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Saskatoon is the largest city in Saskatchewan, home to a quarter of the province’s population. It’s known as The City of Bridges due to the six that cross the rolling South Saskatchewan River which runs through the city. Thousands of people flock to this prairie city every year to enjoy the open landscape and marvellous nature trails. With so much space, there are dozens of things to do in Saskatoon and the area surrounding the city so there’s no shortage of options and opportunities, particularly around the Meewasin Valley.
Downtown — The centre of Saskatoon is the place to find the best restaurants, as well as some excellent shopping precincts and malls. The Midtown plaza is a major landmark shopping area, and you’ll also find City Hall, the big museums, classiest galleries and show-stopping theatres.
Nutana — This was the original settlement in Saskatoon back when the city was founded as an alcohol-free settlement by the Temperance Colonization Society. There are many historic buildings here including Trounce House, the oldest building in Saskatoon and one of the original temperance houses, as well as the art deco Broadway Theatre, Victoria School and the Nutana Collegiate.
Meewasin Valley — Right on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, the Meewasin Valley is a natural haven in the centre of Saskatoon. This is the place to enjoy the outdoors in Saskatoon and the 40 miles of trails around and through the Meewasin Valley Park are filled with runners, walkers, and picnickers, as well as people enjoying activities out on the water.
University of Saskatchewan — The sprawling university occupies most of the northeastern shores of the South Saskatchewan River and is a thriving centre of activity. In addition to the standard features of university life, such as great cafes and historical buildings, visitors can also find several museums including the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Diefenbaker Canada Centre and the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery.
After checking out the Meewasin Valley, take a visit to the Wanuskewin Heritage Park to find out about the 7,000 years of history of Canada’s First Nations. Beaver Creek Conservation Area to the south is also a good day out, while the Saskatchewan Forest Park and Zoo, six miles south of downtown Saskatoon, has some fantastic native Canadian animals including grizzly bears, wolves, cougars and prairie dogs.
The Western Development Museum is a faithful re-enactment of Saskatoon in the early 20th century with a long parade of indoor shops from the period. The Ukrainian Museum of Canada tells the story of immigration by one of the city’s founding communities, and the Saskatchewan Railway Museum has a great selection of engines and rail paraphernalia. There are plenty of activities on the river, such as canoeing, kayaking and open-top boat cruises for visitors who fancy a gentler pace. Fishing is another option, whether in Saskatoon or one of the 100,000 lakes found elsewhere in the province, and in winter you can go cross-country skiing or snowmobiling.