West Side Stories

Ten nuggets of information about Hudson Bay Park, Mayfair, Kelsey-Woodlawn and area

  1. Explorer Henry Kelsey wrote of seeing a “great  store of buffalo” when he reached Canada’s Great  Plains in 1691. You can see a hint of it now. A big rock near the corner of 33rd Street and Valens Drive is a stone used by buffalo to remove winter hair and burrs. The stone was found on a farm southeast of Saskatoon and moved to Henry Kelsey Park in 1965.
  2. Neil Chotem, a 16-year-old prodigy in Saskatoon, played piano in a concert for Caswell, Mayfair and Westmount schools in 1937. Chotem  gave his first recital at age 11 and was instructed by the esteemed Lyell Gustin for eight years. Chotem went on to be a classical pianist and composer in Montreal, writing music for Canadian performers and being the guest conductor for prominent orchestras.
  3. George Donald saw a lot of change in Saskatoon police. The force went from having all the officers on walking patrol, to riding bikes, to driving the first cars in the province equipped with two-way radios. He was the city’s police chief for 31 years. Donald Street in Hudson Bay Park honours his name.
  4. Ellen Drummond, who lived on Bedford Road, was the first female public school trustee in Saskatoon. She promoted the idea of building Bedford Road Collegiate, returning to Ontario in 1923, the year the school opened.
  5. The Caswell Hill area is home to Saskatoon’s newest outdoor pool, including a water slide and basketball court. The previous Mayfair Pool was the oldest pool in the city, open every summer for 51 years.
  6. A family of three girls, four boys, their mother Julia and father Karl travelled from Moose Jaw to Saskatoon by covered wagon in the spring of 1883. The eldest son, John, 16, walked the full distance as he herded cows and calves. The family homesteaded east of what is now the Forestry Farm. The land later included Bridge City Speedway, the track for the Saskatoon Stock Car
  7. Racing Association. The family was the Kusch family. Kusch Crescent is in your community.  During the Kusch family trip to Saskatoon, a four-gallon crock of molasses spilled from their wagon and smashed. The name Blackstrap was born.
  8. After 38 years with the Saskatoon Municipal Railway System, Joseph Horan drove a street car on the Mayfair line Nov. 10, 1951. This was the city’s last tram run.
  9. Alfred Henry Browne had peacocks in his back yard on 16th Street. He planted trees all over the place. From maple and ash to elm and poplar, Browne made Saskatoon green. A native of England, he worked as the park superintendent in Saskatoon for 44 1/2 years. A.H. Browne Park in Mayfair keeps his name rooted in the city.
  10. “We bake it and you serve it.” This was the slogan for Mayfair Bakery, which opened in 1932. They’ve been cooking ever since. Janet and Ennio Muzzolini bought Christie’s Mayfair Bakery in 1965. It’s now run by their daughter Tracey and son Blair.

Compiled by Bob Florence

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