Saskatoon Planning a New Downtown Event Centre


The City of Saskatoon has released the concept design and master plan to revitalize its downtown core. The Downtown Event & Entertainment District (DEED) is re-envisioning Saskatoon’s core as a centre of commerce, tourism, services, and entertainment. The project, led by Stantec, features a new event centre/arena, convention centre, renovated theatre, and public realm design.

The team for Stantec’s Urban Places created the concept design and master plan for the DEED, which included a transportation plan, mobility plan, landscape design, and urban planning. The new district is expected to drive investment and create significant economic benefits over the long term.

“Positioned in the northwest quadrant of Saskatoon’s downtown, the Downtown Event & Entertainment District is in the geographic and metaphorical heart of the city. Its design reflects the diversity that makes the region so vibrant and beautiful,” said Simon O’Byrne, senior vice president at Stantec. “Our inspiration was drawn from the meeting of city and country that Saskatoon exemplifies in its landscapes and urban form, as well as the deep connection of community.”

The visuals show what the proposed event arena and convention centre could look like, with a focus along a transformed 22nd Street. This project features four design pillars that were inspired by the beauty of nature in Saskatoon to create a cohesive design for the new and existing public spaces. Each of these pillars is expressed with complementary colours, textures, and forms, all of which draw on the prairie landscape and embrace the identity of the surrounding Indigenous communities.

“These renderings really help illustrate that the District is much more than just an event centre and convention centre – it is to be a community gathering place in any season,” said Dan Willems, city director of technical services, transportation & construction division. “They show the potential of the public spaces, with places for events, amenities and open areas where visitors and people from all parts of the city can meet and share unique experiences.”

The area currently contains surface parking lots and low-rise office buildings. As a result, developing a new centre of activity in this location will help to fill a gap between the commercial and retail heart of downtown as well as attract more people to live, work, and play in the District, as well as invest in Saskatoon’s culture and community.


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