The City of Saskatoon takes its name from misâskwatômina, the Cree word for the Saskatoon berry. These berries grew wild along the banks of the river and provided a major food source for indigenous people and early settlers. Pemmican was a combination of dried meat and berries. The Saskatoon berry bushes flower with white blossoms in the spring and the purple berries ripen in June and July. The fruit is made into jams, pies, cider and wine. There are still Saskatoon berry bushes along the riverbank and several “you-pick” orchards in the city.
Each year Saskatoon residents take part in the Meewasin Valley Pelican Watch Contest to guess the date and time that the American White Pelicans will return to the city’s river. One of the largest birds on the continent, the pelicans weigh 7-10 kg and have a wing span up to 3 m. Breeding males, indicated by the orange horn on their bill, fly in 200 km daily from their nesting grounds at Redberry Lake in the north of the province to feed on fish in the South Saskatchewan River near the city’s weir. As winter approaches the pelicans fly south to California, Florida, Mexico and Guatemala, returning to Saskatoon between April 8th and 18th each year.
A taxi from the airport to the conference hotels will cost approximately $25.00. The Saskatoon city bus #11 runs from the airport to the transit terminus which is 5 blocks from the conference hotels. There are no hotel shuttle buses to the airport.
As part of the “Saskatchewan! Connected” initiative there is a free wireless internet network in the whole of Saskatoon’s downtown core, as well as on the University of Saskatchewan campus and throughout the Broadway Business district.
(Click on map to see a bigger picture of wireless coverage area)
The Midtown Plaza at 21st St. and 1st Ave. has 130 shops anchored by the Bay and Sears.
Other specialty shops in the downtown core are:
The Broadway business district, a 15-minute walk over the Broadway Bridge, has specialty shops, craft galleries, coffee and tea shops and many restaurants including French, Indian, Japanese and Szechuan.
McNally Robinson is a large independent bookstore with a children’s section and shop on the second floor and the popular “Prairie Ink” restaurant serving light meals and decadent desserts. Located at 3130 8th Street East the bookstore is a 20-minute taxi ride from downtown Saskatoon. Hours are Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Saskatoon Farmers Market is located in the River Landing development, west of the Sid Buckwold Bridge at 19th St. and Avenue B. From the conference hotels it is a pleasant 20-minute stroll along the riverbank. The market is open on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Mendel Art Gallery has a permanent collection that includes works by the Group of Seven and other Canadian and Saskatchewan artists. Touring exhibitions change with the seasons. The gallery also features a large conservatory, gift shop and coffee shop. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily and admission is free. The Gallery is located at 950 Spadina Crescent East, north of the University Bridge.
Enjoy the miles of walking / jogging trails that follow the South Saskatchewan river and cross over the many bridges in the city. Walk north from the conference hotels for 2.5 km past the University Bridge and the Mendel Art Gallery to the elevated CPR bridge and see pelicans diving for fish at the base of the weir. Walk south for 1 km under the Broadway Bridge and past the “Traffic Bridge” (Saskatoon’s first bridge, built in 1907) to the new River Landing development. The Meewasin Valley Authority, a conservation organization set up to preserve the river valley, publishes a trail brochure (see p. 3 for the map). Remember the Meewasin trails are in the middle of an urban area so take the usual precautions when using the trails at off periods.
Forestry Farm Park & Zoo
Prince Albert National Park
Just 2 ½ hours north of Saskatoon lies one of Saskatchewan’s best-kept secrets.
Prince Albert National Park offers an unspoiled wilderness for hiking, canoeing, fishing, swimming and camping. The park is a mixture of grasslands and boreal forest and is home to over 240 species of birds including white pelicans. More than 400 plains buffalo range freely in the western half of the park. There are 150 km of hiking trails, from the accessible 2 km boardwalk on the Waskesiu River to the 40 km trail to
Visit the highest point between Labrador and the Rocky Mountains. The Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park was created by Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1989 in order to share this unique pine-clad uplands across their shared southern border. Caused by erosion rather than volcanic action, the area is one of the few places in Canada that was never covered by a glacier. The park features hotel, condo, cabin and camping accommodation. The old Northwest Mounted Police Fort Walsh National Historic Site is located in the park.