The University of Saskatchewan (USask) owns approximately 14,100 acres of land throughout the province and it is used for a variety of purposes. Only 1,865 acres of USask land is located at the main campus in Saskatoon; the majority of university-owned land is rural.
Both the urban and rural lands contribute to the USask teaching and research mission. University research lands are used by students, faculty and researchers from a variety of colleges and departments. Some rural lands donated to the University are leased to farm tenants, and income is used to fund specific research initiatives and scholarships that meet donor objectives
Urban landholdings are a critical teaching and research resource, and future uses of this land will help contribute to the economic sustainability of the university and the environmental sustainability of both the university and the city.
Campus Planning and Real Estate
Campus Planning and Real Estate is responsible for the following real estate functions:
- Acquisitions / disposal of university real estate
- Lease negotiation (on and off campus)
- Property management of off-campus real estate
- Analysis / appraisal of property related to donations
- Land use planning and land development
- Management of University owned farmland leases
- Leasing of University owned mineral rights
- Management of easements
- Approval of Development Permits on university lands
The University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon campus is comprised of approximately 1,865 acres of land within the city of Saskatoon and:
- nearly 18% of land within a 5km radius of downtown Saskatoon.
- 40% (approximately 745 acres) are used for the core academic campus and related uses, such as student residences and athletic facilities.
- 60% (approximately 1,120 acres) are used to meet some of the University's agricultural, teaching and research needs.
- the core campus lands house approximately 5 million square feet of built space, and there is the potential for a growth of approximately 3 million square feet, while still maintaining the existing low density development and park-like grounds.
- the boundaries of the land are roughly 14th Street to the south, Central Avenue and Circle Drive to the east, just north of Garvie Road to the north and the South Saskatchewan River to the west.
Vision 2057: University Land Use Planning
The objective of Vision 2057: University Land Use Planning is to provide a land-use planning framework that provides some certainty as to the eventual role various university owned lands will play in the future. It is conceived of as a long-term (50-year) plan for the use and possible development of University-owned land. Since the university's founding in 1907, the city has grown around the University's lands and as it continues to grow, these lands have significant strategic and economic value. These lands are, therefore, an important component of future sustainable growth for the City of Saskatoon.
A designation system that identifies lands as either Core Lands or Endowment Lands has been approved by the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors in 2009.
C = Core Lands
C ag = Core Agriculture Research Lands
E = Endowment Lands
Of the University of Saskatchewan's 1,865 acres of land within the city of Saskatoon, 874 acres are designated Core Lands. These core lands will continue to serve as a direct resource in the University's mission to provide excellence in teaching and research and includes lands for long term growth of the University.
Core Agricultural land (C ag)
Some of the Core lands have the additional designation of Core Agricultural land (C ag), denoting their use by the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. Core Agricultural lands include the University farmstead and Raynar Dairy as well as important animal, plant and crop research plots along Preston Avenue, north of College Drive.
The remaining 991 acres of urban land are designated Endowment land. USask would maintain ownership of these lands which have the potential to provide an indirect role in supporting the university's core mission by providing new revenue streams. Some lands in the Endowment category will likely continue to be used for their current purpose for many years, but would be available for consideration for other uses as opportunities arise. Leasing of Endowment lands is preferred, allowing them to remain as a permanent university asset, and transition back to core uses if required.
The lands bounded by College Drive, Preston Avenue, Cumberland Avenue and 14th Street are known as College Quarter. Currently they are used primarily for:
- Education (Williams Building)
- Student residences (McEown Park, Grad House and Undergrad Residences)
- Recreation (Nutrien playing fields, Griffiths Stadium, Saskatoon Field House, Merlis Belsher Place)
- Services (Hotel, Parking, Childcare)
These lands have been recognized as a precious resource for the University as a whole and the surrounding community and it is hoped that future development will maximize the value of the land, as well as create a vibrant community to enhance the student experience.
College Quarter Master Plan
The College Quarter Master Plan was approved by the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors in December 2009. The vision is to create a vibrant University neighborhood with the mix of residents, services and amenities. This plan includes a set of guiding principles that includes enhancing a network of streets and paths that connect College Quarter, the main campus and surrounding communities, preservation of existing trees and planting of new trees along the streets and paths, and allowing room for open spaces. A main goal of College Quarter is to create and maintain a pedestrian focus. A key feature incorporated into the plans to achieve this goal is the GreenWay which extends the full length of the College Quarter and links buildings, outdoor spaces and activities, and allows for a safe, sheltered, and well-lit corridor towards the main campus.
Saskatoon City Council approved a unique direct control district zoning (DCD7) for College Quarter on December 10, 2012.
Due to its size and proximity to the main campus, College Quarter has the potential to be a vibrant community setting that incorporates multiple uses and users. These include: new academic buildings, shops, restaurants, cafés, bookstores, small grocery stores, offices, clinics, recreation activities, cultural destinations, apartments, seniors' facilities, community services, parks, open spaces, and many other uses. It is hoped that such development will support a rich and inspiring lifestyle that will attract students and faculty, and be a desirable destination for non-university users because of its pedestrian culture, urban ambiance and attributes as a ‘people-place'.
Learn more about College Quarter land development (see below).
University Land Development
Planning for the University's first development began in 1998. The Preston Crossing regional retail centre opened in 2002 followed by four additional phases, the last of which was completed in 2017.
Preston Crossing is a regional retail development project located on approximately 70 acres with 800,000 square feet of retail space. The project is a partnership between the University and the private sector with the objective of creating long term revenue streams to support the University’s core mission.
The vision for Preston Crossing is as follows:
- Generate revenue for institutional priorities;
- Be a regional retail centre drawing from a radius beyond Saskatoon; and
- Attract new retailers to Saskatoon through high quality development in architectural and landscaping standards.
Hotel - The first commercial development in College Quarter is a 220 room hotel. The developer worked with the University to create a one-of-a-kind dual brand hotel design which complemented the location and the unique university market opportunity. The hotel opened in 2018.
Work is currently underway to prepare additional sites for development within College Quarter.
The Usask Development Permit Review Committee is responsible for oversight of development activities to ensure projects are screened according to the vision and goals of the University of Saskatchewan with consideration of, but not limited to, operations, maintenance and sustainability.
Permits are required for changes that impact the Usask built environment. Please refer to the Development Permit Application and Process and Procedures documents for more information, including contact information and how to submit an application.
University Owned Farmland - Donated
The University of Saskatchewan owns approximately 5,500 acres of farmland outside of Saskatoon. All of these lands have been donated to the University and are leased to tenants with the net annual lease revenues directed to fund donor specified research or scholarship initiatives.
If you are interested in donating real estate, including mineral rights to the University, please contact University Relations at 306-966-5186.
Manager, Campus Planning and Real Estate
Infrastructure Planning and Land Development
University of Saskatchewan
A23 – 110 Maintenance Road
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5C5