City News April 2024

City Council deals with several housing issues and the River Landing Market prepares to re-open.

Hello Ward 6 –

I hope you are looking forward to the snow leaving and the warm spring returning. I can’t wait to smell the fresh lilac blooms on Meewasin Trail.  

Here are a few highlights from City Hall:

  • Housing Accelerator Fund – The federal program designed to improve the quantity and affordability of housing in our city will be going forward to a re-zoning process, with the first round happening this Wednesday at City Council. The public hearing begins at 6pm.  Here are the proposed changes:
    • Adding accessory dwellings to residential lots: This means garage and garden suites would be a permitted use. Administration is also recommending the elimination of parking minimums, following the lead of cities across North America. It is part of a wider effort to maximize housing space; increase affordability and incentivize a more livable, walkable city. *Note: Residential Parking Permit rules would continue to apply in RPP zones.
  • Home Energy Loan Program - The program provides low interest loans to single-family homeowners for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations that are repayable through property tax.  It was oversubscribed in the last round, and now round two is set to begin.  Here is how it works:
    • Homeowners are eligible for loans between $1,000 - $60,000, with flexible repayment terms of 5, 10, or 20 years. 
    • Some of the eligible home upgrades include: 
      • Replacing windows, doors, or heating and cooling equipment with EnergyStar models 
      • Adding insulation to basements, attics, and walls 
      • Replacing toilets and faucets to low-flow options 
      • Installing solar panels
    • Homelessness – The City and the Province continue to seek space to provide housing for the unhoused. As we head into the warmer months, the “warming centre” on 20th street is shutting down. With more people needing shelter and a lack of supply, Saskatoon Fire and Police are working to address immediate needs and risks. We are likely to see an increase in encampments in our city, making the need to find housing an urgent matter.

 A few other notes:

Construction season is underway and we can expect delays on College Drive throughout the spring and summer, as the water main and road are rehabilitated to get ready for Bus Rapid Transit, expected to debut in 2027.

The much-anticipated opening of the public market at River Landing is set for May 4th, complete with the traditional outdoor farmers market.  “Gather” will be open 6 days a week and offer an array of food and activity.  This new rendition of the River Landing market promises to combine the best of the beloved tradition with more options and opportunities to connect with local food, vendors and talent.  I hope to see you there on the 4th!


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