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February 7, 2024

Saskatoon YMCA Announces Agreement with City of Saskatoon for Building and Property Purchase

YMCA of Saskatoon Downtown Building
YMCA of Saskatoon Downtown Building on 22nd Street since Sept 6, 1969.

I’m sharing some exciting news with you that is being announced today. The Board of Directors of the YMCA of Saskatoon has officially confirmed an agreement with the City of Saskatoon, signalling their intent to purchase the downtown building and property for $8,504,750. This ‘promise to purchase’ involves initial payments to secure the agreement: a down payment of $875,000 and an additional $2,000,000 due on September 30, 2024. The YMCA will maintain ownership until the City finalizes the purchase as part of the proposed entertainment district project or the YMCA decides to relocate programming to alternative city locations. The remainder of the purchase price will be remitted upon the transfer of title to the City. 

This project represents a necessary and positive change that will strengthen our capacity to serve our members, clients, and community. Selling our 55-year-old building supports several initiatives, allowing the YMCA to marshal our resources and continue our programming. The property transfer helps the City with their plan to develop a new entertainment district in the downtown core.  

Recent studies indicate the need for future renovations to the aging 22nd Street East building. Because of these future capital costs and the difficult financial situation we currently face due to declining post-pandemic membership, as stewards of the YMCA of Saskatoon, the Board determined the best option to move forward was the sale of the 22nd Street East building and property. The money we will receive provides us with needed financial stability.  

As I stated earlier, although the YMCA downtown building is being sold, we expect to continue to offer programming and services at this location for the foreseeable future. During this time, we will be committed to serving the community that works downtown and will explore what programs can successfully operate downtown and how some programs may operate from our other Saskatoon satellite locations. 

Childcare services at the 22nd Street East location will continue. However, the YMCA intends to move these services to a new downtown space and is currently exploring options.

The City of Saskatoon’s offer to purchase will be reviewed at their public Governance and Priorities Committee meeting scheduled for February 14 and then the proposed deal will go to City Council for their final approval on February 28.

We plan to hold an information meeting for members so we can provide more details about the sale and our plans. Details about the meeting will be announced in the coming days.

At the heart of this decision lies our unwavering commitment to our mission and the community we serve. By leveraging the value of our property and building through the sale, we can unlock financial resources that will enable us to further enhance and expand our programs, better respond to the evolving needs of our beneficiaries, and maximize our impact.

The purchase agreement we have negotiated guarantees that we will retain the use of our downtown facility for the foreseeable future. This will allow us to continue providing the vital services and programming that have made a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. Our operations will carry on without disruption, and we remain fully dedicated to our mission.

We understand that this decision may raise questions, and we are committed to transparency and open communication. We value our relationship with you and are available to address any concerns or inquiries you might have.

Rest assured, our commitment to our mission and the community we serve remains resolute. With your continued support, we will embark on this new chapter with enthusiasm, drive, and an unwavering focus on achieving our shared goals.

Thank you for your ongoing support and trust in our organization. Together, we will create a positive and lasting impact.

Sincerely,

Mike McKague 
YMCA Volunteer Board Chair 

Frequently Asked Questions

The YMCA of Saskatoon Board has decided to sell the 22nd Street East building and property to the City of Saskatoon pending approval by City Council at the Governance and Priorities Committee meeting on February 14 and the February 28 Council meeting. This ‘promise to purchase’ involves initial payments, including an $875,000 down payment and an additional $2,000,000 due on September 30, 2024. The YMCA will retain ownership until the City finalizes the purchase, either as part of the proposed entertainment district project or if the YMCA chooses to relocate. The remaining purchase amount will be transferred to the YMCA upon title transfer to the City.

The YMCA has sold the downtown property to ensure its long-term success amid increasing financial pressures, declining membership, rising operating costs, and future capital requirements for downtown building upkeep. The sale to the City of Saskatoon was deemed the best option for the organization’s future viability. While the downtown building and property will eventually be owned by
the City, the YMCA plans to continue offering programming and services at this location for the foreseeable future. And the organization is committed to exploring program possibilities at other Saskatoon satellite locations. Beyond the downtown building, the YMCA provides citywide services, including health, fitness and aquatics programs, childcare centres, Before and After School Programs, the Saskatoon Early Years Family Resource Centre and various community programs, reinforcing its integral role in the community.

No, the YMCA downtown building will be purchased by the City of Saskatoon, but we expect to continue to offer programming and services at this location for the foreseeable future. During this time,
we will be committed to serving the downtown community and will explore how to best provide our programs and services to these clients. We are making a sound business move by selling the building at the 22nd Street East location.

Although the YMCA downtown building has been sold, we expect to continue to offer programming and services at this location for the foreseeable future. The YMCA will maintain ownership until the City finalizes the purchase as part of the proposed entertainment district project or the YMCA decides to relocate programming to alternative city locations. During this time, we will be committed to serving the community that works downtown and will explore what programs can successfully operate downtown and how some programs may operate from our other Saskatoon satellite locations.

The sale of the 22nd Street East property provides sound business decisions for the YMCA and continues our ongoing partnership growth with the City of Saskatoon. YMCA members will have the benefit of working out of the downtown facility for the foreseeable future while we determine how to best serve these clients. It’s important to note that our existing childcare services will remain downtown.

Yes, we are committed to providing childcare services in the downtown. We’re currently exploring options to move these services to a new downtown location.

It is too early to know. We are actively exploring options for a suitable location. Full details will be shared with childcare users when a decision is made.

No, we are fully committed to serving the community that works downtown. We have worked hard to increase the availability of childcare by offering five centres with a sixth centre in Aspen Ridge scheduled to open in the fall of 2024. This is a long process. We will remain transparent and share information directly with users and on our website.

The $8,504,750 agreement for the facility includes a ‘promise to purchase’ by the City of Saskatoon at a future date. This ‘promise to purchase’ involves initial payments, including an $875,000 down payment and an additional $2,000,000 due on September 30, 2024. The YMCA will retain ownership until the City finalizes the purchase, either as part of the proposed entertainment district project or if the YMCA chooses to relocate. The remaining purchase amount will be transferred to the YMCA upon title transfer to the City.

We do not anticipate changes to program staffing because we plan to continue to operate our programs at the downtown location for the foreseeable future.

Our programs and services have always been based on community demand and attendance. We will be focused on offering either the same or similar programs based on community needs and our ability to deliver the services.

No, the sale of the downtown building and the purchase of the Fairhaven building are in sync with our aim of providing cost-effective community-oriented services. This approach not only helps in achieving our programming goals but also enhances our financial stability through additional revenue from renting out space in the Fairhaven building. It’s a balanced blend of meeting community needs and ensuring fiscal responsibility.