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About WintercityYXE


What Is WintercityYXE?  

WintercityYXE was created as a joint project between the City and community groups to celebrate our winter season. WintercityYXE supports and creates efforts to make Saskatoon’s winter more inviting, vibrant, and popular even though it is the coldest months of the year. Through WintercityYXE, residents, businesses, and visitors are encouraged to embrace winter with as much enthusiasm as is had in summer months.  

What is WintercityYXE working on?  

WintercityYXE is working on a number of initiatives to embrace the winter season:

Ice Sculptures

Want to get out and check out some COOL local art? Starting January 16, 2019, ice sculptures will be placed around Saskatoon to celebrate our vibrant winter culture! These local pieces were designed in collaboration with students from Aden Bowman Collegiate. Post a selfie, use #WintercityYXE and you could win winter-themed prize!

View the ice sculptures map.  

Warming Huts

The City of Saskatoon is developing a program to build warming huts for the 2019 winter season. Stay tuned for more information about this initiative! 

Warming Huts 2018

As part of the winter fun in Saskatoon, in early 2018, we borrowed two warming huts from our friends at The Forks in Winnipeg. They hold an international hut design competition every year, and the huts go out on their river as a wind break. They loaned us two of their huts as a pilot program in Saskatoon—all part of our WintercityYXE Strategy. 

Rope PavilionRope Pavilion
by Kevin Erickson and Allison Warren, New York, NY
Through the combination of simple materials, ROPE pavilion creates a highly articulated form and space while nestling itself into the landscape. Its relationship of skin – manila rope and  structure –   birch frame, merge to form a warming hut whose dense shell blocks winter winds while still being perforated for light and views. The wood interior creates a sense of warmth through color and texture and its multilayered rope exterior collects snow, further embedding it within the site. The hut’s dome-like form is optimized for heat retention, bifurcating only for an entry threshold and oculus to the sky above.


by Robert B. Trempe Jr, Nebraska, USA
This “Shelterbelt” seeks to reimagine the qualities of these windbreakers through an environment of steel rebar. Several hundred steel stalks of varying lengths are anchored vertically to a base, creating a protective screen. Two entrances/exits allow indirect access, but the full interior (including seating) is only truly visible once inside the environment, creating a secret world for its occupants. Wind and the movement and interaction of those inside the installation causes the rebar to oscillate and collide, creating an almost constant metallic rustle; a sound field becomes an audible landmark and a sonic envelop for its inhabitants.



In April 2018, WintercityYXE hosted Sabine De Schutter, a lighting designer from Berlin to give a talk about how we use light. Her presentation gave an overview of the potential and the risks of light through temporary and permanent projects.  For more details, a copy of her presentation is linked here.  Stay tuned for more information about this initiative! 

Promoting All-Season/Seasonal Businesses

Do you have a seasonal business idea? Are you interested in having your sidewalk cafe open year-round? 

For more information on how to apply for a business license and for information on how to start a business, check out the Business License page. 

For design suggestions to make your sidewalk café accessible and easy to manage, even while there is still snow on the ground, check out the Sidewalk Cafes and Parking Patios page. 



Photo Gallery

These photos portray just a few ways in which Saskatoon is already great in so many ways!

Share your own Winter City photos at #WintercityYXE on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Tell us your ideas at