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City Explores Non-Traditional Funding Strategy To Realize Its Vision for Downtown Saskatoon

April 15, 2021 - 1:33pm

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April 15, 2021 - 1:30pm

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As the City continues to finalize its vision of a vibrant Downtown into the future, some key components are clear and will require:

  • A new entertainment facility/arena
  • A convention centre
  • A high functioning transit system (including Bus Rapid Transit)

Other Downtown priorities include upgrades to roadway, walking and cycling infrastructure, Fire Hall #1 replacement, advancement of the outdoor festival sites along the riverbank, and reducing homelessness.

Achieving this vision of enhanced vibrancy Downtown is fundamental to the City’s future success.  We have been and continue to be a destination city because of the vision and amenities put in place by our predecessors. Approximately 50 years ago, the train station became Midtown Plaza, Sid Buckwold Bridge opened, and the Meewasin vision became a reality. This is a similar moment in the City’s life, planning for a Downtown that will meet the needs of the future. To maintain our competitive advantage and position, we must continue to provide world class amenities that support our quality of life and our economic foundation.

In a report for the Governance and Priorities Committee, three main projects -- an arena, a convention centre, and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system -- are outlined as key priorities with the potential to transform Downtown, boost our economy, and further increase our attractiveness and improve our quality of life.

“Sasktel Centre and TCU Place are both nearing the end of their useful service lives and, without substantial renovations, cannot maintain market competitiveness in their current state,” says Lesley Anderson, Director of Planning and Development.

“Locating a new arena Downtown would have many mutual benefits for other major facilities such as the convention centre, and existing Downtown attractions including dining, hotels, and retail – creating the conditions for a fully-animated event and entertainment district.”

“A Bus Rapid Transit system, which has already received City Council approval to proceed, is an integral piece of building a successful and thriving entertainment district in Downtown Saskatoon,” notes Dan Willems, Director of Technical Services.

“Advancing a plan to provide core entertainment amenities located in Downtown which are supported by a rapid, reliable transit system will strengthen our position as a destination city.”

Construction of these types of amenities has been accomplished in many other jurisdictions through use of multiple funding streams, many of which have not been used before in Saskatoon.  Examples of funding tools used elsewhere for similar projects include taxes on hotel room and other short-term accommodation rentals, motor vehicle rental charges, and tax increment financing, to name a few.  Exploration and implementation of non-traditional funding sources will be key to achieving the vision of Saskatoon’s future in a way that minimizes reliance on property tax.

The Administration estimates that over a 25 year-period, there will be the potential for significant revenue generated to offset the need to rely on property taxes for these projects. These sources include a combination of new possible revenue streams and existing funding, such as the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program contributions expected from all three levels of government.  This combination of funding would be more than enough to cover the estimated costs of a new downtown arena, upgraded convention centre, and BRT.

“The aim of this funding/financing strategy is to minimize contributions from property taxes to pay for the bundle of sub-projects within this transformational project. It also attempts to improve fairness by generating revenues from those who benefit from the amenities, particularly, non-residents who tend to benefit from tourism-based infrastructure,” says Mike Jordan, Chief Public Policy and Government Relations Officer.

“However, achieving this outcome requires a substantial long-term investment and a partnership between the City, other orders of government, and industry.” 

The report will be presented to GPC at its April 19 meeting.

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Day – Sunday, April 11

April 7, 2021 - 8:54am

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April 7, 2021 - 9:00am

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The City of Saskatoon and GFL Environmental Inc. will host the first Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Drop-off Day of the year this Sunday.

Saskatoon residents are invited to drop off their HHW materials for recycling and safe disposal, including aerosols, automotive fluids, batteries, cleaners, cylinders, light bulbs, medications, yard chemicals, vaping products, and more. Complete lists of acceptable and unacceptable items are available at saskatoon.ca/hazardouswaste.

Reminders:

  • In response to COVID-19, updated guidelines and restrictions will be in place to help reduce the spread of the virus. More info at saskatoon.ca/hazardouswaste.
  • Please ensure all containers are safely sealed and contents are clearly marked.
  • To avoid potentially long line-ups and wait times, ask the Waste Wizard at  saskatoon.ca/wastewizard to find other means of recycling and safe disposal.
  • Help reduce emissions from idling and protect the health of other residents by turning off vehicles during long wait times.
  • Approximate wait times will be posted periodically on the day of the event on the Facebook event page.

