The Riversdale area of Saskatoon has had a long and colorful history as the“heart” of the City. At its heyday Riversdale was truly the “boomtown”of Saskatoon, where people went to work, to play and to connect across a myriad of cultures and languages as part of the booming Saskatchewan mosaic of those pioneering days.

History of Saskatoon

The City of Saskatoon had its start as a Temperance Colony on the east side of the South Saskatchewan River in 1882. With the coming of the railway in 1890, homesteaders were settling on the west side of the river, setting the stage for the town of Saskatoon, and on the "other side of the tracks", the Village of Riversdale.

In 1904 west-side residents petitioned government authorities in Regina to have the area bounded by Avenue A South, 22nd Street West, Avenue H South, and the riverbank, incorporated as a village. Riversdale became a village on January 16, 1905. A little over a year later, after amalgamating with the town of Saskatoon and the Village of Nutana, Riversdale became part of the City of Saskatoon.

Hotels, small businesses, restaurants and mills began springing up throughout the area as immigrants from England, the United States, central and eastern Europe and China came to seek their fortunes. By 1911, the Riversdale business community was taking shape and a building boom was in full swing.

 

The Barr Colonists and Immigration Hall

River Landing Phase II

The Village of Riversdale began in earnest along the South Saskatchewan River at the site now known as River Landing Phase II. It was near Immigration Hall, adjacent to the Canadian Pacific Railway that the Barr Colonists, laden with their worldly goods, set up camp on April 17th and 18th, 1903.

Isaac Barr's Britannia Colony, most of whom were recent city dwellers, descended on the small settlement of Saskatoon with few provisions and little knowledge of the rigors of prairie life. Almost all of the 1500 British settlers were housed in what emerged as a "tent-city", those with special needs, including a new mother and her child, were put up at Immigration Hall.

During their stay, the colonists purchased approximately $300,000 worth of outfits and supplies, spurring an economic boom that would see Saskatoon become a thriving urban centre within the next decade.

Immigration Hall was built in 1901 on what is now the Saskatoon Market Square 19th Street West and Avenue A South. The structure was massive for its time, an impressive two-storey building that could house approximately 150 people in dorm-style accommodations. The hall served as temporary housing for new immigrants while they finalized details for their new homesteads.

Immigration Hall was often filled to capacity during Saskatoon's boom years but became obsolete as growth slowed around 1910. The City of Saskatoon purchased the building in 1919 to accommodate the expansion of the power station and by 1926 it was incorporated into A.L. Cole Power Plant's incinerator. The A.L. Cole plant was demolished in 1996.

 

Riddel Carriage Works

At the height of the building boom in 1914, George Riddel opened a prestigious carriage and automobile factory on the corner of 19th Street and Avenue A. Riddel had learned the carriage building, iron working and horseshoeing trades in his native Scotland prior to immigrating to Canada in 1907.

After spending several years in small towns throughout Saskatchewan, he came to Saskatoon in 1913. Riddel originally offered delivery wagons and carriages for sale, but soon turned to manufacturing bodies for a full range of power-driven vehicles.

In the early 1940s, J.H. Broadbent purchased this three-storey wood-frame building as a warehouse for Broadbent's Furniture Store. The business was destroyed by fire in 1964. A crowd of some 3,000 people gathered to watch the spectacular blaze on a cold winter's day.

 
 

Modern Spring Works

323 Avenue A South

In the fall of 1938, Frank Kortje opened Modern Spring Service in modern premises on Avenue B South. Within a few years his business expanded, and in 1941, moved into a newly constructed building on Avenue A.

Modern Springs specialized in manufacturing leaf-style springs for cars, vans and trucks up to three tons in size. Shortly after moving into his new premises, Kortje’s plant began filling orders for the military base at Dundurn. In its heyday, Modern Springs employed up to 40 people.

