History of Saskatoon
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The history of Saskatoon began with the first permanent settlement of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1883 when Toronto Methodists, wanting to escape the liquor trade in that city, decided to set up a "dry" community in the rapidly growing prairie region. As of 1882 this area was a part of the provisional district named Saskatchewan, North-West Territories. Their organization, the Temperance Colonization Society, first examined this area in 1882 and found that it would make an excellent location to found their community based on the ideals of the temperance movement. The settlers, led by John Neilson Lake, arrived on the site of what is now Saskatoon by traveling by railway from Ontario to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and then completing the final leg via horse-drawn cart (the railway had yet to be completed to Saskatoon). The plan for the Temperance Colony soon failed as the group was unable to obtain a large block of land within the community. Nonetheless, John Lake is commonly identified as the founder of Saskatoon; a public school, a park and two streets are named after him (Lake Crescent, which was developed in the 1960s, and Eastlake Avenue, originally Lake Avenue (as testified on the first map of Saskatoon from 1883), but later changed for reasons unknown).
In 1885, several houses on 11th Street East were used as military hospitals during the North-West Rebellion. One house, the Marr Residence, is currently a heritage site run by the Meewasin Valley Authority. The first school, Victoria School, opened for classes at the corner of 11th Street and Broadway Avenue in 1888. This small school, now called the "Little Stone Schoolhouse", now sits on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan.
|Rate of Population Change|
|*The 2006 population number and five-year population
change numbers are estimates based on Census data.
Hub city and agricultural boom
The Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway reached Saskatoon in 1890 and crossed the South Saskatchewan River where the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge now stands, causing a boom in development on the west side of the river. In 1901, Saskatoon's population hit 113. A third settlement, Riversdale, also began just southwest of Saskatoon.
1903 saw an economic boom for Saskatoon with the encampment of Barr colonists on their way to the Brittania colony. A town charter for the west side of the river was obtained in 1903; Nutana became a village in the same year.
April 1904 saw the collapse of the rail bridge due to spring melt and ice on the South Saskatchewan River. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway system survey proposed Hanley as its northern terminal between Regina and Prince Albert. Saskatoon's Board of Trade sent delegates from Saskatoon to Ottawa to discuss the river crossing and proposed city bridges. Their mission resulted in the selection of Saskatoon as the divisional centre for both the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway; both of these built bridges near the town by 1907. The QLL&SR bridge was rebuilt in 1905, and again after a train fell through it in March 1914; it was demolished in 1965 to make way for the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge and the Idylwyld Freeway.
Following the formation of the Province of Saskatchewan September 1, 1905, premier Hon. Walter Scott focused on the creation of a provincial university and agricultural college. Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina, Qu'Appelle, Indian Head and Battleford were all under consideration for this location. President Walter Murray and the Board of University Governors voted in favour of Saskatoon on April 7, 1907.
1907 saw the completion of the Traffic Bridge, as well as the CPR Bridge and Grand Trunk Pacific GTP Railway Bridge. The geographical barrier: South Saskatchewan River between Nutana and West Saskatoon was overcome with the building of the Traffic Bridge, which opened in 1907. The physical barrier of the CNR rail yards isolated Riversdale and Saskatoon. Road underpasses below the rail line were built at 19th and 23rd Streets, and a wooden pedestrian overpass at 20th Street.
- Temperance colony settlement of the late 19th century.
- Economic surge created by the Barr colonists 1903.
- Saskatoon becoming western Canada's railway network hub.
- Acquisition of the University of Saskatchewan.
After World War I, the Dirty Thirties and Depression years saw migration away from bankrupt farms and towards a hope of employment in the cities. The socio-economic changes brought about by World War II and the industrial revolution saw a shift from rural life to urban living. Saskatoon was not only a centre for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the 1940s, but also became a major regional distribution and service centre. Saskatoon experienced a severe shortage of residential dwellings between 1945 and 1960.
In 1906, the boundaries of Saskatoon were Clarence Avenue to the east, Taylor Street to the south, Avenue P to the west, and 33rd Street East to the north. This area is roughly the same as the core neighborhood suburban development area. These boundaries remained basically the same for approximately 40 years until Saskatoon reached financial stability during World War II. The following suburban development areas saw neighborhoods developed between 1940 and 1980: Nutana SDA on the east side; on the west side Confederation SDA and Lawson SDA. In 1955, Montgomery Place and in 1956 the neighboring town of Sutherland were annexed by the quickly growing City of Saskatoon This growth continued until the mid-1980s.
