Opened on June 27, 1913, Third Avenue United Church is a solid stone structure based on English Gothic design. Unique to the city outside the University grounds, the stone-work on the main body of the church is a buff Tyndal stone from Winnipeg with trimmings of the same in pale blue grey.
It has two towers fronting 24th Street, the taller being 100 feet high. The interior, which seats 1,200 on the main floor and balcony, is dominated by a series of hammer-beam rafters criss-crossing the ceiling from steel girder trusses as well as three enormous stained-glass windows on the west, south, and east sides.
At the time of its construction, an auditorium without the presence of pillars obstructing the view was considered an engineering feat.
The three windows, 27 feet wide at the base and 22 feet at the apex depict in rich colours life-sized figures from scripture. The south window represents the Last Supper, the east, the Nativity, and the west, the Sermon on the Mount. In addition, other exterior windows, patterned in floral design, replicate the shape of the larger windows.
On the north wall stands the large Casavant organ having three manuals, 39 stops; 2,468 pipes plus 20 bells. The dark reddish-brown pews of oak and elm with carved end panels complement the church's spiritual appeal.
Third Avenue United Church is significant to Saskatoon for more than its architectural heritage. Functioning as an auditorium in the early days of the city, it was and still is a popular venue for concerts. It has also hosted important political events.
On November 24, 1921, T.A.Crerar, leader of the national Progressive party (before merger with the Conservative party) spoke to a crowd of 3,000 supporters.
It was also the site of the formation of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.
A speech by American Pool expert Aaron Sapiro on August 7, 1923 before 2,000 at Third Avenue Methodist Church inspired the Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association (SGGA) and the Farmer's Union to collaborate in signing up farmers for the Pool.
Three years later, in the third week of July 1926, the SGGA held a convention at Third Avenue while the Farmer's Union met at Knox United Church only blocks away. When both groups voted to form a single organization, the Farmer's Union members joined the SGGA at Third Avenue where the first meeting took place.
Over the years many graduates of the University of Saskatchewan, the Normal School, and City Hospital nurses' training program convocated here.