 
 
 

The Lien-Than Building

311 Avenue A South

The Lien-Than Restaurant makes its home in one of the oldest standing buildings in Saskatoon. It was built of concrete-block construction in 1904 by a company owned by James Leslie, J.F. Cairns and James Clinkskill. It’s first restaurant opened in 1912, becoming a Chinese restaurant in 1920.

This building has housed some of Saskatoon’s finest Asian restaurants over the past 90 years, including Hong Kong Chop Suey and the original Saigon Restaurant.

(B 12404: Interior view of Hong Kong Chop Suey Restaurant, 1957)

 
 
 

The Hopkins Building Site

Southwest Corner of Avenue A and 20th Street

W.M. Hopkins came from Ontario in 1905 to settle in the Village of Riversdale. In 1906, he built a two-storey, wood-frame construction on this prominent main street corner and opened one of the Village's first full-scale hardware stores.

The 2nd floor rooms were used as offices and residential suites. Hopkins and his family lived in one of these suites until 1910, when he built a luxurious home at207 Saskatchewan Crescent West.

Hopkins began to focus more on his real estate and insurance interested and politics than on his hardware and in 1911, handed the store over to the Burnett brothers.

In 1917, the 20th Street Hardware became a branch of the Charles E. Holding Hardware, occupying about half of the building while the other half was rented to a dry goods store.

In March of 1921, Bill Birney bought out Holding and operated as Birney's Hardware until the land was expropriated and the building demolished by the city in 1967 to make way for the Idylwyld freeway.

 
 

Crossing Over: The Pedestrian Foot Bridge

Between 1890 and 1909, the Canadian Pacific rail yards and roundhouse cut off all access between Riversdale and the Saskatoon business district. Avenue A was a continuous commercial block that fronted the yards from 23rd Street south to the river. Rather than walking north to 23rd street to cross into downtown, residents often risked life and limb crawling over or under freight cars at 20th Street to get to the east side of the tracks. In November of 1909, after much debate, the City of Saskatoon passed a bylaw for construction of a footbridge that would span the rail yards at 20th Street. The bridge was completed the following year at a total cost of $18,000.

 
 
 

The King Edward Hotel

Northwest Corner of Avenue A and 20th Street

The present site of Field's Department Store was once home to one of Saskatoon's most glamorous hotels. Henry Wilson, a local hotelier, opened the King Edward Hotel in 1907. It was described by the Daily Phoenix as a "fine, brick-veneered building of three stories with balconies overlooking 20th Street West." The local newspaper believed the hotel's 100 rooms were "too many to justify erection." Charles Rogers, a developer from Maine, was so impressed by the area that he purchased the hotel for $75,000 a year after its construction. He made a down-payment of $23,000 in gold coin. According to the local paper, this was "one of the biggest payments in real money ever made in the west."

In 1912 a 40 room annex was added to the west side of the building. It accommodated a grand ground floor vaudeville theatre that provided sophisticated entertainment for the growing city. Shortly after completion, a fire damaged the new portion. Roy Potter, from a Saskatoon pioneer family, later recalled seeing frightened chorus girls leaning out of the windows of the hotel where the fire broke out.

On November 13, 1961, the hotel was destroyed in one of the most spectacular fires Saskatoon had ever witnessed. Estimated property loss was $250,000. The hotel had been the permanent residence of a number of senior citizens, and two weeks after the fire, one body was found in the ruins. It was a sad and tragic end for Riversdale's most prestigious hotel of the boom-time era.

 

 

Saskatoon Market Square: Some Things
Never Change

100 Block of Idylwyld Drive South

In November of 1909, the City of Saskatoon bought the south half of what is now the 100 block of Idylwyld Drive, and within the year began construction on the City Market and Weigh Scales building. Saskatoon's City Market opened to the public in February 1911 under the direction of the Market Clerk, Matthew M. Morrison. Later that year, Fire Hall No. 2 was built on the southwest corner of Market Square.

In 1926, Alan Keedwell opened his grocery in the City Market. Keedwell carried fresh fruit, confectionray items and some hardware, but the most popular items were oranges, which came in crates but were precious enough that he wrapped them individually in tissue paper.

