Saskatoon is the largest city in Saskatchewan and occupies a spot right at the province’s centre. The city is 348km north of the American border, 225km east of the Alberta border and 346km west of the Manitoba border. According to the last 2016 National census, the city has 246,376 people with a growing population rate of 1.68% per year from 2001 to 2016. With an average age of 35, about 69% of the population comprises the workforce (15-64 years old), while approximately 26% are dependents predicted to join the workforce in the next two decades. Women outnumber men by 5090.
Spring, summer, fall and winter are the distinct seasons in Saskatchewan. The weather is usually three scorching months of summer, three months of fair weather and six months of bitterly cold winter. Temperature ranges from 30 degrees Celsius during summer to – 30 degrees Celsius in winter. Although the weather can be extreme, people can still have fun during summer on days when the weather is warm and dry and perfect for picnics, playgrounds and other outdoor events. Even in the freezing winters, a little outdoor fun is possible with the right outfits to keep warm.
Quality of life and standard of living are pretty high because the city has the lowest living costs and shortest commute time compared to other cities across Canada. Also, while goods and services taxes (GST/HST) in most provinces are about 15 per cent, in Saskatchewan, it is 6 per cent in addition to the 5 per cent federal goods and services tax, for a total of 11 per cent.
Saskatoon has a diverse and inclusive economy with major industries like agriculture, manufacturing, energy, mining, technology, research and innovation, to mention but a few. It has the edge over other cities because it is small but enjoys the amenities of larger cities hence its ability to develop faster and better than its counterparts. Generally, Saskatoon enjoys the highest employment growth rate in the province. In December 2021, Saskatoon enjoyed an employment growth rate of 3.7 per cent, 1.5 per cent more than the province’s capital city, Regina. Saskjobs is the Saskatchewan employment website where available jobs in the province are published.
The city’s civic government comprises a Mayor and ten city Councilors. It holds municipal elections every four years where Canadian citizens who have lived in the city for at least six months can vote for a mayoral candidate and a municipal councillor to represent the area.
Saskatoon has at least one branch of all the major banks in Canada with a handful of credit unions; various faith centres, John G Diefenbaker International Airport, which is usually busy with about 60 flights daily. There are six different leisure centres offering fitness classes with pools. Skating rinks, cross-country ski trails; rolling hills; mountain ranges; national parks, and lakes make Saskatoon a quiet get-away city.
Saskatoon boasts of over 60 neighbourhoods, each with its community association which provides recreational activities for the residents; you’re sure to find the right neighbourhood to live.
Like every other city in Canada, elementary and high school education is free in Saskatoon, with about 78 elementary schools and 14 high schools to choose from.
Saskatoon is a quiet and welcoming communal city suitable for young families who might want to avoid the distractions of busy urban centres while enjoying urban amenities. Although Saskatoon has one of the highest crime rates in Canada, most residents say they’ve never experienced a crime, as most of the crime happens around the same neighbourhood. However, people who enjoy the fast and hip life might find Saskatoon a bore, as the social scene and nightlife are not as expansive as other metropolitan cities in Canada. Many young people enjoy working in Saskatoon, this helps them avoid distractions when they’re working or schooling, and it allows them to save up for vacations in other bigger cities.
As a newcomer to Saskatoon, tons of free resources are available to help you embrace life in Saskatoon. Your first point of contact should be the Newcomer Information Centre, where the settlement counsellors will refer you to all the other programs, services and resources based on your unique situation and needs.