Cliff Wright, who was 87, died early Tuesday morning at St. Paul’s Hospital.
He served as an alderman for 10 years until being elected mayor in October 1976.
He served four successive terms, until 1988.
Wright oversaw changes in the city including the creation of the Meewasin Valley Authority, the Circle Drive North Bridge, the Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre and SaskTel Centre.
Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison called Wright "one of the pioneers" of Saskatoon's success as a modern city.
Former Saskatoon Blades co-owner Jack Brodsky said Wright was key in the construction of Sask Place, which gave his hockey club a new home.
"Cliff was a wonderful guy and he's going to be sorely missed," said Brodsky. "He was a great visionary and a guy that wanted to make Saskatoon and Saskatchewan a better place."