City Market was a busy place in the 1920s and 1930s, attracting a large volume of farm business. North of the market was a corral where rigs and horses could be left. On Saturdays, outdoor auctions of livestock were big events. H.T. Rose, an auctioneer whose descendants continue the business at Rose's Auction on Avenue B South, was also a tenant in the building in 1926, along with four other auctioneers, a confectionary, a butcher shop and a coal company.

After 1923 the City Market ceased being a publicly owned commercial venture (although it still took in rent revenue from the Market Building's tenants and continued to collect weigh scale fees from those using the Market).

In the words of the City Clerk (written in 1929): "[T]his City does not operated a market. It has a market building and an official in charge called the Market Master, but his duties are to collect rents from those who are really operating retail stores in the market, and look after the city's public weigh scales. The city several years ago tried to operate a general market, but it proved to be a failure."

The market continued to operate for over 30 years. In November 1963, the building was torn down to make way for Fire Hall No. 1.

Close to a century after the City of Saskatoon first recognized the value of a local market in Riversdale, they again created a space for local farmers and merchants to conduct their trade. Saskatoon's Farmer's Market and Market Square are situated only blocks away from the original site at a prominent location in River Landing.

 

The Alberta Restaurant Site: A Far East Meets West Side Story

111 20th Street West

The Alberta Restaurant was located at what is now a gas station parking lot. This Chinese restaurant was opened by Mah Sam in 1911 and was the site of an altercation involving one of Saskatoon's most infamous denizens, 'Two-Gun Cohen.'

Morris Cohen was born into a Jewish family in Russia. The Cohens moved to east-end London in the late 19th Century, and after fighting a losing battle to keep their young son on the straight and narrow, his parents sent Morris to a Jewish reform school to keep him safe from the bad influence of London's street kids. Here Morris learned the tricks of the trade, becoming a pickpocket and petty criminal. After graduating in 1905 he was sent to Canada to remove him from evil influences. In Winnipeg and then Saskatoon, where he arrived in 1909, he became involved in various minor criminal activities, did prison time and befriended members of the Chinese community including Mah Sam, while frequenting their gambling dens.

One day as Cohen entered the restaurant he saw that his friend Mah Sam was being robbed. He knocked the robber to the ground, retrieved the stolen goods and threw the robber into the street. Cohen became a hero in the Chinese community and was soon inducted into the Kuomintang. He eventually went to China, becoming a bodyguard to Dr. Sun Yat Sen. His nickname 'Two-Gun' came from his time in China; in a gunfight, his shooting arm was injured, and never wanting to be in such a vulnerable position again, he practiced until he could shoot equally well with both hands. Taken prisoner by the Japanese and interned in a POW camp, he returned to Canada in 1943, married a Montreal socialite and settled down. It didn't last long, and after a divorce in 1956, he returned to his native England.

 

The Butler Hotel

The Butler Hotel, first located at the present site of the Barry Hotel, was one of the nine charter Riversdale Businesses identified on the official list that went to Regina in 1904. John Butler's modest, two-storey building was the first hotel built west of the tracks. The hotel, which was leased by Henry Wilson and a Mr. Schneider, boasted a ladies sitting oom, dining and public rooms with a large kitchen and a bar with a separate entrance. The hotel bus met passengers at the train and escorted them directly to one of their 14 second-floor rooms.

When John Butler died in 1905, Robert J. Barry acquired the hotel and within months began expanding the hotel to accommodate a growing clientele. By the end of 1906, the building had grown to its limit and Barry decided to halt further expansion until a new facility could be built. In 1911, he moved the building to the back of the Butler lot on Avenue B to make way for the construction of the new Barry Hotel. The Butler Hotel was used as an auxiliary building until the 1950s when it was destroyed by fire and the site converted into a parking lot.

