At home in Martensville
Read on about why we love Martensville and all of the great things to do here.
When I first decided to write this family travel blog I thought about all of the adventurous trips we had been on as a family over the years.
I couldn’t decide on which location I wanted to start writing about first- maybe Maui because it was the furthest we’ve been as a family and most extravagant? Maybe Arizona because we visit there quite often (at least once a year)? How about Calgary where we went on a road trip last summer and the kids had a blast?
But when it comes down to it the place we love the most in the whole world is our home – Martensville. So isn’t that the perfect place to start?
Why we love Martensville
I could sit here and list all of the stats, location, population and all that boring stuff, but none of that has much to do with why we love it here. If you’re interested you can find all of that on the Martensville website. Let’s talk about the good stuff!
How did we end up here?
About 12 or 13 years ago my sister and my friend Nikki were playing in a beach volleyball tournament and they invited us to come watch. It was a hot, sunny day in July and we had nothing else to do so we thought “Sure! Sounds fun”. Mike and I hit the road and drove the whole 10 minutes out of the city to Martensville.
We were in our early 20’s living in Saskatoon at the time and basically nowhere else in the world mattered to us. Living the “big city” life! We worked in Saskatoon (my husband still does), we played in Saskatoon (hello nightclubs, theatres and festivals!) and it was as close as we could get to being right in the middle of our parents’ hometowns.
Everything changed that day when we headed down highway 12.
I remember thinking as we drove up “What the heck? Is Martensville really this big? All this stuff has been out here this whole time? It’s so close to the city!”
We pulled into town and were surprised by how beautiful the town was. The streets were in such good shape and there were brand new houses popping up everywhere. There were fast food joints, grocery and hardware stores, and so many parks and green spaces.
We made our way to Kinsmen park when the annual Buster Days festival was in full swing. There were so many families out and about that day. They were all running around, playing and having a blast!
I couldn’t believe so many people drove out to Martensville for this festival!…….again early 20’s, didn’t understand that, in fact, these people were all FROM Martensville. hahaha
We watched some volleyball, had a drink or two with our friends, bs’ed with a few of the locals and headed back to the city. All-in-all a super fun day, and one I’ll never forget.
Fast forward a couple of years
We decided to move out of our tiny 1 bedroom condo and find ourselves a house. By that time we were sort of over the fast paced, late-night lifestyle we were living.
Having both grown up in small towns we wanted to live somewhere a little more community based. Somewhere where we would love to raise our kids someday.
We looked in smaller neighbourhoods in Saskatoon. Checked out lake front properties out at Blackstrap. And we went through a few open houses in Warman.
But in the back of our minds, we were always thinking about that hot, sunny day in July and the feeling we had participating in Buster Days in Martensville. The beauty of it, the small town feel, the recreation opportunities, and the fact that we were still so close to Saskatoon and all of its amenities that still holds a special place in our hearts (watch for a future blog post!). So when we viewed the house we live in now, we knew that was it. This was going to be our home.
Fast forward another 10 years
We love it even more! Our kids were born here, we have made so many fantastic friends, almost all of our activities are done here, and it’s still so close to our families and the amenities of Saskatoon.
But enough about us, let’s talk about what there is to do in Martensville!
Things to do for free!
If you’re just in town for a few days visiting family, participating in a sports event, or whatever is bringing you to Martensville, you will find plenty to do without having to break the bank. Because let’s face it, when you have small kids, there’s nothing more frustrating than paying for something only to have it cut short by a temper tantrum or the millions of reasons why situations are cut short with kids!
Green space & playgrounds:
If you have kids let me tell you Martensville is the place to be! Off the top of my head I can count 9 playgrounds, and they are all walking distance from my house! Mind you we are smack dab in the middle of the city which isn’t the case for everyone.
Even if your not in the centre of the city, you can bike absolutely anywhere, or find someplace to play within walking distance guaranteed! On top of that we have even more green space and walking/biking trails located throughout the city so go out and explore!
The city has provided a large off-leash dog park so your best friend can get out and play too!
This is probably the biggest park in the city and there is so much to do!
A couple of years ago the city installed the coolest outdoor gym. There is workout equipment (cardio and resistance machines), and it’s located right next to “the big hill” that the locals love to run and climb on.
Plus it’s the best hill for tobogganing in the winter!