Thank you for helping us put waste in the right place!

Adjusted Holiday Hours & Civic Services for Good Friday April 2 and Easter Monday April 5, 2021

March 30, 2021 - 12:00pm

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March 30, 2021 - 12:00pm

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Due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements and the current phase of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, the City of Saskatoon already has a number of adjusted services in place. 

The City of Saskatoon will have a number of adjusted civic services and altered holiday hours over the holiday season. Wondering what’s open or closed. See full details on the City’s website.

Please visit saskatoon.ca/covid-19 for timely updates from the City of Saskatoon on everything you need to know to stay safe.

City crews responding to Winter Storm

March 29, 2021 - 3:25pm

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March 29, 2021 - 3:30pm

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High winds and combination of rain and then blowing snow are causing slight snow accumulation, icy conditions on roadways, bridges, intersections and sidewalks, and reduced visibility around the city. Crews are clearing snow off Circle Drive and other expressways, at locations where snow has drifted onto the roadway, monitoring high traffic roads, and applying de-icing material as required. For the most up-to-date weather forecast for Saskatoon, please visit Environment Canada

Saskatoon residents should note the following during this weather event:  

  • If possible, stay off the roads when poor conditions are forecast or underway.  
  • Drivers that do venture out should be prepared for icy roads, snow accumulation and reduced visibility due to blowing snow and drifting. A reminder to keep an eye out for snow equipment – stay at least 2-3 vehicle lengths behind and be prepared to stop quickly.  
  • Wet and blowing snow can cover traffic signals and road signs. Stay aware at intersections and, when safe to do so, covered traffic lights and road signs should be reported to the City’s 24/7 Customer Care Centre at 306-975-2476 or customercare@saskatoon.ca.  

Saskatoon Light & Power staff are dealing with service interruptions and issues as they occur. Service Alerts with regular updates will also be issued when outages occur.  

Saskatoon Transit continues regular service, however, may be affected by any changes in weather. Transit service alerts and real-time bus information is available on third-party apps like Transit and Google Maps Transit on desktop. 

The City Landfill is temporarily closed to the public due to reduced visibility and blowing debris. Curbside waste collections will continue as scheduled or until further notice. Residents are reminded to store their waste carts as soon as possible after collection to avoid tipped carts and wind-blown litter. Further updates will be made available at saskatoon.ca/waste

The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo is closed due to inclement weather. The Zoo is expected to re-open at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 30. 

A combination of freezing rain, snow, and strong winds can result in tree branch failure. To report storm damaged trees please call Urban Forestry at 306-975-2890 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.) or the 24-hour Customer Service Centre at 306-975-2476 (after hours and weekends). For more information, visit saskatoon.ca/treeinspections.  

City Building Flags Lowered as Saskatchewan Marks One Year Since First COVID-19 Case

March 12, 2021 - 11:15am

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March 12, 2021 - 11:15am

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The flags at Saskatoon civic buildings have been lowered today to mark one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Saskatchewan. Flags will remain at half-mast through the weekend.

“The impact of COVID-19 on our community has been profound. Our lives have all changed dramatically in this past year, since the first case was found in our province on March 12,” says Mayor Charlie Clark.

“Since then, 401 Saskatchewan lives have been lost and this has had a tremendous toll on families. Essential services workers have stepped up heroically to keep our city running and worked tirelessly to keep us safe.

“Today, and over the weekend, is a chance for us all to remember those whose lives have been lost and to show gratitude for all of the sacrifice and service through this very challenging year.”

Saskatoon Transit takes part in Pink Shirt Day

February 24, 2021 - 8:16am

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February 24, 2021 - 8:15am

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On this day and every day, Saskatoon Transit asks the community to lift each other up” and work together to treat others with dignity and respect.  

Today, February 24, is Pink Shirt Day. In support of this global kindness movement, Saskatoon Transit vehicles can be spotted around the city sporting pink t-shirt decals. The decals will stay up for the entire day. 

