A look at the storied 50-year history of the Saskatoon YMCA's downtown site

On the exact day the Saskatoon YMCA officially opened its doors 50 years ago, CBC Saskatoon is excited to have the YMCA live on location for a special broadcast of Saskatoon Morning.

CBC's Saskatoon Morning will broadcast live on location on Sept. 6 for 50th anniversary of downtown YMCA

The YMCA on Spadina Crescent in Saskatoon. (Local History Room/Saskatoon Public Library)

On the exact day the Saskatoon YMCA officially opened its doors 50 years ago, CBC Saskatoon is excited to have the YMCA live on location for a special broadcast of Saskatoon Morning.

The live radio broadcast takes place Friday, Sept. 6, from 6 to 8:30 a.m. CST. at the YMCA of Saskatoon (25 22nd St. W.). 

The event is open to everyone and is free to attend, but seating is limited. Snacks and beverages will be provided. 

Here's a look at the history of the Saskatoon YMCA

1905 - Saskatchewan joins Confederation and Rev. E.C. Gallup forms a young men's group at Knox Church. 

1908 - Young men's group becomes affiliated with the YMCA. 

1908 - A meeting is held to form a cricket club in connection with the YMCA, adding to committees on lacrosse, baseball and football. 

Jan. 19, 1908 - First board of the YMCA. At an executive meeting the following day, it was proposed that the secretary-treasurer write to the YMCA in New York and obtain the constitution and particulars for forming the YMCA in Saskatoon. 

1912 - Young Men's Christian Association Building stands nearly complete at the corner of 20th Street and Spadina Crescent. Over $100,000 was raised in two-and-a-half days to construct the building, according to The Daily Phoenix.The building includes a pool, gym, exercise rooms, a running track, a handball court, offices and two floors of residence. 

The YMCA gymnasium in the original Spadina Crescent location where you can see the upper running track. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)

May 15, 1913 - Dedication of the building with several open houses. 

1913 - The YMCA runs into financial problems and under the threat of foreclosure, the title and $78,000 of accumulated debts are taken over by the city.

1916-20 - The building is leased by the city to the federal government for use as a military hospital and training school for convalescent soldiers. 

The YMCA Great War military hospital. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)

1922 -The building is leased to the YMCA and debts are forgiven. Membership rises and the YMCA becomes financially viable. 

1922 - YMCA sends staff to Camp Wakonda, a boys camp at Wakaw Lake, Sask., although it is owned by the Religious Educational Council of Saskatchewan. 

1924 - The Eclectic Club donates materials for accommodations at Camp Wakonda. 

1930s - Community dances are held as fundraisers to introduce people to the YMCA. 

1936 - Canadian Girls in Training and Leaders Training group first begin using Camp Wakonda site. 

1940s - Boys are required to bring ration books to Camp Wakonda due to wartime rationing. 

Some leaders of the Wakonda camp in the early 1930s. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)
The Wakonda hail storm flattened the tents in the early 1930s. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)

1946 - The YMCA's Men's Club starts as a service club to support the Y with regular meetings at the King George Hotel. 

1947- Camp Wakonda is purchased from the Religious Educational Council for $1. 

The Wakonda dining hall in the 1950s. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)
An STC bus takes campers to the boys camp in the 1960s. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)
The Wakonda gymnastics camp in the 1960s. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)

1951- The city gives the Y a grant of $150,000. 

1951-62 - City's population doubles. Five temporary outreach centres are organized in various schools to meet demand. 

Early 1950s- Kinsmen Club provides $44,000 for renovations.  A further donation of $12,000 is made. 

Charlie Stacey presenting at a Men's Club meeting. The club was a non-profit service club for the purpose of supporting YMCA fund development and programs. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)

1963 - The city sells the deed to the building back to the YMCA for $1. 

1965 - The city donates the International Harvester site, property of the Canadian National Railway, to the YMCA. 

1968 - The Y signs an agreement with the city to use Cranberry Flats for the Camp Powhattan day camp and shares it with the Saskatoon Ski Club during the winter.

The Saskatoon Hi-Y Club in the 1960s. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)

Sept. 6, 1969 - The new building opens. 

1971 - The original YMCA on Spadina Crescent is demolished. 

1984 - The city approves a $300,000 forgivable loan to the Y and the title of Camp Wakonda is transferred to the city as collateral. 

The Wakonda girls Churchill River canoe trip in the mid-1970s. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)
The Wakonda beach at Wakaw Lake in the mid-1970s. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)
The King George outdoor education experience at Wakonda in 1984. Doug Porteous was the principal of the school at the time. (Submitted by Doug Porteous)

1988 - Kinsmen Foundation donates $135,000 for a new youth locker room. 

1980s - Camp Powhattan begins offering camp programs at Blackstrap Lake. In the 1990s, the Nutana Kiwanis Club builds a new $25,000 day lodge for the camp. 

1990 - Title of Camp Wakonda is returned by the city. 

1995 - Camp Wakonda is sold. 

2000s - YMCA takes over a licensed, 35-space community-based childcare centre in Sutherland. 

2008 - Official gala event to commemorate YMCA's 100th anniversary.