Given their close proximity, the Varsity View neighbourhood and the University of Saskatchewan have had a very unique relationship from the very beginning. Varsity View developed primarily due to the University of Saskatchewan, which was established in 1907. In the early 1900s, the moniker “Varsity View” did not exist. Instead, the area of Varsity View was known as a combination of areas called University Annex, Bottomley Addition, Varsity Park, University View, College Park, and Alexandra Park.
In the early 1900s, limited development in the area began with the establishment of the first home in the area built in 1912. This home belonged to a businessman and real estate owner by the name of Richard Bottomley. The land that he established his house on was known as Bottomley Addition, which was bound by College Drive to the north, Osler to the south, Clarence Avenue to the west, and Cumberland Avenue to the east. However, while there was some settlement in the early 1900s, the neighbourhood did not develop extensively until the 1950s. Prior to the 1930s, much of the land in Varsity View was not suitable for residential or commercial development due to its natural topography. The neighbourhood constantly flooded until sewer lines were built in the 1930s. Also, the City owned much of the land in Varsity View for the purposes of street widening, street extensions, as well as parkland.
College Drive and Elliott street began to develop in the 1920s, while the rest of the neighbourhood did not develop until the 1950s. In subsequent years, the subdivisions of Varsity View were combined into two communities named Albert and Brunskill. The Varsity View moniker did not come into existence until at least the 1980s, as the area was still divided into Albert and Brunskill communities in 1986.
Today, the area of Varsity View is bounded by College Drive to the north, 8th Street East to the south, Cumberland Avenue to the east, and Clarence Avenue to the west.
If you would like to know more history about the development of the neighbourhood, please contact the Local History Room at the Saskatoon Public Library, the City Archives, or the Saskatoon Heritage Society. More information can also be found in the following sources:
– Don Kerr and Stan Hanson, Saskatoon: The First Half Century, Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1982.
– William P. Delainey and William A.S. Sarjeant, Saskatoon: The Growth of a City, Saskatoon: Saskatoon Environmental Society, 1974.
– Jeff O’Brien, Ruth W. Miller, and William P. Delainey, Saskatoon: A History in Photographs, Regina: Coteau Books, 2006.
Cultural Heritage Mapping of Varsity View
My name is Brittney Beckie and I am a Regional and Urban Planning student at the University of Saskatchewan. This summer, I have been doing an internship for the City of Saskatoon. The internship focused on the cultural heritage mapping of Varsity View. For the project, I gathered information on the notable people, places, buildings, architecture, and businesses within the neighbourhood. I have also gathered photographs of businesses as well as maps and aerial photographs of the neighbourhood.
One of the end goals of this project was to create an online historical database under the headline “Varsity View Yesterday and Today” on the Varsity View Community Association website. The information that I have gathered throughout the summer is what you will see on this portion of the Varsity View Community Association website.
I hope you have as much fun reading the information as I did in gathering it!