Lots of local fitness coaches love to hold their boot camps and yoga classes here because of the beautiful scenery, the sheer amount of space, and the different options and elevations of the area.
There is a beautiful lake and creek (great for fishing with the kids!) that runs through Kinsmen Park. As well as tennis courts and ball diamonds where you’ll find games happening almost every night of the week and tournaments on the weekends.
You will also find a disc golf course, a brand new skate park as well as an extra outdoor rink, and cross-country ski trails in the winter time. We find ourselves in Kinsmen park a LOT!
Kinsmen park is also a beautiful location for a wedding or gathering with the gazebo situated in the middle of the park near the lake. It’s also the location of the annual Buster Days event and it’s right next to the Martensville Athletic Pavilion (MAP) which I’ll talk about more in a minute.
This is one of our favourite places to play, especially in the summer!
Lion’s Park is where the free outdoor spray park is located, as well as two large playground structures.
The heritage centre is found at this location and is another public place you can rent out for gatherings or classes.
There is a ton of green space in Lion’s park, another hill (does anyone else love to run and climb on hills as much as we do? haha) and it’s a great place for little ones to get together for soccer/blastball leagues in the spring time.
City run programs:
The City of Martensville recreation program is second to none! They are always coming up with new and exciting ways to get the community more active and social.
Every year they organize events such as the Amazing Race Challenge, geocaching, city wide garage sales, tradeshows, festivals and more!
Find all of the current event updates here.
A couple of our favourites are Winter Fun Fest, the Canada Day celebrations, and of course Buster Days and the parade which are all run by local volunteers and anyone can attend by donation.
The Martensville library runs several free programs as well including story times, game and crafting nights, scavenger hunts, reading challenges and lots of crafts for the kids.
We spend a lot of time at the library . It was especially great when our kids were small and we were looking for a place to go to get out of the house and have some (free!) fun.
Why it’s a great place to raise your kids
It feels safe:
While there are always things we need to watch out for and teach our kids about safety, Martensville is one of the safest places I know.
The kids can walk to the bus stop on their own. A lot of kids walk and bike to school by themselves (we’re not quite there yet but getting close! My kids are 6 and 8 as I write this and we live over 1 km from the school.)
The schools teach a lot about “stranger danger” and bike safety, and the city runs an “I wanna walk” program to help kids learn how to stay safe along their route to and from school. We feel very comfortable here as a family.
There is so much to do!:
On top of all of the things I mentioned above, there are also a TON of local programs and fitness facilities for kids in Martensville.
We have both competitive and recreational dance studios and gymnastics classes. There are fitness classes for all ages.
The city organizes a ton of paid programs each year as well including swimming lessons at the fantastic Martensville Aquatic Centre. Cooking, art, babysitting, sports, you name it!
They have even started organizing fun days to drop your kids off at on days where there is no school and you still have to work.
Some of our favourites are:
and many city run programs located all over the city that you will find in the program guide. My son loves Sportsball, and my daughter is excited to get into Girl Guides next fall!
Because Martensville is such a young community, many of the local businesses have play areas and activities for kids as well.
For example the McDonald’s has a play structure, the library has a large kids section with seating, crafts, etc., the dentists, eye doctors and physicians have toys, books and colouring in their waiting rooms. Plus they’re so great with kids too! Even our favourite coffee shop has a play area, kids drinks, free Wifi and even hosts local pop-up shops that have included story times in the past.
The local Canalta hotel rents out a room for kids birthday parties so they can open presents, play games and then go swimming in the pool! They also host K&K Swim school which offers indoor swimming lessons all year long.
There are plenty of churches in Martensville and many of them cater to kids with Sunday school programs, Vacation Bible School (VBS) in the summer as well as infant rooms and many fellowship gatherings.
Martensville is now home to 4 elementary schools (including a catholic school and french immersion) and one high school which has had a huge expansion recently.
We can’t say enough about how much we love Venture Heights, but from what I hear from our friends I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the schools here. The teachers are fantastic, the reading and math programs are especially successful, the kids have so much fun while they’re learning and the class sizes are much smaller now with the added schools. Plus the teachers are very cooperative in sending work home when we travel so the kids aren’t behind on their classes. 😉
There are also three preschools in Martensville. I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with any of them either. We sent our son to Busyfingers Preschool and he absolutely loved it! But I think most people just base their decision on location. Find links to all of Martensville’s schools here.
