Baseball League. It is also a win-win to have these upgrades done throughout facility that can be enjoyed by other user groups, and with no investment from the City of Saskatoon.
Thanks to GHSC and SEG for working together on this solution to provide another option for the community to enjoy.
John A. Macdonald Road renamed to miyo-wâhkôhtowin Road
miyo-wâhkôhtowin is a Cree word meaning good (miyo) relationship (wâhkôhtowin). It is pronounced mee-yo wah-KOH-toh-win. The proposed name reflects the theme of Reconciliation and was thoughtfully and carefully chosen in a process that brought together members of the community and people who continue to be impacted by residential schools and the legacy of John A. Macdonald.
Residential schools contributed to a breakdown and division in communities and relationships; good relationships will bring us together. This renaming process began in 2020 when City Council asked for Administration to develop a plan that would give a new name for John A. Macdonald Road.
This decision was made to recognize the ongoing harm in the community experienced by residential schools, which were largely created through policies initiated by John A. Macdonald. We have many residential school survivors living in our community as our neighbours today. Their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren have been irrevocably changed as a result of the creation of these schools and the harm that was done to students who attended them.
The City has been meeting with Indigenous leaders, Residential School Survivors, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and youth; the Saskatoon Intercultural Association; members from the Chinese community; teachers from wâhkôhtowin School; and others to recommend a new name for the Road to the City of Saskatoon’s Civic Naming Committee.
I know that this has been a challenging process for many. I also know not everyone agrees with this decision. The City will work with residents who live on the road to streamline any steps that need to be taken to adapt to this change, and ensure that there are no costs to residents.
New Corridor Zoning Districts
The new Corridor Zones will allow for increased density along routes designated for the Bus Rapid Transit system. The new districts focus on opportunities to support infill development in Corridor Growth Areas with low-rise residential and mixed-use buildings as a transition into existing neighbourhoods.
These new districts can help to meet the City’s objectives of having 30% of new residential growth in a future population of 500,000 to be in existing neighbourhoods, specifically within Circle Drive. This avoids further sprawl. The Corridor Zones also allow for more meaningful transit-oriented development including street facing buildings that have ground level uses for the public.
Official Community Plan Amendment – 509 12th Street East
City Council approved an amendment and zoning change to allow for the application of an office building with an anchor tenant at 509 12th street along Broadway Avenue, which has remained undeveloped for more than over 30 years.
While the application does not fulfil the exact hopes and original plans for the location, it will bring increased activity to support the Broadway and Nutana area.
The application achieved some aspects of the Official Community Plan, but not aligning with others made this decision more challenging. While ideally, most of the city’s office space is located downtown, we haven’t historically rejected office development in other areas of the city. There is always a tension between making decisions as a city to follow a framework, but also respecting that cities are always changing and adapting.
Recognizing the growing diversity and a clear desire from communities wanting to recognize significant cultural celebrations with the use of fireworks, Diwali and Lunar New Year will be added as exempt days in the Fireworks Bylaw. The other exempt days are Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, and New Year’s Eve into the start of New Year’s Day.
A Municipal Heritage Property designation was approved at 850 University Drive. This residential building features Queen Anne Revival architectural style and has a prominent contribution to the streetscape on University Drive. The property has also housed prominent residents in Saskatoon including Andrew Smith, Robert Buchanan, Emmett M. Hall and Dr. Allan Guy.