Friday, November 5, 2010

Strike A Pose.

Yesterday morning I got off the bus in front of the Sturdy Stone Centre on 3rd Avenue.  I spotted a magpie on one of the nearby trees, so out came the camera in the hope of catching a shot.

midtown magpie

Imagine my surprise when instead of flying away before I could take a photo, as birds often do, he actually flew closer to me, landing in one of the planters.  He started to root around for tidbits.

midtown magpie 2

My close presence seemed to make no difference to him.  In fact it was almost as if he decided to let me have a good look.

midtown magpie 3

midtown magpie 4

Even the flash on my camera going off a couple of times didn't bother him in the least.

midtown magpie 5

midtown magpie 6

Soon it was time for both of us to move on.

The breed found in Saskatchewan is the Black-billed Magpie.  They're quite common in many areas of Saskatoon.  As often seems to be the case with birds the ones downtown, like this one, are quite tame.  The ones I see in more suburban areas of Saskatoon seem to be less so. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Small Guardian?

small guy

A small dog tied up in front of Always Towing on 43rd Street.  Although he barked at me I doubt he's supposed to be a guard dog.

small guy 2

This was the second time I've seen him tied up there and I'm by there regularly when I visit the Long and McQuade across the street., so I assume he's a pet of one of the tow truck drivers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010



Walking down 2nd Avenue on Wednesday I noticed this glass sitting on top of the parking ticket dispenser at the corner of 2nd and 25th Street.  Given that the Patricia Hotel and its bar are just across the street I assumed a patron walked out of the bar holding this and put it there when he was finished.  Frankly I find that a bit disturbing, because he might have then gotten into his vehicle and drove off, drunk.

drink 2

However a quick check indicates that Albino Rhino is a brand of pale ale served at Earl's Restaurants, and there's an Earl's a couple of blocks away on 2nd Avenue.  Doesn't change my worry about drunk driving of course.

I left the glass where it was, but it didn't remain there long.  Literally a couple of minutes after I took these shots a truck pulled up to the dispenser.  I think it might have been someone from the company who runs the parking lot.  In any case when the truck pulled away the glass was gone.  Somehow I doubt the driver was going to take the glass back where it belongs, but who knows?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


tat 1

Recently I noticed this sticker by the after hours book return slot at the Francis Morrision Library, aka the main branch, on 23rd Street.

tat 2

I really don't see the connection between tattoos and libraries, other than there being tattoo books in the library.

And as a bonus here's a shot of the lovely colours of the leaves across the street on the City Hall grounds.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Emperiled Crossing.

bridge six

bridge eleven

The oldest motor vehicle bridge in Saskatoon is known by several names, including the Victoria Bridge, the 19th Street Bridge, and its official name, the Traffic Bridge.  But at the moment it might best be called the Trafficless Bridge.

bridge one

bridge two

The bridge was closed to traffic on the afternoon of August 24th after inspectors decided further use of the bridge is unsafe.

bridge four

bridge five

This includes foot traffic, as warned by this solar powered digital sign.

bridge seven

bridge nine

The underside of the bridge shows its age, but I don't have the training to know exactly how bad it really looks.  However it has been suggested this week that the bridge could collapse if traffic were to continue using it in its current state, which must be a bit unnerving to those who have been regularly using the bridge of late.

bridge ten

These gentlemen were busy further evaluating the bridge when I took these pictures the morning of August 25th.

The bridge was previously closed from November of 2005 to September of 2006 to conduct repairs after problems became obvious.  Hopes that the repairs taken at that time would increase the longevity of the bridge appear to have been overly optimistic.

The closure has caused a further increase in the traffic flow problems already occuring due to the amount of road construction currently ongoing in Saskatoon, including the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge being limited to single lane traffic.  But things could be worse.  Due to its narrow size the Victoria Bridge is not used by Saskatoon Transit.  Still, the fate of the bridge is a major question, as its replacement would cost tens of millions of dollars, and until it is repaired or replaced traffic flow through the downtown area will be hampered..

Friday, August 20, 2010

Social Commentary, Perhaps.


This was one of two or three painted on the parking lot in front of the Colonial Cold Beer and Wine Store on 8th Street.  I'm guessing this grafitti was done late at night given that there's no sign of it being smudged by being run over.  But even then it must take a bit of courage to do that on one of the busiest streets in town, and in front of a business that might have been open at the time.

Monday, August 9, 2010

All Day, And All Of The Night.


