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Saskatoon

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Travel Guide North America Canada Saskatchewan Saskatoon

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Introduction

Saskatoon is a city in central Saskatchewan. With a metropolitan population of over 300,000 people, it is the province's largest city, and its economic and cultural hub. It has a beautiful setting along a river, and makes the most of it with parks and bridges. It's a little oasis among wheat fields.

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Neighbourhoods

Roads which run generally east-west are usually named "street"; those running generally north-south are usually named "avenue". The major north-south road called Idylwyld Drive, Louis Riel Trail, and highway 11 marks the division between "east" and "west" streets. 22nd Street (west of the river) and Aird Street (east of the river) mark the division between "north" and "south" avenues.

The Meewasin park along the river, from just past University Bridge in the northeast to just past Idylwyld bridge in the southwest, is the heart of the traveler's beat. It is a beautiful, peaceful place to stroll, ride bikes, or skate.

On the east side of the river, the University of Saskatchewan lies just north of University Bridge and College Drive (highway 5); Nutana is between University Bridge and Idylwyld bridge, to 8th Street East on the south and Clarence Ave South on the east ; and the Broadway Avenue district (within Nutana) runs from the Broadway bridge eastwards, particularly between 8th Street and 12th Street, and generally including roughly a block on either side, full of interesting shops and restaurants.

On the west side of the river, the Central Business District is bounded by 19th Street East on the south, Idylwyld Drive - Louis Riel Trail (highway 11) on the west, 25th Street East on the north, and the Meewasin park on the east. (Streets here are "East".) It is pedestrian-oriented, with many shops and restaurants. 21st Street East and 2nd Avenue North and South are the main arteries, and the intersection of these two is the the "heart" or centre of the city. Bus lines pass through a transit terminal here.

"Alphabet Soup" is the informal name for the alphabetized avenues west of Idylwyld Drive - Louis Riel Trail (highway 11), from Avenue B through to Avenue Y, south of 33rd Street West. (Streets here are "West".) It is considered to be sketchy, with more crime than other areas. Gentrification is nibbling away at the sketchiness, along major roads and near the river. There's little reason for tourists to be outside the gentrified areas in this part of town anyway.

These neighborhoods are useful references for travelers, but don't cover the whole city. Other attractions and important transportation hubs are also outside of these areas.

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Sights and Activities

A good place to start is to walk up and down the Meewasin Trail, crossing the South Saskatchewan River at the University Bridge, the Broadway Bridge, and the Idylwild Bridge. On a fine day, this rewards you with beautiful views, and connects you to attractions and the districts of most interest to a visitor.

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Weather

Saskatoon has warm summers and cold winters. Temperatures range from 25 °C during the day in summer on average, to -24 °C in winters at night. Temperatures have been recording though of 40 °C and -49 °C respectively. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year with around 8 to 12 days of rain or snow each month. From November to March, most of it is actually snow. Summers are a little wetter regarding the amount of precipitation, around 50 mm a month, compared to around 20 mm in winter.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-11.8 °C-7.8 °C-0.7 °C10.6 °C18.4 °C22.6 °C24.9 °C24.4 °C18 °C10.8 °C-1.5 °C-9.2 °C
Avg Min-22.3 °C-18.2 °C-10.9 °C-1.9 °C4.5 °C9.4 °C11.4 °C10.2 °C4.4 °C-1.9 °C-10.9 °C-19.4 °C
Rainfall15.2 mm10.3 mm14.7 mm23.9 mm49.4 mm61.1 mm60.1 mm38.8 mm30.7 mm16.7 mm13.3 mm15.9 mm
Rain Days11.38.38.189.612.211.49.48.16.28.310.7

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Getting There

By Plane

Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport (YXE) is located about 6 kilometres from the city centre of Saskatoon.
There are flights to Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Chicago, Denver and some seasonal or chartered services to Las Vegas, Mexico and th Caribbean islands.

By Train

The Canadian is operated by ViaRail and travels from Vancouver to Toronto, stopping en route in Saskatoon. A train from Toronto will take over two days and the prices in economy are only slightly cheaper than flying, depending when you book. Trains stop at the 2 Saskatoon railway station, located at 1701 Chappell Dr (at Burma Rd) in a remote area southwest of downtown. There is no public transit directly serving the station and the nearest bus stop is 1.5 km away (at 11th St and Fairlight Dr). There are no rental cars at the station; try a taxi ride to the airport. Taxis are an effective way to get into town (20 minutes to downtown, about $25).

By Car

Saskatoon is on the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) which connects to North Battleford and Edmonton to the west and Winnipeg to the east. This highway is entirely divided (save for a few minor exceptions and construction zones) between Edmonton and Saskatoon. Highway 11 connects to Prince Albert to the north and Regina to the south. You can also drive via Alberta Highway 9/Saskatchewan Highway 7 from Calgary, but this highway is not divided.

By Bus

The Saskatoon Bus Depot is located in downtown Saskatoon at 50 23rd St E, between Pacific and Ontario. The bus station is served by Saskatchewan Transportation Company, which connects Saskatoon to most Saskatchewan communities, and Greyhound Bus Lines, which connects Saskatoon to most other cities throughout Canada.

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Getting Around

By Car

This is a car-oriented city. There is plentiful street parking downtown ($2/hour typically). Outside the central business district, driving may be your most convenient option. The best choice of rental cars is at the airport. There are few rental car offices in the Central Business District or Nutana.
Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:

Taxis are easy to find but generally pricey. A ten minute drive (enough to get you most places in the city if it's not rush hour) will cost $10-15. Call Blueline at +1 306-653-3333 or Radio at +1 306-242-1221, or just hail a taxi. Prices are set by the city so the cost should be equal.

By Public Transport

Saskatoon Transit serves most of the city. Both regular and express (DART) service is provided. Pay cash for individual fares, or buy a GoCard and load packages of 10 rides at a discount. You can buy tickets at the Customer Service Centre, City Hall, and at shops like Co-op, Mac's, Safeway, Shopper's Drug Mart (complete list on Saskatoon Transit's web site). Timetables for every bus can be found at the downtown terminal or at Transit's web site. At outlying stops, call the 'Phone & Go' line (below) and use the 4-digit stop code to determine information about the routes that service that stop. There are transit hubs in various locations, of which the City Centre Hub is the most useful for travelers.

By Foot

Walking is a great way to get around the compact and pedestrian-friendly tourist haunts of the Meewasin park, Central Business District, Broadway Avenue, and Nutana.

By Bike

Saskatoon is a very bicycling friendly city, and boasts the second highest per capita commuter cycling rate in Canada. Recreational cyclists will enjoy exploring the Meewasin Valley Trail along the South Saskatchewan River. Almost all parts of the city are accessible by bicycle and bicycle lanes and routes are marked along some key corridors. Be careful because there are also a lot of bad drivers.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Riviera Hotel2001 Ave B NHotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.

Post

Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.

The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 52.129267
  • Longitude: -106.670253

Accommodation in Saskatoon

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This is version 11. Last edited at 8:40 on Apr 26, 17 by Utrecht. 9 articles link to this page.

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