Archive 2008 - 2019

Greetings from Holliston, Saskatoon, Canada

by Kelly Macsymic

A big hello from sunny (albeit) cold Holliston in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan!

I am the Holliston Community Association board president, Kelly Macsymic. I've been a member of the Holliston board since I moved here in 2006 and couldn't pick a better part of Saskatoon to be from.

Here’s a quick background on our little slice of heaven:

Holliston is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We are the biggest city in the Province of Saskatchewan (Canadian version of states) with approximately 300,000 people now calling our city home. Saskatoon is often call the Bridge City as we are separated east and west by the South Saskatchewan River. Holliston is located on the east side. Our neighbourhood is made of up single family homes, condos, townhouses and apartments with approximately 4,000 people living in the area. A local newspaper did a great story a few years back as to why people choose Holliston:

Geographically we located in the western prairies. The province is best known for our agriculture as well as diverse mining and drilling commodities (potash, oil, gas, and uranium). We use the Celsius degree system for temperature, ranging from highs of +35C in the summer to -35C in the winter (95F high, -31F low). It’s true that in Saskatoon we can easily find ourselves turning on our car heaters in the morning and be using air conditioning in them by the afternoon some times of the year.

We have both Public and Separate (Catholic) school systems in our city. This includes French Immersion education in both systems for those wishing to get a better grasp on the second official language of Canada. We have several elementary schools (Kindergarten to Grade 8) and high schools (Grades 9-12) within Holliston and nearby neighbourhoods.

We enjoy all the typical Canadian activities in our neck of the woods. The Holliston Community Association organizes programming for both children and adults throughout the year. Our sports seasons in Holliston are as follows:

Indoor (Fall/Winter, September through March) – Soccer, Basketball, Yoga, Zumba, Pilates

Outdoor (Spring, May through June) – Soccer, Softball, Football

Because our summers are so short (really only late June to end of August), most communities cease all programming for this period. Most folks from Saskatoon can be seen spending this time of the year on our river beaches, street fairs, outdoor festivals or escaping the city altogether to take advantage of Saskatchewan’s amazing northern lakes. Some competitive levels of sports go year round as I’m sure they do for you, but not the community programmed ones.

Which of course brings us to hockey. Holliston is proud to have one of the best outdoor ice rinks in the city. There are over 40 outdoor rinks operated by non-profit community associations like ours. We receive a small grant from the City to operate but we fund it primarily ourselves. Our rink has a heated shack with bathroom facilities that people can use to lace up their skates or just warm up in. We start our flooding as soon as the weather hits a consistent freezing point and we employ a rink coordinator to maintain the ice throughout the season. We usually get a good 4-5 months out of our outdoor rinks due to our cold weather. This does not include the approximately nine municipal and private indoor hockey rinks (some of which have multiple sheets of ice). Most kids, myself included, start learning to skate by age five. It is included in our school curriculum as a part of physical education for most ages.

We have multiple levels of hockey in our city including Minor Hockey up to the Western Hockey League. We do not have an NHL team but that doesn't stop Saskatchewan from being one of the biggest exporters of talent for the league. Despite having a small population compared to our Canadian provinces, we count greats such as Gordie Howe (Mr. Hockey) as our own. We are especially proud to be sending three of our best, more than any other province per capita, to play for Canada in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi:

Curling is also a very big deal in our community, having been played in the province since the 1880s. Our curlers are known for their accomplishments at a national and world level. The first women’s world champions and first Olympic gold medal in curling all came from Saskatchewan players. Hurry hard!

(Holliston Family Day Skate and Slide, held Monday Feb 17, 2014 at Holliston Park and outdoor rink.)

And like the U.S. we like our football. There are nine teams in the Canadian Football League including the 2013 Grey Cup Championship Saskatchewan Roughriders. Though the team is located in our capital city of Regina (two hours south of Saskatoon), the province bleeds green throughout. We get some of our best talent from you, our neighbours down south. Thanks! And although they occasionally have to come back to you, we think they’re pretty terrific. Weston Dressler, from Bismarck, North Dakota, played an instrumental part in our big win this year and was just named an honourary citizen of Saskatchewan for his efforts by our Premier, Brad Wall (equivalent of governor). Here’s a video to best emulate how we feel about our Riders:

How do folks in Holliston, Massachusetts spend their time? I’m guessing you’re big fans of hockey too with one of the original Six, Boston Bruins, right on your doorstep. And of course, your New England Patriots are well known to us as well. I think your community looks beautiful from the pics on the town website. Sense of pride in a community is something we value a great deal.

Or perhaps you have a few questions of something I haven’t touched on. What is you’d like to know about us?

Comments (9)

I have never heard it referred to as Hollyrock but I think that's a great nickname! It was a 6am wake up for us to catch the big game and they actually loosened our liquor laws so we could grab a pint at that time of day too. Bars were packed. We are super proud of all our Olympians, as I'm sure are too. The team captain for the Women's team is also originally from our province. We love our hockey. The poem question has me stumped... lol. I'm not sure how they named this neighbourhood. Most of them are named for important people that helped found the City. It's a question I should look into further! I have sent a request to our elementary school to see if there are any teachers willing to be pen pals. And yes, we most definitely have traffic lights in our downtown and all over the City of Saskatoon.

Kelly | 2014-02-24 12:19:22

Is your nickname Hollyrock too?

Hollyrock resident | 2014-02-23 09:57:07

Congrats to Holliston, Canada, on winning Hockey Gold!!!!!!

Paul | 2014-02-23 07:38:01

Coincidentally, when I taught fourth grade in Holliston, one of our favorite books to read was "Owls in the Family" by Farley Mowat. We did a lot of research on Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (but sadly, never discovered Holliston).

Susan Conway | 2014-02-22 05:00:09

Well we are now out of gold metal contention again thanks to Canada but at least we lost to the you. Good luck.

Paul | 2014-02-21 17:17:16

Do you argue with a town across the country about a baseball poem?

Andrew Mades | 2014-02-21 15:58:29

How did your Holliston get its name?

era | 2014-02-21 12:52:28

Thank you for a wonderful article. I am looking into pen pal letters from our schools to the schools in Holliston, Saskatoon, Canada. Wouldn't that be fun? We have much to share with them, especially right now!!

Kathie Patterson | 2014-02-21 06:02:59

Do you have traffic lights in your downtown area?

Gus | 2014-02-21 05:39:19