My Saskatoon
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
 
Search
Search Search
Narrow your search:
Login

My Saskatoon Blog

5 Renos You Should Leave to the Experts

posted by My Saskatoon    |   June 4, 2014 10:00

When it comes to home repairs and renovations, there are certain things that are better left to the experts. Professionals usually know best when it comes to expensive or potentially dangerous projects, despite how easy the job may appear on that YouTube how-to video! Here are some home renovation projects where it is usually better to call in a renovation company for help. 

Bathrooms 

 
 

Simple mistakes in a bathroom renovation project can lead to water leaks in the worst places. A hidden water leak can do tremendous property damage before it is even discovered. Make sure to always call a professional plumber when your renovation project requires it. The initial cost of the project may seem higher, but in the end you will be saving a considerable amount of money and time as well.
 

 

Windows

 

 

Minor imperfections in a window installation can result in costly energy losses during the winter months. Unless you are an expert when it comes to windows, this project is best left to the pros.

 

Granite or Marble

 

  
 
When working with expensive materials like granite or marble, it’s best to hire a professional to do the measurements and installation for you. If you make even a small error with your measurements, you will likely have to spend more money to fix the problem than the cost of a professional. These types of material are also very difficult to work with.

 

Kitchen Cabinets

 

  

Kitchen cabinets are a tricky business. Ordering online or at your local hardware store may seem like a cost effective way to create a dream kitchen; however, this is another job that is best left to the experts. It all starts with a solid plan based on experience. Time and time again we receive calls from consumers who can’t use the cabinets they have purchased because of unforeseen issues with their space. A professional cabinet installer is a master of creating the look that you want for your kitchen.

 

Wiring

 

  

When it comes to dealing with electricity, it is very important to hire the proper person for the job. If you don’t have a thorough understanding of how electrical systems work, a seemingly simple project can end very badly. Renovation projects that involve electrical components can be very, very dangerous and even deadly if done incorrectly – don’t take any chances- have the experts look after you.

Are any of these projects on your to-do list this summer? Saskatoon Woodworks, locally owned and operated in Saskatoon, is a great option for all of these services. Contact Saskatoon Woodworks for a wide range of services, whether the project is big or small. Visit Saskatoon Woodworks' Spotlight Profile for contact details. 

Bringing the Front Porch Back

posted by David    |   May 22, 2014 10:01

It felt like we were in Narnia these last few months - always winter, but never Christmas. As May has, for the most part, brought the warm weather our way, I have begun to experience once again my favourite aspects of Saskatoon. For much of the winter, I huddled up in my house, drank chai lattes, and rotated between reading a good book and following my latest favourite TV show on Shaw on Demand (right now its Fringe). But the moment it got warmer outside, everything changed. Saskatoon came to life. Barbecues began flaring up, people got together, and true community started to happen. 

That is what I love most about Saskatoon - a big city with a community feel. There is so much to look forward to over the summer months. Some of my favourites are the tried and true Saskatoon classics, including Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, Taste of Saskatchewan, and Folkfest. Each of these events promote our city's community feel, through sharing music, good food, and cultural experiences. 

                                                                                                         Photo Credit: Tourism Saskatoon

My wife and I have been living in our home in one of the newest Saskatoon neighbourhoods, Evergreen. It is an exciting neighbourhood to be a part of, as it is surrounded by a combination of parks, open fields, and nature in general. The houses are aligned so that the majority of residents receive the full benefits of the sun, and a walking path is in the works to enable us to navigate throughout the entire neighbourhood on foot. These were all major draws for us, but the icing on the cake was that our house, along with the majority of other houses in Evergreen, had a front porch. 

In the middle of the nineteenth century, the American front porch had come to represent the ideal of "community". Since the front porch existed in between the private home and the community outside, it was seen as an area where community interaction could take place. Families would retire after supper to their front porches and would greet each passing neighbour walking down the street that evening. The porch brought the community together as it encouraged interactions with, and awareness of others. 

