Saskatchewan: The inside scoop

Haven Rees 4th year urban planning and Jennifer Rychlo (toque and glasses) 2nd year M.A. Archeology Derek Mortensen

HenryTye Glazebrook, 20

It’s impossible to ignore the challenges the University of Saskatchewan has faced in the past year. Between making national headlines over the dismissal of its president and ongoing turmoil about TransformUS, a cost-cutting initiative aimed at balancing a forecasted 2016 deficit of $44.5 million, the U of S has seen brighter days. If you step away from these problems, however, you’ll discover a campus filled with bright minds chasing their dreams in a welcoming community.

My own time at the U of S was uneventful at first. It wasn’t until my fourth year, when I discovered the local student newspaper, The Sheaf, that I started taking an active role in campus life, and discovered everything it had to offer in the process. With more than 20,000 students enrolled, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd shuffling between classes. But these same people make up countless groups that have carved out their own niches in the community. Look around and you’ll find everything from endless debates over how to best lead students in university politics to all-night charity drives, gaming clubs and even tense dodgeball matches in campus recreation intramurals.

The U of S is home to some of the most bitterly cold winters around. But if you spend your time here getting involved—and bundled up tight for the more frigid months—you’ll find a community warmer than anywhere else.

Beyond its campus groups, the U of S has a bustling arts and culture scene that begs to be explored. With fall and spring outputs from the drama department, regularly scheduled art exhibits at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, and a variety of restaurants—healthy and otherwise—to fit any taste, there’s something on campus for everyone. And be sure to check out Louis’ Loft in the Memorial Union building. You’ll have to brave the cold for the brief walk there—but, trust me, their coffee selection is worth it.

City Vibe
Those looking for an interesting spot to grab a bite or peruse some new clothes will likely find their way downtown or to the Broadway area. Either is just a five-minute bus ride away from the U of S, and both are home to some of the best local shops the city has to offer. Those willing to travel just a little farther to Saskatoon’s currently booming 20th Street, however, will find the latest up-and-coming boutiques in town. Restaurants such as the Odd Couple, Seoul Korea and the Park Café pepper this street with a delightful taste of Saskatoon’s foodie scene, while the nearby farmers’ market is a showcase for the city’s independent vendors.

The Skinny
Anyone looking to stay up-to-date on the goings-on in Saskatoon will want to keep an eye on A local biweekly magazine, Planet S is widely regarded for its yearly best-of list that breaks down what’s trending in the prairie city.