Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is a great city to consider if you plan to move to Canada. And while, it’s a big decision, choosing the right city to settle in Canada will shape your future. The city you choose will impact your lifestyle, financial success, and career options.
Before you make a final decision, it’s important to assess the local housing market, job market, and the overall lifestyle of a city. Are you considering moving to Saskatoon? We have the information you are looking for. Prepare for Canada can guide you with helpful information about living in Saskatoon.
About Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Saskatoon is a great multicultural city in which to live, work, study, and play. Known as the City of Bridges, it’s found on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, in the heart of the Canadian Prairies. Residents of the city are called Saskatonians.
Saskatoon is the location of the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. The city’s rich culture has largely been preserved by the Aboriginal people who make up over 10% of the city’s population. Saskatoon officially became a city in 1906.
The city offers job and entrepreneurship opportunities in mining and energy, biotechnology and life sciences, manufacturing and transportation. Educational opportunities are plentiful, with easy access to many elementary and high schools, technical colleges and the University of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon has three major hospitals, including a teaching hospital.
How Many People Live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan?
Saskatoon is a mid-sized city with a population of 282,900 (source: City of Saskatoon). This ranks it as the 19th largest city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Saskatchewan, followed by Regina, Prince Albert, and Moose Jaw.
How to Find a Job & Build a Career in Saskatoon
Saskatoon’s Local Economy
Saskatoon, also known as the “Hub City” refers to its central location in the province of Saskatchewan. The city has a diverse economy with a range of products and services in demand from around the world. It has a steadily growing infrastructure, natural resources, research and development, and a well-educated workforce. The economy of the city is associated with potash, oil and agriculture, mainly wheat. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s potash reserves are located in the Saskatoon region.
Cameco, the world’s largest publicly traded uranium company, and PotashCorp, the world’s largest potash producer, have their corporate headquarters in Saskatoon. The city is also the new home of BHP Billiton’s Diamonds and Specialty Products business unit.
The top industries in Saskatoon are:
- Agriculture and Agri-Value
- Forestry Development
- Life Sciences and Biomass
- Mineral Exploration and Mining
- Oil and Gas.
Major Employers in Saskatoon
Some of the top employers in the city include:
- Saskatoon Health Region
- University of Saskatchewan
- Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology
- Federated Co-operatives
- Siemens Transportation Group
- Maple Leaf Foods.
Career Pathways in Saskatoon
Saskatoon is growing and creating more job opportunities! The city is developing the River Landing project, a new commercial and residential district in anticipation of population growth.
There are several ways to look for jobs in Saskatoon. You can use websites such as SaskJobs and the Government of Canada Job Bank. You can also collaborate with local recruiters such as Essence Recruitment, Adecco, Express Employment Professionals, and Randstad Canada.
For information, tools, free webinars, and more visit our Finding a Job in Canada resource page. Get the help you need to achieve your career goals in Canada!
The Saskatoon Housing Market
Finding a home in Saskatoon shouldn’t be too difficult, as the city offers many options such as condos, townhouses or single-family homes, to suit your tastes and budget.
Most people choose to rent furnished or unfurnished apartments or houses when they first arrive. If you want to buy a house, Saskatoon also has a strong real estate market, with many houses and condominiums for sale.
Is Housing Expensive in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan?
Finding a place to live is a key step when moving to Saskatoon. Housing prices in the region have increased in recent years; however, homeownership is still attainable for most people. It is more affordable compared to other cities in Canada.
Some of the more affordable neighbourhoods in Saskatchewan are Mayfair, Meadow Green, Kelsey – Woodlawn, Westmount, Pleasant Hill, and Fairhaven.
Finding a Place to Rent in Saskatoon
Renting is a common first step for newcomers moving to Saskatoon. There are a variety of neighbourhoods to consider depending on your price range. The average rent for an apartment in Saskatoon is $843 for a Bachelor, $969 for a 1-bedroom, $1,080 for a 2-bedroom, and $1,169 for a 3-bedroom.
If you are looking for a place to rent, our Rentals for Newcomers can help you make an easier transition to life in Canada when it comes to finding housing! And you can even figure out the average cost of rentals in each city. This is helpful since rental prices change often.
When renting a home or apartment, it’s also important to consider buying renter’s insurance. Even though renters’ insurance is optional, many property owners require you have it to lease an apartment. It is an affordable form of protection for your belongings. Get more information about renting a home: Renting in Canada: What Newcomers Need to Know
Buying a Home in Saskatoon
Saskatoon is an affordable housing market compared to other major cities in Canada. According to the Saskatchewan Realtors Association, the average sale price for a home is $364,919 (as of April 2022). These prices are similar to Regina, but hundreds of thousands of dollars less than cities like Calgary and Edmonton.