 
 

Coad's Drugstore

Southwest Corner of Avenue B and 20th Street West

One of the oldest continuously run businesses to remain at its original location is Coad's Drug Store. Percy Howard Coad opened the drugstore as a manager in 1906, and after four years purchased the business and named it Coad's Drug Store. The drugstore, which was housed in a modest two-storey wood-frame building, was the first to be located on the west side of town. At the time, most of the prescriptions were tonics, powders, liniments or capsules, and most of them required compounding.

Percy Coad was born in Ontario, apprenticed as a pharmacist in Toronto and after three years apprenticeship, enrolled in the Ontario College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation, he decided to come west. In 1908, Dr. Norman Wright, a veterinary surgeon, made his quarters in the back of the store and conducted his business there for over 40 years.

Coad's grandson, Peter took over the business in 1971 and a year later the store was rebuilt. The Western Development Museum now houses original prescription files, fittings and a range of stock from the original store. Some idea of the old drugstore is conveyed by its replica at the museum. Many of the bottles and packages on the shelves bear the original Coad's label.

Three generations of Coad pharmacists have operated this store. The family still retains ties to the current operation.

 
 

Adilman's Department Store

Northeast Corner of Avenue B and 20th Street

Adilman's Department Store served Saskatoon from this location for over 50 years. A cornerstone of the 20th Street shopping district, it survived the hard times of the 1930s, and grew and expanded over the years to become the largest retail establishment in Riversdale.

Max and Harry Adilman were operating a clothing store and William Adilman, a second-hand store on 1st Avenue when their brother Nathan came to Saskatoon with his family in 1919. He had emigrated from Russia in the early part of the century and had turned his hand to a variety of trades – factory hand in Ohio, clerk n Winnipeg, and fur trader and gold prospector in northern Ontario – before settling in Saskatoon.

In 1921, Max, Harry, and Nathan formed a partnership to open Saskatoon's first department store, Adilman's Ltd. At 126 20th Street West. A fourth brother, William later joined the firm. Nathan's son Jack eventually took over, running the store until it closed in 1974.

 

The Albany Hotel

Northwest Corner of Avenue B and 20th Street

Construction began on the Iroquois Hotel on the northwest corner of 20th Street and Avenue B in early 1906. In 1912, after the building had been extensively altered and enlarged, it was renamed the Albany.

Cecil B. Daughtery, who had been operating  a hotel in Wadena, Saskatchewan, bought the hotel in May 1912 at the height of the local building boom. Then, in the midst of a serious recession in 1922, the property was returned to its previous owner, Francois Colleaux, whose family retained ownership until 1957.

The hotel underwent a series of renovations between 1951 and 1980 when Dale Beavis acquired the title to the property. The hotel is witness to a century of Riversdale's history, and as the years have passed, has itself changed greatly.

 

The Barry Hotel

Southwest Corner of Avenue B and 20th Street

The Barry Hotel has stood on this corner since its grand opening on August 1st, 1913. In June 1911, proprietor Robert J. Barry had the Butler Hotel moved down the street to make room for a newer, larger and more prestigious hotel.

The building was designed by Thompson, Daniels & Colthurst architects who had also designed St. John's Anglican Cathedral & The Saskatoon Club. It had a full basement, and was built of reinforced concrete and brick and tile construction, with fire-proof floors. The hotel was laid out around a centre well which opened into prism lights on the ceiling of the main floor, and provided window space for interior rooms on the second and third floors. Floors were of terrazzo tile and the walls were paneled in oak. The basement extended out under the sidewalks when the hotel was built. The basement was intended to house a pool room, Turkish bath, massage rooms, a pressorium, barber shop, three full-size bowling alleys and a cafeteria.

In November 1915, during the recession that started a year earlier, Robert Barry lost his hotel to the Union Bank of Canada.

