Canadian Consulting Engineer

Stantec plans Saskatoon’s downtown revitalization

February 15, 2024

DEED summer plaza

Rendering courtesy Stantec.

Saskatoon’s municipal government has released the concept design and master plan to revitalize its downtown core, for which Stantec is serving as prime consultant.

The Downtown Event & Entertainment District (DEED) plan features a new event centre/arena (to replace SaskTel Centre), convention centre, renovated theatre and new public spaces. The goal is to drive investment and create significant long-term economic benefits from a combination of commerce, tourism, services and entertainment, in an area currently dominated by surface parking lots and low-rise office buildings.

Stantec’s ‘urban places’ team created the DEED concept design and master plan, which includes transportation, mobility, landscape design and urban planning. As prime consultant, the firm oversaw a larger design team, including HOK (for the arena), LMN Architects (convention centre) and PFS Studio (landscape design).

“Positioned in the northwest quadrant of Saskatoon’s downtown, the DEED is in the geographic and metaphorical heart of the city,” says Simon O’Byrne, senior vice-president (SVP) at Stantec, which previously led the design of Edmonton’s Ice Disctrict. “Our inspiration was drawn from the meeting of city and country, as well as the deep connection of community.”


To bring its concepts to life, Stantec used its virtual reality (VR) studio to create an immersive experience of the central plaza for the public and decision makers, showcasing how vital infrastructure could form a unique public space.

“These renderings help illustrate the district is more than just an event centre and convention centre,” says Dan Willems, director of technical services for Stantec’s transportation and construction division. “It is to be a community gathering place in any season, with places for events, amenities and open areas where visitors and people from all parts of the city can meet and share experiences.”

The DEED is also intended to make downtown Saskatoon more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly.

DEED community park

The plan addresses both new buildings and public space. Rendering courtesy Stantec.


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