Something for adults too
Restaurants and pubs:
There are several places to meet up with friends for dinner or a few drinks, including Boston Pizza, Mr. Mike’s, the Sportspage, the Adobe Inn and the Caesar Mill just to name a few.
A couple of them have heated patios, live music, and deals for sports teams that come in after their games.
While we don’t have all the great clothing shops and box stores (because they are only 10-20 minutes away in Saskatoon!), we do have a few hidden little gems when it comes to shopping in Martensville.
ClassC sells only local handmade goods and you will find so many treasures including bath & body, home decor, food items, as well as clothing and accessories.
They support over 60 vendors from Saskatchewan, many of whom are from Martensville including me and my Precious Gems Crochet products (Disclaimer: shameless plug!) Honestly , even though I do have things for sale here, I would be a huge supporter of this store no matter what. You will find so many great gift ideas and things for the home, and when buying here you know you are supporting a local handmade business. Swoon!
SAS has a ton of great gift items and home decor as well, plus they have the most gorgeous plant and flower arrangements. Give them a call when you need to send an arrangement out to brighten someone’s day!
Martensville also has a couple of chain stores like Marks Work Wearhouse (which apparently has a pretty decent clothing selection I hear! I haven’t been in yet but I’ve been meaning to check it out), Canadian Tire, Dollar Store & Dollarama, Co-op grocery store & c-store and a Pharmasave.
I honestly hardly ever have to go to the city to do my shopping or pick up supplies anymore!
There are a few really fantastic fitness facilities here.
SoulPower Fitness is one of my favourite places to be. They offer group classes for all levels, and the atmosphere is so comforting and makes you feel alive! The staff is super friendly and always have your well being and safety in mind.
Both of these places have a very strong presence in the community and are always giving back with sponsorships and fundraisers. Isn’t that the best?!
Martensville Athletic Pavilion or the “MAP” as locals call it has a little bit of everything.
There are 3 large courts that are used for everything from volleyball, basketball and soccer, to Toddler Time, school gym classes and open gym time to just play!
There are rooms for rent for birthday parties or workshops, or you can even rent a court!
There’s a workout area and a separate stretching area plus a running track that spans the entire top level of the building!
The prices at the MAP are very reasonable and a great place to take your whole family.
Besides the different fitness facilities Martensville organizes many activities for residents to get out and get active. There is slow-pitch, city run fitness classes (including yoga, aquafit, and Zumba), tennis, line dancing, curling, and floor hockey just to name a few. These can all be found in the Martensville program guide.
There is literally everything you need in Martensville. It is one of the best cities in Canada to start a business, and many of my friends (me included!) are entrepreneurs!
We have dentists, optometrists, veterinarians, chiropractors, massage therapists, estheticians, stylists, small shop owners, direct sellers, handmade artisans, realtors, photographers, you name it!
Pretty much everyone I know from Martensville either owns a business or has a “side-hustle” of some sort.
Markets and Gardens:
Every summer from mid-June to the end of August, Martensville hosts a non-profit farmer’s market. This year the market runs every Thursday in the curling rink from 3-7 p.m. You will find everything here from fresh fruits and veggies, canned goods, baking, handmade crafts and bath and body products.
In true farmer’s market fashion everything must be make, bake or grow. Martensville also supplies a community garden that is located in Kinsmen Park for residents who like to garden at their leisure, but don’t have the space for it.
Martensville has an ever-growing senior population as well. They are always looking for different activities and ways to get everyone in the community involved.
The New Horizons centre in town invites anyone 55+ for social hours, potlucks and other activities. They also organize bus trips, MAP passes and other forms of entertainment for this demographic.
The city also has programs specifically for seniors including Seniors Globe Walk, line dancing and Pickleball to name a few.
I mean I could go on and on about all of the things I love about my city (obviously! This is a long one! haha) but we don’t have all day. One other point I want to make about Martensville is it’s excellent location. We are less than an hour to at least 3 major lakes and only 10 minutes from Saskatoon and Warman,
There is so much to see and do in this area. I really encourage you to come on out and visit one of Canada’s fastest growing cities – Martensville.
Now I want to hear from you. Have you ever been to Martensville? If so, what do you remember about it. What were your favourite things to do? If you haven’t been, what intrigues you about Martensville? I always love to hear your feedback! Post a comment below. 🙂