Did you know...
The name Saskatoon comes from the Cree inanimate noun “misâskwatômina,” which refers to the sweet, violet-coloured berry that grows in the area.
Saskatoon enjoys more hours of sunshine annually than any other major Canadian city – recording an average of 2,381 hours of sunlight every year.
Saskatoon is known as the City of Bridges, in recognition of its seven river crossings.
Broadway Avenue has been named one of the top Great Streets in Canada, based on voting results of the 2011 Great Places in Canada contest, sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Planners.
Saskatoon has hosted many notable major events including the JUNO Awards (2007), CIS Vanier Cup (2006), IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship (2010 and 1991). Saskatoon is proud to host the Canadian Country Music Awards in 2012.
There are over 6,000 years of First Nations culture brought to life on sacred ground at Wanuskewin Heritage Park.
Saskatoon’s Traffic Bridge is the site of the “greatest nautical disaster in prairie history.” On June 8, 1908, the opulent S.S. City of Medicine Hat, on her maiden voyage, got tangled in telegraph wires which damaged the rudder. It then drifted into the Traffic Bridge, crashing into one of its piers and ultimately sinking. The only injuries sustained were from cattle that stampeded as they were being led across the bridge at the time.
In 2006, while performing training dives, Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services found an anchor, presumed to be from the S.S. City of Medicine Hat due to its exact likeness to the ship's anchors seen in photographs. In June of 2008, the Meewasin Valley Authority unveiled the anchor, displayed at River Landing.
The world’s first successful cancer treatment with a Colbalt-60 Unit occurred at the Saskatoon University Hospital in 1951.
John Diefenbaker, the thirteenth Prime Minister of Canada, moved to Saskatoon in 1910 and received his BA, and MA in political science and economics at the University of Saskatchewan.
Four people have their final resting place on the University of Saskatchewan grounds: John and Olive Diefenbaker, Sir Frederick Haultain (the last Premiere of the Northwest Territories before Saskatchewan and Alberta were formed in 1905), and Saskatoon plastic surgeon, Dr. Robert Henry Dale.
Located near Spadina Crescent and 33rd Street, the weir on the South Saskatchewan River was completed in 1940. The purpose of the weir is to provide an adequate water level for pumping into the water works and power plant, as well as making the river better suited for boating and the use of float planes.
In 1882, the Toronto-based Temperance Colonization Society was granted 21 sections of land straddling the South Saskatchewan River, between what is now Warman and Dundurn. The aim of the group was to escape the liquor trade and set up a "dry" community in the Prairie region.
In 1899, the first bar was licensed in Saskatoon, a city established by the Temperance Colonization Society. A struggle between the forces of temperance and those against resulted in the cancellation of the license the following year.
The oldest building on its original site is the Marr Residence on 11th Street East, but oldest building in Saskatoon is the Trounce House on 10th Street East.
Saskatoon’s first industrial plant was a saw mill.
The Gem Café was the first licensed restaurant to open in Saskatoon. It opened its doors on December 23rd, 1959.
Over any other building in Saskatoon, the iconic Delta Bessborough Hotel has the most gargoyles.
Saskatoon doctor, Dr. Herbert Dulton Weaver was the first in Western Canada to use an x-ray machine. In 1906, Dr. Weaver brought this technology that was still in its infancy to Saskatoon. The harmful effects of the technology were unknown at the time, and Dr. Weaver received so much radiation that his index finger on his left hand needed to be amputated.
Saskatoon has 198 parks and 870 hectares (2,150 acres) of parkland throughout the city, including 156 hectares (385 acres) of river valley parkland.
Saskatoon lies on a long belt of rich, potassic chernozem in middle-southern Saskatchewan and is found in the Aspen parkland biome. The lack of surrounding mountainous topography gives the city a relatively flat grid, though the city does sprawl over a few hills and into a few valleys.
1909 was Saskatoon’s first recorded earthquake, lasting between 30 seconds and one minute and was felt from Winnipeg to Lethbridge.