|Annexation of Saskatoon Neighbourhoods by year, 1911–2005.|
East North Park
Hudson Bay Industrial
Mount Royal West
|1960–64||C.N. Industrial 1
||Confederation Suburban Ctr.
|1965–69||Airport Industrial||C.N. Industrial 2||South Nutana Park|
||Hudson Bay Ind.
|2000–04||Hampton Village||Willows||University Heights SDA|
|2005||Blairmore||Marquis Industrial (Akzo)|
Saskatoon's first growth spurt gained Saskatoon the nickname Hub City, whereas the latest growth phenomenon has been termed Sask-a-boom. The 10-year capital deficiency discussion paper for 2007–2016 has recently been updated for 2007. The new priority for the civic government are infrastructure needs and proposed new capital projects for the population increases and for the physical geographical growth. The phenomenal retail sector increase, new neighborhoods and communities place a demand upon the city to provide additional firehalls, transit buses, police headquarters, libraries, water plants, electrical power plants, bridges, interchanges and roadways. Brookside, Rosewood, Stonebridge, The Willows, Willowgrove, University Heights Suburban Centre, Hampton Village, Hudson Bay Industrial, Marquis Industrial, Blairmore Suburban Centre, and another 10 unnamed proposed neighborhoods are being developed or are currently under construction. 
A further annexation of extensive areas to the north, northeast and east of the city took place in July 2010.
On August 24, 2010, the Traffic Bridge, which symbolized the uniting of Saskatoon, Nutana and Riversdale into one city, was closed indefinitely due to structural integrity concerns were raised. In 2011 city council decided to replace the iconic bridge, but to date this has yet to occur.
Location in relation to neighbouring communities
Saskatoon became a city with the amalgamation with the above three communities, however the current size of Saskatoon has meant that the geographical presence of Saskatoon has encompassed several other early communities.
- North Saskatoon is now known as North Park.
- West Saskatoon was a post office from 1900, which changed its name to Saskatoon in 1902. This area is currently referred to as the Central Business District.
- Chappell was a CNR station west of Saskatoon, located near the present-day location of Montgomery Place.
- There was also a community known as Brownell near North Saskatoon; it was located near present-day 51st Street and Miners Avenue, in the present-day neighborhood of Hudson Bay Industrial.
- McNab Park was built 1967 as a Royal Canadian Air Force station and is located in the Airport Business Area. It has been used as a low-income housing development for many years. The community was decommissioned and dismantled in 2011–2012 and is being redeveloped as a business park.
- The "Magic City" of Factoria is now the neighborhood of Silverwood Heights. Billy Silverwood, a horse breeder and spring water bottler, owned land 2 miles (3 km) north of the 1912 Saskatoon city limits. The enterprises of horse breeding and bottling water, where an uncontaminated water supply was needed, were not a good combination. R.E. Glass, a Chicago entrepreneur, had a vision of an industrial community and purchased the Silverwood Bottling Company. He foresaw extending the rail line to service factories, breweries, flour mills, and expanded bottling works. The rail line came in 1913, and the beginnings of businesses lined the track, however World War I and the coming of electricity in 1918 made the venture unsuccessful.
- Caswell Hill was a hill located in the homestead of Robert Caswell; it was developed as Saskatoon's first suburb and is prominent in early photographs of the west side of Saskatoon.
- Crescent Heights was a proposed subdivision from 1912. It would have been located five miles (8 km) from the Saskatoon city limits, at the location of Battleford Trail Road, which remains outside the city limits to this day.
- West of Saskatoon were a number of CNR and CPR stations closely spaced together along their parallel tracks. The closest was Yorath, on the CNR line just west of the river, near Yorath Island and approximately where the landfill is located today. Garfield was the closest CPR station, approximately where the present-day neighbourhoods of Fairhaven, Saskatoon and Parkridge, Saskatoon are located. About three miles (5 km) farther out were Cory (CPR), Farley (CNR), and Eaton (CNR branch line toward Vanscoy), in approximately a north-south line; Eaton was renamed Hawker, as the post office was confused with Eatonia, and is now the location of the Saskatchewan Railway Museum. Eaton was also used briefly as an Ukrainian Canadian internment during World War I.
- Smithville Cemetery is just west of Saskatoon on Highway 14 just west of the city, although it is now within the city limits.
- East of Saskatoon, Newcross (north of Grasswood, earlier called South Saskatoon) and Duro were CNR stations between Saskatoon and Clavet, while Engen and Floral were east of Saskatoon on the CPR line.
- In 1904, the Grand Trunk Railway GTR built a station named Earl 3 three miles (5 km) south of the boundaries of Saskatoon at that time. This is presently the CN Industrial area.