When constructed, the Barry was widely advertised as being of fire-proof construction. But on December 8th, 1946, fire broke out; 11 people died and eight were injured when flames gutted the building. The interior was gutted and many walls destroyed, but the exterior walls stood unscathed. When the hotel was restored, some structural changes were made to enlarge the rooms. In the 1960s new windows were installed and a new roof covered the top floor. New sidewalks were installed on the outside, moving the prism lights to the basement.

Throughout its history, the Barry Hotel and its restaurant were managed by numerous local entrepreneurs, attracting a large farm trade from west of the city and business people from across the country.

 

Al Anderson Sports

208 Avenue B South

Although the premises have been substantially enlarged and rebuilt since he first opened in 1957, Alton Anderson, now in partnership with his son Kirk, still operates the sporting goods store at 208 Avenue B South. Al's father Clarence and his brothers opened a hatchery at this location in 1952. When the hatchery was closed a few years later, Al decided to set up a sporting business in the family's empty building. Al had been coaching basketball at the University of Saskatchewan and was active in the local sports scene. He also consulted with architects on the building of school gymnasiums and specialized sporting equipment and supplies. He decided that instead of supplying referrals, he would supply the equipment himself.

In the beginning, the company concentrated on institutional sales, supplying teams, schools and contractors with equipment such as bleachers, score-clocks and team supplies. Eventually the business became an icon in retail sales of sporting goods and equipment. The company has undergone many changes throughout the years. Today, Al Anderson's Source for Sports continues to supply equipment, clothing and advice to professional athletes, school teams and local health and fitness buffs.

 

Western Commercial Company

210 20th Street West

The Western Commercial Company, a wholesale outlet for wine, liquor and cigars, was one of the first substantial commercial buildings constructed on 20th Street West. It was built by A.S. Levine of Vancouver, BC in 1905. At the time, Mr. Levine intended the second floor to be used as an opera hall, having movable partitions that could create one large entertainment venue. The Saskatoon Branch of the Western Commercial Company closed in 1915 after the outbreak of war. Throughout the next 8 decades, the building was home to a number of interesting businesses, including the Saskatoon Exchange Mart, Joes Cycle and General Automotive. The property has been home to Boomtown Outfitters since 1999.

 

G.W. Norman, Printer

225 20th Street West

George Wesley Norman was born in Alliston, Ontario and came to Saskatoon to help his brother publish the first edition of the Phoenix newspaper in 1902. He established his commercial printing business in 1904 after his brother sold the local paper. He retained ownership of the building until 1939 when the City of Saskatoon took possession.

George was elected to city council and later served as mayor for three terms and Liberal member of the Provincial Legislature. When he retired in 1947, he and his wife moved to Vancouver, where he died in 1970.

The building housed Walter's Cycle from 1966 to 1989. Walter's Cycle was another long-lived family business in Riversdale. Started by Jack Walters, a Welsh immigrant in 1913, this business was an agent for Harley Davidson, introducing motorcycles to Saskatoon.

A popular sport of the time was to try to climb the riverbank at Devil's Dip on the University Campus. Jack's son Les recalled: 'At the most dangerous spots there would be crews with a rope and a hook ready to catch the bike if the rider lost control.'

Les took over the business in 1946, and after moving to various locations in the Downtown and Riversdale districts, ran the business at 225 until he retired in 1989.

Les's daughter recalls working in the shop and telling local ladies of the night they had to 'move along' when she opened in the morning. The 'girls' would bring their children in to buy skates at the Saskatoon Skate Exchange, an auxiliary business started by Walters.

The building has recently been restored for use as a bike shop by Doug Cushway of Boomtown Outfitters. Note the pressed tin cornice on the façade. Inside, the walls and ceilings are covered in pressed tin panels that were uncovered during the recent renovations.

 

The Butler Block: A Witness to the Village History

Southwest Corner of Avenue C and 20th Street

One of the oldest and most prominent continuously occupied buildings in Riversdale is the Butler Block. In 1906, as Saskatoon was entering its first real boom, Dr. J.H.C. Willoughby and John Butler began construction on the Butler Block. Butler was a speculator-developer from Minneapolis whose adventurous career included travelling with his sons to the Klondike during the gold rush.

