April 2023 Update

Is this spring? I sure hope so, after the surprise burst of winter last week I am ready for a reprieve from my parka. As we look forward to more outdoor activities, make sure to check out your Community Association Facebook page and learn more – including the spring cleanup in your neighbourhood. I want to send a huge thank you to the great volunteers supporting these efforts!

Steephill: The Steep Hill Coop has been in the news over the past week, and there will be a meeting in the basement of Emmanuel Church on Dufferin Avenue tonight at 7pm, to discuss the grocery store’s future.

Multi-plex in Buena Vista: A proposal is coming to Council on Wednesday to build a mixed use 6-storey multi-unit dwelling on the southwest corner of Broadway and 8th Street. The public hearing begins at 6pm, and you can find out more at: www.saskatoon.ca/engage

Main & Clarence Intersection: Council has approved a change to the intersection of Main and Clarence, after a rise in both the number and severity of accidents. Right turn channelization will be built this summer, after exploration of a four-way stop or traffic lights were shown to impede traffic flow on Clarence and would have required removal of trees.

Downtown Entertainment District: Engagement is about to get underway for the public realm for the Downtown Event and Entertainment District (DEED).  Phase one will open April 27th, seeking high level input from residents about what amenities they want to see in our downtown. The City will report back to the community before undertaking phase 2.  Here are a few high-level reminders about Council’s stated direction:

  • No property tax impact for the arena, convention centre, public plaza – (Full funding strategy – fall 2023)
  • Build public realm to drive density, efficiency and vibrancy
  • Official Community Plan to guide downtown growth, reducing city-building costs, maximizing service delivery and accelerating sustainability
  • New modern public transportation system designed to support downtown growth (Bus Rapid Transit BRT)
  • Use Vision Statement and Guiding Principles to guide the district plan

For more information: www.saskatoon.ca/eventdistrict

As Council’s strategic lead for downtown development I would add that this process, which began in 2017, came about due to insurmountable structural and technological challenges at TCU Place and Sasktel Centre. Costs to renovate are in the hundreds of millions of dollars and would not solve the underlying deficits and accelerating losses.  At each decision-making point in this journey, Council has taken a step forward only when the evidence and data supported it. The next steps will be significant, and I remain optimistic that Council’s goals can be met.

Saskatoon needs to become more efficient, less expensive and more sustainable. Driving growth to the downtown where the expensive infrastructure and services already exist gives us the best chance to do that.

A few more notes:

Green bin pick ups will begin in May, so check out your waste calendar for dates.  The building for the Farmers Market at River Landing will be delayed until the fall, but street stall Saturdays will resume this spring. The Residential Parking Permit program is expanding in Varsity View and Nutana; the Victoria Park Rec Building is getting an upgrade; width expansion on Meewasin Trail will happen adjacent to downtown this summer and construction of the 14th Street Parklet should be underway by June.

Enjoy the day,


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