Photo Credit: Pinterest

My wife and I are bringing the front porch back. We went to Home Depot last summer, which is a story in itself, to buy patio furniture and a barbecue to fill the space. Right away, we noticed increased interaction with our neighbours and community. A simple act like a smile, a wave hello, or briefly sharing commentary on the weather made us feel even more at home in our new home. We love how this is happening again this summer, as the warm weather drives people in our neighbourhood out onto their porches.  Even if our neighbours don't talk to us, we still get to watch them, which may sound creepy, but who hasn't done a little people watching? We have also enjoyed the new connection we feel with nature as we sit outside watching the sun set. Yes, we are bringing the front porch back, developing community in our neighbourhood, and in turn developing feelings of community in our city. 

Wild About Saskatoon?

posted by Elle    |   May 20, 2014 11:27

I love the prairies and the small, hidden wonders found in nature surrounding us right here in Saskatoon. We don't have to leave the city in order to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the great outdoors. If you are a nature buff like me, you will want to plan your next week around Saskatoon's second annual NatureCity Festival, powered by Wild About Saskatoon, commencing on Sunday after a kick-off at the Farmers' Market on Saturday! The festival includes a full week of (mostly) free activities that are fun for all ages! Take in an educational keynote event, get your hands dirty aiding in spring clean up, spend time in a community garden, join a guided walking tour, or enjoy a relaxing outdoor musical performance.

The festival presents many, many options to enjoy time spent outside in our beautiful city. Check out the week's schedule here. I recently discovered Wild About Saskatoon, a local entity that describes itself as "an informal collective dedicated to the conservation and enrichment of wild lives and wild places in and around Saskatoon". Sounds pretty cool to me! Interested in doing some exploring on your own? Check out this awesome interactive map that Wild About Saskatoon has put together, showcasing the best spots to experience nature, right in our own backyard. I plan to refer to it anytime I'm presented with a beautiful day and nothing to do this summer! Stay connected and informed on other events for nature lovers, through Facebook and Twitter!

See you out there next week!

Should you buy a newer or older home in Saskatoon?

posted by David    |   May 14, 2014 09:39

It is expected that around 1,200 brand new, non-landscaped homes will be purchased this summer in Saskatoon. In an effort to bring down initial housing costs, home builders have cut some previously expected items and left them for the purchaser to do later. These "cut" items include a garage cement pad, walkways, a deck, fencing, landscaping, top soil, sod, sprinklers, and a completed basement development. 

CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) has estimated the cost of a brand new home in Saskatoon is around $430,000. This price, however, does not include the "cut" items listed above. Being forced now to manage these additional home projects, you could be spending something that looks like the breakdown below:

$20,000 for a garage pad and sidewalk

$10,000 for a deck and fence

$6,000 for landscaping (or $8,500 for maintenance free turf that looks and feels like real grass. See my previous post, Are Those Real?)

$50,000 for a completed basement development (good luck finding trades people willing to work on a basement, without pulling favours!)

Adding these post-purchase extras brings our housing price from $430,000 to over $500,000 once everything is completed. 

This bears the question- is it better to buy a new home or an old home? Initial costs are similar between new and old, but what you spend your money on afterwards is much different. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of buying new or old. 

 

Cons

A newly built house needs time to settle. This can cause cracks in the foundation, door frames, and that new cement path you just had built.

You are forced to manage home projects including a garage cement pad, walkways, a deck, fencing, landscaping, and a basement development.

Pros

While you have to manage home projects, you can make it the way you like it, instead of living with what someone else has done and is too expensive to change.

New homes are more energy efficient, convenient (built-in dishwasher, central vac, wiring systems are easy and networked), and not in need of maintenance.

 

Cons

With an older home you will have many of these "cut" items, but they may be outdated or ugly. Previous owners may have done the home renovations themselves, which often means it was done poorly. It costs more to rip out old construction and then redoing it, than starting with a clean slate.

The wiring, plumbing, furnace, and water heater are old and possibly in need of maintenance. 

Pros

An older home generally is part of a more established neighbourhood with longer term neighbours, mature trees and foliage.

Larger yards are another bonus of buying old, because builders were able to build on larger lot sizes when land prices were cheaper.

