Saving the House

1970-1980 - The Superintendent's Residence became a rental property.

Late 1980s - The Residence became vacant and the heritage community became concerned for its future.

1990 - The Residence was designated a Municipal Heritage Property.

1991 - The Forestry Farm Park & Zoo receives designation from the Historic Sites and Monuments Canada as a site of National Historic Significance for the contribution the Forestry Nursery Station made to tree planting on the prairies.

1992 - The Superintendent's Residence Task Force was formed by the City of Saskatoon to look at options for the preservation and use of the Superintendent's Residence.

1994-1995 - With no money forthcoming from City Council, stakeholder groups struggled to find a sustainable use for the Residence. The matter came to a head when Council wished to repeal the building's heritage designation with the intent to subsequently demolish it. This set in motion an appeal by the Saskatoon Heritage Society to the Saskatchewan Heritage Property Review Board. Although the Review Board recommended retention of the heritage designation and despite vociferous objections from the public, Council still put the issue to the vote. The result was to defer consideration of the repeal of the designation for one year.

June 1996 - A City Council Committee was formed to look at ways of saving the building.

October 1996 - The Friends of the Forestry Farm House Inc. (FFFH) was formed with a mandate to increase the awareness of the history of the Forestry Farm Park by preserving the Superintendent's Residence and by encouraging interpretation of the site.

June 23, 1997 - Upon receiving submissions from the FFFH and other individuals and organizations, Council agreed to lease the Residence to the FFFH for 10 years.

May 11, 1998 - A 10-year lease was signed between the FFFH and the City of Saskatoon.

1998-2000 - Professionals and volunteers worked on the exterior and interior renovations of the Residence. Volunteers clocked over 5,000 hours.

July 2000 - The main floor renovations are complete and the Superintendent's Residence is opened to the public.

January 2001 - The second floor renovation is near completion and the Zoo Society and Zoo Administration move in while they await the completion of the Administration Building. Staining of doors, refinishing of the banister and putting up picture molding will be done after the tenants leave.

The exterior renovation is 85% complete. A small back deck was added and painting of soffits and facia completed. The wheelchair ramp façade and side door landing were completed.

On the main floor the Tea Room opens in early August.

The largest outstanding item as of September is the restoration of the windows.

January 2002 - The second floor tenants move out as the Administration Building is completed. The interpretive centre is completed on the main floor.

Several work bees resulted in the finishing of the banister and other finishing touches on the second floor. Landscaping was started and most of the exterior work finished. Still waiting on some windows.

2003 - Landscaping is finished. All the windowsills and new brick molds received paint and chalking. Still waiting on windows.

2004 - The February newsletter announced that the restoration project is 100% complete.