Sports & Recreation
Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink was voted the best outdoor skating spot in Canada by Readers Digest (2006).
Saskatoon boasts award-winning-golf courses, rated among the best in the Canada.
In 2006 the Vanier Cup was hosted by the University of Saskatchewan at the Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon. This was the first time that the Vanier Cup had been played outside of Ontario.
Saskatoon is the only city to hold the World Junior Hockey Championships twice.
Saskatoon has been mentioned in song lyrics by many famous artists and bands including Tragically Hip, The Guess Who, Johnny Cash and Wide Mouth Mason.
The Disney movie Summer of the Monkeys - which takes place in the 1800’s on the prairies of rural Canada - was filmed in the Saskatoon area.
Farley Mowat's 1961 novella, Owls in the Family is set in Saskatoon and includes references to several area landmarks, including the Railroad Bridge. His 1957 book The Dog Who Wouldn't Be concerns his childhood in Saskatoon in the 1920's and 1930's.
Bear Hugger is a character in the 1994 Super Nintendo game Super Punch Out whose place of origin is Saskatoon.
The character Shelly Tambo (played by Cynthia Geary) on the TV series Northern Exposure was from Saskatoon, and was a former “Miss Saskatoon.”
The Marvel Comics character Puck of the Alpha Flight comic book was born in Saskatoon.
Among the music in the Paul Newman movie Slap Shot is the Sonny James song Little Bit South of Saskatoon.
Famous Faces – a few of the people who have called Saskatoon home:
- Jon Ballantyne - NYC jazz musician, composer, artist
- Ethel Catherwood - Olympic medalist
- Kim Coates - Actor
- The Deep Dark Woods - Rock band
- John Diefenbaker - Former Prime Minister of Canada (1957 - 1963)
- Michael Eklund - Actor
- Don Freed – Singer, songwriter
- Tom Grummett - Comic book artist; Grummett and others were the architects of "The Death of Superman" storyline.
- Gordie Howe - Former NHL hockey player
- Catriona LeMay Doan - Speed skater, Olympic medalist
- Tyler Mane - Former professional wrestler, actor
- Yann Martel - Booker Prize winning author
- Andrea Menard - Musician, actress
- Joni Mitchell – Musician, first Canadian woman to be inducted in the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1997)
- Farley Mowat - Author
- Northern Pikes - Rock band
- Kyle Riabko – Actor, musician
- Roddy Piper - Former professional wrestler, actor
- Brayden Schenn - NHL hockey player; at the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, Schenn tied Canada's record for points in a single tournament, and was selected to the Tournament's All-Star Team, and named Top Forward and Most Valuable Player
- The Sheepdogs - Rock band
- David Sutcliffe - Actor
- Shannon Tweed – Actress, one-time Playboy Playmate of the Year, partner of Gene Simmons of Kiss and mother of his kids
- Gordon Tootoosis - Canadian actor of Cree and Stoney descent, descendant of Yellow Mud Blanket, brother of the famous Cree leader Pitikwahanapiwiyin
- Henry Woolf - Actor
- Janet Wright - Actress
Commerce, Industry, Education
The University of Saskatchewan campus is home to the Canadian Light Source, which is the largest scientific project completed in Canada in over 50 years. The $179-million project resulted in a national synchrotron radiation facility that is used for a wide range of world-class scientific research. The campus also houses the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), which is a global leader in researching the diseases that afflict animal and human health.
The University of Saskatchewan has 13 colleges and approximately 20,000 students every year. It is also the only university in Canada to have all six life sciences colleges and a teaching hospital on the same campus.
The world’s largest uranium company Cameco, and a number of other Canadian Top 100 companies have their corporate headquarters in Saskatoon. Others include Areva mining, Yanke Group of Companies, Crestline Coach, International Road Dynamics, Vecima Networks Inc., Cooperators Life Insurance Co., as well as the world’s largest potash company Potash Corp
Saskatoon is home to world-renowned guitar builders Dingwall Designer Guitars and Fury Guitars.