The decision between old or new is a difficult one. When my wife and I were going through the pros and cons of each, we decided we wanted to buy new. Our personality types make us a little extra picky and we didn't like how other people had "renovated" their homes before trying to sell them. We figured we would have to rip everything out and start over with these older homes, so for us, buying new made a lot more sense. Each person taking into account their personality and preferences are going to come to different conclusions, but it is important to thoroughly consider what you want before making the decision between new or old. 

We Were on Global Saskatoon News

posted by My Saskatoon    |   May 8, 2014 11:31

We officially launched My Saskatoon this week, and had our first TV interview! Our CEO, Allison Thiessen, had a great time on the air this morning discussing who we are and what we are all about. We are so excited about what this website can do for our city, and we can't wait to feature more local businesses! If you know of any great locally owned shops, restaurants, or service providers that should be a part of My Saskatoon, let us know in the comments! 

We look forward to enjoying and sharing all that our city has to offer this spring and summer! 

Tags: , , , ,

Support Local

Get a Little Crazy with Color Me Rad

posted by My Saskatoon    |   May 1, 2014 12:42

Color Me Rad Every year, a group of Saskatonians come together for one of the most colourful events you will ever see take place in our city! Chances are that you have seen pictures on Facebook - the event we are talking about is the annual Color Me Rad 5K race. This year, a portion of the proceeds will help to support the Children's Hospital Foundation.

The Color Me Rad website gives us some insight into the event - "Color Me Rad fires off in a blaze of colour bombs, colour cannons, colour mortars, and multi-toned courses that guarantee your outlook will be brighter, your boyfriend will be more affectionate, your boss will finally remember your name, the hair on your head will grow back, and the hair on your back will fall out, and your gray outlook will turn green like a spring morning." This 5k is all about having fun, and supporting a great cause in our city.

In case you are wondering, "why the colour, and what does it mean?", according to Color Me Rad, "the idea is loosely based on the Hindu Festival of Colours, otherwise known as Holi. Just as you usher in a new year of radness in your life by signing up for Color Me Rad, Hindus usher in a new season with the Holi festival. The festive colours used are a sign of winter's end and spring's new beginnings." Help Saskatoon keep things bright as we move into fall by signing up for Color Me Rad!

 

Color Me Rad

Slacker Registration

September 3rd is your last chance to register for Saskatoon's Color Me Rad race!

http://www.colormerad.com/race/saskatoon

At this year's race, bring the whitest shirt you can find, and get ready to be coated with all kinds of colours as you work your way through the race. If you have been taking boring selfies to populate your Facebook feed all year - this will be your perfect opportunity to spruce up your social scene.

Wondering what's in that colour anyway? No need to fear the colour - it's non-toxic, non-rash-inducing, coloured corn-starch. You'll be amazed at how much fun you can have with corn starch! To top it off, while you are having the time of your life, you will also be a part of a group of people that are giving back to a great charity - The Children's Hospital Foundation.

We are excited to cheer on the team from Fitness Focus, an awesome locally owned and operated fitness centre with a big heart for our community. 

Fitness Focus is one of the premiere fitness facilities in Saskatoon, featuring one of the largest weight rooms in our city. The staff at Fitness Focus are friendly and professional, making you feel at home no matter what your fitness level is. Fitness Focus maintains a No Contract approach to gym membership, so you never have to worry about getting locked into a contract you can't get out of. 

Click here to visit Fitness Focus' Spotlight Profile, and learn more about them!

Fitness Focus

We're supposed to have warm temps and sunshine on Saturday, so why not sign up for Color Me Rad and take advantage of one of the last days of summer weather in Saskatoon?

The My Saskatoon Team

Tags: , , , ,

Support Local

I Wanna be a Rock Star!

posted by David    |   April 29, 2014 10:32

I always wanted to be a rock star. In my teenage years, that changed to freestyle rapper. We all should be happy that neither of these two dreams came to fruition, since keeping a beat or consistent tone have never come naturally. Thankfully, I can live out these dreams through the lives of others. 

I went to “The Duo” Season 4 finale last year at TCU Place, where the incredibly talented Denise & Brock rocked out to Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin and won the $10,000 grand prize. This event featured some of the best young artists in the Saskatoon area, and got me excited about the budding arts community in Saskatoon.

