All posts by Jordon

About Jordon

I am a columnist for the paper, a podcaster, and blogger. Apparently I have an abundance of opinions.

Parkway Closure

This is a public service announcement regarding the potential closure of the walkway at 34th Street and Ave. J and Ave. I north

Thank you for your attention to this time sensitive matter!

An application has been made to the City of Saskatoon to PERMANENTLY CLOSE this walkway.

Where is it? Ave I north and 34th Street west

Aveneu I pathway

For those coming from the west, it leads to 34th street and the community of Mayfair.

This route is often used to access businesses on 33rd (with the advantage of walking, biking, wheeling, on a less busy, dusty, slushy street), it is used by children returning home from Henry Kelsey school, as well by people travelling to the Mayfair library, the spray park/ A.H. Browne park, Mayfair Community school with it’s playground, soccer field and daycare and more.

This application is now moving forward. If the community wants to have a voice and to be heard, there will be only one chance to do so.

The applicants have until the end of November to submit their final paperwork at which time it will go to council. What can we do as a community?

Present a petition at the council meeting signed by community members asking that the application to close the walkway be denied. 2) Speak at the council meeting voicing our reasons for wanting the walkway to remain open. What can we do individually?

  1. Sign the petition when presented with the opportunity.
  2. Help gather signatures.
  3. Spread the word by sharing this message.
  4. Speak at the council meeting if/when the time comes.
  5. Express your concerns to the local city councillors (Darren Hill is our local city councillor while Pat Lorje represents Caswell Hill)

Signing the petition: The petition can be signed at the following locations:

** Communication among neighbors is the key to affecting change! This walkway closure would also affect other neighboring residents such as Caswell Hill and Westmount. Please consider including them in your conversations as well. Volunteering to gather signatures can be as simple as getting a handful from the neighbors you already talk to, over the next month. Ask for a petition. Collect a few signatures. Many handfuls together is what is going to make the difference. It doesn’t have to be daunting or uncomfortable. It can simply become part of the conversations already taking place between neighbors in our community. Try starting with” Hey have you heard that walkway is going to be closed?’ To obtain a petition please email Vivian at


Fall 2013 Presidents Message

As this summer has progressed, we have seen the community come together to enjoy its bounty. We saw Sum Theatre host the opening night of its production of Alice in A.H. Browne Park. We had hundreds of people come to the park to enjoy this event. Currently our Local Area Plan is on summer break but returned in August to work on traffic safety for our area.

We are also working on organizing community events to enjoy and are looking forward to our Annual General Meeting where we will elect next year’s board. I encourage all of you to come out and be active in these issues.

Neighbourhood safety is still a concern and I hope more of you will come out and join the local neighbourhood watch to ensure the safety and security of our families and businesses. As we work together to improve our neighbourhood, it improves all of our lives and makes this a better place that others will look at for settling their families.

One final thing I would like to mention is that we are an older neighbourhood with many older fruit trees. I hope if you have one of these in your yard you are able to enjoy its bounty, but if you are not able to harvest its fruit, please consider contacting Out Of Your Tree. This is a non-profit organization that gets volunteers to assist you to harvest your fruit. You get a share, the volunteer gets a share and a share goes to those in need. If you are interested in volunteering your time or if you have fruit that you will not be able to use, contact them at Thank you and I hope this summer has been a very bountiful one for you.

Robert Rudachyk, president, Hudson Bay Park/Mayfair/Kelsey-Woodlawn Community Association

Local area plan progresses

From the 2013 Fall Newsletter

The Mayfair and KelseyWoodlawn Local Area Plan  (LAP) is now well underway.

Local area planning gives residents an active role in determining the future of their neighbourhood. Residents, business owners, property owners, community groups and other stakeholders form a
partnership with the City of Saskatoon to develop goals and strategies aimed at improving the long-term success of their community

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the Local Area Plan so far. Since the launch in December 2012, meetings have been held on the following topics:

Setting a vision for Mayfair and Kelsey-Woodlawn;

  • Land use and zoning;
  • Culture, history and heritage;
  • The North Downtown Master Plan and SIAST’s future plans;
  • Neighbourhood safety; and 
  • Traffic.

