April 20 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The train arrived into Saskatoon station at around 1am local time. As I disembarked I realised the station building was at the other end of the platform. Platforms in Canada consist of nothing more than track level paving slabs or tarmac. Sometime not even this. It was about 15 railroad cars to the building, which is about 300m!

After a short night’s sleep I took a walk down towards the river. The first thing that struck me about Saskatoon compared to any of the other Canadian cities I have visited so far is the width of the streets. I walked down 2nd Avenue, which is one of the main north-south roads through the city. Cars were parked side by side on both sides of the street still leaving enough for 4 lanes of traffic.

My first stop would be to the Western Development Museum. To get there I took a city bus from downtown, which crossed the South Saskatchewan River and zigzagged through the quiet, tree lined residential areas of the south of Saskatoon.

The museum was something of the extraordinary. Walking through the front doors of the museum you suddenly feel like you have walked through a time portal and arrived on Main Street in 1910. A whole street and a few side streets have been reconstructed to that of a 1910 Prairie town. The street is lined with cars and horse drawn carts from the era. Every building is open to be explored and each has its own fascinating tale.

From the museum I decided to walk the 2-3km back downtown since the nice weather had returned and it was now about 15 degrees, blue skies and the sun was beating down. I stopped at a small café on one the corner of one of the residential streets and feasted upon the biggest sandwich and bowl of soup I have ever had. And for $5 what a bargain.

I was amazed at the hundreds of houses I walked past, each one had its own style and had been individually built, not like the monotonous and repetitive urban architecture of modern Britain. Here, each home was different and sat in one of the many quiet, wide streets of the mainly residential suburbs of the city.

Arriving at the riverside, I wandered through the parkland on the south bank. The banks on both sides have been redeveloped into scenic parks filled with wildlife and people relaxing in the suntraps. I crossed over one of the seven river spanning bridges in Saskatoon and sat next to the Vimy Memorial Bandstand in Kiwanis Memorial Park.

Many people passed through the park, rollerblading, cycling, walking, jogging. Others were canoeing down the half ice covered river. Some young people were dancing in the bandstand while chipmunks scurried around the lawns.

I explored the park through the afternoon and into the evening before I headed off for some dinner and then back to the hotel.

Related Pages

Travel Guide - Saskatchewan
Travel Guide - Saskatoon
Photographs of Saskatoon

Travel Diary

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