Category Archives: Saskatoon

Into the Darkness

Alleys of Saskatoon

A photo from July of 2014.  

When I took this photo, it was pitch dark.  I thought I was only shooting a photo down an empty alleyway.  Then the women on the right came running out and demanded to see the photo while yelling at Wendy and I.  I showed her and she seemed okay.  As she was walking back down the alley, she yells back and says, “I just didn’t want anyone to see my f*ck show”.  So yeah, apparently this is a photo of a trick.

Exhibition Curling Club

I was driving around Exhibition with the boys on Wednesday before the roundtable on the Saskatoon Afternoon Show and we came across this.

Exbition Curling Club in Saskatoon

It had a large boarded up entrance on the west side of the building so I knew it had to be a rink.  I didn’t think it was a hockey rink as the Exhibition Arena (which used to serve hot Dr. Pepper) was only a couple of block away yet I had never heard of it before.  Neither had Wikimapia or Wikipedia.

It looks like from the fence that it is connected to the Seventh Day Adventist warehouse and school right next to it but I wasn’t sure.  I tweeted about it and Ward 7 Councillor Mairin Loewen offered up that it was indeed a curling rink (I had also found mentioned of the Exhibition Curling Rink in the provincial archives but no exterior photos) and that it had been used by the Adventists for revival services decades ago.  That was consistent with what some thought it was a church.

Of course the other option is that Councillor Loewen was wrong and that it was a remnant of the camp that the Seventh Day Adventists had on the site years ago before the city had grown out there.  That being said, the Exhibition Arena was never a curling club (it was hockey and rodeo which is why the places smelled like sweaty teens and cow manure) and there are references to the Exhibition Curling Rink in provincial and city archives.

I was by the building again today and it isn’t in great condition but not horrible shape either.  The walls are straight and there isn’t any buckling of the roof but it definitely hasn’t seen any signs of life in a long time.  It would be a great location for a lot of things but I never saw any For Sale signs so it’s not on the market.

If you have any info on the building, let me know in the comments.

Nutana Collegiate Institute

Nutana Collegiate Institute

I posted this photo at Bridge City today.  It’s of Nutana Collegiate and has been to research the project.  The mystery is who is the actual architect of Nutana Collegiate.  Sources list multiple architects and after wading through a lot of conflicting archives, here is what I think I know.

The original 1910 building was designed by Storey and Van Egmond.  David Webster was the architect of the 1919-1920 addition.  Edwards, Edwards & McEwan Architects did the 2012 refurbishment and renovations.

As far as some of the other architects that I have read that have been attributed as the architect of the school, I have no idea.  After reading up on the history of quite a few buildings in Saskatoon, it’s not that uncommon that different architects (in particular David Webster) are listed as the designer.  Blame sloppy record keeping or a later owner wanting his or her building to be associated with a more well known architect.  Whatever the case, it makes the histories of some of Saskatoon’s old buildings more interesting.

Let me know in the comments if you have other information, I’d love to hear what you think or know.

Westgate Books

I’ve been having some fun at Westgate Books lately.  A couple of weeks ago I wandered into the store looking for Saskatoon: A History in Photographs by Jeff O’Brien, Ruth Miller and William P. Delainey.  They didn’t have it but the staff that was helping me went to look in the warehouse.  Instead of the book I was looking for, he came up with two books, Saskatoon, the First Half Century by Don Kerr and a Saskatoon, Hub City of the West: an Illustrated History by Gail McConnell. 

I looked at them and took them both.  I also put my name down on a list if Saskatoon: A History in Photographs came in.  A couple of days later I got a phone call that told me that my book was in and come to pick it up.  Last Friday I went back to get it and it was the wrong book.  It was Saskatoon: A Century in Pictures by  William Duerkop, John Sarjeant and William Delainey  In hindsight I kind of wondered if there was a bit of miscommunication when I ordered Saskatoon: A Century in Pictures but I looked at this book and I realized I wanted to read it as well.  I had a blast all week looking at it.  So has Mark.

Since I am talking about books, it looks like Gail McConnell was doing Kickstarter long before Kickstarter was a thing.  The last 20 or so pages of her book is dedicated to patrons who helped pay to publish her book.  Local Saskatoon businesses sponsored the project and she does a one page profile on each company.  Who knew a history book could be so cutting edge.

While I was getting that book, another staff at Westgate Books went looking for the book in case they missed it and found me another book on the history of electric transit in Saskatoon.  I didn’t have the money on me to get it so they put that away for me.  I’ll wander by this week and get it.  Now I am curious as to what other books I will find in my brief stop at the store.

I know being in the used book business is a hard business to be in but I haven’t had as much fun shopping as I have had in Westgate Books in a very long time.  I hope that still counts for something.

Saskatoon’s 2nd City Hall

King Edward School

Saskatoon City Hall

Two great pictures (umm, one’s a postcard) of Saskatoon’s 2nd City Hall which is King Edward School.  The City bought King Edward School from the Saskatoon Public School board and used it as City Hall until the new one (designed by architect David Webster opened in 1956).

I post it here because I find it interesting and also as a point that it is awfully hard to find good information about the City of Saskatoon’s history without going downtown to the Local History Room at the Saskatoon Public Library.  It’s almost as if the internet doesn’t exist locally.  Some cities celebrate their past, Saskatoon locks into a tiny room across from City Hall.