University Archives & Special Collections, RG 2015. (Patrick Hayes)

The Great Land Swap of 1956

The university and the City of Saskatoon in 1956 completed negotiations on a land swap that would change the future development of both.

It was only the previous year, when Sutherland and Saskatoon merged, that the U of S was included within the city limits.

With the construction of the University Hospital nearing completion, the university looked north for expansion.  Along the river were two subdivisions that had been surveyed but not developed.  South of the CP Rail line was University Heights and nine scattered houses that were occupied primarily by university staff and didn’t have running water.

The area had been earmarked for the construction of a “large mental hospital” in the late 1940s but it never got beyond the planning stages.  North of the tracks was the empty expanse of Parkdale.

The city wanted to expand east in the area south of Sutherland, which then was part of the University’s experimental farm used by the Department of Horticulture.

The land was exchanged, and College Park was developed. As part of the settlement, the nine families on the newly acquired university land were moved to Sutherland.

Innovation Place now dominates what was once University Heights. This aerial photo was taken in 1957. The houses of University Heights can be seen between campus and the CP tracks.

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