Category Archives: VVCA News & Events

Join us for tree planting!

Join us for tree planting Sunday, June 9, 2024 at 11:00am

The 14th street multi-use pathway between Cumberland and Preston will be getting new trees and shrubs this spring!

This enhancement will make for a better experience for all those using the pathway, will help clean the air and provide additional habitat for pollinators.

Use the QR code to vote for which types of trees you want to see!

If you would like to help, bring a shovel/rake, some water and a chair. We could always use more hands. RSVP to trees@vvcasaskatoon.com.

The trees and shrubs are being planted through a partnership between the City of Saskatoon and the Varsity View Community Association.

April 2024 Board Meeting

Overview of discussions at the VVCA April 17 board meeting:

– discussions about HAF, Corridor Plan rezoning. Feeling that most people don’t know much about plans for neighbourhood rezoning. Those that do know are concerned. First phase, concerning secondary suites and removing parking requirements, will go to Council later this month. Encouraging residents to speak at Council meeting with concerns.
– SUM Theatre will be presenting their annual Theatre in the Park again this year. Preview performance in Grosvenor Park, Thursday, May 16, 7PM. Always free to attend. VVCA provides an honorarium to SUM Theatre.
– VVCA plans to host a barbecue before the Theatre in the Park performance. Details to come. Volunteers most welcome.
– finances in good shape. While at the bank to update signing authority, Ted suggests they review options for higher interest investments for a portion of current funds.
– indoor programs are running. Should have 4 new programs added in the fall!
– basketball is all done. Balls are stored in Brunskill School. Coaches will be needed next fall! Last year for Tammy as coordinator – need someone to shadow her and learn the ropes!
– soccer schedule has been released by SYSI. Games start in May.
– rink is done. Some maintenance on boards will be done when weather improves. How to control weeds during summer? Do we need to install dog waste bags at rink – some owners are not picking up after their dogs. Renewal of advertisers to come?
– determining dates for newsletter material and ads, and for distribution.
– suggestion of year-view calendar to plan out events and important dates.
– Albert Community Centre hopes to have new building bookings manager hired soon. Eventually will have their own website, social media and email contact. Renovations delayed, but should start soon.
– Community Garden first meeting hopefully before beginning of May. Work-bee the weekend before the Victoria Day long weekend.
– suggestion for residents to register their bikes and their security cameras with Saskatoon Police.
Community Cleanup is Saturday May 11, 8am-1pm, Church of Latter Day Saints parking lot (10th and Cumberland). Volunteers and trucks appreciated.
– apply for grant for 40th anniversary next year?
– tree planting project. City is supporting and using this as a test case for other future projects. Planned tree planting on June 9, 11am. Would appreciate community member volunteers with shovels, rakes, etc.
– next meeting Wednesday May 15, 2024, 7PM.

Water rentention/dry pond construction

The City of Saskatoon presented at our March 20, 2024 board meeting, telling us all we need to know about the dry ponds that are planned in our neighbourhood. Good attendance from the community as well. Thanks for coming out!

Two dry ponds are planned (#5 and #6 of the various water retention ponds projects scattered across the City). Plans are still at early stages, so details may be changing.

Cumberland and Main Street, with the dry pond constructed in Cumberland Park. Will be presented to council in May, then detailed design, then public engagement, with construction starting early 2025. Construction done late 2025, with another year for landscape to establish. Park to reopen fall of 2026.

Cumberland and 14th Street, with the dry pond constructed on University of Saskatchewan land, east of McEown Park (University high rises). Similar schedule to the previous one, subject to agreement between the City and University. No formal public engagement as the pond will be on private University land.

https://www.saskatoon.ca/…/storm…/flood-control-strategy

March 2024 Board meeting

Overview of discussions at the March 20, 2024 VVCA Board Meeting:

