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sweesh
I thought Saskatoon was the 'Paris of the Prairies'?

The rabble article is entitled:? "Saskatchewan: Paris of the Prairies".

I get the analogy...but isn't it a bit off the mark to equate an entire province to that of a city?? (All considerations for population set aside, of course.)

Perhaps, "Saskatchewan:? Ile-de-France of the Prairies" would be more accurate?

oldgoat

I have passed through Saskatchewan several times, sometimes even stopping for the night, without once thinking of Paris.? Once in Estavan though, I mused briefly about Bowmanville.

sweesh

Ah, Estevan...'City of Lights'...or as I like to call it, "The Blind Crest of the Prairies"...

Star Spangled C...

Yeah, I've been there and, strangely, never thought I was in Paris. I hate when cities try to position themslves as miniature versions of other cities. Toronto isn't New York and shouldn't try to be. It's a great city in its own right. And Montreal isn't Paris. It's fucking better! Yet my welcome package at my hotel last time I was in Montreal had this line about "it's like Paris...right in North America."

oldgoat

My home town of Oshawa is striving with some success to become the Flint Michigan of the north.

sweesh

Yikes, goat...don't like the sounds of that, but I think you're right.? I'm not a fan of using other places as points of reference for wherever you are.? I'm in Toronto, not New York...how do I know?? Well, there's no garbage lying around everywhere...hey, wait a minute!

Ze

[url=http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/trish-hennessy/2009/07/saskatchewan-... to the article in question[/url]

It's not really about comparisons to Paris, that's just her efforts at a hook. Sorry to be a downer but there's some good stuff there about what will be done with the "Sask miracle" ...

Quote:
Now that my home province is floating on the economic version of Cloud Nine, I can't help but wonder: Will the aging generation that helped keep Saskatchewan going during the lean times get to share in the fruits of its wealth?

In much leaner times, they pioneered the cooperative movement and Canada's much-cherished public health care system - things that made Canada uniquely Canadian, and Saskatchewan uniquely innovative.

With far fewer resources, the people of Saskatchewan translated adversity into help for everyone. Will they do the same now that it has the resources to help those in need?

?

RP.

Sometimes I think of Summerside, PEI, as being?the?Charlottetown of Prince County.

al-Qa'bong

sweesh wrote:

?

Perhaps, "Saskatchewan:? Ile-de-France of the Prairies" would be more accurate?

?

I was going to post the same thing, but never got around to it.

?

I live in Saskatoon.? I've?been to?Paris.? The comparison is worse than ridiculous, it's embarrassing, although our air is cleaner.

?

On the other hand, Montmartre, Saskatchewan, has a Tour Eiffel.

?

?

fiidel_castro

I live in Regina and I guess I do not really see the connection not that I ever want to go to Paris. It was a good story though. The boom is nothing miraculous it is the same old tired formula for creating jobs and capital that every other province has incorporated. Exploit natural resources until they die. When the resources run dry then the boom will go bust and people will leave Sask. in droves just like the 1980's. Sask. will be right back at square nothing but right now is the supposed good time. But how long can it last? I think a lot of boom-propaganda has gone into selling Sask. as a miracle. There is plenty of mythology about Sask. being this "pure" place where rents are low and cost of living is not noticeable and jobs flow out of a magical river and there are no longer any poor people - just ignore those pesky Aboriginals (or any racial slang you prefer). So you are all supposed to come and live and work here forever. But these are all half truths or even lies. Yes, if you have lived in Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, or some large city then coming here might save some of your money on rents and mortgage, for the time being. To be truthful, the cost of living is shooting up tremendously in Sask. everyday and it is directly causal to the boom; which in turn creates greater strain on the working classes and the impoverished. Housing prices are going insane. Slumlords are a major problem in Regina, just to let you know, and this is their market. But you can always live in the suburbs - **insert yawn here**. Forget about all the wonderful jobs you hear, a Tony Roma's is still a Tony Roma's, Wal-Mart is still Wal-Mart and working manual labour is still working manual labour. If you want to mine and mill uranium and be a part of oil sands exploitation then that is your call. The only thing that Sask. is really asking for is warm bodies to send into the mills, more servers in the restaurants, more unskilled manual labour, and more doctors and nurses, but please no union reps or any talk of the union-kind.?

Of course, the Aboriginal pop which is severely underemployed and unemployed are passed some crumbs but nothing that could substantially create communal economic capital in any real way. But the boom is not supposed to because the system is designed to take the best and brightest and then separate them through economic gain. The majority of the Aboriginal pop. are at the bottom of the division of labour while a select few make it to some bullshit middle-class status - **again insert yawn here**. Boom times have not affected my social reality and they could care less about Paris where I come from.?

RosaL

"Alberta lite" is more like it. It's enough to make you weep.?

(I don't really think we need someone who is from here and now in Toronto - they are legion - to write about this. There are plenty of thoughtful, articulate people who live here.)

