Skip to main content

Former Saskatoon liquor store proposed as emergency shelter


Saskatoon city council will vote next week on whether to clear the way for a former liquor store location to operate as a temporary emergency shelter for up to 18 months.

The building at 1701 Idylwyld Drive North was a Saskatoon Liquor and Gaming Authority store until earlier this year when the provincial government opted to exit the retail booze business. 

Now the Saskatchewan government is seeking city council's blessing to base a temporary emergency shelter there for up to 18 months. 

The new shelter is the product of measures the Saskatchewan government announced in October to ease the province’s homelessness crisis.

While the shelter would considered temporary, a city administration report to council says "the province may consider a permanent facility" at the location "provided further requirements are met."

In its application to the city, the province said the shelter would be focused on people with "complex needs" who would be medically supervised.

The application said the centre could accept people brought by police who are "intoxicated and exhibiting behaviours that present a danger to themselves or a disturbance to the public."

A maximum of 15 people could be in the shelter at one time, each staying for up to 24 hours, according to the province. 

"Given the urgent need, we are utilizing these temporary locations that are already owned by the province," the application said.

"This allows us to move quickly to make any renovations so that we can get the shelters operational as soon as possible."

The application also said workers at the shelter will try to connect people using it to additional supports and services.

In September, Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) Chief Mark Arcand said that around 30 people with complex needs would be barred from the organization's Fairhaven-area shelter.

The STC opened its own temporary emergency shelter, the city's first, in December 2021. The services offered there were later relocated to the STC's current, permanent location.

City council will consider n the province's application on Nov. 22. Top Stories

Stay Connected