Doors Open Saskatoon logo

Sunday, June 25, 2023
12 - 5PM

Welcome To Doors Open Saskatoon

We are pleased to invite you to 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.

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Downtown - River Landing Buildings

Ukrainian Museum of Canada

Ukrainian Museum of Canada (1979)

910 Spadina Crescent East

The Ukrainian Museum of Canada opened its doors in 1979 with the aim of depicting the history of Ukraine and Ukrainian immigration to Canada. The museum was designed by architect Matthew Stankiewicz of Ottawa, who selected Tyndall stone and a steeply pitched roof to be representative of traditional thatched roof homes and churches in Ukraine.

An interior highlight of the museum is the bronze relief doors created by artist Bill App in 1985, which depict the history of Ukraine and Ukrainian immigration to Canada. Additionally, the museum is home to 12 paintings by William Kurelek that tell the stories of early Ukrainian women on the Prairies.

The museum was founded by the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada in 1936, led by Savella Stechishen, who was the first Ukrainian woman to graduate from the University of Saskatchewan and author of the first English-language Ukrainian cookbook.

Site Information:

Disabled Access On or Near Bus Route On Duty Staff Public Washrooms Free Parking Paid Parking

Delta Bessborough

Delta Hotels by Marriott Bessborough (1935)

601 Spadina Crescent East

We will conduct tours on the hour at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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-storey 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 has stayed at the Delta Bessborough Hotel.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Food and Beverage Service On or Near a Bus Route Paid Parking Public Washrooms

Drinkle building No 3

Drinkle Building No 3 (1913)

115 3rd Avenue South

Photo credit: D'Arce McMillan

The Drinkle Building, designed by architects Thompson and Crockart, was planned during Saskatoon’s boom in 1912, first as a five-story, and then expanded to a 10-story office tower. Owner J.C. Drinkle was a rags to riches entrepreneur and real estate speculator in early Saskatoon who wanted to build the first substantial business block fit for a metropolis, locating it on 3rd Avenue, described at the time as the site of “probably the greatest development ever seen at one time on any street in Canada.” But as the building was going up, the boom went bust. Only five stories were complete and office tenants could not be found. It was converted to residential use in 1919.

Today, loft apartments on the upper stories have original hardwood floors with concrete where office walls had existed in 1913. The main floor has hosted many fine restaurants and event centres, including today’s The Avenue Room. The basement is home to unique gift shops and art studios, along with a permanent exhibit of historic photos and stories from Saskatoon’s first boom period. Outside in the alley is a public art wall. The north facade features a 72-foot mural featuring portraits of seven city founders. The south facade mural by Josh Jacobson depicts silhouettes of geese superimposed on Saskatoon landmarks.

Site Information:

Disabled Access On or Near Bus Route On Duty Staff Public Washrooms Street Parking

HMCS Unicorn

HMCS Unicorn (1943)

405 24th Street East

HMCS Unicorn is celebrating its 100th anniversary as the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve this year. Naval reserve operations began in Saskatoon in 1923, and in 1943, they moved to the purpose-built structure known as the city's "Stone Frigate." The name "Unicorn" was inspired by one of the first vessels to enter Hudson's Bay in 1619, as it searched for the Northwest Passage.

During the Second World War, HMCS Unicorn served as the recruitment and training depot for 3,500 prairie sailors. Notable among them was Max Braithwaite, recipient of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, who mentioned Unicorn in his book "The Commodore's Barge is Alongside." Reserve sailors from HMCS Unicorn continue to serve across Canada and abroad while also supporting local events.

The building itself houses a collection of historical naval memorabilia and weapons, including a twin four-inch gun turret from the Second World War, a 40 MM Bofors gun from the corvette HMCS Saskatoon, and a 12-pounder from 1890. Additionally, the Monument to the Prairie Sailor can be found outside the building on Fourth Avenue.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Street Parking On or Near Bus Route On Duty Staff First Aid Station

Knox United Church

Knox United Church (1914)

838 Spadina Crescent East

Saskatoon's Presbyterian community commissioned Montreal architects Brown and Vallance to design a remarkable brick church in the Collegiate Gothic style, which was completed in 1914. In 1925, it merged with numerous Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational congregations across the country to form the United Church of Canada.

The church features stunning stained glass windows, graceful pointed arches, and extensive use of oak in the Chancel, balconies, and exposed rafters. Its cross-shaped floor pattern takes inspiration from English cathedrals. Unique plaster-cast angels overlook the sanctuary, while intricate vaulting supports the two-story high ceiling.

