North Downtown

Central Industrial is a light industrial area in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, that comprises educational, recreational facilities, hotels and businesses along Idylwyld Drive. The community meets up with the downtown to the west and south, and residential areas east and north.  It is slated for redevelopment by the North Downtown Master Plan.  If Saskatoon City Council doesn’t screw it up, it could be one of the most exciting parts of Saskatoon over the next 20 years.


The industrial area comprising the remnants of the Canadian National Railway train yards and business sector or warehouse district of historical Saskatoon.

The Qu’Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway reached Saskatoon in 1890 and crossed the South Saskatchewan River, causing a boom in development on the west side of the river. The CNR Bridge (present day site of the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge or Freeway/Idywyld Bridge) crosses the South Saskatchewan River through the city connecting Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.


  • The E.A. Davies Building | The Saskatoon Normal School was opened in 1922 as an institution for training teachers. This facility was opened at the same time a school in Moose Jaw, to complement the original school in Regina.  This building and the one in Regina were taken over in 1940 by the Royal Canadian Air Force to accommodate military training. After World War II teacher training resumed in Saskatoon and Moose Jaw, but was discontinued in Regina because of declining enrolment.  In 1964, the Regina and Saskatoon Teachers Colleges, as the normal schools were then called, were transferred to the University of Saskatchewan. At some point after that, the building became part of the SIAST Kelsey campus and renamed the E.A. Davies Building.
  • SIAST Kelsey Campus | The Canadian Vocational Training School opened in 1941 in response to re-training to World War II veterans. Central Saskatchewan Technical Institute erected a building in 1963. 1967 saw another renaming: Saskatchewan Technical Institute of Saskatoon which only lasted until the name: Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, was applied in 1968. In 1974, it was renamed Kelsey Institute of Applied Arts and Science in honour of explorer Henry Kelsey.
  • Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre | Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre had its grand opening in 1975 with a 50-metre pool, platform diving tower, and diving springboards and hosted the 1989 Jeux Canada Games.
  • Hugh Cairns V.C. Armoury | This armoury, named in honour of Saskatoon’s Victoria Cross recipient Hugh Cairns, is the home of North Saskatchewan Regiment, the successor to the Saskatoon Light Infantry that served during the Second World War. It replaced a previous building that was located at Spadina Crescent and Third Avenue.  Home of the North Saskatchewan Regiment, a Reserve Force infantry unit and The Saskatchewan Dragoons, a Reserve Force armoured reconnaissance unit. These units are part of 38 Canadian Brigade Group.
Hugh Carins VC Armoury
  • Sisters of Sion Convent | Built in 1926 and run as a residential school until 1968 when it was turned into apartments for Kelsey students.
  • Robin Hood Flour Mill | The Robin Hood company (originally from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan) built their flour mill in Saskatoon in 1928. This was after buying, operating and later demolishing the Factoria mill that was located north of the city. Their 33rd Street mill has slowly expanded to become the large present-day facility. A $7 million modernization was done in 1999.
  • The John Deere Building | It is now home to Saskatoon public works but it has been conditionally granted to the University of Saskatchewan for a school of architecture if the provincial government will commit to it.  While the John Deere Building is a great piece of architecture by itself, a school of architecture in the north downtown will add even more to the people of Saskatoon.
John Deere Building in Saskatoon

What to Do

  • Ramada Golf Dome | The 35,000 square foot multi-use Ramada Golf Dome offers 37 indoor range stalls, indoor mini golf, licensed lounge, food service, golf camps and lessons.
  • KartTrack Race Karts | Go-cart track right along Idylwyld Drive and 25th Street.
  • 302 Lounge | Saskatoon’s only “straight” gay bar and discotheque.

Where to Stay

  • Ramada Hotel
Ramada Hotel in Saskatoon
  • Northgate Motor Inn
Where Not to Stay
  • The Saskatoon Police Service opened up their new state of the art headquarters. While it looks to be a great place to get a tour of and there are many really nice police officers, if you are staying there, something has gone horribly wrong and you have probably made some regrettable life choices.
  • While you are at it, you may want to check out the Trip Advisor ratings for the Northwoods Inn and Suites.  According to the website, it is the lowest ranked (out of 32) hotel in Saskatoon.  The Expedia ratings are not a lot better.

Where to Eat

  • Night Oven Bakery | The only place in town to get fire cooked bread made with stone ground flour.  It may be out of the way but the results are worth it.
  • Mr. Rizos | A long time favourite spot for romantic dinners and gourmet food in Saskatoon.

Where to Shop

  • OTV Technologies | Every city has a go to computer store and this is Saskatoon’s.

Who’s Who

  • City Councilor: Pat Lorje
  • MLA: Roger Parent
  • MP: Maurice Vellacott