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Saskatoon city council moves ahead with corridor plan

City of Saskatoon moves ahead with Corridor Transportation Plan
WATCH: Saskatoon city council gives the nod of approval to a major infrastructure plan.

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.

The corridors in question are along the future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes.

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“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.

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“And if it works it will ultimately result in more people riding transit and that’s the goal.”

A map of the future BRT routes and the proposed transit villages.
A map of the future BRT routes and the proposed transit villages. The City of Saskatoon

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.

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“We’re going to put some mixed-use nodes, where maybe on the main floor you have office space, retail, maybe a 7-11 or a restaurant. The second floor might be business or commercial [and] then you might have two or three stories of apartments above that.”
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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.