This is a shot of the Preston Crossing Sobeys store.  The sign indicates that like the other Saskatoon stores of the chain this location is now open 24 hours a day.  I'm skeptical of any of them getting much business at 3 in the morning, but the Preston Crossing location seems especially unlikely to given its isolation.  No one is likely to drive past the store and stop in on impulse.  Still, Sobeys decision to go 24 hours is an example of the slowly expanding number of 24 hour businesses in Saskatoon, such as a couple of outlets of Shoppers Drug Mart and the drive through windows at McDonalds.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Rig.

I've been a bit lax on posting here lately, but this one is a biggie, in more ways than one.

artic 1

I was pleasently surprised to spot this vehicle sitting on 23rd Street by the Francis Morrision Library this morning.  This is Saskatoon Transit bus 1007, one of three articulated buses acquired this year from Quebec's Nova Bus.  These will run on the rapid transit DART routes at peak hours.

artic 2

artic 3

The actual markings on this bus are pretty limited, such as the small DART logo on the upper panel seen here.

artic 5

Like all buses acquired in recent years this unit has a front mounted bike rack, and the racks do see some use.

artic 60

artic 4

artic 7

A closeup of the accordion section that connects the front and back segments.

I'm not convinced these buses will work well here.  The various bus stops and bus malls were designed with a much shorter vehicle in mind, and I wonder if they won't have trouble navigating some streets and intersections.  We'll have to wait until full scale service begins in September.


Meanwhile, Saskatoon Transit continues to acquire buses of the style we're more familiar with here, such as 1001, a New Flyer bus.  As can be seen by the paint scheme this unit is intended for the use on "standard" routes.  Prior to the acquisition of the new articulated buses New Flyer had been the sole provider of buses to Saskatoon Transit since the first low floor wheelchair accessible buses were purchased in 1995.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Secret Agent?

joe 90

Joe 90's Auto Sales has been located at 8th St. and Louise Avenue for several years.  I wonder if other Saskatonians besides me recognise a more famous use of this name.  Joe 90 was a 1968 Gerry Anderson production about a 9 year old boy who, via a special pair of glasses, could perform any skill programmed into them at an expert level, and used this ability as a secret agent.  This was the last of Anderson's series to primarily use "Supermarionation," Anderson's trademarked term for highly sophisticated marionettes, and used in previous series such as the cult classic Thunderbirds.

Friday, July 16, 2010



During the Spring and Summer months a pair of boats, owned by Shearwater Tours, can be seen plying the South Saskatchewan, offering tours and other services. 

riverboat 2

Several tours are scheduled each day, and the route includes passage under the Broadway Bridge as seen here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The High Ground.


This crew from DJ's Windows & Aerial Access were busy cleaning windows on this 2nd Avenue building last week when I passed by.  Out came the camera.

washers 2


This member of the crew spotted me on the ground and waved, which I missed.

washer warning

This is one job you definitely wouldn't catch me doing.  I don't like heights.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lying In Wait.

traffic duty

A pair of Saskatoon Police Service vehicles were sitting in the alley by Sid Buckwold Park on McKercher Drive this morning doing traffic duty.  As I took this picture they had a couple of vehicles pulled over on McKercher.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blonde and Brunette

I recently posted about the current Midtown Plaza ad campaign.  But elements of the previous one can still be found.

old version

This is located on the First Avenue side of the mall.  As you can see the guy is the same in the older campaign, but the woman has changed.  I guess he got himself a new girlfriend.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Tramp Departs.

tramps 1

After several decades in Grosvenor Park Centre on 8th Street the east side location of Tramps Music and Books is closing May 31st.

tramps 2

In recent years the store was located at the east corner of the west side arm of the building.  Over the years I bought quite a bit of stuff from this location.

tramps 3

This shot was taken while I took one last ramble through the paperbacks.

Tramps will continue to have a presence in Saskatoon, with the downtown store at 244-1st Avenue North remaining open.  Hopefully it will continue for a good long time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Victim Of A Damaged Dream.

fnuc 1

The Saskatoon campus of the First Nations University of Canada, located on 7th Avenue North.  FNUC was intended to improve access to educational opportunities for Canadian aboriginals, but this goal has been hampered by political interference in the operations of the school and reports of financial irregularities.  With its finances in jeopardy it has been decided to sell the Saskatoon campus.

 fnuc 2

fnuc 3

fnuc 4

A stylised teepee is located over the parking lot entrance to the building.

The building was originally constructed as City Park Collegiate high school of the Public School board.  The current City Park campus is located two blocks over on 9th Avenue.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Insert Snickering Here.

beavis 1

The Beavis apartment building is located on 7th Avenue North in Saskatoon.  I'm afraid I must disappoint many visitors by noting there is no corresponding Butthead apartment nearby, or indeed one located anyplace else in Saskatoon.

beavis 2