By 1904, the hotelier, millionaire and member of the Chicago-Minneapolis Board of Trade had acquired real estate interests in Saskatoon and became one of the signatories on the petition to incorporate Riversdale as a village. Butler died while traveling back to Minneapolis, but Willoughby and Butler's widow Bridget completed construction on the block in 1907.

The building is typical of business blocks built during that era. It is a two-storey wooden structure with a full stone and cement basement. Originally, it had numerous entrances to accommodate a variety of businesses on its ground floor and a number of suites on the upper level to house the business owners, their families and the odd visitor to the city.

On a Friday in 1925, Joseph Germek purchased a small lot of cigarettes, confections and fruit, moved into the upstairs apartment with his family and opened the doors to the West Star Fruit Co. During the next 31 years, Germek shared the block with businesses such as the Star Meat Market, the Westside Clothing Store, and Lipsett's Dry Goods. When Germek finally closed up shop, the Butler Block became home to a series of Chinese restaurants.

Today, some of the best dim-sun in Saskatoon can be had at the Mandarin Restaurant, now the sole business operating out of the Butler Block.

 

Landa Auto Body Works

222 Avenue C North

Four generations of Landas have been involved in the management of this family firm since it was founded by William Landa in 1908. What began as a small blacksmith shop soon became the Landa Carriage Works, manufacturer of buggies, carriages, democrats and sleighs. This, in turn grew into the Landa Carriage and Body Works when the shop expanded to include the servicing of cars and trucks. Today, Landa Auto Body Works still operates out of its original location at 222 Avenue C South.

William Landa, a carriage maker from Dniepetrotrovsk, Russia, arrived in Saskatoon in 1908 with his wife and children. He bought the property at 222 Avenue C South and built a blacksmith shop and, for a number of years, the family lived in apartments above it. William Landa's blacksmith shop was a modest 14x16 feet in size. In it he repaired buggies, made horseshoes, shod horses, fixed wheels and sharpened shears.

Harry Landa joined the family business in 1928 and ran the shop until 1958, retiring in 1961. His son, Mendy, who had joined the staff in the 50s, managed the business until he retired in 1981. At that time he handed the reigns over to Don Henderson who managed the business for the next six years. In 1986, David Landa, Mendy's son and William's great grandson, joined Henderson as a partner. 2008 marked 100 years of the Landa family business.

A hearse, built by the Landa's for the Jewish Burial Society, is on display at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon.

 

Beehive Flooring

312 & 317 Avenue C South

Although the Beehive Flooring Group did not open their premises on Avenue C until 1950, it had a much earlier association with the Riversdale business community.

Joseph Wake emigrated from England in 1904. In 1913 he opened the Beehive General Store, a grocery store at 113 Avenue C South. He offered his own mixes of teas, baking powder and cured hams for sale. Joseph and his wife delivered groceries in a horse-drawn wagon. By 1915, Joseph had closed this store and opened the Beehive Second Hand Store across the tracks on 1st Avenue South. His son Doug took over followed by grandsons Tim and Brent.

In the mid 1950s the name was changed to Beehive Furniture and the firm relocated to 312 Avenue C South. The original building appears on the 1912 Fire Insurance Map as an Automotive Garage and Repair shop. In 1979 they moved across the street to a new building at 317 Avenue C South, and the old building was converted to a remnant store. The company has since been known as the Beehive Flooring Group, specializing in carpeting and flooring.

 

The Roxy Theatre

320 20th Street West

Saskatoon's minor building boom of the late 1920s tapered off with the onset of the depression. The Roxy Theatre was built in the summer of 1930, just as the depression was settling in. It is the oldest and most elegant movie theatre still in operation in Saskatoon.

