I stepped off the plane in Saskatoon a little over a week ago, dragged two full suitcases to a taxi, and about fifteen minutes later (the proximity of the airport to downtown is a major plus compared to Halifax!) I was in my temporary apartment and unpacking. My first days included the mundane details of setting up a life in a new city, but I also set aside a fair chunk of time for some exploring before I started my new job.
First things first – Saskatoon is a very picturesque city. Those trails along the river will be seeing a lot of me:
Coming from the craft beer mecca of Nova Scotia, my first few days involved trying to find a few new favourite beers and places in which to enjoy them. A stop by the Woods Alehouse introduced me to Rebellion brewery (from Regina) and their lentil cream ale (below, left). Who knew lentils could make a tasty beer? On a lunchtime visit to the Prairie Sun Brewery I found my first new favourite Saskatchewan beer – their Urban Wheat Ale (below, right) will be a perfect summer sipper.
Speaking of Prairie Sun, I sampled through four more of their beers – all delicious. I’ll be returning for growlers of some of these for football watching Sundays in the fall.
The beer sampling was great, but I must admit I was more excited to meet Buddy Rae, the brewery’s resident dog. Two days away from Halifax, I was missing my dog, Chewy, who is back east with my wife. Buddy seemed to sense that and cozied up close to me. I’m a sucker for older dogs with white faces. Buddy had me at hello.
Buddy’s got a great life – he lives in a brewery, gets all kinds of attention, and it’s clear he’s been on the receiving end of lots of treats. While I was enjoying my first ever serving of delicious perogies, he kept his eyes fixated on my plate.
On my first Saturday in Saskatoon, I ventured out to the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market. It’s a very cute market – there’s some good coffee and what looks like a lovely Mexican food stall, so that will ensure I’m back often. I also immediately noticed that the market has an unreal selection of pies. I think I’m going to like that!
Next door to the market is a relatively new craft brewery, 9 Mile Legacy Brewing. I stopped by for some samples and fell in love with the 9 Mile Ale and the Ella Pale Aussie Ale. Three days in and I’d found three awesome craft beers in my new city. This place will be a nice walk over the Broadway Bridge when my wife and I move into our Nutana apartment in late May. I won’t be a stranger here.
On Sunday, the day before starting my new job, I stretched out my legs a bit and hiked around the city on a beautiful morning and afternoon. I’ve wondered how much I’ll miss the harbour and ocean back in Halifax, but the South Saskatchewan River will help with that.
Helping me settle in is this view from my 22nd floor apartment. With living room windows facing south and west, I get great light in the afternoons and evenings. I think I understand what is meant when Saskatchewan is referred to as the “land of living skies”
So, all in all, a pretty good start to life on the prairies. I think I’m going to spend a lot of time staring up into the sky here. The sunset on my first night tipped me off to the beauty in which I now live.