About Saskatoon

Bridge City. Paris of the Prairies. Toontown.

There are many names for Saskatoon, and we’ve got another suggestion for you: home.

Optimism pervades and opportunity awaits you in Saskatchewan’s biggest city. In the midst of an economic boom, this vibrant, growing city is the place to be.

At a glance

Location

Situated on the beautiful banks of the South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon is centrally located within the province of Saskatchewan.

The city lies approximately 520 kilometres (323 miles) southeast of Edmonton, 780 kilometres (485 miles) northwest of Winnipeg and 348 kilometres (216 miles) north of the United States border.

Coordinates: 52°07′54″N 106°39′09″W

Geographical size: 144 square kilometres (55.6 square miles)

Elevation: 481.5 metres (1,580 feet)

 Saskatoon’s history

Although the first settlers began arriving in the 1880s, archaeological evidence shows that First Nations inhabited the area between 6,000 – 8,000 years ago.

Saskatoon’s rich history has seen its share of ups and downs. From booms, to busts, to war and depression, the people of Saskatoon have shown resilience in the face of adversity and have thrived in times of prosperity.

In 1906, three settlements – Saskatoon, Nutana and Riversdale – amalgamated to form the city of Saskatoon.

In its early years, Saskatoon was one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Now, over a century later, Saskatoon is again hailed as one of Canada’s leading economies in terms of population growth and gross domestic product.

Saskatoon gets its name from the Cree word for the purplish-blue berries that are native to the province.

For an in-depth look at Saskatoon’s history, visit the City of Saskatoon’s website.

Weather

Saskatoon Shines is not just another city slogan. One of the sunniest cities in the country – with an average of 2,381 hours of sunshine per year – it truly does shine.

The city experiences four distinct seasons. In summer, temperatures range as high as 30°C (86°F) on the warmest summer days, while winter can see the temperature dip as low as -30°C (-22°F).

Saskatoon receives an average annual snowfall of 97 centimetres and an average annual rainfall of 265 millimetres. November, December and January tend to be the snowiest months, while May, June and July are the rainiest. Compared with other Canadian cities, Saskatoon’s rainfall rate is quite low.

Related links

The Weather Network – Saskatoon Statistics

Environment Canada – Canadian city weather rankings

 Time Zone

Saskatchewan uses the Central Standard Time Zone (UTC-06:00) year-round and is the only Canadian province that does not adjust for daylight saving time.

Government

Saskatoon’s city council consists of a mayor and ten city councillors. The city is divided into ten wards, each with its own representative city councillor.

Every four years an election is held. Canadian citizens who have lived in Saskatoon for at least six months can vote for a mayor, a city councillor and a school board representative.

Cost of living

Even with Saskatchewan’s booming economy, the cost of living in Saskatoon is relatively low. When compared with other similar-sized or larger Canadian cities, Saskatonians will often pay less for food, housing and utilities. While housing prices have increased in recent years, homeownership is still attainable for most people.

Here are some facts and figures:

  • The average price of a house in Saskatoon was $328,297 as of May 2012.
  • The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Saskatoon was $976 as of April 2012.
  • Of the provinces that charge provincial sales tax, Saskatchewan has the lowest rate at 5 per cent.
  • Household utility costs are below average when compared with other major Canadian cities.
  • Auto insurance rates are among the lowest in the country compared with other major Canadian cities.
  • The cost of commuting is low as the average commute within Saskatoon is 20 minutes.

Demographics

The City of Saskatoon’s planning branch provides population estimates and projections on a regular basis. They also publish neighbourhood profiles that provide detailed demographic breakdowns for individual Saskatoon neighbourhoods and the city as a whole. The demographic information provided includes data such as age distribution, income, home ownership rates, employment, education and mother tongue.

Immigration

  • Approximately 25 per cent of Saskatchewan’s growth stems from interprovincial migration (in-migration), while about 75 per cent is a result of international immigration. Of those who arrive from other Canadian provinces, the majority are from Ontario.
  • Many of Saskatchewan’s recent international immigrants were born in Asian countries – with the Philippines and China being the most common. Other common birth countries among recent immigrants include Ukraine, Iraq, India and Germany, respectively.
  • Immigrants to Saskatchewan tend to be young. In 2009 about 28 per cent of immigrants were between 0-14 years of age and 72 per cent were working age (15-64 years).
  • Among current Saskatchewan residents 15 years of age and older, 7 per cent were born outside Canada, while another 22 per cent are first generation Canadians (meaning at least one parent was born outside Canada).
  • Four out of 10 immigrants to Saskatchewan choose to settle in Saskatoon.

Knowledge of official languages

Canada has two official languages – English and French. The vast majority of people in Saskatoon speak English.

Stats Canada – census profile

Language by mother tongue (first language)

From 2008 to 2009, Tagalog outpaced English as the most common mother tongue of immigrants to Saskatchewan because of the steadily increasing number of Filipino immigrants. The next most common first languages are: English, Russian, German, Ukrainian and Mandarin.

Stats Canada – census profile (refer to detailed mother tongue)

Ethnic diversity

According to the 2006 national census, approximately six per cent of Saskatoon residents are a visible minority, with South Asian and Chinese being the largest visible ethnicities.

Stats Canada – visible minority population

Age distribution

As a whole, Saskatchewan has a slightly higher percentage of seniors than the national average (15 per cent versus 13 per cent), but also a higher percentage of children (19 per cent versus 17 per cent).

Saskatoon has the youngest population in the country, with a median age of 35 years (median age is the age at which half of the population is older and half is younger).

Economy

Often referred to as Canada’s breadbasket, Saskatchewan grows half of the country’s major export crops – including wheat, barley, rye, oats, canola and flaxseed. Saskatoon lies at the core of this market – providing the necessary products and services to meet the needs of the agriculture sector. Food processing is one of the fastest growing industries in the city.

The region’s mining sector is also largely responsible for Saskatchewan’s economic prosperity. Our province is home to the world’s largest potash deposits (potash is a pink mineral used in fertilizer). The Saskatoon region possesses large oil and gas reserves and it’s also the world’s leading exporter of uranium.

And it’s not just our natural resources driving the economy. Innovation Place -considered one of the most successful university-based research and technology parks in the world – is home to a number of thriving research companies. These companies are the result of the University of Saskatchewan’s ability to turn its research into economic opportunity. Canada’s national synchrotron, The Canadian Light Source, supports a dynamic range of research, enhancing the competitiveness of Canadian research and contributing to the quality of life of people around the world.

With its diverse mix of resources and assets, Saskatoon is expected to sustain strong economic growth for years to come.