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  Saskatoon City


[Updated 2012]

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan's largest city with a metro region population of 260,600 (2011 census), is a beautiful university town whose lyrical name comes from a Cree word for the tasty wild berry found along its riverbank.

Established in the late 1800s as a temperance colony, it's now a vibrant, diverse and proud city that's the hub of the province's natural resources and agricultural industries. It's also a innovation and research centre that's home to the Canadian Light Source, Canada's national synchrotron research facility.

The South Saskatchewan River that bisects the city is Saskatoon's pride and joy. No visitor should miss the opportunity to walk, bike or jog along part of the comprehensive network of trails that parallel the river. Even long-time residents become mesmerized watching the white pelicans fish in the fast flow at the base of the river's weir; a spring contest rewards the person who predicts the day the elegant birds return to the city. Stop in at the Meewasin Valley Authority centre (open year-round), to get a feel for the lay of the land and to choose the trail segment that meets your interests.

Saskatoon: City of Bridges Then, bid farewell to the serenity of the trail and have some cosmopolitan fun. Savor a unique interpretation of the bard at the internationally-acclaimed and award-winning Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival. The festival takes place in an informal tent setting and runs through most of the summer. Downtown comes alive with the sound of music during the annual Saskatoon Jazz Festival, and theatre of the wild and wacky awaits patrons of the Saskatoon International Fringe Festival. The city is home to three professional theatre companies (Persephone, 25th Street and Greystone) and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.

Golf courses (see golf guide at bottom), a thoroughbred race track, a vibrant farmers' market, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, parks, craft shops and art galleries (including the Mendel, a wide assortment of restaurants and nightclubs and great accommodations - check out Tourism Saskatoon and the City of Saskatoon for more.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park, recognized internationally as a unique interpretive centre for Indian culture, is situated 10 minutes north of the city on land inhabited by Indians for at least the last 6,000 years. The central facility features displays, cultural artifacts, and a gift shop. In summer months, watch the fascinating "hoop dance" at the outdoor theatre and take one of the hiking trails to view active archaeological digs and tipi rings.

Canada's 13th prime minister, Saskatchewan's John Diefenbaker, is commemorated at The Diefenbaker Canada Centre, on the University of Saskatchewan campus. The centre also hosts temporary displays of intriguing historical artifacts - a rare copy of Magna Carta was a popular attraction. And if you're on campus, roam around the lushly-landscaped stone buildings and visit a few of the seven museums and art galleries located there. The Ukrainian Museum of Canada, situated just across the river, displays decorative textiles, Easter egg and other art, as well as historical information on a people whose culture and traditions greatly influenced the development of Western Canada. The Western Development Museum, in the south end of the city, features an authentically-recreated, early 20th Century streetscape and a magnificent collection of antique automobiles and farm equipment.

Find out for yourself why everybody likes Saskatoon. Make it part of your Saskatchewan vacation.

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