Doors Open Saskatoon logo

Sunday June 2, 2019

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 Buildings

Delta Bessborough

Delta Hotels by Marriott Bessborough (1912)

601 Spadina Crescent East
Era: Depression Era

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.

We will be running tours every half hour starting at Noon and the last tour will be conducted at 4 PM.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Restaurant Available Metered Parking

HMCS Unicorn

HMCS Unicorn (1943)

405 24th Street East
Era: World War II Era

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

Senator Hotel

Senator Hotel (1908)

243 21st Street East
Era: Pre World War I Era

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.

Tours will leave from the lobby every 15 minutes.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Metered Parking

John Deere Building

John Deere Building (established 1910)

330 Ontario Avenue
Era: Pre World War I Era

The oldest building on the city yards site was originally used for John Deere agricultural equipment storage and sales until being purchased by the City in 1961. The building is currently used for office and storage space for the Infrastructure Services Department. One proposed future use for this building was for condominium lofts. However, on Nov. 17, 2010, the city gave the building to the University of Saskatchewan to serve as the home of a proposed school of architecture.

Site Information:

Public Washrooms Free Parking

Cambridge Court

Cambridge Court (1930)

129 5th Avenue N
Era: Depression Era

The heritage value of Cambridge Court lies in its association with architect David Webster. Webster, one of Saskatoon's earliest architects, began practicing in Saskatoon in 1906 and was responsible for the design or construction of many of Saskatoon's prominent buildings. Cambridge Courts displays a unique blend of architectural styles popular in western Canada in the early-twentieth century, most prominently the Romanesque Revival and Chicago styles. These styles are evident in the use of arched windows and symmetrical placement of the windows on each level, detailed with Tyndall Stone. The apartment block is an integral part of the 5th Avenue streetscape which features many other multiple dwelling residences.

Source: City of Saskatoon Bylaw No. 8581.

Site Information:

Near Bus Route Metered Parking

Birks Building

Birks Building (1929)

165 3rd Avenue South
Era: Post World War I Era

The Birks Building is a four-storey brick structure that was built in 1929 for the well-established jewellery company - Henry Birks and Sons Ltd. Designed by Nobbs & Hyde, the Birks Building features elements of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture, a relatively rare style in Saskatoon. At the time of its construction, the Birks Building was considered to be one of the most up to date and fully modern structures of its kind, with an estimated construction cost of more than a quarter of a million dollars. The exterior of the building is beige brick, trimmed with marble and bronze and features a parapet roofline with arched crenellations. A flat canopy edged in metal is suspended over the entry door from decorative metal bosses.

Source: City of Saskatoon Built Heritage Database

Site Information:

Near Bus Route Metered Parking

Remai Arts Centre Building

Remai Arts Centre (2007)

100 Spadina Crescent E
Era: Technology Era

Built in 2007 by AODBT the Remai Arts Centre is home to the Persephone Theatre. This facility holds a 421 main stage theatre and a 150 seat flexible second stage and has hosted such dignitaries such as The Lieutenant Governor, Theo Fleury and Gene Simmons. In 2016 two new theatre school classrooms and a second rehearsal hall were added.

Site Information:

Near Bus Route Paid Parking Public Washrooms Disabled Access

Knox United Church

Knox United Church (1914)

838 Spadina Crescent East
Era: World War I Era

Build in 1914 by Brown and Vallance this church was originally built as a Presbyterian Church. It became a United Church in 1925 when the United Church of Canada was formed from the joining of most Presbyterian and Methodist churches across the country. The church showcases stained glass windows and gently pointed arches throughout the building. The cross-shaped floor pattern is believed to be modelled after the English cathedrals. Unique plaster cast angels surround the interior ceiling of the sanctuary, with intricate vaulting supporting the two-story high ceiling. The church also boasts of a 100-year old Cassavant organ which has over 3500 pipes controlled by three manual keyboards.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Near Bus Route #5 Paid Parking

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