Tim H

A few years ago I looked into this question as part of some lighter information for a conference website. No longer online, but here's what I found:

An American columnist, tongue firmly in cheek, talks about moving to Canada after President Bush's re-election:

"The truly adventurous, however, will head straight to Saskatoon, which Canadian rock star Gord Downie once called "the Paris of the prairies" - apparently because it has a river in it. Oh, Saskatoon in the springtime! Guaranteed to be 100 percent Bush-free." (New York Magazine, 15 November 2004)

Googling "Paris of the Prairies" gives you a number of links to to the lyrics of "Wheat Kings" by The Tragically Hip:

"Sundown in the Paris of the Prairies: wheat kings have all their treasures buried and all you hear are the rusty breezes pushing around the weather vane ..."

According to Tourism Saskatoon, Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip called Saskatoon the Paris of the Prairies "for its proliferation of musicians, artists, writers and poets that call Saskatoon home and the continuing support from our festivals and events to promote our homegrown talent." (No word on whether he mentioned the river.)

It seems Winnipeg has also tried to use the title (even daring to attribute this to Gord Downie). Architect Daniel Burnham once called Chicago the Paris of the Prairies. And no doubt a handful of other prairie cities and towns have used the phrase. But no less a figure than Booker Prize winning author Yann Martel has confirmed Saskatoon's claim on the title. From news reports in April 2004:

"Award-winning writer Yann Martel and his girlfriend, Alice Kuipers, are smitten with Saskatoon and want to make the Prairie city their new home. Martel, who was born in Spain and raised in Montreal, is the author of the successful book Life of Pi. He came to Saskatoon in October for an eight-month stint as the writer-in-residence at the Frances Morrison Library. In that time he has fallen in love with 'the Paris of the Prairies,' its friendly people, easy pace and the scenic vistas provided by arched bridges and grassy banks of the winding South Saskatchewan River through the centre of the city."

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Saskatoon's okay, and the river's nice, but we have a better park.? I don't find an enormous difference between S'toon and Regina in terms of artists and culture, although due to having a larger stadium S'toon does get the high profile concerts.?

Both are terrific cities, especially for their size.? Neither one, however, has any claim on Paris.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
According to Tourism Saskatoon, Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip called Saskatoon the Paris of the Prairies "for its proliferation of musicians, artists, writers and poets that call Saskatoon home and the continuing support from our festivals and events to promote our homegrown talent." (No word on whether he mentioned the river.)

?

We don't like outsiders to know about the South Saskatchewan, for like the Seine, it has been the preferred route of barbarian invaders:

?

This is fun to sing at Rider games.

sweesh

Having lived in and around both cities, I must say I find Saskatoon a much nicer place than dirty ol' Regina.? And y'know, I think I read somewhere that Saskatoon is Canada's sunniest place...even when Stephen Harper visits.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Regina's dirty?

fiidel_castro

Saskatoon is just a bigger Regina with more artists, and blah, blah, blah. The two are virtually the same in all regards. I have lived in both cities and there is not a whole hell of a lot of differences - socially, economically, culturally, and politically. Saskatoon has a river, so what, how does that make the city "cleaner." I am confused about cleanliness between the cities.?

sweesh

Hey, Regina has the Wascana, so its not completely river-less...but yes, I found there were a lot more slummy areas - a lot more unkempt, graffiti'd buildings, and run-down houses - in Regina than in Saskatoon.?

Which is not to say S'toon didn't have its share of same, nor does it mean Regina didn't have its nicer areas - but I found the vibe and overall esthetics in Saskatoon to be quite different.? If I compare the two cities, I definitely think of Regina as more rough around the edges - and just plain, flat...uglier.

But hey, it's not like Regina has that market cornered...right now I live in big, grey, corporate Toronto...there are parts of this city that make all of Regina look like Eden.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Saskatoon isn't much bigger - Regina's a comparable size.? How do you know there are more artists, though?? I'd say there are about as many here.? Certainly there are considerably more filmmakers in Regina.

Saskatoon has a river, but much less park around it than our man-made lake has.?

The cleanliness thing really has me stumped.? I hadn't noticed Regina was especially dirty in comparison to other cities.

al-Qa'bong

Yes Saskatoon has a river, but the potatoheads who run things here are trying to make it seem like an ocean.? Why, I defy anyone to point out the difference between the?bunkers on the Atlantikwall and "River Landing" in Saskatoon, other than that Rommel used fewer tons of concrete.

fiidel_castro

sweesh wrote:

I found there were a lot more slummy areas - a lot more unkempt, graffiti'd buildings, and run-down houses - in Regina than in Saskatoon.?

Which is not to say S'toon didn't have its share of same, nor does it mean Regina didn't have its nicer areas - but I found the vibe and overall esthetics in Saskatoon to be quite different.? If I compare the two cities, I definitely think of Regina as more rough around the edges - and just plain, flat...uglier.