Find out more about buying your first home in Canada: First Time Home Buyer: Newcomer Tips
Driving & Public Transit in Saskatoon
Driving in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
An essential form of transportation for residents. Saskatoon is found on the Yellowhead Highway. This is part of the Trans-Canada Highway system. This is also known as Highway 16. A variety of highways meet within the city limits. They include Highways, 5, 7, 11, 12, 14, 41, 219, 684, and 762. So, you can see why the city is referred to as a hub. The city has a ring road – Circle Drive. Nine bridges cross the Saskatchewan River in the city.
All drivers must have a valid Saskatchewan driver’s licence to operate a vehicle. The province uses a graduated licensing (GDL) program. Get more licensing information on the SGI website.
Learn more information about driving in Canada:
Saskatoon Public Transit
There are many options for getting around the city or travelling to other destinations. Depending upon where you are, your destination may even be within easy walking distance!
Saskatoon Transit runs a fleet of buses with numerous routes to get you where you need to go in the city. Over 100 of these buses have bicycle racks on the front. For those who have mobility issues and cannot use regular transit buses Access Transit provides lift-equipped buses and cabs within the city limits.
By air, Saskatoon is served by the John G. Diefenbaker International Airport. From here, you can reach ch you can reach most major Canadian, the U.S. and international destinations with one-stop connecting flights in several North American airline hubs. VIA Rail Canada operates a train station approximately 8 kilometres from Saskatoon’s downtown if you prefer train service.
Community Support for Newcomers
The Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) is an important first stop for any newcomer to Saskatoon. You can find information on housing, schools, and where to shop, as well as make an appointment for a language assessment. NIC staff can refer you to other settlement services. You can also use a computer, make free local phone calls, and have documents photocopied.
Other settlement services are Saskatoon Open Door Society, Immigration Partnership Saskatoon, and Saskatoon Newcomer Network.
Language Support in Saskatoon
Language support is offered by several organizations. If you need a language assessment or are looking to take language courses you can do so through The Saskatoon Open Door Society, Saskatchewan Intercultural Association, and International Women of Saskatoon.
Personal Finance & Banking
Opening a bank account and getting your finances in order is an important step for newcomers. You can visit any local bank or credit union to open an account, get a credit card, and qualify for a mortgage. Many of these services are also available online.
Get more banking tips for newcomers:
For more information about your financial first steps in Canada, visit our Banking in Canada resource page. Get the essential information you need to manage your finances in Canada!
Saskatoon’s Education System
Education for children in the province of Saskatchewan is free to Saskatchewan residents. Saskatoon offers several educational opportunities for both children and adults.
Elementary and High School Education
The city offers three different publicly funded school systems: Saskatoon Public Schools (49 elementary and 10 high schools), Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (50 elementary and 7 high schools, and Conseil des écoles Fransaskoises (Francophone).
School boards include rural schools in Biggar, Humboldt, Martensville, and Warman. There are also several private schools, where attending students pay tuition.
Post Secondary Institutions
Saskatoon has two publicly funded post-secondary schools, the University of Saskatchewan and SIAST (Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology), Kelsey Campus.
Colleges include Campion College, Luther College, St. Thomas More College, and The First Nations University of Canada.
Saskatoon is also home to several private career colleges, specializing in such areas as office administration, massage therapy, hair styling and aesthetics, and many others. If you are immigrating to Saskatoon, you have many classes available to help you improve your English, regardless of your current level!
Read more about education in Canada:
Where To Get Medical Care in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is the birthplace of Medicare, the publicly funded health care system in Canada. To receive health care at no direct cost to you, you’ll need a Saskatchewan Health Card.
Many employers in Saskatchewan provide private health insurance to cover health needs not covered by the province’s health benefits, such as dental, eye care and prescription drugs. If you don’t have coverage with your employer, or you’d simply like to fill in any coverage gaps, you can purchase health insurance plans.
Saskatoon has three hospitals: Royal University Hospital; City Hospital; St. Paul’s Hospital. If you need immediate medical care – a broken bone, chest pains, difficulty breathing, etc. – you can access any emergency ward.
If you need medical care, but it is not an emergency, there are several walk-in clinics in Saskatoon. You do not need to have a family doctor to use a walk-in clinic.