About Pink Shirt Day 
Inspired by an act of kindness in small-town Nova Scotia, Pink Shirt Day acts to raise awareness of bullying in schools, workplaces, homes and online, as well as raise funds to support programs that foster children’s healthy self-esteem. To learn more, visit www.pinkshirtday.ca. 

Get Social 
If you see our fleet vehicles out with pink shirts, snap a picture and tag @stoontransit with #PinkShirtDay on Twitter. 

On February 24, 2021, we encourage everyone to practice kindness and wear pink to symbolize that you do not tolerate bullying.  

Be the ‘I’ in kind – Random Acts of Kindness week

February 16, 2021 - 8:04am

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February 16, 2021 - 8:00am

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Saskatoon Transit is upholding the annual tradition of celebrating kindness.Even the smallest acts can change a life. Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 14 – 20, 2021. It is a time to celebrate the kindness in our community. 

Saskatoon Transit, in partnership with the Saskatoon Media Group, has created a background in the downtown transit terminal to remind people to Be the “I” in KIND. People are encouraged to share their pictures from in front of the background with the hashtag #RAKYXE and tag @stoontransit on Twitter. 

If you can’t get downtown to see the background, get creative and make your own and share with the hashtag #RAKYXE.  For more ideas on how to spread kindness go to RandomActsOfKindness.org. 

Please join the community and participate in Random Acts of Kindness Week! When we tune into the kindness happening around us, the day seems a little bit brighter. 

Saskatoon Transit runs every day – no matter the weather

January 26, 2021 - 2:33pm

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January 26, 2021 - 2:30pm

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Saskatoon Transit runs every day, no matter the weather. At temperatures of -20°C and below, buses do not kneel, however the ramp at the front can still be deployed.  

Saskatoon Transit continues its ongoing commitment to the safety of all citizens with the Safe Bus Program. As this period of extreme cold continues, remember that all Transit operators have a direct line to emergency services 

If you need immediate shelter or emergency services, flag down a bus or go to a parked bus and the operator will give you a safe place to wait. There is no fee for using the Safe Bus. 

To safely flag down a bus, stand at a stop or on a sidewalk and hold your hand in the air, palm facing outNever step into a roadway to flag down a bus.  

Saskatoon Transit is there for citizens 365 days a yearStay safe all year long with Safe Bus. 

Lost and found from Saskatoon Transit donated to help those in need

January 21, 2021 - 8:52am

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January 21, 2021 - 8:45am

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Saskatoon Transit will be donating unclaimed lost and found clothing to Village Green Thrift Shop, a non-profit shop who will make them available to those in need. Village Green puts out clothes on certain evenings when the weather is cold for those in need to help themselves. Due to COVID-19 they follow the guidelines and quarantine everything for 24 hours before items are sold or given away. 

Saskatoon Transit Customer Service holds items in the lost and found for 90 days. To inquire about a lost item, call the Transit Customer Service Centre at 306.975.3100 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to see if your lost item was found. Proof of ownership will be required to obtain lost items.  

If passengers find something of value on the bus, they are encouraged to give it to the operator who will take it to the Customer Service Office otherwise the utility staff will get it at the end of the day. For more information on Saskatoon Transit’s Lost and Found Policy please visit: SaskatoonTransit.ca/lost-found

Access Transit bus & train collide: no injuries

January 20, 2021 - 9:51am

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January 20, 2021 - 9:45am

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A Saskatoon Access Transit bus and a Canadian Pacific Train collided around 7:45 a.m. this morning at a crossing on 20th Street West; Access Transit is grateful there are no reported injuries.

 

The operator had parked near Station 20 West to help a passenger off. Another passenger remained on the bus.

 

Saskatoon Fire dispatched two engines to the scene and upon arrival firefighter paramedics helped to assist transferring the remaining passenger to hospital as a precaution. While the internal investigation is underway by Transit supervisors, it appears the bus had been parked too close to the railroad tracks.

 

Shortly after 9:00 a.m. rail officials reported the train was assessed and was safe to continue its trip.

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