Discover Your Neighbors:
A Celebration of
Built Heritage

Sunday, June 2, 2013
Noon to 5 pm

Welcome To Doors Open Saskatoon

Welcome to Doors Open Saskatoon. Join us for an afternoon of fun peeking behind doors that are not normally open to the public or would normally charge an entrance fee.

Many locations have organized guided tours, displays and activities to enrich the visitor experience.

Brought to you by:

Downtown Neighbourdhood Buildings

Avenue Building

Avenue Building (1912)

220 3rd Avenue South

The Avenue Building was built in 1912 in the Art Nouveau style. The building was originally home to MacMillan's Department Store, which opened on October 1, 1913. The Star Phoenix estimated that 10,000 people crowded in the store during the grand opening celebration. At the time Saskatoon's population was only 30,000 people.

Original interior features include unique mosaic tiling on the 3rd and 4th floors as well as the original freight elevator and an exposed glass brick sidewall. The hardwood floors in the basement were originally built for a dance hall over top of 600 old tires reinforced with horsehair.

Several movies and videos have been shot in the building over the years.

Site Information:

Disabled access Washrooms
Disabled Access Public Washrooms Street Parking (Meters)

Drinkle Building

Drinkle Building (1913)

115 3rd Avenue South

The Drinkle Building was designed by Thompson & Crockart and was constructed in 1913 for J.C. Drinkle. Drinkle moved to Saskatoon at 25 years of age in 1903, with less than $500 to his name. At this time Saskatoon was a dirt street town with a population of less than 500 people. Only ten years later Saskatoon was booming with a population of 28,000 and J.C. Drinkle had become a multi-millionaire.

The Drinkle Building, which has been known as Regent Plaza since 1976, was originally planned to be a ten-storey office tower with a grand cornice, marble corridors and a rooftop garden. As the money supply tightened in 1913, construction of the Drinkle Building was stopped halfway resulting in the five-storey building that stands on 3rd Avenue today. In 1917, J.C. Drinkle was bankrupted and the building remained empty for the first six years following its completion.

The building was never used for offices and was instead converted for residential use in 1919. Over the years the Drinkle Building has been home to many Saskatoon families and businesses.

A 72 foot tall mural, “Founders,” has been added to the outside wall of the building depicting the portraits of seven of Saskatoon’s founders. A sundeck on the roof of the building provides panoramic views of the city.

Drinkle Building website >>

Site Information:

Public Washrooms
Public Washrooms Street Parking (Meters)

* Visitors to the Downstairs Mall will receive a guided tour of a photo exhibit sponsored by Heritage Canada entitled “J.C. Drinkle: Boom to Bust”

Delta Bessborough

Delta Bessborough Hotel (1912)

601 Spadina Crescent East

The Delta Bessborough is Saskatoon's landmark building, affectionately known as the Castle on the River. Designed by Archibald-Schofield of Montreal, with warm brick from Claybank in Southern Saskatchewan, this ten-story hotel is located in the heart of downtown Saskatoon.

The hotel was designed in the Chateau-style and built by the Canadian National Railway from 1928 to 1932. The Bessborough Hotel officially opened on December 10, 1935, with 1,000 people at the opening dance.

It was the last of the grand railway hotels built in Canada. Such a hotel is a kind of world on its own, with wonderful exterior and interior features. Original features include plaster relief art in the Battleford Ballroom and recovered chandelier medallions in the William Pascoe Foyer. The exterior boasts a copper roof along with Tyndall stone heraldic emblems, gargoyles and grotesques.

Each Prime Minister and Governor General to visit Saskatoon since 1935 have stayed at the Delta Bessborough Hotel.

Site Information:

Disabled access Washrooms Restaurant Available
Disabled Access Public Washrooms Restaurant Available Metered Parking

Buckwold Building

Buckwold Building - Stantec (1928)

100-75 24th St E

The Buckwold Building, formerly Marshall-Wells Ltd, was designed by J. Melrose Morrison of Saskatoon in 1928. Stantec Architecture renovated the building in 2002 to re-use the functional space as a multi-tenant office building. The concrete columns, capitals and ceilings, brick walls and original rainwater leaders were exposed on the interior while Chicago style windows were installed to compliment the building's patterned brick and limestone exterior detailing.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms
Disabled Access Public Washrooms Street Parking (Meters)

HMCS Unicorn Building

HMCS Unicorn (1943)

