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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University Area Buildings

Little Stone School House Building

Little Stone School House (1887)

College Drive, U of S Campus

The Little Stone School House was Saskatoon’s first public school, built in 1887. Its original location was where Victoria School now stands at Broadway and 11th Street East.

As the original Victoria School, it served as the centre of the pioneer community. In addition to hosting up to 40 pupils a year, it was used for dances, religious services, and meetings. Alexander “Sandy” Marr, a local stonemason, built the school from glacial boulders collected from nearby fields. The building is Prairie Vernacular in design. Its hip roof, robust mass, sequence of its stonework, and strong form speak to the importance of education in the community, as well as optimism for the future.

The building was moved stone by stone to the University of Saskatchewan campus in 1911 and reconstructed at its present location by the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire, a women’s charitable organization. It was one of the first heritage conservation projects in Western Canada. In 1965, the Saskatoon Council of Women began refurbishing the school as part of a Centennial project, and it was reopened in 1967. In 1982, it was declared a Provincial Heritage Property. It is the oldest one-room schoolhouse still standing and “in use,” and is administered by The Diefenbaker Canada Centre.

Site Information:

Partial Disabled Access Near Bus Route No Public Washrooms On Duty Staff Street Parking (Meters)

Please do not touch exhibits and artifacts. Guided tours will be offered.
Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre

Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre (2016)

5 Campus Drive, U of S Campus

The Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre is an inclusive, intercultural gathering place for the U of S community. Its presence on campus reflects the ongoing commitment to learn from and with Indigenous peoples while supporting Indigenous scholarship. It was designed by Douglas Cardinal, a renowned architect of Métis and Blackfoot heritage. Cardinal is a proponent of “organic” architecture and expresses his buildings “in a signature style of harmonious curvilinear forms.” The Centre’s style is that of sculpture.

Completed in 2016, it was funded by almost $4.5 million in private donations, with the remaining $12.5 million from the university’s capital budget. The building follows LEEDS energy and environmental design principles.

Tyndall stone wraps around the structure, creating a symbolic blanket to protect the building’s centre from Saskatchewan’s harsh winter winds. At each of the four cardinal directions, the colour of the beads changes to represent the four seasons: south (summer, red), east (spring, yellow), west (dark, fall), and north (winter, white).

The windows resemble ribbons that help connect the building with the earth. The tribute wall to Gordon Oakes Red Bear incorporates wood from trees cut down to make room for the building. For ceremonial purposes, the gathering area rests atop a cylinder of earth excavated before construction. The ceiling is decorated as a medicine wheel, using colours chosen by the Oakes family. The feature skylight at the centre of the medicine wheel is in the shape of a star blanket.

Site Information:

Disabled Access First Aid Station Near Bus Route On Duty Staff


Diefenbaker Canada Centre (1980)

101 Diefenbaker Place, U of S Campus

The Diefenbaker Canada Centre, designed by architects Moore & Taylor, is the only Prime Ministerial archives, museum, and research centre of its kind in Canada. Preserved and exhibited are the papers and memorabilia of Canada's 13th Prime Minister, as well as period replica rooms of the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Room.

John Diefenbaker was born in Ontario in 1885, but by 1903 his family had moved to what would become Saskatchewan. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and practiced law in the province. After several unsuccessful attempts, he was elected to Parliament in 1940. He became the head of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1956 and led his party to victory the following year. He was Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963.

The centre is modeled after the libraries and archives of American presidents. Following a visit and funding announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2011, the building underwent significant renovations, which were completed in April 2012. The gallery currently hosts two in-house produced exhibits: “One Canada: Diefenbaker’s Vision” and “Indigenous Health.” A special traveling exhibit: “Health in Space,” will also be available for viewing.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Street Parking (Meters)


Merlis Belsher Place (2018)

2010 College Drive

Merlis Belsher Place is home to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies sports, campus recreation, and a host of community teams. The building, which opened in 2018, houses two ice surfaces and two NBA-sized basketball courts. The seating capacity for hockey is 2,300.

The facility is named after Merlis Belsher, an alumnus of the U of S law college, who generously donated $12.25 million toward the $51 million facility. Additionally, Ron and Jane Graham donated $6 million for the gymnasium and Sports Science and Health Centre.

Site Information:

Disabled Access Public Washrooms Food or Beverage Service Free Parking


Observatory (1930)

108 Wiggins Road

The observatory is a unique structure on the University of Saskatchewan campus, both in appearance and function. It was built in 1930, with its telescope funded by private donations, and was in use for astronomical observation and research into the 1960s. It was built in the Collegiate Gothic style, primarily with local greystone, to fit in with the other campus buildings. Its roofing, roof ridges, flashing, and gutters are all copper. It has an arched door opening, with oak doors; granite steps; Indiana limestone trim; brick wainscotting; and a slate blackboard framed in oak. The building has three main rooms, including the stone tower, which houses the telescope under an 18-foot-diameter dome. The basement originally housed a coal bin and furnace. Physics students once lived in the basement and kept the coal furnace stoked in return for the use of the quarters. The observatory is now used for a program of public viewing of the stars on scheduled nights.

Site Information:

No Disabled Access Public Washrooms Free Parking Pay Parking First Aid Station


Rugby Chapel (1911)

1337 College Drive

Construction of the chapel began in Prince Albert in 1911 and was moved to the University of Saskatchewan in 1913 to become the first permanent Anglican place of worship on campus. The project’s funding came from students at Rugby School in England. It was originally the main chapel of Emmanuel College on campus but is now a multi-faith centre.

Designed in the Gothic Revival architectural style, the chapel resembles the design of many English stone-built churches, featuring a Norman tower with a parapet, tracery, and exposed rafters. The stained-glass windows include a memorial to students who died in the First World War. Despite being one of the few wooden buildings remaining on campus, both its interior and exterior have remained virtually unchanged since its construction.

Site Information:

On or Near a Bus Route