Montgomery Place residents – What are your ideas for preserving and showcasing the history, heritage and culture of Montgomery Place? Share at or talk with anyone on the MPCA executive.
Do you have a local story or tradition that defines Montgomery Place’s unique heritage and culture? Share your local knowledge in 200 words or less. Email or mail to Melissa Austin, Senior Planner, Neighbourhood Planning, City of Saskatoon, 222-3rd Avenue North, Saskatoon SK S7K 0J5.


City of Saskatoon Local Area Planning (LAP)

Montgomery Place – Heritage and Culture

LAP Meeting 7 – 10 February 2016


A couple of dozen Montgomery Place residents attended the LAP meeting on Heritage and Culture on February 10 at St. David’s Trinity United Church.

Residents were welcomed by Councillor Pat Lorje who commented on the status of Montgomery Place as one of the last intact VLA communities in Canada. Any future heritage and culture objectives should embrace and reflect the respect for military service that Montgomery Place residents have always shown. In the future, the heritage of Montgomery Place is important to maintain with integrity, honouring the character of the community.

Presentations were given by Catherine Kambeitz on the history of Saskatoon from the 1880s to 1960 and Kathy Allen on cultural resources.


City of Saskatoon History – Catherine Kambeitz

Saskatoon began with a settlement on the east side of the river – Nutana, followed by Saskatoon and Riversdale which developed on the west side after the arrival of the railway. Two world wars and periods of boom and bust followed. Matters of importance to early Montgomery Place residents, like the location of the dump at our back doorstep and the move of the railyards to our southern edge, were not a part of the presentation.

Heritage is anything the community values – whether built, natural or cultural. A discussion of various heritage designations followed – federal, provincial and municipal. Coming soon will be a Saskatoon Register of Historic Places which will include the Montgomery Place cairn and monument.

Cultural Resource Mapping and Placemaking  – Kathy Allen

In 2006 Saskatoon was Culture Capital of Canada. A Saskatoon Culture Plan was adopted in September 2011 including six categories: arts and culture; heritage; diversity; youth; city centre; neighbourhoods.

Cultural mapping is a process that investigates and gathers information on tangible and intangible resources, inventories and maps the resources identified. Two Saskatoon mapping projects are Hidden Histories: Saskatoon’s Great War Memorials and Moving Stories YXE.

Halifax advocate, Greg Woolner, describes placemaking as “Community working together to make a place special. … a place where people want to go to, where they feel safe and welcome. They make it beautiful and interesting. They make it meaningful, an expression of their own local culture.”

Discussion in Table Groups

Three table groups were asked to explore the tangible and intangible resources in Montgomery Place. With a map of the community at each table, residents were asked to place red dots on the tangible places and yellow dots for the intangible stories that go hand-in-hand with these places.

Tangible Places included such things as:

  1. Montgomery Park – the first community park where the cairn and monument are situated. The Recreation Building is a community gathering place during special events, and for summer swimming and winter skating. The toboggan hill is a magnet in winter and summer.

  2. Montgomery School – the first school in the community that opened in 1956 and current home of Science Trek programming

  3. St. Dominic School – the second school in the community that opened in 1964. It was unusual for a neighbourhood with a small population to have two schools.

  4. Gougeon Park – established beside St. Dominic School – Containing a bluff of trees that once was on the horseback riding route of Claypool’s Stables located east of Montgomery Place.

  5. Lt. Col D. Walker Park – Drayton Walker was first principal of Mount Royal Collegiate, the high school that Montgomery Place’s first public students attended. The school opened in 1960.

  6. Lt. Gen. GG Simonds Park

  7. Street Signs – Researched and created by volunteers on the Montgomery Place Community Association, the signs put up in 2007 explain the names of streets, avenues, crescents, boulevards and parks.

  8. St David’s Trinity United Church – Opening in 1963 and named Trinity by a veteran, Joe Kiss, the church serves as a community centre, particularly following the Remembrance service.

  9. Corner Lot at 11th Street and Dundonald Avenue – Site of the former White Rose service station, the Montgomery Place sign is here in a community planting of trees and shrubs. Hopefully this corner can remain greenspace. It would be nice to honour the former place of Fred Mendel’s Intercontinental Packers with a sign or plaque on this corner, also signs for the service station and the corner store. More landscaping, benches and lights would enhance what is probably unusable land (due to the former garage).

  10. Corner Store at east end of 11th Street – Built in the 1950s, the store is no longer there; today the store holds intangible stories.

