City Council in Brief - June 2021


In brief, this post highlights five items of public interest that were discussed during the June 2021 City Council meeting.

Highlights include:

  • Renaming of John A. Macdonald Road.
  • Amendment of the Knox United Church Heritage bylaw. 
  • Renewal of the Civic Conservatory 
  • Party Bicycle Pilot Program
  • Options for the 14th St Parklet 

Other items that were discussed during the meeting include:

The full agenda for June 28, 2021 can be accessed here.

Please note that in line with the City of Saskatoon’s request for citizens to assist with controlling the spread of COVID-19 we encourage you to email a letter at providing comments or requesting to speak as an alternative to attending the meeting. This meeting of City Council took place through teleconference and was recorded, as per any other City Council meeting.

Furthermore, Internet Explorer will no longer work to view agendas. Please use another internet browser.   

Renaming John A. Macdonald Road

The renaming of John A. Macdonald Road is a way to acknowledge the on-going harm in the community experienced by the Indian residential school system (IRSS) and the role that John A. Macdonald played in this part of history. The harm caused by the IRSS is still being experienced in our community. This happens today through inter-generational trauma, pain, grief and loss.

The motion that was unanimously approved at Council includes the following components:

  • Consultation with Indigenous community leaders, residential school survivors and Elders and Knowledge Keepers;
  • Direct communication with John A. Macdonald Road residents;
  • Informing Confederation Park neighbourhood residents;
  • A wider community public education campaign; 
  • A look at options to manage any costs of changing names and what tools could be used to facilitate a change; and
  • An update on the proposed Legacy Review currently being developed. 

Knox United Church Heritage Bylaw Amendment

The report before Council this month provided the recommendations from the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation Review Board to the objection that was received in February 2021. If an objection is received, Council can only refer the matter to the review board established under The Heritage Property Act or withdraw the proposed bylaw. As such, the matter was referred to the Review Board and those results were presented back to Council this month. The Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation Review Board recommended approval of the change in legal land description to reflect a subdivision of the property as described.

While there was discussion at Council about opportunities for further engagement, this is not something the City can mandate of a development. The current decision before Council was whether to amend the legal land description of the site to remove the parking lot. The protection for the building remains in place. 

First and second reading of the bylaw have passed. Third reading will be presented once an updated legal land description is available for Knox United Church. 

View the full report here and find previous updates here.

Renewal of the Civic Conservatory

The Civic Conservatory (Conservatory) has been closed to the public since September 2017 and requires significant repair prior to reopening. The Conservatory, located at 950 Spadina Crescent on the site of the former Mendel Art Gallery, is an important civic and cultural facility in Saskatoon which provided residents an opportunity to experience a variety of horticultural displays in an attractive setting on a year-round basis. The Conservatory and Mendel Building was designated a municipal heritage property.

The restoration, and possible expansion, of the Conservatory is an important component of the 2011 Kinsmen Park Master Plan. It is also in alignment with other projects and recent improvements in the area, including the Nutrien Wonderhub, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Prairie Lily Riverboat Cruises and Meewasin Valley Trail.

Council endorsed the option called "restoration plus" which involves renovation/restoration of the existing Conservatory with expansion to include a new enclosed glazed walkway/ramp external to the current Conservatory building to address accessibility and maintain the same approximate programmable space and service level. Council has directed that during the design of the Conservatory, that the ability for future expansion be considered as part of the design. Option 2 was recommended as a future expansion opportunity.

Next steps for the project include pursuing funding options, including through grants.

Party Bicycle Pilot

Party bicycles, sometimes referred to as pedal pubs, are multi-passenger bicycles usually accommodating eight or more riders and provide transportation services on roadways. Administration was approached by a business intending to operate a party bicycle business with up to two party bicycles. Each party bicycle can accommodate up to 17 people for the purposes of providing transportation between bars or pubs in the downtown area, on a daily basis, throughout the summer of 2021. The Pedal Pub business owners have provided Administration with a full overview of their operational plans . The business plans to operate both party bicycles on offsetting tour times, Monday to Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (weather permitting).

As party bicycles are propelled by muscular power, provincial vehicle registration and insurance requirements do not apply. In the absence of provincial oversight on this type of vehicle, it falls within the purview of the City of Saskatoon to further regulate party bicycles through municipal bylaw.

Council passed both Options 1 and 2 which will allow for the immediate creation of a pilot program to enable the operation of party bicycles this year while Administration undertakes further research and reporting to develop a classification for this use and permit their operation, following the pilot program.

14th St Parklet

Over the past number of years there have been many conversations related to a public parcel of land that has resulted from a street closure and work on the 14th Street Neighbourhood Bikeway. This parcel of land is referred to as a parklet.

The option support by Council would require work similar to other streetscape projects and provide for public realm improvements. This could involve such things as: replacement of the current lilac bushes with more site appropriate shrubs, new street furniture, added street trees, additional hardscaping, additional lighting, bike racks, etc.

This is a great opportunity to enhanced a space that is highly utilized but underdeveloped. This work will provide for enhancements to the public space creating an inviting environment for people to enjoy. 

There is an opportunity to work with community to secure funds or potential grants to implement the option.