405 24th Street East

Established in 1923 as the Saskatoon Half-Company, Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Unicorn has been a cornerstone of Saskatoon for nearly a century. HMCS Unicorn was the initial recruiting and training depot for 3500 prairie sailors who joined the Navy during the Second World War. The ship moved to its fourth and present location across from city hall in 1943. The building features a Prairie Sailor monument, a crest bearing a unicorn with wings, and two UN flags that flew during the Korean conflict and World War II. HMCS Unicorn has played an active part in the life of Saskatoon over the years, and remains home to a proud heritage and more than 80 sailors that contribute to Canada's defence at home and abroad.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Guided Tours
Disabled Access Public Washrooms Guided Tours

Senator Hotel Building

Senator Hotel (1908)

243 21st Street East

Originally constructed in Victorian style, the hotel has been in existence since 1908. Recently upgraded with many modern enhancements, the Hotel Senator captures today's efficiency while the beautiful details such as the marble staircase and original chandeliers remain. The hotel has previously been used as a movie set for a film called "Caught In The Headlights", as well as playing host for the artist gift bag pickup for the 2007 Juno Awards.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms
Disabled Access Public Washrooms Street Parking (Meters)

Avenue Building

St. John's Cathedral (1932)

816 Spadina Cres E

Described as "a source of pride to the entire city" during its construction in 1913, St. John's Cathedral has served as the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon since 1932. The stunning gothic revival building features gargoyles, English terracotta detailing and the tallest steeple in western Canada, as well as more stained glass than any church in Saskatoon. The columbarium, constructed in the undercroft of the cathedral in the mid-1990s, has won two architectural heritage awards.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms
Disabled Access Public Washrooms Street Parking Free Parking Near bus route

Stuart Olsen Building

Stuart Olson (1929)

306 Ontario Ave

Named for the long-time keeper of the City Stores, the Arthur E Cook building is an excellent example of the warehouse style created in the 1920s. The Saskatoon Cartage and Warehouse Company challenged architect David Webster to design a building that would not only accommodate the nearby rail line, but would also offer fireproof storage for freight valuables. Webster, who designed many of our significant landmarks including the "castle schools" (Westmount, Buena Vista, Albert, and Caswell), constructed the warehouse from Redcliff brick, with concrete plaster details. Now home to the offices of Stuart Olson, the building stands as a testament to the care taken into account during its construction, with very few changes since it was built in 1929.

Site Information:

Public Washrooms
Public Washrooms Street Parking


Odd Fellows Temple Building

Odd Fellows Temple (Tusq Restaurant/Staqatto Piano Lounge) (1912)

416 21st Street East

Built in 1912 in a classical style, ornamented with elaborate terra cotta and with sculptured heads supporting the pediment, it served as the Odd Fellows Temple until 1959 and was home to Saskatoon's first library from 1913 to 1923. Designated as a heritage building, it has undergone extensive renovations over the years, the largest happening in 2008 to make way for Tusq Restaurant and Staqatto Piano Lounge. On Doors Open day, be prepared to have fun as there will be a piano player on hand to take requests!

The Saskatoon Public Library (SPL) was in the basement of the Oddfellows Temple (now Staqatto / Tusq) from when it opened on March 6, 1913 until 1923. This is the 100th anniversary of SPL this year.

Site Information:

Public Washrooms Restaurant Available
Public Washrooms Food–beverage services Street Parking (Meters)

McLeod Building

McLeod Building - Zu (1928)

303 Pacific Ave

Even though the now 'zu' building is probably most commonly known as the old 'Mackenzie & Thayer' warehouse, M&T was not the builders or original occupants of this 1928 construction.

The warehouse was built by Macleod's, a manufacturing firm in the city's then-new warehouse district. In the 1940's, a wholesale hardware store called Walter Woods moved in and they shared the space till Macleod's left. In 1966, Mackenzie & Thayer Ltd bought the building to accommodate it's building supply operation and stayed there longer than any other occupants, leaving in 1984.

Between 1985-2006, the zu building was home to many different businesses, including: Canadian Packers Poultry, a few night clubs (Club Metro, Cowpokes and The Warehouse) and A&B Sound.

zu, an interactive agency, bought the building in 2007 and spend 18 months completely renovating and restoring the 3-story warehouse. They moved in in 2009 and won the 2010 Municipal Heritage Award for adaptive re-use of a heritage space. zu completely modernized the-now office space with furniture, light fixtures, movable glass walls and a state-of-the-art energy-efficient heating and cooling system, all of which helps them showcase the building's original features such as exposed brick/ceilings and original wood beams.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Guided Tours
Disabled Access Public Washrooms Free Lot Parking Guided Tours

Cameco Saskatoon Heritage Society Meewasin Valley Authority
The StarPhoenix Tourism Saskatoon Information Services Corporation Saskatchewan Lotteries