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Once in a lifetime opportunity rests in downtown development, Clark says
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 5:27PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2019 7:14PM CST
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark says there’s a huge opportunity to develop the downtown core for future generations, including a downtown arena and entertainment district.
“When, in the life of a city do you get the chance to put together all the different pieces we’re talking about,” Clark said following his third State of the City address at TCU Place.
“Only once every 40 to 50 years do you build an arena facility like what we’re talking about.”
On Tuesday, Mayor Clark celebrated the recent achievements in the City of Saskatoon, most notably the number of big infrastructure projects that have been completed including the Victoria Bridge, Chief Mistawasis Bridge, overpasses at McOrmond Drive and Boychuk Drive, Merlis Belscher Place at the University of Saskatchewan and the progress with the high-rise condos and Alt Hotel at River Landing.
“You can now take an Uber to buy legal cannabis in Saskatoon,” he said.
The bulk of Clark’s address was focused on creating diverse opportunities for people in Saskatoon, a reason he joined council almost 13 years ago. Clark said a lack of opportunities creates division in the city.
Clark said in 2006, when someone suggested he run for city council, his response was “hell no.”
He ended up changing his mind and won a seat on council in 2006.
“I believed that politics at the local level is the place you have the chance to make the most difference. You can’t do that the same was at the federal or provincial level, but in municipal politics it’s a real city-building, problem-solving exercise.”
Clark also told reporters he was disappointed with the city’s report that tallied the cost of dedicated bike lanes downtown at $4.6 million.
“I learned later that isn’t an accurate number,” Clark said. “The $4.6 million has to do with sidewalk improvements and a whole bunch of other things that are about accessibility and improvements of pedestrian access downtown.”