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Surprising Saskatoon: part of cross-Canada travel tour

I didn’t know a lot about Saskatoon prior to my first visit late last summer. What I found was a surprising city with wonderful people, sophisticated dining, great shopping areas and a lovely setting with a huge variety of things to do. Here’s a photo essay from a memorable trip to Saskatchewan.

The wonderful James Hotel in Saskatoon offers rooms with lovely views of the S. Saskatchewan River.  JIM BYERS PHOTO

The wonderful James Hotel in Saskatoon offers rooms with lovely views of the S. Saskatchewan River. JIM BYERS PHOTO

The ambience is great at Ayden Kitchen and Bar in Saskatoon. The food is even better. It's one of the top restaurants I've tried anywhere in Canada. JIM BYERS PHOTO

The ambience is great at Ayden Kitchen and Bar in Saskatoon. The food is even better. It’s one of the top restaurants I’ve tried anywhere in Canada. JIM BYERS PHOTO

The farmer's market in Saskatoon serves up lovely local produce. JIM BYERS PHOTO

The farmer’s market in Saskatoon serves up lovely local produce. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan performs fantastically inventive plays on the shores of the river. I saw Taming of the Shrew last year and loved it. PHOTO COURTESY TOURISM SASKATOON

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan performs fantastically inventive plays on the shores of the river. I saw Taming of the Shrew last year and loved it. PHOTO COURTESY TOURISM SASKATOON

You'll find cool galleries and great coffee and food spots in the emerging Riversdale area of town. JIM BYERS PHOTO

You’ll find cool galleries and great coffee and food spots in the emerging Riversdale area of town. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Wanuskewin Heritage Park, just outside Saskatoon, has moving tributes to First Nations people.  JIM BYERS PHOTO

Wanuskewin Heritage Park, just outside Saskatoon, has moving tributes to First Nations people. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Lucky Bastard Distilleries is a fine spot to buy locally made gin, vodka and other treats. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Lucky Bastard Distilleries is a fine spot to buy locally made gin, vodka and other treats. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Painted rocks along the S. Saskatchewan River are a colourful addition to Saskatoon. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Painted rocks along the S. Saskatchewan River are a colourful addition to Saskatoon. JIM BYERS PHOTO

A cool old grain tower outside the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon; a fine place to learn about the area's history and a great spot for kids. JIM BYERS PHOTO

A cool old grain tower outside the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon; a fine place to learn about the area’s history and a great spot for kids. JIM BYERS PHOTO

The James Hotel has fabulous staff, great rooms and a lovely breakfast set-up. A wonderful spot for pleasure or business.

The James Hotel has fabulous staff, great rooms and a lovely breakfast set-up. A wonderful spot for pleasure or business.

They've built wonderful parks along the S. Saskatchewan River. JIM BYERS PHOTO

They’ve built wonderful parks along the S. Saskatchewan River. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Dakota Dunes is a challenging and beautiful layout not far from Sasktoon. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Dakota Dunes is a challenging and beautiful layout not far from Sasktoon. JIM BYERS PHOTO

The Park Cafe Tavern is a wonderful throwback spot in Saskatoon. Great burgers w/ big strips of tasty bacon! JIM BYERS PHOTO

The Park Cafe Tavern is a wonderful throwback spot in Saskatoon. Great burgers w/ big strips of tasty bacon! JIM BYERS PHOTO

Shoppers will delight in the variety of goods available  on Broadway; one of the city's best shopping streets. Great cafes and bars, too. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Shoppers will delight in the variety of goods available on Broadway; one of the city’s best shopping streets. Great cafes and bars, too. JIM BYERS PHOTO

The folks at Canoeski can take on a tranquil canoe ride on the S. Saskatchewan River.

The folks at Canoeski can take on a tranquil canoe ride on the S. Saskatchewan River.

Grab a bike and take a spin along the river for a great afternoon in Saskatoon. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Grab a bike and take a spin along the river for a great afternoon in Saskatoon. JIM BYERS PHOTO

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