– presentation by City of Saskatoon about dry ponds to be constructed in neighbourhood
– tree planting proposal at 14th and Cumberland: Josh and Jon talked to City’s Urban Forestry. City will supply trees, VVCA responsible for planting and watering (for 3 years). VVCA approved funds for project.
– zoning changes due to Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) and Corridor Land Use still unclear. Four stories seems excessive for achieving greater density. What is VVCA plan of action?
– appointed a nominations committee for next month’s AGM. What positions will be open? President, others?
– finances are looking good. Some of our funds could be put into short term investments. Books will be audited and ready for AGM next month.
– spring program registration just ended. All programs, except for Art, going ahead. Just paid instructors for winter term.
– Community Cleanup scheduled for Saturday May 11, 8:30-noon. Location to be confirmed. Volunteers, and volunteers with trucks, appreciated.
– outdoor youth soccer registration ended early March. U5 does not have enough players to make a team. We have coaches. Refund coaches their training fees and child registration fee.
– last Learn to Skate session is on Sunday. Rink has one sign to replace. Is it renewal time for advertising boards?
– newsletter printed and ready for distribution.
– email received from Albert Childcare Co-operative, who are fundraising to update the public playground adjacent Albert Community Centre. Information shared on website and social media. Invite Co-op to speak in May?
– volunteer found for VVCA 40th anniversary planning!
– next meeting is the Annual General Meeting, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. All are welcome to attend.

Albert Childcare Co-op playground fundraiser

The Albert Childcare Co-operative is looking to replace an ageing playground on the site of Albert Park beside the Albert Community Centre. While the playground is used by the Childcare Centre, the playground is open for everyone! The proposed playground would expand the space significantly and provide younger children with the “just right” challenge needed to continue to develop their social, gross, and sensory motor developmental needs. The expansion of the playground will fill a need in the community for accessible/safe play space for younger children.

Thank you for considering to contribute to a new playground in Nutana and Varsity View!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/helpbuildanewplaygroundatalbertchildcarecoop

Storm Water Flood Control

The City of Saskatoon (City) is proposing a joint storm water management project with the University of Saskatchewan (USask) to help reduce the summer storm flood risk near the intersection of Cumberland Avenue South and 14th Street East. If approved by City Council, it would be the sixth of nine projects under the Flood Control Strategy (FCS) adopted by City Council in 2018.

This project would be similar to the first two under the FCS in W.W. Ashley Park and in Churchill Park, which temporarily hold storm water that would otherwise cause nearby flooding during intense rainfalls. Both of those projects have already proven to be successful at preventing flooding. The City and USask are in discussions to construct a storm water storage area on USask land north of 14th Street East, between Cumberland Avenue South and Preston Avenue North.

As a key stakeholder, I wanted to reach out to you about next steps for the proposed project:

• We are planning a presentation for the Varsity View/Grosvenor Park Community Association on March 20, 2024 at the Brunskill School Library (7:00 PM). Please contact your Community Association if you would like to attend. Attendees will learn about the FCS and preliminary information of this proposed project.

• A report requesting the City enter into an agreement with USask to complete this project will go to City Council later this spring (we will inform you when a date is finalized) where we will request approval to move forward with design and construction plans. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in February 2025.

This project would reduce the flood risk for as many as 30 properties that typically experience flooding during intense rainfalls.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact the City. To learn more about the FCS, visit saskatoon.ca/floodplan.

Mitch McMann
Storm Water Utility Manager
Saskatoon Water
306-986-0914

https://www.saskatoon.ca/…/storm…/flood-control-strategy

February 2024 board meeting

Overview of discussions at Thursday February 29, 2024 VVCA board meeting:
– City Nature Challenge April 26-29 presentation. Take photos of nature and wildlife, possibly win prizes, plus info is useful to the City and Meewasin.
– City Urban Forestry presentation by Cate Francis about plans for President Murray Park. City no longer does irrigation and heat and drought are taking toll on spruce. Park not scheduled for upgrade within 10 years. Asked about budget for irrigating so VVCA could consider this as a project.
– General discussion about tree proposal on 14th Street. City is in early planning stages for water retention pond at 14th and Cumberland, which may effect planting. Major issue is obtaining volunteers to water new trees for 1-3 years. VVCA to firm up budget for next meeting.
– City approved for federal Housing Accelerator Fund, which means increase of density in VV. (board tried to attend City online presentation at beginning of meeting, but it was not working well for the group. A video of the recorded presentation should be posted to City site soon (https://www.saskatoon.ca/engage/corridor-land-use-and-rezoning).
– Ski trails groomed (but likely covered over since weekend snowfall)
– Grosvenor Park area looking at expansion of RPP. RPP program is being discontinued?
– newsletter articles and materials to be submitted asap. 15-50 day notice of AGM required.
– no facilitator yet for planning retreat.
– Community Liaison noted City has items for special events (tents, tables, etc). Deadlines for grant applications. Not too early to start planning 40th Anniversary in 2025.
– City / Sask Water attending March meeting to discuss stormwater retention/dry ponds. Two ponds planned in community.
– Finances good. Payments to instructors coming up. E-transfers need to identify the program participant. Would like to pay instructors by e-transfer, policy to be presented at next meeting.
– spring program registration March 14 and 19 in Brunskill School foyer. Cap on badminton registrants. Learn to Skate adult version did not happen – people didn’t show up. Soccer registration open online until March 11. Gift cards for rink crew!
– community clean up date will soon be established.
– some damaged advertising boards in rink. Check with supplier if there are more durable boards. Renewals for sponsorships soon.
– Albert Community Centre booking manager job description being finalized and then will be posted.
– spring programs posted on website and social. City Housing Accelerator Fund info posted on social and website.
– next meeting Wednesday March 20, 2024.

