A Vegan and Eco-friendly Adventure in and around Saskatoon
There is emphasis on the city’s architecture in its nicknames – City of Bridges and Paris of the Prairies. But Saskatoon can be known equally for the fact that it is an eco-friendly and sustainable city. I’m going to show you how to plan your vegan and eco adventure in Saskatoon.
There are numerous places to hike in Saskatoon – through several beautiful parks and prairie ecosystems. Many of the parks are situated along the Meewasin Trail, a more than 105-km trail system that follows both sides of the South Saskatchewan River and extends beyond. The epic Trans Canada Trail also meanders through the city.
Beaver Creek Conservation Area is one of the most stunning places to go for a hike in the city. It is a microcosm of the Meewasin Valley and one of the most biodiverse spots in Saskatoon. The area is where prairie creek meets prairie river, and is home to rare, at-risk species. You will see pretty wildflowers, grasslands birds and, if you are lucky, a beaver or two.
Beaver Creek Conservation Area
Native Plant Walk at Wanuskewin Heritage Park
A visit to Wanuskewin Heritage Park is an absolute must. It is one of the most important historic and cultural sites in Canada and on its way to becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Check out all the exhibits, see the newly reintroduced bison herd, and admire the incredible petroglyphs that were recently uncovered.
While all of Wanuskewin Heritage Park is an eco-friendly and sustainable place to visit, I want to emphasize its Native Plant Walk. Take a trail walk with a knowledgeable guide to discover a variety of medicinal plants used by Plains Indigenous people. You will learn about the various plants and berries growing in the wild. Poisonous plants and their remedies often grow close to one another. There are natural bug repellents, sunscreen and treatments for a variety of ailments along the trail.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Cycle through the city
I was delighted to discover that Saskatoon is a very bike-friendly city. There are paved paths that follow the edge of the South Saskatchewan River, as well as many bike lanes on the roads. Go cycling along the river and through neighbourhoods like Riversdale and the Broadway District. Bike racks are in abundance, so you can lock up your bike while you visit the local shops, cafés and restaurants.
Several hotels in downtown Saskatoon have complimentary bicycles for guests to borrow during their stay. Most are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The comfortable cruiser bikes are fun to ride.
Garden Alchemy at Station Arts Centre
Station Arts Centre is in Rosthern, about 40 minutes outside of Saskatoon. It is an art gallery, tea room and performing arts theatre inside a renovated train station. The adjacent herb and flower garden is the perfect setting for “Garden Alchemy.”
A host introduces you to the various herbs and plants as you freely roam the garden. You can choose a selection of your favourites to create your own herb-infused simple syrup. All the equipment is there to boil your botanicals with water and sugar. Soon you have your own simple syrup to make mocktails and cocktails at home.
Station Arts Centre
Saskatoon vegan eats
Plant-based meals are among the most sustainable dishes for the planet, and Saskatoon has no shortage of delicious vegan eats. The majority of restaurants seem to have at least one vegan dish on the menu. There are a few establishments that are truly great for vegans and the veg-curious.
Odd Couple creates dishes inspired by Cantonese, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisines. Vegan and gluten-free offerings are clearly marked on the menu. The vegan spring rolls are an outstanding starter to share with your friends. The Ginger Shiitake Mushroom meal is a hearty and surprisingly “meaty” dish that you need to try.
Las Palapas Resort Grill serves authentic Mexican cuisine, and its menu has quite a few plant-based meals. There are several menu items that can be prepared vegan upon request – made with jackfruit or chickpea adobo. The guacamole is super tasty. And don’t miss sampling a cocktail with a Saskatoon twist – the Saskatoon berry mojito.
Love Italian food? Head to Primal, where you will find the carb-alicious pasta of your dreams. All the handmade pasta is naturally vegan and made without eggs. I highly recommend the kale and cashew pesto taglierini, as every mouthful tastes heavenly. It rivals any pasta that I’ve ordered in Italy!
Las Palapas Resort Grill
Author and Photographer: Lauren Yakiwchuk
Lauren Yakiwchuk is an award-winning travel blogger and content creator from Georgetown, ON. She writes about outdoor adventures, unique finds in cities and small towns, and sustainable travel. A longtime vegan, she’s always in search of the best plant-based eats wherever she goes. You can find Lauren online at Justin Plus Lauren and Ontario Hiking, as well as on Instagram at @justinpluslauren.