At the time, Spanish Mission or Spanish Colonial was a popular architectural style. Although the Roxy's facade is of two-toned brick rather than the usual white stucco, it shows the influence of this style. The theatre was designed by F.F. Maistre of Winnipeg and built by R.J. Arrand of Saskatoon. Originally, the inner lobby consisted of two curved ramps leading up to the auditorium. At the front of the auditorium was a sunken orchestra pit which accommodated 15 to 20 musicians. The walls were covered with small balconies, windows and towers that gave the impression of a quaint Spanish village. The ceiling was painted dark blue and had twinkling lights set in the plaster to give the impression of the night sky. Two cloud machines added to the effect.

The Roxy opened August 29, 1930 at 7:30pm. The program featured the film "Is Everybody Happy?" (1929), the comedy short "Sugar Plum Daddy", and the Mickey Mouse Cartoon "Barnyard Battle." Ticket prices for the evening show were 40 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. A highlight of the theatre experience was the luxury of air-conditioning, the first in a commercial space in Saskatoon. The auditorium was cooled by water that was pumped from the artesian well located beneath the property.

The Roxy was recently restored by Magic Lantern Theatres and operates as a cinema with occasional live performances. Many of the features in the original theatre, such as the outdoor neon sign, balconies, murals and star-lit ceiling have been preserved or reproduced to create the same magical effect as in days gone by. Nels Warner was a longtime manager of the Roxy, and Ken Bell was manager of the theatre when it was the Towne Cinema between 1976 and 1991 followed by Jason Bell the second generation of the Bell family to operate the theatre.

The theatre was dark from 1996 to 2005 and in serious disrepair.  The basement had flooded twice, the roof was leaking and the once magical twinkling ceiling was falling down, and the musty odor of a boarded up building greeted you when entering the once majestic lobby.

Enter Magic Lantern Theatres and Mr. Tom Hutchinson who essentially prevented a parking lot from appearing here.  Renovations exceeding one million dollars revived Western Canada's last Spanish Courtyard Atmospheric Theatre and the identifiable soul of the Roxy Theatre emerged behind the historic neon marquee.  This refurbished crown jewel of the Business Improvement District is not only offering a historic and out of the ordinary movie atmosphere, but also serves as a venue for lectures, perfomances and even wedding ceremonies.

 The Roxy Theatre is also the best venue for the Riversdale Business Improvement District's silent film and orchestral event, Silence is Golden.  In partnership with neighbours down the block, The Saskatoon S 

 

New Community Savings and Credit Union

321 20th Street West

The founding meeting of the first Ukrainian Credit Union to be established in Canada was held in Saskatoon on February 7, 1939. The name "New Community Savings and Credit Union Limited" was adopted by the 31 people present, and with a limited capital of $77.68, the newly established organization was opened for business.

In June 1963, New Community Saving and Credit Union moved into its own building at 313 20th Street West. The building, purchased for $24,500, was chosen because of its location in the heart of the Ukrainian community. In 1974, the directors of the business decided a move to a larger property was in order. They engaged the architect Okeren and contracted Piggott Construction to develop the building at 321 20th Street West. The official opening of the offices was held on May 6, 1978. The New Community Credit Union continues to operate from this address, offering services to businesses and residents throughout the city.

 

The Little Chief Police Station

Northwest Corner of Avenue D and 20th Street

The small, white stucco building with its distinctive tile roof and overhanging eaves was known for almost 40 years as the Texaco Little Chief Service Station. Built in 1928 by the Texas Oil Company, it has attributes of the attractive architectural style variously called Spanish Colonial or Spanish Mission. It was built according to standard design used by the Texaco Oil Company, and sported the company's logo and colours. Both design and colour were intended to capture the motorist's attention.

The building, which was recently restored to a house community police station, is the only remaining service station in Saskatoon from that time period and one of very few examples of this style left in the province (a similar structure can be found at Waskesiu Lake in northern Saskatchewan). It retains its original colours and is an excellent example of adaptive reuse of historic commercial building.

 

 
All Black and White Photos courtesy of the
Saskatoon Public Library - Local History Room