Don Atchison

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Donald J. Atchison
Mayor of Saskatoon
In office
October 22, 2003 – October 26, 2016
Preceded by Jim Maddin
Succeeded by Charlie Clark
City of Saskatoon Councillor
In office
Succeeded by Bev Dubois
Constituency Ward 10
Personal details
Born (1952-03-01) March 1, 1952 (age 65) [1]
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Residence Saskatoon
Occupation Business owner

Donald J. Atchison is a Canadian politician who was mayor of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from 2003 to 2016. He was first elected as mayor on October 22, 2003 in a close four-way contest.[2] He ran on a platform that included being tough on crime, freezing property taxes, and resuming control of the city's police commission. He was re-elected as mayor in 2006, 2009 and 2012. He lost his bid for a fifth term as mayor in 2016, when he was defeated by former city councillor Charlie Clark.[3] Atchison was the longest-serving mayor in Saskatoon's history, at 13 years.[4][5][6]

Prior to being mayor, Atchison was first elected to Saskatoon's city council as a councillor for Ward 10 in 1994, and was re-elected in 1997 and 2000. As a city councillor, he suggested a part of downtown Saskatoon should be enclosed by a $80 million 10-storey climate-controlled glass atrium, dubbed the "Atreos."[7][8]

Atchison also is known to be precise about his dress, as he owns a men's clothing store. On his first election as mayor, he required citizens visiting the Mayor's office to be formally dressed, a policy that was soon dropped after being criticized.[9] Both points were ridiculed by CBC satirist Rick Mercer who sponsored an online contest in 2004 that went on to name Atchison "Canada's Craziest Mayor."[10]

Personal life[edit]

Atchison was born and raised in Saskatoon where he attended Queen Elizabeth and Holliston elementary schools, Walter Murray Collegiate and the University of Saskatchewan. He has participated in curling, tennis, Canadian football, golf and hockey as both a player and a coach.[11]

Atchison is the owner/operator of a longtime men's clothing store in downtown Saskatoon (Atch & Co). He is also a member of the Saskatchewan Grand Lodge of Freemasons.[12] He and his wife Mardele have five children.[13]

Invited to Gay Pride parades repeatedly over his 13 years as mayor, he refused every time, despite being known as a mayor who attends every event he can. The absence of support for the city's LGBTQ community led to accusations that he is homophobic.[14][15]


  1. ^ Tank, Phil (2013-10-26). "A decade of Atch: Will he run in 2016?". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  2. ^ Pedersen, Jen. "A Seat on Council: The Aldermen, Councillors and Mayors of Saskatoon 1903-2006" (PDF). City of Saskatoon. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 23, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Charlie Clark defeats Don Atchison to become Saskatoon's new mayor-elect". CBC News. 2016-10-26. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  4. ^ Coolican, Lori (October 26, 2006). "Atchison landslide". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  5. ^ Hutton, David (October 29, 2009). "Three-peat! Don Atchison wins third term as mayor of Saskatoon". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  6. ^ Hutton, David (2012-10-24). "Four more years: Don Atchison reelected as Saskatoon mayor". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  7. ^ Hutton, David (2011-01-29). "Is Saskatoon a 'winter city'?". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  8. ^ Morin, Chris (2014-12-28). "Strange ideas that never came to be". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2014-12-28. 
  9. ^ MacGregor, Roy (February 14, 2004). "Dress smart for the part, even if people say you're 'Canada's craziest mayor'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2012-10-05. 
  10. ^ MacPherson, Les (July 3, 2010). "Keep your shirt on over dress code debate". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  11. ^ "Involved". Multicultural Community of Interest Committee. 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  12. ^ "The Tracing Board" (PDF). Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan. December 2006. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  13. ^ Willett, Edward (July 2010). "Up close and personal with Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison and wife Mardele". Fine Lifestyles Saskatoon. Fine Lifestyles Magazine. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  14. ^ Tank, Phil (June 7, 2016). "Mayor denies he avoids Pride Festival events". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  15. ^ Rockliffe, Amber (June 14, 2015). "Letter asks mayor to apologize for lack of pride week support". Global News. Corus News. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 

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