Facebook Twitter YouTube tumblr Instagram

"I've always been super proud to come from Saskatchewan and I always promote Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. It's just a perfect time to come back."

- Top Chef Dale MacKay on opening a restaurant in Saskatoon (via The StarPhoenix)

eBulletin - March 2013

Saskatoon's celebrity chef comes home


Canada's top chef is about to do some home cooking.

Dale MacKay, the first winner of Top Chef Canada, is moving back to Saskatoon from Vancouver.

"I'm super, super excited to get back to Saskatoon and hope to give Saskatoon something that they don't have already," MacKay, 33, said.

He left home on his 15th birthday and started as a dishwasher in the restaurant industry. In his 20s, MacKay worked for Gordon Ramsay, ultimately helping him open restaurants in London and Tokyo. In Vancouver, MacKay was executive chef of Lumiere and opened his own places, Ensemble and Ensemble Tap in 2011 - the same year he won Top Chef Canada.

MacKay was already scouting locations for a Saskatoon restaurant when he decided to close both Vancouver spots this past summer due to high overhead. Rent alone was $40,000 a month for both places.

"It was tough but I pulled out a lot earlier than most people would and saw the writing on the wall. I'd rather say I got over-ambitious than let the food and the restaurant quality go down," MacKay said.

With some free time on his hands, MacKay was invited with other tops chefs to the annual Cayman Cookout recently, where he and his staff took over a restaurant for a night to cook a six-course meal for food celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and joined the other chefs in an all-star cooking event.

MacKay has spent the past several months looking for a location in Saskatoon and has narrowed down the search to downtown, Eighth Street or Stonebridge. He wants to be up and running by summer.

MacKay's concept is a bistro with a casual lounge offering high-quality cocktails and craft beers and wines by the glass. The food will range from wings and burgers to more refined appetizers and main courses. It will also have a storefront butcher shop selling items like house-made sausage, dry aged meat, duck confit and pulled pork.

Read more

Back to Top

25 fun, weird and interesting facts about Saskatoon


  • Saskatoon is named after mis-sask-quah-toomina, the Cree Indian name for the local Saskatoon berry – a sweet, violet coloured berry that grows wild.
  • According to the 2011 census, greater Saskatoon has a population of 260,600. It grew 11.4% in five years.
  • In Saskatoon, 12.1% of the population is over 65, less than the national average. The median age is 35.
  • The lowest temperature ever recorded in Saskatoon was -50 C in 1893. The coldest temperature with windchill ever recorded was -60.9 C.
  • The highest temperature ever recorded was 40.6 C on June 5, 1988.
  • The only earthquake ever recorded in Saskatoon occurred on May 15, 1909. It lasted for about 30 seconds.
  • Sailor Dan – aka Dan Hicks is a local legend. His regular route is down Eighth Street to Broadway Avenue and back where he tries to sell his Sailor Dan original paintings.
  • There are more Tim Horton’s per capita than in any other city in Canada.
  • Forget hamburgers. Drive thru for Baba’s Homestyle Perogies, probably the only perogie drive thru in Canada. 
  • Saskatoon has one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada – and great ones with many of them embracing the farm-to-fork philosophy.
  • Famous and/or notable people from Saskatoon include Joni Mitchell (musician), Farley Mowat (author), Gordie Howe (former NHL player), John Diefenbaker (former Prime Minister of Canada), Ray Hnatyshyn (former Governor General of Canada), Yann Martel (author of  Life of Pi – and the movie version won some Oscars), Jim Pattison (billionaire businessman) and Roy Romanow (former Premier of Saskatchewan).
  • Saskatoon has been the subject of a number of songs. The Tragically Hip song – Wheat Kings – has a line in it – Sundown in the Paris of the Prairies – referring to Saskatoon. Johnny Cash co-wrote the song – The Girl from Saskatoon.
  • The Meewasin Valley Trail – listed by Reader’s Digest as one of the top 10 greatest hikes in Canada in the fall – extends for 60 kilometers along the east and west banks of the South Saskatchewan River. You can also cycle the trail.

Full list

Back to Top

Saskatoon Western Development Museum recognized by national magazine

The Saskatoon Western Development Museum is the recipient of three 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards from RVwest Magazine. RVwest is a magazine dedicated to those who love the RV lifestyle and is primarily focused on Western Canada and the United States. RVwest reached over 800,000 people through the magazine, website and eNewsletter.

The Saskatoon Western Development Museum has been awarded the highest honour, the Platinum Reader’s Choice Award in the following categories: Favorite Saskatchewan Attraction, Favorite Overall Saskatchewan RV Destination and Favorite Saskatchewan Historical Site. The Reader’s Choice winners have been chosen by the readers, representing RVers' favourite places, attractions and other RV-related topics.

“These are fantastic awards to win and, coming from our visitors, a great honour.” says Jason B. Wall, Manager of the Saskatoon Branch. “Knowing we were voted for these awards by people who visited the museum is a wonderful feeling. It speaks volumes about the staff and volunteers who work very hard to ensure our visitors have a memorable experience.”

RVwest excerpt: An insider's insight in to Saskatchewan's best
By Kristin Mitchell, February 2013

The series of Western Development Museums in Saskatoon, North Battleford, Moose Jaw and Yorkton are recommended for their memories of pioneer days - each is located near an RV park. To really highlight their expertise, [John and Judy Alexander] are glad to talk about their hometown.

"Saskatoon is a mix of the nostalgic old and the bustling new," said John. "From the magic of Western Development Museum's Boomtown 1910, to the culturally exciting Wanuskewin Heritage Park where the native Canadian traditions and heritages are wonderfully kept alive. You can't miss soup and bannock at the little-known restaurant where native recipes are blended with current-day staples such as hamburgers."

Source: Western Development Museum

Back to Top

2013 TMAC Conference & AGM

Saskatoon is delighted to host the 2013 Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) Conference and AGM, June 12 to 15.

Last year, the conference focused on the art of place in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This year, delegates will experience Saskatoon, a city on the edge. On the edge of what? Attend the conference to find out!

Follow the story on Twitter (@TMACyxe2013) and Tumblr for the latest information on the 2013 conference and Saskatoon events.

Don't miss out on the media marketplace, professional development sessions and networking opportunities - register now!

Back to Top

To arrange a media visit, please contact:

Alexandra Stang
Media Relations Coordinator | Tourism Saskatoon
Ph: 306.931.7587 | astang@tourismsaskatoon.com

Angela Moore
Director of Media | Tourism Saskatoon
Ph: 306.931.7585 | amoore@tourismsaskatoon.com

Copyright 2012 Saskatoon Visitor and Convention Bureau. All rights reserved.