One of the notable highlights of the church is its 100-year-old Casavant organ, boasting over 3,500 pipes that are controlled by three manual keyboards.

Reverend Kent Mohn is the current minister.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Near Bus Route #5 Paid Parking

Senator Hotel

Senator Hotel (1908)

243 21st Street East

Photo credit: Daryl Mitchell

The Senator Hotel is steeped in history. Back in 1908, James Flanagan, an entrepreneur known for his flamboyant character and storytelling, constructed the hotel with state-of-the-art comfort, convenience, and safety features. He named it Flanagan House after himself. Although it now stands in the heart of downtown, some people at the time questioned Flanagan's decision to build so far from the rail station.

Saskatoonians adored Jimmy Flanagan and were deeply saddened by his passing in 1909. His funeral became the largest the city had witnessed up to that point. The hotel changed hands over the years, and in 1940, it was rechristened The Senator. However, in 1944, the grand cupola atop the corner tower was removed.

Today, the hotel proudly retains many exquisite details, including a marble staircase, original chandeliers, moulded ceilings, and a magnificent balcony overlooking 21st Street. The name of the original owner, James Flanagan, lives on in the elegant Flanagan's Steak House.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Paid Parking

St. John’s Cathedral

St. John’s Cathedral (1917)

816 Spadina Crescent East

In 1912, the Anglican community in Saskatoon embarked on the construction of a magnificent new church. The laying of the cornerstone was performed by Prince Arthur, the Governor General of Canada at the time. However, due to an economic downturn and the outbreak of the First World War, the project faced delays. Finally, in 1917, the construction was completed, resulting in an impressive building crafted from Redcliff brick sourced from Alberta and Tyndall stone from Manitoba.

One notable feature of the church is the terra cotta gargoyle positioned over the south-east entrance, which is believed to be the only one of its kind in Saskatoon. Both the exterior and interior of the church showcase terra cotta trim sourced from the Doulton works in Staffordshire, England. The interior also boasts Doulton Carrara-ware elements used for the rood screen, pulpit, lectern, and baptismal font. The cathedral is reputed to possess more stained glass windows than any other church in Saskatoon. Its steeple, towering 44 meters high, stands as the tallest in western Canada.

In 1924, the church was officially dedicated as a Cathedral. Subsequently, in 2009, a multi-phase restoration project commenced to address various issues, including a leaking roof that caused damage to the timbers, problems with gutter drainage, and inadequate insulation.

Site Information:

Disabled Access First Aid Station On or Near Bus Route On Duty Staff Public Washrooms Paid Parking

Tour volunteers will be available at stations inside and outside the building
TCU Place

TCU Place

35 - 22nd St. East

Tours every 15 min - with a max of 20. We have multiple people leading tours. Tours last about 30 min.

TCU Place is considered one of the best conference facilities in Western Canada. With more than 104,000 square feet of convention space, the facility is one of the most versatile properties in Saskatoon.

The convention centre houses 21 rooms with configurations that allow unlimited combinations. The conference centre also houses Sid Buckwold Theatre, a 2,074-seat theatre that has hosted international and national performers, speakers, and theatrical productions. The theatre is well known for its superior acoustics and expansive stage area.

Originally known as Centennial Auditorium, recognizing Canada’s 100th birthday, the facility opened in 1968 as part of a major downtown redevelopment with the removal of the central railyards. In the early 1990s and in 2005-06, the facility underwent major renovations and expansions.

Site Information:

Disabled Access First Aid Station On or Near Bus Route On Duty Staff Public Washrooms Free Parking Paid Parking Food and Beverage Services


St Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church (1913)

304 3rd Avenue

This grand church was built by the Methodist community of Saskatoon. Construction began in 1910 under a design by Winnipeg architect John Semmens. Work on the Tyndall stone Gothic-style church wrapped up in 1913.

The interior seated 1,200 and featured hammer-beam oak rafters and three enormous stained glass windows. Remarkably, there are no interior pillars allowing unobstructed sight lines. The acoustic qualities of the sanctuary are considered among the finest in the city, allowing the facility to host many concerts by local and international artists.

The Casavant organ, made in Quebec, has 2,468 pipes and 20 bells. In 1925, the congregation joined the United Church of Canada, a union of many Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational Union churches.

Because of declining congregation numbers, the building was sold to St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church congregation in 2021, who are excited to preserve the history and extend a new religious life in this Saskatoon landmark.

Site Information:

On or Near a Bus Route On Duty Staff

1-5pm only. No food or drink. Please be respectful in a place of worship.