Corridor Proposed Land Use Plans

This work is part of the Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan endorsed by City Council in May 2023 intended to increase available housing in Saskatoon. Since the public engagement sessions in Fall 2023, the City has been working on initiatives identified in the Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan to have even more impact on housing in Saskatoon. As a result, much of what was presented in Fall 2023 is no longer what the City is working toward.

Incorporating the required changes from the Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan and feedback from the fall engagement sessions, the Corridor Planning team has completed revisions to the proposed land use plans. College Drive Corridor and 8th Street Corridor images below.

NOTE: Video recording and presentation slides of February 29, 2024 online information session are now posted on the City page below.

https://www.saskatoon.ca/…/corridor-land-use-and-rezoning

Corridor Growth Area – Land Uses

The following land use descriptions can be found in the Official Community Plan (OCP) – Revised December 19, 2022.

Corridor Transit Village Land designated as “Corridor Transit Village” has the potential for a mix of medium to high density residential, commercial, institutional, and recreational uses that are located in strategic locations along the BRT network and have the opportunity to significantly contribute to corridor growth objectives and targets in the Growth Plan to Half a Million. These sites are typically located within Urban Centres and are intended to provide a mix of employment, residential, recreational, and open space uses that support and benefit from their location along the BRT network. These sites are typically developed in a phased fashion.

Station Mixed Use Land designated as “Station Mixed Use” has the potential for medium density, generally three to six storey mixed use developments that incorporate transit-oriented development principles and a broad range of residential, commercial, institutional, cultural, and community uses. Depending on the site context or as determined through the Corridor Area Plan process, there will be cases where modest differences in height will be permitted. These lands are located on the BRT routes near to a BRT station as illustrated in the BRT map, (refer to Appendix D, Map 6 – High-Frequency Transit Corridor and Transit Villages) or as determined through a Corridor Area Plan.

Corridor Mixed Use Land designated as “Corridor Mixed Use” has the potential for medium density, two to four storey mixed use developments that are pedestrian-oriented and incorporate transit-oriented development principles. These lands are located on the BRT routes between station locations, or on other major transportation corridors in proximity to the BRT routes or as determined through the Corridor Area Plan process.

Corridor Main Street Land designated as “Corridor Main Street” has the potential for medium density mixed use developments that are pedestrian-oriented and incorporate transit-oriented development principles. These areas are typically existing commercial streets located on the public transit system. Corridor Main Street areas are intended to enhance the existing character, function, and built form in historic or significant commercial districts located within the Corridor Growth Area.

Corridor Residential Land designated as “Corridor Residential” has the potential for ground-oriented, low to medium density residential development. These areas are located near to the BRT routes and are intended to provide a transition of densities from Station Mixed Use, Corridor Mixed Use and/or Corridor Main Street lands into the surrounding neighbourhoods.

https://www.saskatoon.ca/business-development/planning/growth-plans/plan-growth/corridor-planning

City Nature Challenge 2024

City Nature Challenge 2024: 
Saskatoon Embraces Biodiversity on the Global Stage

In a thrilling leap into the world of nature exploration, the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas proudly announces Saskatoon’s debut participation in the City Nature Challenge 2024 (CNC YXE 2024). This international initiative invites citizens to become biodiversity ambassadors, capturing the rich tapestry of wildlife flourishing in our city.

iNaturalist City Nature Challenge 
Saskatoon, April 26 to April 29, 2024

https://6192db9370581.site123.me/
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!  Download the free iNaturalist app to your smartphone.
Be the Voice for Nature
Find it 
Snap it 
Share it 
What will you discover?

