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Saskatoon is in the middle of Canada's "Wheat Belt", and the whole region is dotted with grain elevators. They were built so farmers' horse-drawn carts could bring their wheat harvest to nearby train depots, and since the automotive age (not to mention railway cost-cutting) have begun to disappear

Surrounded by greenery, Saskatoon is charming, cosmopolitan and full of museums and parks. Its name is derived from the purple berries, called by the Indians misaskwatomin, which saturate the riverbanks. Pies and tarts are made from these tasty berries, which, since its inception, have been the trademark of the city. The Plains Indians utilized them in the making of pemmican (preserved dried meat) and, today, many countryside housewives preserve them for winter use.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Saskatoon is a vibrant, trendy city: a university town filled with craft shops, galleries, attractions and festivals, ranging from jazz to cinema to river races. Saskatoon is situated on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, which is crossed by seven bridges within the city limits.

During the US Prohibition era in the 1920s, frequent trips were made to Saskatchewan from the Midwestern border states of Montana and North Dakota by US residents seeking to stock their homes with the beer and other alcoholic beverages whose sale the US had banned. While smuggling a bottle or two of beer or whiskey back across the Canadian border, they would also bring in a supply of the much sought after misaskquatoomina, the delicious wild, purple berries whose Cree name translates to Saskatoon. Ironically, Ontario Methodists had founded the town as a temperance colony in 1883 and had named it after the berry that grows there in abundance.

Straddling the South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon is known as “The City of Bridges” because of the seven spans connecting its banks. It also is home to the University of Saskatchewan, which is building a reputation for research and development in science, medicine and agriculture. The Diefenbaker Canada Centre on campus showcases memorabilia of Canada's 13th prime minister.

The Local History Room within the Frances Morrison Library, serves as a research facility for information that focuses on prairie history relating to Saskatoon. Collections include more than 60,000 historic photographs, thousands of books, pamphlets, maps, artifacts and periodicals. An art gallery is next to the room. The Saskatchewan Railway Museum is operated by the Saskatchewan Railroad Historical Association and displays old railroad buildings and artifacts, including locomotives, cabooses and streetcars.

Enjoy the Western Development Museum, Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Saskatoon Zoo and Wanuskewin Heritage Park.

The Centennial Auditorium, is for conventions, as well as being a cultural and civic center. The auditorium is home to the Saskatoon Symphony and the site of traveling shows throughout the year. The Meewasin Valley Centre, features interpretive displays pertaining to the area's history. Saskatchewan Place features rock concerts; trade shows; hockey, basketball and baseball games; and other sporting events. The facility is on the north side of the city next to highways 2 and 16.

For a different perspective of the Saskatoon, the Shearwater Properties Boat Cruise offers sightseeing tours on the South Saskatchewan River. The Meewasin Valley Trail, following the South Saskatchewan River through the heart of the city, has bicycle and jogging trails, picnic areas and playgrounds and provides opportunities for cross-country skiing and ice skating. Recreational activities are available at nearby Pike Lake and Blackstrap provincial parks.
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