Denise & Brock

Photo Credit: Mark Tiu Photography

The Saskatoon Arts community is growing, not only with amazing homegrown talent, but with the infrastructure to support it. Two local film companies, Sica Films and Fahrenheit Films, have taken the lead in producing high end Saskatoon content. If you are an aspiring artist, these two companies can help take you to the next level.

Sica Films prides itself on telling important stories through photo, video, and time-lapse, with artistry, skill and heart. Taking a look through their portfolio, Sica features a music video created for local band Gunner & Smith's song “Towns”. They do a wonderful job creating artistic imagery to go with the song’s themes. If you are looking for an artistic masterpiece, go with Sica Films. 

Fahrenheit Films is an award winning full service film and video production company whose primary mission is to create “kick ass music videos that make our clients look great.”  They have done music videos for many Canadian country music talents like Chad Brownlee, Jason Blaine, and Shane Yellowbird. Fahrenheit Films is based in Saskatoon and gives artists a little extra swagger in their music videos or TV shows. If you are looking for a “kick ass” music video, choose Fahrenheit Films. 

While I may not be the next Saskatoon rock star, you might be. If you are a local artist looking for a professional music video, check out both Sica and Fahrenheit films. They will give you the professional support you need to help you build your career. And when you hit it big, don’t get weirded out when I start living my dream through you! 

History by Chance in Saskatoon

posted by David    |   April 11, 2014 15:17
Think of the three most memorable experiences in your life. Did one, two, or all three depend upon a chance occurrence? Something that “just happened” to take place to propel you to where you are today? Did you meet your lovely spouse while taking a random walk somewhere? Did you get the job you wanted because the timing just happened to work out perfectly? When you were down and out, did a stranger reach out their hand to help you, motivating you to do the same in other people’s lives? Many of the most memorable positive experiences that happen in our lives, happen by chance.
 
Albert Bandura, former president of the American Psychological Association, says that “chance encounters play a prominent role in shaping the course of human lives” (source). This is indeed true. The day I met my wife, I was her server at a restaurant in town. This chance occurrence has shaped my life dramatically, not only making me more fashion conscious, because wives do that, but by giving me a lifelong partner to share ideas with. It is amazing to think that having her in my life was at least somewhat left to chance.
 
Near the Midtown Plaza in downtown Saskatoon, there is a sculpture representing a chance occurrence that helped shape our entire country. In 1911, when the Midtown Plaza was actually a train station, Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier (the man on the Canadian 5 dollar bill) stepped off the train and bought a newspaper from a young boy. He talked to this boy for awhile, but the boy cut the conversation short because of all the work he had to do delivering papers. This boy was John Diefenbaker, who 46 years later would follow suit and become Prime Minster of Canada as well.
 
 
Chance occurrences have the ability to shape our lives. The next time you are shopping at the Midtown, take a second to check out the Laurier - Diefenbaker statue located near the intersection of 1st Ave South and 21st Street East, and share the story of how this chance occurrence in Saskatoon helped shape our nation. 
 

Tags: , , ,

Support Local

A New Spin on Entertainment at Hunter's Bowling Centres in Saskatoon

posted by Noël    |   March 21, 2014 11:22

Bowling has always been a family favourite for my husband's side of the family.  Nearly every weekend, when my husband and his younger brother were just little kiddos, my mother-in-law would make the trek to the local bowling alley and cheer on the boys during their league matches.  My husband still has some of his awards from back in the day, and I'll be honest - I'm impressed. Some of his scores as an eight year old are higher then what I can normally achieve as an adult! With this kind of love for the game, it was only natural that our family found itself at the Hunter's Bowling Centre in Eastview last weekend, celebrating my husband's 31st birthday.

Given that it was a Sunday I wasn't sure if the place would be packed out or not, but driving up to the bowling alley and seeing all the vehicles, I began to reminisce of the days when my own father would take me to the Eastview bowling alley on the weekends to teach me how to play 10-pin like a pro!  

As we entered the building, the music was playing, the black lights were on, and every lane was humming with the cheers of little kiddos. The bowling alley was hoppin'! 

As I quickly took a look around, it became more and more apparent that this was definitely the place you'd want to take your kids on the weekend to burn off some energy!  