How to Find a Family Doctor In Saskatoon
While you do not have to have a regular family doctor, it’s better when you can consistently visit a doctor who is familiar with your and your family’s health. To find a family doctor in Saskatoon, visit Saskatoon Health Region, for a list of doctors who are currently accepting new patients. If you don’t have a family doctor yet, but need to see a doctor, there are several walk-in clinics that you can go to.
Get more information about health care in Canada:
What is Day to Day Life Like in Saskatoon?
Things to Do in Saskatoon
This cosmopolitan city is proud of its multicultural heritage. Residents are active throughout the year and enjoy all four seasons with festivals, special events and a rich offering of the arts, culture, sports and recreation.
Public Spaces & Attractions
The city’s rich culture has largely been preserved by the Aboriginal people through sites like Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Batoche National Heritage Site and Fort Carlton Provincial Park.
Saskatoon is also home to a lively arts and entertainment community, along with scores of festivals and events, performing arts, museums and galleries. Art enthusiasts will love the permanent collection of over 500 works at the Mendel Art Gallery that houses. Then there’s TCU Place in Midtown Plaza, which plays host to numerous concerts and theatrical performances throughout the year.
Restaurants & Nightlife
If you are looking for a good restaurant, there are plenty in the Central Business District close to the South Saskatchewan River. Some top locations to check out include Little Grouse on the Prairie, Ayden Kitchen and Bar, and Hearth Restaurant.
Nature & Natural Landscapes
For those who enjoy spending time outdoors, a trip to the Meewasin Valley Trail offers endless opportunities to explore the South Saskatchewan River. Paved pathways provide miles of great cycling, jogging and walking. You’ll also find seven golf courses spread throughout the city, offering challenging play for players of all skill levels.
For a day trip, head to Beaver Creek Conservation Area. This large expanse of preserved land is an accredited wildlife site with many nature trails worth exploring. Blackstrap and Pike Lake Provincial Parks are also available for all sorts of activities, such as camping, swimming, and picnicking.
Sporting Events & Concerts
The city is home to the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL), and the Saskatchewan Rush of the National Lacrosse League. The University of Saskatchewan Huskies is one of the top University football programs in Canada. You can see live concerts at the SaskTel Centre, The Bassment, Capitol Music Club, and TCU Place.
Culture & Diversity In Saskatoon
Immigration has played an important role throughout Saskatoon’s history. And the city recognizes that unique cultures add diversity and vitality to the city.
About 20% of the population in Saskatoon identifies as a visible minority. This is just under 50,000 residents. The most prominent minority groups are Ukrainians (13%), South Asian (5.5%), Filipino (4.5%), Chinese (3.2%), Black (2,2%), and Arab (1%). Over 11% of the population are Aboriginal – mainly First Nations and Metis. This accounts for more than 27,000 residents.
Saskatoon is home to people of many different cultural backgrounds; you will find several places of worship, representing a large variety of spiritual and religious beliefs.
78.5% of residents identify as Christian, with small pockets of other residents practicing Sikhism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. About 20% of the population has no religious affiliation. Immigrant-serving centres should be able to give you more information on places of worship.
The Weather in Saskatoon
Saskatoon is one of the sunniest cities in Canada – with an average of 2,381 hours of sunshine per year it truly does shine. On the other hand, compared with other Canadian cities, Saskatoon’s rainfall rate is quite low. The city receives an average annual rainfall of 265 millimetres and an average annual snowfall of 97 centimetres. May, June, and July are the rainiest months, while November, December and January tend to be the snowiest.
Saskatoon is in a humid continental climatic zone and experiences four distinct seasons, with warm summers and very cold winters.
Thunderstorms are common in the summer months and can be severe with torrential rain, hail, high winds, intense lightning and, on rare occasions, tornadoes. In summer, temperatures range as high as 30°C on the warmest summer days, while winter can see the temperature dip as low as -30°C.
Common Questions Immigrants Ask About Living in Saskatoon
Is Saskatoon a Good Place for Immigrants?
Saskatoon is an inclusive and welcoming city for newcomers. It’s a mid-sized city with big-city attractions and offers many great outdoor activities. The city is growing, offering a variety of career opportunities across many industries.
What are the Potential Disadvantages of Living in Saskatoon for New Immigrants?
The weather is commonly cited as a drawback to living in Saskatoon and the Prairies. Entertainment options can also be limited, depending on your interests. Crime can be an issue in some areas of the city. So it’s important to learn about the different neighbourhoods.
What are the Benefits of Living in Saskatoon?
The cost of living is an attractive feature of living in Saskatoon. Real estate is much more affordable compared to other big cities. There are plenty of job opportunities and good immigration programs in place.
For more information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page. We’ll help you to settle successfully!