Fred Mitchell Memorial Gardens
Buena Vista Green Spaces
The Fred Mitchell Memorial Garden is located in old Nutana, now Buena Vista, and sits across from the old Labatt’s Brewery at 410 Saskatchewan Crescent W. The original name of the green space was Labatt’s Gardens which was constructed in 1962 and transformed into the Fred Mitchell Garden in 1994.
The basic features and form of the Garden site have not changed since the initial development by Labatt’s. The fountain structure is original except for the wooden pump box and the replacement fountain head equipment. Once the original roadways and rail lines were in place in the early years of the 20th century, this triangular site was too small and oddly located for residential or commercial use.
It is likely the site was turned into a mowed park by the Hoeschen-Wentzler or its successor the Saskatoon Brewing Company. The site was maintained as a park as early as 1944 with trees planted as early as 1930.
The Labatt’s Garden was designed and built by Mr. Marv Henderson in 1962. During the turmoil surrounding the closing down of the Labatt’s Brewery in 1993, the Garden’s were maintained at a minimal level. The Garden was given a $20,000 facelift in 1994 which included refurbishing the fountains, constructing new signs, adding security spotlights, and establishing connections to underground power and water. The Garden has been a favourite backdrop for wedding photos and perhaps as many as 20,000 weddings have been photographed there since the early 1970’s. The tradition was so well established that Labatt’s used to mow the lawn on Friday in preparation for Saturday weddings.
The garden was purchased by Mitchell Gourmet Foods and renamed “The Fred Mitchell Memorial Garden” with a life-size statue of Fred Mitchell erected in 2000.
*The above information has been provided by Saskatoon Heritage from a Property Detail Report and summarized by Sean Sass of the BVCA, May, 2010. *