The music was family friendly, and even though everything in there was catered to the kids, wouldn't you know it, the adults looked like they were having a great time! The best part of the experience was seeing the majority of adults making use of the kid-friendly gutter-guards to improve their overall scores! 

All in all, the experience was fantastic! I don't think I stopped laughing or smiling once during the entire two hours we were there. I laughed especially hard when my father-in-law ripped his pants while executing a game-changing strike. Our family is slightly competitive.

If you haven't experienced the Hunter's Bowling alleys in Eastview or in Fairhaven, then you really do need to get down to one of those locations and experience Hunter's Bowling Centres' spin on entertainment, especially if you have children or are planning an event. Check out their website for the different types of events available at the bowling alley.  

If you're thinking, "Well, I'm not the best of bowlers", don't worry, go on the weekend when the gutter-guards are up, or just enjoy the experience by relaxing in their Bar & Grill

Alternative Fitness in Saskatoon

posted by Elle    |   March 17, 2014 15:25

I've noticed that the face of the fitness industry in Saskatoon has really diversified in the past few years. The days of regular gyms as the primary option for membership-based fitness are gone. While many local gyms offer a range of classes like Zumba and spinning, new facilities have been bringing even more variety to the table, specializing in forms of exercise I didn't even know existed! There are now so many unique opportunities for Saskatoon residents who are looking to get and stay fit. 

I, personally, am tired of slugging it out on the treadmill while watching The Food Network, or doing bicep curls in front of the mirror at the gym. There are facilities in Saskatoon that I've heard great things about, that offer unique fitness experiences, great customer service, and fun atmosphere. Smaller, more focused fitness facilities seem to bring about a unique sense of community that I think also adds a great deal of value to a workout. I can't wait to try out these local alternatives! It is my goal to visit each of them as I kick up my physical activity, now that hibernation season is coming to an end. 

Photo Credit: Club Mynx

Aerial Fitness

This is one of the newest forms of fitness that has been popping up in Saskatoon lately. Club Mynx, which has been established for quite a few years, seems to be constantly adding to its repertoire of classes. To my knowledge, Club Mynx started with pole fitness, and has now expanded to include a large focus on aerial fitness, including Aerial Fly Fitness, Aerial Hoop, and Aerial Silks. While I have yet to try any form of aerial fitness, it really intrigues me. As a former gymnast, I am drawn to any form of performance-inspired exercise. The pictures on Club Mynx's website of athletes in action is awe-inspiring! Club Mynx also gives back into our community through its Create A Sparkle classes. 

Climbing

This is another sport I would absolutely love to try. I tend to enjoy exercising a lot more when there is some sort of goal involved (other than simply getting through it). So, the idea of climbing and having a certain height reached or route completed would motivate me, I think. I also think it might be kind of thrilling! Again, I have yet to try climbing (aside from a Grade 10 field trip), so I am just making assumptions. Grip It Climbing seems to be a great option in Saskatoon, and I plan to check it out.  

Functional Fitness

When I first saw Freedom Functional Fitness opening up on the corner of Idylwyld and 20th Street, I was curious to know what exactly "functional fitness" means. Freedom's website describes this type of fitness as being derived from movements that we naturally engage in over the course of a day. While I have yet to visit this gym, it sounds like it offers unique group classes with a personalized focus. Sounds like a fun way to work out! I've heard the facility is beautiful. 

Yoga

This is one activity that I do have some experience with, and is probably now at the point of being so mainstream that it isn't even considered an alternative form of fitness. However, there are so many great yoga studios in Saskatoon that are worth mentioning, and I want to take this opportunity to give shootouts two a couple of them! One Yoga is a great local yoga studio, offering a variety of Vinyasa yoga classes. From my experience, the teachers at One Yoga are fantastic. I personally love hot yoga as well, and have dropped in on classes at Moksha Yoga. I love that both of these studios offers Karma Classes, which support local non-profit organizations and charities. 

I can't wait to give each of these unique local Saskatoon fitness spots a try this spring! If you've had an experience with any of the ones mentioned in this post, let me know in the comments- its always nice to have some pointers going into a new experience, especially one that requires dangling from the ceiling!  

Quick Links