Feeling dreary about winter? City of Saskatoon trying to change that

The City of Saskatoon wants people to get more excited about winter and it’s looking to the public for ideas.

New strategy designed to improve winter life, economy, accessibility, culture

A skater races down the ice at the Clarence Downey Speed Skating Oval in Saskatoon. The City of Saskatoon is turning to the public for ideas on how to make the city more vibrant in the winter. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

The City of Saskatoon wants people to get more excited about winter and it's looking to the public for ideas.  

City administration announced it's working on a strategy to make the city a better place to live in the colder months.

Dubbed WinterCityYXE, the strategy will also attempt to help boost the local economy during winter lulls.

"We want to create a more resilient economy outside of the summer and Christmas seasons," said director of environmental and corporate initiatives Brenda Wallace.

Four questions

The city is turning to residents, business owners, community groups and other stakeholders to answer the following questions:

  • Winter life: How can Saskatoon celebrate its inviting and fun quality of life, even in the coldest months of the year?
  • Winter design: How can Saskatoon improve community comfort and accessibility for everyone, even in the ice and snow? 
  • Winter culture: How can Saskatoon build enthusiasm for winter, take advantage of winter opportunities, and tell the story of its winter city?
  • Winter economy: How can Saskatoon address challenges associated with winter to create a more vibrant economy during the colder winter months?

The public can submit ideas and comments online, by email or mail. The city administration said it is also hosting roundtables and meeting with stakeholder groups, as well as providing the public with tools to host their own "kitchen table" talks.

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The city said the results of the consultation and submission phase will be presented to city council in the spring, along with a plan to move forward with WinterCityYXE.

Grants totalling $35,000 will be offered to support pilot projects related to the plan.