Saskatoon's City Centre Plan aims to change downtown

The City Centre Plan outlines a series of design ideas and new policies that are aimed at improving public transportation, housing, infrastructure and commercial opportunities.

The City Centre Plan is phase three of four in Saskatoon's plan to change its downtown

Saskatoon’s skyline could look drastically different in 15 years.

The City of Saskatoon has unveiled more details regarding its "City Centre Plan", a proposed long-term plan to change the downtown's image.

Alan Wallace is the city's director of planning and development. He says the city wants to make some big changes.

“[We would] allow taller buildings. There is currently a height restriction of 76 metres. We would like to add some design guidelines for buildings designed in the future,” Wallace said.

The City Centre Plan is aimed at creating a sociable and connected downtown space. (City of Saskatoon)
Saskatoon’s Planning and Operations Committee will review the plan Tuesday.

The plan outlines a series of design ideas and new policies aimed at creating more core housing units as well as improving public transportation, infrastructure and commercial opportunities.  

Wallace said Thursday the plan reflects what residents what to see in the downtown.

“We need more public places, more places for people to gather and more green space,” Wallace said.

One of the plan's goals is to improve public transportation options in Saskatoon. (City of Saskatoon)
In 2011, Saskatoon residents, business owners and other interested parties were consulted by the city and asked to help guide the vision of the plan for downtown.

The plan aims to fill in areas of north downtown that are currently large bald spots, including the parking lot next to the Ramada Hotel.

Wallace said there are many opportunities for development in regions surrounding Idylwyld Drive North.

“Developers are showing interest in those parcels along Idylwyld Drive," said Wallace. "They see a different street. We are trying to encourage and entice more private investment downtown in those parcels that are currently vacant parking
The City Centre Plan hopes to mirror successful designs found in other city cores. (City of Saskatoon)
lots.” 

The city hopes to implement the plan in stages over the next 15 years. Right now, there is no dollar amount attached to the ambitious project. But Wallace said money for the changes will come from a conglomerate of current operating budgets for the city, as well as private-public partnerships..

Replay today's Saskatoon Morning live chat that asked the audience how they envision a new downtown core.

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