Skate equipment

Are you just learning how to skate? Don’t want to spend a fortune on new skates? Or afraid you child will grow out of them too fast? Check out some local Saskatoon shops for used equipment (don’t forget a helmet!) or page through Facebook Markeplace or Kijiji to find a deal.

https://www.topshelfsports.ca/usedhockey

https://skateman1997.wixsite.com/website

http://www.larryssportsexchange.com/

https://www.playitagainsports.com/locations/Saskatoon-SK

May be an image of skates

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January 2024 board meeting

Overview of discussions at the January 17, 2024 VVCA board meeting:

– tree planting proposal on hold until City completes Planting Plan guidelines. City is working with Meewasin.
– VVCA to contact City about replacement of dying trees in President Murray Park. Possible invitation of City rep to attend and speak at future meeting.
– hope to hold VVCA planning retreat before AGM. City rep schedule is too full to assist – what are other options for facilitators?
– VVCA bylaw and constitution are being revised. May have a good start and be able to present at AGM.
– President Murray Park cross country ski trails have been groomed. Grosvenor Park should be soon. Permanent signage (don’t walk on the trails, etc) is not allowed in park, but temporary signage can be installed.
– VVCA will be celebrating 40 year anniversary in 2025. Any plans or ideas? Form a committee at AGM to plan?
– put some of current finances in short term investment?
– all programs running. Registration nights were extremely cold and blizzardy. Learn to skate is going ahead with kids and adult classes. For future years, can we canvas for used skates from community for participants to use? No storage available though.
– Brunskill School community council is planning a community winter event in early February. Would like to partner with VVCA in some way.
– soccer coordinator attended SYSI meetings in early January. Registrations begin early February.
– rink is going great. Thank you to rink volunteers!
– newsletter published and distributed late Dec/early January.
– Albert Community Centre renovations should begin in May, run for about a year. Hopefully minimal disruption to current tenants. ACC determining how to handle short term bookings. ACC preschool planning playground renovation.
– due to February school break, next meeting will be THURSDAY, February 29, 2024, 7PM, Brunskill School.

December 2023 board meeting

Overview of discussions at the December 20 2023 VVCA board meeting:

– tree planting proposal along 14th Street has been submitted to the City. The City is working on a new Community Planting guideline that will properly assess the proposed project, hopefully in early 2024. Some links to possible grant options were provided that may offset some, or all, costs. Watering trees may be an issue.
– discussion about evergreens in President Murray Park. Any City actions forthcoming for dying trees?
– planning retreat to be discussed next meeting.
– letter of support for Bridge City Hens pilot project approved to send to City. Require rigorous evaluation of project.
– City: 14th Street designated a ‘Neighbourhood Bikeway’. Speed reduction for car traffic. Implementation in spring.
– City: first step to eliminating parking minimums in Saskatoon. Still opportunities for engagement and reports before it becomes a bylaw.
– request from community member about ski trail signage in Grosvenor Park – can it be permanent? Jon to inquire with City.
– Discussion regarding proposed changes to zoning and parking. Any EV plugin requirements? Will developers rely on street parking? Parking changes possibly tied to federal Housing Accelerator Fund. Zoning map and CBC News article shared. There are benefits to greater density and walkable spaces.
– program registration night is January 9 and 11, 2024, 7-8:30PM at Brunskill School.
– basketball gym times booked. 12 teams for Nutana, Buena Vista and Varsity View.
– new soccer coordinator. Thank you Ian!
– rink boards fixed to allow for expansion. Ad board replaced. One more to be replaced in spring. Rink has been flooded and new lighter, more flexible hoses have been purchased. Thank you to the rink crew!
– newsletter printed (and delivered). Next newsletter out in March to provide notice of April AGM.
– Albert Community Centre’s booking manager has retired. New staffing not yet finalized.
– Ward 6 meeting of community associations in January. Some VV volunteers to attend.
– next meeting Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