In addition, a meeting was held in March for business and property owners who are interested in forming a Business Improvement District in the area. Also, during the summer a workshop was held on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, followed by numerous Safety audits.

To see notes and summaries of past Local Area Plan meetings, and for information about future meetings, please visit

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Youth For Christ’s meeting space, 1338 Ave. B North at 7 p.m.  The meeting will include a recap and short discussion of
previous meetings and an outline for the rest of the LAP process.

Other meeting topics in the fall will include municipal services; parks and recreation; and the second traffic meeting, where the neighbourhood-wide traffic plan will be presented back to the community. After the formal meetings have concluded (likely in early 2014), the LAP will be drafted with feedback and input from the neighbourhoods.

Everyone is welcome to attend future LAP meetings, even if you have not been to any before.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Konrad Andre
Senior planner, City of Saskatoon

Bethune household a happening place

Published in the 2013 Fall Newsletter.  By Bob Florence

Let’s go to Bethune’s.

Kids in the neighbourhood in Hudson Bay Park did this for years. They played and partied and laughed at Bethune’s house on Howell Avenue. With four boys and a girl in the family, Bethune’s was a happening place.

Bill and Elaine Bethune are the parents. When they moved to Howell Avenue in 1959 from a two- bedroom bungalow a few blocks away on Avenue D, their new home was on the fringe of Saskatoon. Standing in their kitchen, Elaine and Bill could look out the window facing the street and see wheat fields.

Howell Avenue began with three houses, with the Bethunes, with Bruce Howie of North Star Oil and his wife Shirley, with plumber Thomas Flaherty and his wife Marie.

The city grew. The neighbourhood, too.  Howell became home to George and Eileen Fidgett, Walter and Leona Dumka, George and Lois Podratz. A Co-op grocery store opened on Avenue P, then a Credit Union. New houses mushroomed.

Marlene Buller, who lived in a house near the start of the street on Howell, graduated from Mount Royal Collegiate and won a scholarship for the University of Saskatchewan where she studied paediatric nursing. Hank Siemens, who lived a few doors down from Buller on Howell, converted a school bus into a mobile summer home for his wife and four children.

Howell Avenue added the Brickers and Werbickis, Primes and Peters. There was firefighter Herbert Stoll and truck driver Peter Hyshka, clerk Anne Hrytzak and Safeway secretary Norah Reynolds. Bill Bethune worked in floor covering. Elaine raised the five Bethune children as well as babysat for other families.

“Kids across the street who didn’t have TV came over to watch,” Elaine said. “Friends are always welcome.”

The five Bethune children all went to Henry Kelsey elementary school. When he was in Grade 6 in 1966, Jimmy Bethune was part of a school project with principal Peter Russell to find out where towns and train stops in Saskatchewan drew their name. Russell wrote a book on it.

Kids in the school helped Russell do another book on Saskatoon’s street names, including Howell Avenue and Valens Drive, Donald Street and Kusch Crescent in Hudson Bay Park.

Neighbourhoods are about everyday people, not just those who have a street or park named after them. We may not change the world, but we shape our community.  Elaine knows Hudson Bay Park, has for more than 50 years. She knows names and faces, the work they do and interests they have. Her children grew up there. Bill died in 1980. Times change. The character of Bethune’s house on Howell endures.

As many as 13 members of Elaine’s family join her for supper in the kitchen of her house on Howell every Sunday. She likes to prepare a big meal for everyone. The challenge is variety.

“Especially dessert,” she said. “They like dessert.”

When her children turned older, she worked for a hotel on Idylwyld Drive, then as a room attendant  for the YWCA.

For the past 17 years she has volunteered with a program for seniors that meets at Clinkskill Manor. Every Monday and Wednesday morning she helps at Oliver
Lodge, a special care residence for seniors.

“I enjoy the activities they do,” she said. “I enjoy seeing them.”

Although the garden Elaine grows in her back yard is smaller than it once was, her yard has been a fountain of nectar for ruby- throated hummingbirds. She has a comfy chair in the sunroom for her white cat Bella. Among the needlepoint mats she stitched and framed are two pieces on the living room wall showing grain elevators.