Legal land locations
|Location name||Section||Township||Range west of Third Meridian||Notes|
|Haultain||36||34||5||1916 post office|
|Little Stone S.D.||33||35||5|
|Montgomery Place S.D.||36||6|
|Gardenvilla S.D.||NE 13||37||5|
Currently Saskatoon is considered to be located encompassing townships 36 and 37, range 5 and township 36, range 6, west of the Third Meridian. (See also Dominion Land Survey – Each township is a 6-mile (10 km) square.)
Location relative to other historic communities in Saskatchewan
Robert Caswell's homestead
Gardenvilla S.D. 963
|Saskatoon||Qu'Appelle, Long Lake & Saskatchewan RR
or CNR Bridge
|Eaton/Hawker||South: Yorath Island
Grand Trunk Pacific
or C.N.R. Bridge
- Populace Spring 2006 accessed March 31, 2007
- Saskatoon Gen Web Project Narratives of Saskatoon accessed March 30, 2007
- Theatre Research in Canada SASKATCHEWAN'S LAST OPERA HOUSE: HANLEY 1912–1982 accessed March 30, 2007
- Local History Room Quirky Facts (Saskatoon Public Library)The day a train fell into the river accessed March 30, 2007
- Murray, Jean E. Saskatchewan History Vol XII No. 1, Winter 1959, ed. The contest for the University of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Archives Board. p. 1.
- Youngberg, Gail A. Atlas of Saskatchewan Millennium Edition, ed. Development of the City of Saskatoon. University of Saskatchewan. p. 283.
- Saskatchewan Vintage Post Cards accessed March 26, 2007
- Sarjeant, A. margaret, and William A.S. The Canadian Encyclopedia, ed. Saskatoon – Development. Hurtig Publisher Inc. p. 1643.
- S. Raby, and T. Richards. Atlas of Saskatchewan 1969, ed. Residential Areas in Regina and Saskatoon. University of Saskatchewan. p. 181.
- Saskatoon 100 accessed March 26, 2007
- The Sentinel January 2006, This Month in History accessed February 2, 2007
- Bernhardt, Darren. Saskatoon Star Phoenix, ed. City Scrambling Over Funding Crunch Forecast. Saskatoon Star Phoenix newspaper Sat February 24, 2007. pp. A1.
- "Traffic Bridge Closed Immediately Until Further Notice". City of Saskatoon. August 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Saskatchewan, Canada, Rand McNally 1924 Indexed Pocket Map Tourists' and Shippers' Guide accessed January 19, 2007
- Post Offices and Postmasters – ArchiviaNet – Library and Archives Canada accessed January 19, 2007
- Brownell School District #904 Saskatchewan One room school house project accessed March 25, 2007
- National Archives Archivia Net Post Offices and Postmasters accessed March 25, 2007
- A History of Saskatoon To 1914 accessed January 19, 2007
- City of Saskatoon The Saskatoon History Quiz
- Welcome to Saskrailmuseum.org accessed March 25, 2007
- 1941 Waghorn's Guide accessed March 25, 2007
- Canadian Maps: January 1925 Waghorn's Guide. Post Offices in Man. Sask. Alta. and West Ontario. accessed January 19, 2007
- Stovel's Pocket Maps Showing Provincial Electoral Districts Saskatchewan accessed January 19, 2007
- 1905 CNR map accessed March 25, 2007
- 1948 Waghorn's Guide accessed March 25, 2007
- 1922 New World Atlas and Gazetteer accessed March 25, 2007
- Item Display – Post Offices and Postmasters ArchiviaNet – Library and Archives Canada accessed April 1, 2007 – Thomas Waters first post master
- Sask Gen Web Homestead Records Township, Range, Meridian accessed January 19, 2007
- Saskatchewan Gen Web One Room Schoolhouse Project accessed April 1, 2007
- City of Saskatoon · Quick Facts accessed January 19, 2007
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Heritage of Saskatoon.|
- Saskatoon Gen Web Project – Saskatoon Dominion Land Grants Original Homesteaders Townships 36, 37. Ranges 5,6. West of the Third Meridian
- Populace Spring 2006
- City of Saskatoon – City Planning
- City of Saskatoon: Departments · Community Services · City Planning · ZAM Maps
- saskMAPS.ca Saskatoon interactive growth map
- The Saskatoon Heritage Society old site
- The Saskatoon Heritage Society new website
- Saskatoon Heritage Guide* City of Saskatoon – Departments – Community Services · Development MUNICIPALLY DESIGNATED HERITAGE PROPERTIES
- Saskatoon Gen Web Project – Narratives of Saskatoon 1882–1912