November board meeting

Overview of discussions at the November 15 board meeting:
– a response from the City about the tree planting proposal is coming soon. Our City community consultant will review department comments and forward for VVCA discussion.
– pause on organization of the planning retreat for now.
– increase in pay rate for some long-term program instructors approved.
– discussion about Bridge City Hens proposal and whether there is community support for it. Tentatively supporting a pilot project with some caveats.
– inquiry if pickelball could be offered by VVCA. No available time and space. Other associations, field house, etc offer it though.
– discussions about possibility of asphalt or sports surface added to rink. Expensive. Could use for pickleball or other sports in non-winter months.
– some City training for community association board members coming up: cultural, accounting.
– some grants available for events, parks, rink.
– programs beginning January booked in system (updated on website). January 9 & 11 registration.
– looking for a skating instructor and soccer coordinator. Will only offer Learn to Skate program in 2024 if an instructor can be found.
– basketball is going fine, with two more weeks of skills before games start. No extra practice times available due to lack of school gym space.
– soccer teams doing well. Need a soccer coordinator. Soccer AGM is next week.
– VVCA equipment room in Brunskill School needs some attention.
– maintenance being done to rink boards while weather is good. Rubber mats from school to rink had been placed but an accidental slip and fall on mats has required them to be removed. Some donor signage has been damaged and will be replaced.
– newsletter content deadline was Nov. 15. Newsletter should be distributed to homes during Christmas break.
– website domain and hosting renewed.
– Albert Community Centre room booking coordinator has announced retirement. ACC Board is working to post position and hire replacement.
– Board social event in January?
– next meeting Wednesday December 20.

Land Use Along 8th Street Corridor Areas

Public Engagement Opportunity

The City will be working with the community to create land use and zoning plans for five specific corridor plan areas (largely within Circle Drive) to enable new housing development. Community members are invited to offer input on proposed land use plans that are intended to go to City Council for approval Spring 2024. If the proposed land use plans receive City Council approval, the City will lead the rezoning process in these areas at no cost for any interested landowner within a Corridor Plan Area. For landowners and other stakeholders, the ultimate purpose of the project is to simplify the process of creating new housing.

The next come-and-go engagement opportunity, for the 8th Street Corridor, is coming up next week and we are hoping you can attend and provide feedback. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The Centre Mall (west side, door #1), 3310 8th Street E

An interactive online survey is available for people who want to participate virtually or are unable to attend in person. Project updates will be available at saskatoon.ca/corridorlanduse.

If you have any questions about the upcoming land use and rezoning engagements, please send an email to corridorplans@saskatoon.ca and someone will get back to you.

The City of Saskatoon is committed to working with the community to find ways to increase housing availability for all. More projects with a similar aim will be coming up as part of the Action Plan. You can find out more information at saskatoon.ca/housingactionplan.

If you are interested in joining our mailing list to stay informed of this rezoning opportunity and to find out about potential related incentives, please click this link and fill out the form.  

If you are looking for information on any aspect of the City of Saskatoon’s Corridor Planning Program please reach out to our project team at corridorplans@saskatoon.ca. We are looking to make the Corridor Plans as inclusive as possible, so please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think may be interested.

October board meeting

Overview of some of the discussions at the Wednesday October 18, 2023 VVCA board meeting:
– update on tree planting proposal of last meeting. Costs for trees and upkeep added. Proposal to go to City for review and approval. If approved, then presentation to VVCA for possible financial contribution and/or community fundraising.
– board planning retreat possibly in the new year. Explore mission, mandate, community involvement and financial/project supports
– Airbnb still operating in VV without proper permitting or community consultation? No action yet from City on bylaw investigation.
– presentation from Bridge City Hens, looking for support for pilot project of allowing chickens within the City and to help spread word and get feedback. Web and form links to be shared on VVCA website and social media.
– work beginning on revisions/updating to VVCA policies and bylaws
– requesting two ski trails maintained this winter.
– some Sask Lotteries grants may be available for community events or projects.
– programs running smoothly.
– soccer players all assigned to a team. First game on Sunday. Niran may take over soccer coordinator position in spring.
– Finances in good shape. Instructor fees to be paid later in November. Rink funds to be broken out of totals for better clarity.
– City hosting engagement sessions on Land Use/rezoning along Corridors in October and November. Upcoming Preston Ave and 8th Street sessions may be of interest to VV. More info: https://www.saskatoon.ca/engage/corridor-land-use-and-rezoning
– VV street sweeping on Oct. 20.
– next meeting is Wednesday, November 15, 7PM.