Saskatoon city council voted to move ahead with a major infrastructure plan, which is designed to change how the city functions and to help increase the city’s population to half a million people.
The purpose of the Corridor Transformation Plan is to build up low-density transit routes, like sections of Eight Street or 22nd Street and turn them into more populated more vibrant communities, like Broadway Avenue.
“By us using, planning and zoning it … sends a long term message to developers and investors to say ‘this is where we want our population to be,’” said Ward 5 Coun. Randy Donauer.
“And if it works it will ultimately result in more people riding transit and that’s the goal.”
The plan looks to build up and not out — to make use of existing infrastructure, to build up the structures along the corridors and to limit the city’s outward expansion.
“Let’s take Eighth Street, for example,” said Donauer.
The plan also mentions a proposal to redesign Confederation Mall, Centre Mall and University Heights Square and convert them into Transit Villages, a mix of shopping, entertainment and housing spaces similar to Lansdowne Place in Ottawa or the Ice District in Edmonton. The plan would also build two more transit villages near the future Blairmore and Holmwood stations.
The adoption of the plan means it will guide future development decisions, but there is no specific timeline for construction.
Work on the BRT is scheduled to begin in 2022 and finish in 2025.