?

Yeah, it is called poverty. Check it out sometime. It is pretty radical and if you can make a living off of it then hey, you are better person than I. Slumlords are rampant in Regina and they know all about those 'slummy areas' and how to capitalize . The slumlords actually fight for their "rights" as homeowners here in Regina, nice hey. ?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

fiidel_castro wrote:

sweesh wrote:

I found there were a lot more slummy areas - a lot more unkempt, graffiti'd buildings, and run-down houses - in Regina than in Saskatoon.?

Which is not to say S'toon didn't have its share of same, nor does it mean Regina didn't have its nicer areas - but I found the vibe and overall esthetics in Saskatoon to be quite different.? If I compare the two cities, I definitely think of Regina as more rough around the edges - and just plain, flat...uglier.

?

Yeah, it is called poverty. Check it out sometime. It is pretty radical and if you can make a living off of it then hey, you are better person than I. Slumlords are rampant in Regina and they know all about those 'slummy areas' and how to capitalize . The slumlords actually fight for their "rights" as homeowners here in Regina, nice hey. ?

Right.? You'd never find that in Saskatoon or any other prairie city.? Or Canadian city.? Never, never, never.? Slumlords are no more rampant here than they are anywhere else.

Can we stop with the Regina-bashing already?? Some of us call it home.

fiidel_castro

Regina needs to be bashed and I was making a joke, lighten up. I too live in Regina and I grew up in North Central and now I live right downtown - 4 blocks outside of North Central. Slumlords are rampant and this needs to be stated. I know because I lived in their houses until I was well into my 20's and now I live in public housing; apartment actually.?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I've lived in various neighbourhoods in Regina?and rented from slumlords on occasion.? Yes, they exist here.? They exist in every city in the country.? Regina's no better or worse than any of them.

Don't tell me to lighten up - if you were funny, you wouldn't need to tell me to.?

remind remind's picture

Apparently Regina is worse than the rest of them.

Quote:
Canada's worst neighbourhood

How did the province where medicare was born end up with a city this frightening?

By the standards of Regina's inner city, the apartment isn't even that bad. The first home the municipal Housing Standards Enforcement Team -- a joint effort by local authorities and citizens' groups to crack down on slumlords -- ever visited was infested with rats. The tenant cried when he lifted his shirt to show the bites the rodents inflicted as they crawled over his mattress at night. Brenda Mercer, the president of the North Central Community Association, is often the first through the door. She rattles off other low-lights: people using the oven to heat their homes in the dead of winter. The man with the mousetraps on his stove top to combat the vermin that kept snatching his dinner from the frying pan. Multiple dwellings with no plumbing because the occupants have ripped out the copper pipes and sold them for drug money. "We're living in a Third World country here," she says.

The enforcement team has begged, bluffed and cajoled its way into 500 downtown rental properties since it got started in 2004. Close to a quarter of them have been padlocked for deficiencies, safety problems or just general insalubrity, and the landlords ordered to make repairs. Social workers are dispatched to find the tenants new accommodations, offer help with detox, and, when necessary, take kids into protective custody. Not everyone welcomes the aid or the scrutiny. On this day, one slumlord is shadowing the team in his white pickup as it makes its way through the neighbourhood. As the officials pull up at their next stop, the man across the road hustles his kids inside and shuts the door.

The project is one of the most visible efforts to help this small prairie centre, population just under 200,000, deal with some awfully big-city problems. Inner-city Regina -- effectively two neighbourhoods, North Central and the area east of the downtown known as the Core -- is among the poorest spots in urban Canada. Thirty per cent of residents depend on government assistance. Local food banks deal with more than 3,600 requests a month. The health authority, which last year distributed 1.8 million needles, estimates there are more IV drug users per capita than on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Girls as young as 11 or 12 regularly work the stroll. Regina's high incidence of break and enters, car thefts, street robberies and violent assaults has placed the city at the top of Canada's urban crime rankings for nine of the past 10 years.(An overall 15 per cent drop in criminal code offences proved just enough to land the city second place in 2005, right behind Saskatoon -- 13,194 incidents per 100,000 population versus 13,236.)

http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20070115_139375_139375

Seems like a good expository documentary needs to happen.

fiidel_castro

Yes, but I am not talking about every city in every country. I am talking about the "worst neighbourhood" in Canada which happens to be in Regina - the Queen City. I apologize if you are offended at my useless joke - lighten up. But please do open your eyes and exert some actual critique other than everyone else is doing it so why don't we join in? This mentality is the classic race to the bottom.?

sweesh

Well, I didn't mean to be the cause of an argument...and I should say, I haven't lived in Regina for going on 7 years now, so perhaps it's cleaned up its act.? I've lived in nearly every province in Canada, and so I've lived in far worse places than Saskatchewan's capital, that's for sure - BUT, I definitely saw LOTS of room for improvement there.? It's just one humble opinion - I wasn't looking to offend.