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Neighbourhood Profile: Saskatchewan Masonry Institute

October 10th, 2018

Neighbourhood Profile: Saskatchewan Masonry Institute

By: Shreya Pahwa





About SMI:  

The Saskatchewan Masonry Institute is an organization of masonry contractors, suppliers, and producers dedicated to the promotion of quality masonry wall systems to design professionals, developers, and government agencies. SMI also supports masonry-related research at the universities across Canada, advancement of the Canadian Standards Association’s (CSA) masonry related building codes, the development of masonry design software, publishing design textbooks for engineering students and practicing engineers, and offering complimentary masonry-related technical assistance to the design community.



Why masonry?

Masonry materials offer a proven record of durability and resilience both locally and internationally which therefore helps to reduce maintenance costs over the lifespan of a building. We believe this is critical for publicly funded infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, and municipal centres.



Fun Facts:

Masonry provides a sense of timelessness and security which is why it has traditionally been used to build the “pillars” of society (government buildings, schools, hospitals, universities, bank, places of worship etc).



Notable masonry buildings around Broadway/Saskatoon?


Delta Bessborough: Probably one of the most photographed buildings in the city and is definitely an architectural and cultural landmark in Saskatoon.

University of Saskatchewan: The collegiate Gothic Style architecture used throughout the campus always impresses visitors and is something locals should really be proud of.

Gordon Oaks Red Bear Student Centre:  This new building on the U of S Campus is a great example of what is possible with modern masonry architecture and is sure to be a future classic.

Sturdy Stone Building:  You will find many fossils within the Tyndall stone panels if you examine at the façade closely!


Hose and Hydrant: I’ve always liked the aesthetics and proportions of this building and its history makes it even more special.

619 Main Street: This structure that was originally an electoral substation that was converted into a beautiful office space by local architect, Kindrachuk Agrey at the turn of the millennium.

Victoria School: A beautiful example of a historic school designed by Architect Walter William Lachance and completed in 1909. The longevity of this building is a testament to the durability of masonry products that SMI tries to convey to designers of modern structures. It also holds a special place in my heart because it is where I took my first Industrial Arts class in Grade 8!

616 Main Street: I always use this building as an example of how masonry can be combined with other building materials to make a modern yet durable structure. The combination of the various materials on the building façade along with the large amounts of glazing result very upscale looking modern midrise office building.




Name: Sasha Kisin


I graduated for Walter Murray Collegiate Institute and began pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering at the U of S shortly after. I also completed a M.Sc. thesis in the field of structural masonry design at the U of S and began my career in the masonry industry upon my graduation. My role at SMI is a joint position between SMI and the Canada Masonry Design Centre (CMDC) where I act as the Masonry Design Engineer for Saskatchewan.


What got you interested in masonry?

I became interested in masonry through the work on my M.Sc. thesis in University. I met a lot of great people in both the masonry industry and the local design and construction communities. The historical and architectural aspects of masonry as a building material also really interest me. There is certainly an art form to building with masonry which is why people in the industry are so proud of the work they do.


Favourite part of your job? 

The favorite parts of my job include working with engineering students at the university, whether they are a graduate student working on a masonry related project or being a guest lecturer in the undergraduate masonry design course. I also really enjoy providing technical assistance to our members and local design community. I get a real sense of satisfaction when I am able to answer someone’s question and assist them with a project they are working on.



Why did you want to get involved with the BBID Board? 

I thought it would be a great way to become involved with the community and offer an avenue for me to voice my opinions in a productive manner. It has also allowed me to meet a lot of great people who work and live in the community.



Neighbourhood Love – Spots on Broadway that you love to go to and why:  

Bike Doctor:  I enjoy riding and racing bicycles, they sell bikes and bike accessories with great service! They also support the local bike racing scene which allows me and others like me to do what we love.

Nutana Bakery: Great baking at a very reasonable price. I go here so often that they know my standard lunch order: Veggie samosa with a traditional Nanaimo square. Their donuts can’t be beat either.

Il Secondo: They have great soups and I always look forward to their Naan bread Thursdays! Their Farmhouse buns and Double Chocolate Reese cookies are personal favorites of mine. Please bring back the Brownies!

Calories: Their cakes are the solution to many of life’s problems.

Williamson Law: It’s never too early to do your estate planning. Beth really helped me through the process and I’ve been recommending her to my friends and family ever since. She is also an awesome office neighbor!

Nosh: One of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever tasted. If they sold their burger buns by the dozen, I would use them for every sandwich.

Broadway Theater: I love this venue for community events and live shows. I’m always looking forward to the next Saskatoon Soaps show!