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Winter City Strategy

Wintercity YXE

Why is a WintercityYXE Strategy being developed for Saskatoon?

The concept of a Winter City capitalizes on opportunities to mitigate the real and perceived negative effects of the winter season and reinforce positive ones. The outcome can be a more vibrant, sustainable, prosperous and livable community.

WintercityYXE is being developed to improve community accessibility, inclusion, activity, and energy that will lead to greater economic strength (especially within service and retail sectors) as the opportunities of winter are recognized and the challenges are diminished.

The intent is to be broad, responding to opportunities associated with winter life, winter design and winter economy, as well as addressing perceptions, attitude and behaviours of citizens to generate a positive winter culture. 

What has been the process for developing a WintercityYXE Strategy so far?

The City of Saskatoon has approached the development of WintercityYXE as a repeatable process where the community stakeholders co-design WintercityYXE with the City.

The approach has been based on four Pillars:

Winter Life:  How can we celebrate the inviting and fun quality of life we have in Saskatoon, even in the coldest months of the year?
Winter Design:  How can we improve community comfort and accessibility for everyone, even in the ice and snow?
Winter Culture:  How can we build enthusiasm for winter, take advantage of opportunities and tell the story of our winter city?
Winter Economy:   How can we address challenges associated with winter to create a more vibrant economy in the winter?

As a result of feedback received from Stakeholders, a four step process for the Saskatoon Community Winter City Strategy was developed:

Step One:      Build on the strength of existing assets by creating an inventory of existing assets to provide a foundation from which the City and community stakeholders can promote what already exists, seek synergies through cooperative efforts and identify gaps.

Step Two:      Engage the community through community conversations to create new and /or promote and strengthen existing winter experiences. Five emerging themes identified through the engagement process were: 

  1. Improving mobility
  2. Improving infrastructure and facilities
  3. Providing more support to existing activities
  4. Creating more events and things to do
  5. Enhancing promotion of winter activities and events

Step Three:   Implement quick win actions including providing support through grants for initiatives that support the goals of WintercityYXE.

Step Four:     Develop the Strategy

WintercityYXE Community Working Group

The WintercityYXE Community Working Group is comprised of members of the community who have expressed interest in having a broader dialogue about winter in Saskatoon.  These volunteers represent a variety of community sectors that relate to the themes of the WintercityYXE Strategy.  

The Community Working Group has helped the Administration guide plans for a community workshop, debriefed on the results of engagement activities to date, and will continue to meet to guide further community engagement and strategy development.