The Fall of Farnam Block – Lydia’s Pub (Saskatoon Scene)

The times change, this I know… and there always seem to be (good?) reasons given, but to see the iconic Farnam Block building on Broadway and 11th actually being torn down feels pretty awful.

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You might say it’s just a building, and buildings get torn down and replaced all the time.  But for anyone who has come from, lived in, or even passed through Saskatoon, this particular building is full of so much more.

For me, it’s where I tried out my first fake ID and, subsequently, my first real one too.  It’s where most Friday or Saturday (or Wednesday… or Monday…) nights began or and/or ended.  It’s where afternoons with friends slowly turned into nights to remember and strangers turned into lifelong friends.  It’s where we watched young musicians find their voices and go on to become big names in the Canadian scene.  It’s where we all grew up.

And once we were all grown up, it was where we knew we would find our people whenever we were back in town.

More than that, as a local developer said recently, “We don’t have a lot of history in this city, and once these things are gone, they are gone.” – (Sterling Summach, Star Phoenix)

You can tell me all you want about the fact that it all comes down to money, that the logistics of keeping it around just didn’t make sense, but it’s still sad.

It’ll be worse when we start to see the new condos or offices going up in its place.

I, for one, will be having a toast today in honour of this fine building, because in every brick that falls to the ground, is a piece of each of us.  And as we continue to grow up and change the world with the art, music, talent and life that was born there, it also becomes part of the landscape of Canadian culture. I will toast to those that came before me, to those that were there with me, and to the ones we passed it all on to, because they would be the last.

It may just be a building that can be torn down, but what it gave to all of us over the years… well, that can’t be destroyed.

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