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For years, the riverfront between the Senator Sid Buckwold and Victoria Bridges had been a large gravel parking lot and boat launch. The City recognized that the area had the potential to be the heart of Saskatoon’s business and social corridor. The riverfront portion is an important opportunity to improve the community fabric, and to enhance the functional, aesthetic and landscape characteristics of this critically important site.
The City developed the Master Plan for the Phase I riverfront in 2003, and the Provincial Government provided $4 million in capital funding to begin the redevelopment. In 2006, the Government of Canada provided a $3 million grant and the City of Saskatoon provided an additional $2.76 million. At full build-out, the riverfront project is designed to include:
- a riverwalk for close-to-the-water strolling;
- river viewing areas to strengthen the concept of the "river as a stage";
- a pedestrian bridge;
- a site for a feature building;
- a promenade that could eventually tie in Friendship and Kiwanis Parks;
- a new boat dock to support and enhance river activities and events;
- a pavilion to service day-to-day activities and special events;
- a children’s water play area;
- amphitheatres to support performances and other events; and,
- a river tributary and garden (future).
Construction began in the spring of 2004 on the rough landscape, the "hard edges" and overlooks on the riverbank, and the construction of underground utilities to service the park. In 2005 and 2006 construction was completed on the landscaping and pathways including the installation of guardrails, sun shelters, streetscape furniture, irrigation, and lighting. The "suspension" bridge across the new "river tributary" and garden was completed, and entrances to the site from backshore area and Meewasin Trails were developed. In 2008 the water play feature and pavilion opened. The 'Saskatchewan River Run" waterplay feature interprets the geography and natural and cultural heritage of the basin in a children's wather play area. The pavilion is home of Prairie Fare concession and also includes washrooms and a seating area.
Construction for the 2009 season includes the river garden and tributary walk, and installation of a seasonal public dock which will allow recreational boaters access to the riverfront. The river garden and tributary walk will provide a gateway to River Landing from the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge and from downtown. The construction of these areas could be completed as early as 2010.
Last updated November 16, 2009