I Heart Riversdale: A Valentine's Day Tour

This blog post first appeared on the Element Urban Village project website.

A few years ago, someone asked me to describe my perfect date night. After some reflection I realized that my perfect dates had one thing in common—our mode of transport was walking or biking. There is something very romantic about walking, exploring the city streets together under the cover of night. It reminds us that getting there is half the fun and stretches out the occasion of being together. 

So on Valentines Day, I thought I would take you on a tour of my perfect date night, because it all happens within walking distance of our home—Element Urban Village. 

Stepping out our front door, we begin our commute on a trail through Victoria Park. Walking along the river on a meandering path through tall pines immediately takes us away from the busy-ness of home, kids, work, the day. Maybe we’ll stretch out that enjoyment of the view by stopping at a beach near the water, or heading to the second floor of Drift's Vista Lounge for a cocktail. The pace and path inspire conversation…or maybe none:)

Our favourite places to dine are along 20th Street, and we can pick from a few depending on our mood. Last time we went on a date to Leyda’s, Miguel served us oysters, which we were reluctant to try. But trusting anything that comes from his kitchen, the new flavours and candlelit setting instantly changed the tone of our night and brought out the romance. If we’re seeking something lively, the Odd Couple has a great night scene; we love cozying up to the bar and there are always our favourite dishes alongside new ones when we're feeling adventurous. The Hollows, The Grazing Goat…with so many offerings we can feel free to wander a bit and let our appetities be our guides.

Ummm...there would not be this many people at my date night, but this photo by David Stobbe catches the vibe at The Odd Couple.

Ummm...there would not be this many people at my date night, but this photo by David Stobbe catches the vibe at The Odd Couple.

The next stop might be the Roxy Theatre—their films are the best the city has to offer in my opinion. As one of the few atmospheric cinemas left in Western Canada, the Roxy has a unique playful character that is perfect for date night.  The choices aren’t limited as the Galaxy is a short walk if need be, too! 

As musicians, we’re always up for live music—nothing stirs the soul like a great concert. And one of Saskatoon’s best venues is a hidden gem in the heart of Riversdale. Village Guitar & Amp transforms from a boutique guitar shop to a beautiful venue at night, oozing with vibe coming from dreamy pendant lights and exposed brick interior walls. The owner Dan Canfield is the best live sound technician in town, so the performance always has the sound to really transport an audience to another world.

Back to the fresh air and meandering streets to take us home. Walking between all these destinations heightens that sense of community that comes from experiencing the real pulse of a city. And that feeling of connection is exactly what date nights are about—experiencing something together, stirring things up and refreshing our senses.

This is what Urban Living is all about, every day of the year--part of the reason why I'm now sold on condo living, close to downtown, in the heart of a diverse, animated neighbourhood that feels like home. Urban infill projects like Element are so rare, and now that it's 50% sold I feel so lucky that we got in when we did. 

My Valentine's Day mantra? I Heart Riversdale.