  11. Corner Store at the west end of 11th Street – Built in the mid-1960s, this store sold gas and ice cream to families heading to Pike Lake on the low road.

  12. Montgomery Place sign at west entrance to Montgomery Place – This is needed.

  13. Elevator Road – formerly the Low Road to Pike Lake. Before the railyards moved from downtown, the Low Road ran straight south to what today is known as Valley Road.

  14. Viterra Elevator – Formerly the Canadian Government Elevator built in 1913-14, opened in 1914 and the site of the Night Watchman’s House (Mr. Curry) which sat at the entrance to the property (torn down a few years ago).

  15. CN Curling Rink – Moved from Avenue A after the railyards moved.

  16. Horse Boarding – Across from the Curling Club, Miss Dorothy Smith boarded her horses. Miss Smith lived east on 11th Street beside the former Western Development Museum and was known for her red convertible which she drove to teach music lessons to many, many Montgomery Place piano students.

  17. Parkland Spaces – The natural bluff of trees in Montgomery Park; the natural bluff in Gougeon Park and the bluff on Cassino Avenue are remnants of authentic parkland. The land across from the 3300 block of 11th Street West is also in a natural state, with crocus, wolf willow, wild rose and other native plants and shrubs. The land west of the elevator and north of the 3400 block 11th Street is also worthy of preserving. The slough is home to muskrat and frogs. The brush harbours a herd of deer. Rabbits, porcupines, squirrels and other wildlife share the space.

  18. Montgomery Place Urban Forest – The trees planted by vets are tall and stately, harbouring birds and small mammals, providing fruit for humans and animals alike, giving shade and calm to busy urban lives.

  19. Alley between 11th Street and Caen Street 3100-3200 blocks – Settled in the first waves of building, many homes had backyard pens of chicken, ducks, geese and rabbits.

  20. Original homes built from one of the four plans available – May be impossible to keep in original states. The Gaines house at the corner of Caen Street and Crescent Boulevard is the only example of Mid-Century Modern construction in Montgomery.

  21. Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – An urban forest planted in 1972 south of the CN yards, this greenspace has grown into a wildlife habitat that is important to be preserved.

  22. Chappell Marsh – A natural area south of Montgomery Place that contributes a wildlife and bird habitat that is also a quiet respite for humans.


Intangible Resources included:

  1. The magical je ne sais quoi that roots Montgomery Place kids who grow up and away – then who return home to Montgomery Place to raise their families.

  2. The annual Remembrance Service.

  3. Visionary veterans: Bernie Newman and Lew Winger who spearheaded the cairn; Korean vet Don Leier who started the Remembrance Service; Barb Biddle, daughter of veterans George and Doris Thompson, who spearheaded the monument of names.

  4. Spacious lots that let kids disappear and still be playing in the back yard.

  5. A rural feel and country charm that defies description, yet is very real to those who call Montgomery Place home.

  6. Community volunteers who serve in many ways to enhance life in Montgomery Place.

  7. Picnics in the park to celebrate community.

  8. The infamous Montgomery Place Garage Sale when, for a day, bus service is cancelled in Montgomery Place. Many people get their first taste of Montgomery Place on Garage Sale day.

  9. During the time that the corner store at the east end of 11th Street was owned by the Riddell family, groceries were delivered on bicycle by son Howard Riddell. Also, the store was a destination on Hallowe’en because full-sized chocolate bars were handed out there.

  10. The herd of deer that make their home near the elevator and foray into Montgomery Place for tasty fruit and cedar trees.

  11. All the wildlife and birds that also call Montgomery Place home: rabbits, squirrels, and even skunks.



How will you extract objectives for the future from these discussions? The City team will work to develop a list of future goals from all the LAP meetings and check over the list with Montgomery Place residents.

Montgomery Place residents – What are your ideas for preserving and showcasing the history, heritage and culture of Montgomery Place? Share at or talk with anyone on the MPCA executive.

Do you have a local story or tradition that defines Montgomery Place’s unique heritage and culture? Share your local knowledge in 200 words or less. Email or mail to Melissa Austin, Senior Planner, Neighbourhood Planning, City of Saskatoon, 222-3rd Avenue North, Saskatoon SK S7K 0J5.

The next meeting is March 15, 7 pm at St. David’s Trinity United Church with a topic yet to be determined. Following that is a meeting at Montgomery School on April 6 on the topic of safety.