Cities As Habitats

It’s actually been through art that I’ve started to understand the importance of our city as a habitat. I worked on a project with Vancouver-based artist Jay White in 2015 called Coyote Walk. Jay spent two days camped out in Saskatoon attempting to stay out of human contact to learn how coyotes and other wildlife move through our city. In 2016 I supported Cate Francis’ Paper Wildlife Conservancy, where she posted screen prints of geese and hares and magpies on buildings throughout Saskatoon as a reminder of these other inhabitants we share our city with.

I never really thought of cities as habitats before. Birds (and rodents, and the occasional wild animal) were just there. These art projects have helped me realize that cities aren’t human spaces surrounded by wild spaces, but rather that habitats overlap and continue, that wildlife travel through and live in our city. And they’ve helped me understand the importance of growing wild spaces in Saskatoon, so that other animals can better make their homes here too.


Michael Peterson 

Saskatoon Based Artist