Elaine was raised on a mixed farm at Bounty near Outlook with eight brothers and sisters, plus two stepbrothers. They walked across the field to go to school. They caught the train to visit their grandmother nearby in Conquest, especially at Christmas. Elaine moved to Saskatoon in 1948. She and Bill married a year later.

Howell Avenue is home.

Next Local Area Plan Meeting

The next meeting of the Mayfair & Kelsey-Woodlawn Local Area Plan will be on:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
7:00 PM
Youth for Christ Saskatoon – 1338 Avenue B North – Upstairs (Corner of Avenue B and 35th Street)

Topic: Recap of topics discussed in the first half of 2013, upcoming topics, and the steps to writing and reviewing the plan. As well, a U of S student will present her findings from the Cultural Mapping exercise done in the neighbourhoods this summer.

Councillor’s Comment: Children’s Safety Village

There have been several inquiries on the proposed Children’s Safety Village, and I am pleased to have this opportunity to provide you with an update.

The Saskatoon Cosmopolitan Couples Club (SCCC) has identified Pierre Radisson District Park as a suitable location for a Children’s Safety Village. Some suggest this proposed amenity would provide a catalyst for the development of the Hudson Bay Area Park system, in particular Pierre Radisson District Park.

A public information meeting was held in May 2011 to hear from the residents in the area.

If approved, a program plan review and survey will provide a strategy to ensure the Children’s Safety Village is designed and built to incorporate current and future activities, both formal and informal, within the park system. It will be crucial to ensure all stakeholders including the SCCC, neighbourhood residents, sport user groups and transportation be involved in the public
consultation stage of this project.

The SCCC will be responsible for both building and operating the Children’s Safety Village and is required to submit a detailed business plan to the City of Saskatoon. If city council approves the business plan, the SCCC estimates it will take approximately two years to secure the estimated $5.1 million for construction and $100,000 annual operating costs (based on 2011 cost estimates) for the Children’s Safety Village. To date, the city’s leisure services department has not received a business plan from SCCC and there has been no timeline identified on when we will see one.

For more information on the Children’s Safety Village, there are some “frequently asked questions” on the city website  – click “L” for leisure
services under the heading “What’s New.”

At the next budget deliberations, leisure services will be submitting a capital project, requesting funding for the Hudson Bay Area Park program plan review. Subject to city council approving this capital project, public consultation and park program review, survey and site analysis for Pierre Radisson Park could begin in 2014.

This capital project is not dependent on the Children’s Safety Village proceeding.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to email me at and be sure to include your name, address and a contact phone number.

Darren Hill
Councillor, Ward 1
Twitter: @darrenhill1

Virtual Sask Visits Mayfair Hardware

A neighbourhood institution

The result is a continued trade in Mayfair’s basic hardware products, fine-tuned to meet the needs of people who live in older homes in the Mayfair and Caswell Hill neighborhoods that flank the store on the north and south. Mayfair doesn’t carry any plastic plumbing pipes, for instance, ‘it’s all the old galvanized stuff’.

But those are needful things. Mayfair is also the kind of place where you can drop in, browse around and almost always find things that surprise, delight or amuse: Parcheesi games, Mother Goose figurines, horses with clocks in their stomachs, old-fashioned washboards, knives that cut through shoes, pot-mending kits. . .

Thomas admits his buying decisions today are based more on personal curiosity than the likelihood any particular item will become a hot seller. Yet invariably, according to McHargue, things that tickle Thomas’ fancy have the same effect on his customers.

“We’ll say to him: ‘What are you bringing this stuff here for?’,” says McHargue. “But it’s amazing how it sells.”

Jean Wrightson, a Caswell Hill resident, has been coming to Mayfair for years. She spoke of a special trellis Thomas found for her and a home-improvement project that kept McHargue and another Mayfair employee named Leo Mareschal occupied at Wrightson’s house during every spare moment of an entire summer.

“If you want anything,” says Wrightson, “you come to Bruce’s.”