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Settling in Canada City of Saskatoon PROFILE

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Saskatoon is recognized as one of the best places to live in Canada, successfully combining big city amenities with small town hospitality.


Saskatoon Facts

Saskatoon website

Population: 260,600 (2011)

Location – West-Central Canada
In the heart of the Canadian Prairies, 348 kilometres (216 miles) north of the US border.

Sunny year-round, four distinct seasons, warm summers, cold winters.

Saskatoon is recognized as one of the best places to live in Canada, successfully combining big city amenities with small town hospitality.

This cosmopolitan city – the fastest growing city in Canada - is proud of its multicultural heritage, and delights in numerous festivals, galleries, clubs and special events.

Saskatoon features

  • Excellent research collaborations between the University of Saskatchewan and industry
  • A new nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer at the University of Saskatchewan’s Structural Sciences Centre
  • University of Saskatchewan, with strengths in agriculture, information technology, environmental and life sciences
  • The Canadian Light Source Synchrotron, Canada’s national synchrotron research facility – one of only six in the world
  • Innovation Place – one of the most successful university-related research parks in North America
  • International Vaccine Centre – the world’s most advanced facility of its kind dedicated to vaccine development
  • One of the world’s top biotechnology centres, attracting over 30 per cent of all biotechnology research spending in Canada
  • Over 400 acres of breathtaking riverbank trails and parks and national award-winning golf courses
  • Ranked second in Canada for cost competitiveness, and third in business friendliness.
  • Recognized nationally for best practices in affordable housing, with award-winning immigration initiatives.
  • The best air and water quality in Canada, with more hours of sunshine annually than any other Canadian city.


SaskatoonThe Saskatoon area has been inhabited for over 6,000 years, but did not become a town until 1903. In the past, settlers came from other parts of Canada and mostly European countries such as Britain, Germany and the Ukraine.

Today, Saskatoon welcomes people from over 180 countries, giving it the highest growth rate in the country in 2009/2010. We also have a thriving Aboriginal community.

As of the 2011 National Household Survey, there were 27,355 immigrants living in Saskatoon – 10.7 per cent of the total population. Of these, 41.9 per cent – 11,470 people in all – arrived between 2006 and 2011.

Countries of origin
Philippines, United Kingdom, China, Pakistan, United States, India, Other places of birth in Asia, Other places of birth in Africa, Germany, Viet Nam.

First languages spoken
English, German, French, Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino), Ukrainian.

No religious affiliation, Catholic, Other Christian, United Church, Lutheran, Anglican.

Countries of origin

These tables list all birthplaces of immigrants to Saskatoon.                                                                       

Country of Origin Total Immigrant Population (2011) Immigrants Arriving 2006 – 2011
Philippines 5,600 4,155
United Kingdom 2,360 460
China 2,060 900
Pakistan 1,705 450
United States 1,445 170
India 1,380 610
Other places of birth in Asia 1,365
Other places of birth in Africa 1,080
Germany 875 135
Viet Nam 765 265
Ukraine 670 465
Iraq 660 405
Other places of birth in Americas 600
Other places of birth in Europe 505
Iran 450 270
Bangladesh 445 200
Poland 440 30
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 300 25
Netherlands 295
Romania 295 25
Other places of birth 290
South Africa, Republic of 255 70
Ethiopia 255 150
Russian Federation 250 125
Ireland, Republic of 235
Afghanistan 220 105
Colombia 205 175
El Salvador 190
Chile 180
Bosnia and Herzegovina 165

‡ Statistics Canada did not publish data for some countries of origin for recent immigrants.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

First languages

These are the top ten “first languages” – the mother tongue spoken by people who live in this city.

Mother Tongue Number (2011) % of Population (2011)
English 216,085 84.1%
German 6,285 2.4%
French 4,665 1.8%
Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) 4,545 1.8%
Ukrainian 4,170 1.6%
Chinese, n.o.s.* 2,660 1.0%
Urdu 2,050 0.8%
Spanish 1,555 0.6%
Cree, n.o.s.* 1,450 0.6%
Arabic 1,330 0.5%

* Not otherwise specified.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 Census of Canada)


These are the religions with the most adherents in Saskatoon.

Religion # of Adherents (2011)
No religious affiliation 71,550
Catholic 71,485
Other Christian 38,780
United Church 28,575
Lutheran 11,165
Anglican 9,285
Muslim 5,680
Baptist 4,390
Christian Orthodox 3,605
Pentecostal 3,555
Presbyterian 1,775
Buddhist 1,700

Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

Housing Information

SaskatoonDemand for housing in Saskatoon is very strong.  Prices have risen sharply since 2007. However, the supply of new affordable housing and range of choice is growing, and prices and vacancy rates vary among neighbourhoods.

Saskatoon has one of the most progressive housing programs in Canada to promote the development of new affordable and entry-level housing located in a variety of neighbourhoods.

Average rents
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in April 2013 was $827 and a two bedroom apartment was $1,020. The average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment was $1,074.

Vacancy rate and availability
In Saskatoon, the vacancy rate for one bedroom rental apartments was 3.2 per cent and for two bedroom apartments was 3.3 per cent. The vacancy rate of three bedroom rental apartments was 4.4 per cent. This was the proportion of rental apartments that are vacant and ready for move-in in April 2013.

The proportion, in April 2013, of apartments that are vacant or for which the present occupant has given notice to move-out was 4.5 per cent for one bedroom apartments, 5.1 per cent for two bedroom apartments, and 5.8 per cent for three bedroom apartments.

Home purchase prices
In Saskatoon, the average house price, in 2012, was $315,834.

For more up-to-date information, see CMHC's Housing Market Information website, and the Canadian Housing Observer.

Housing help

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation – Housing information for Newcomers

These websites offer housing information: 

Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP)

QUINT Development Corporation

Saskatchewan Housing Corporation

City of Saskatoon – Renters Handbook

University of Saskatchewan Housing Registry


SaskatoonSaskatoon is home to Canada’s only synchrotron and a world leader in the fields of science and technology. The city is Canada’s leading centre of biotechnology. It is also a growing centre for environmental technology, information technology and advanced manufacturing, manufacturing and metal fabrication, mining, multimedia and film, nutraceuticals, value-added food processing, transportation and warehousing.

Saskatchewan grows half the quantity of Canada’s export crops, and Saskatoon provides important services to the farming and mining sector. The Saskatoon region is also the world’s largest exporter of uranium, and produces nearly two-thirds of the world’s recoverable potash.

Information on key industries can be found at Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA)’s website.

Saskatchewan’s Immigrant Nominee Program can “fast track” the immigration process for some immigrants. Please see:
http://www.aeei.gov.sk.ca/immigration/ and http://www.saskimmigrationcanada.ca/.

Foreign students working for a Saskatchewan employer can also apply for nomination and permanent landed status.

Job search help

Information on employment and career programs.

These web sites list jobs in the Saskatoon area:

Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority

Private employment services may also be available

Business start-ups

If you are a skilled worker or professional or health professional suited to Saskatchewan’s needs, if you wish to start a business that will contribute to the long-term economic development of the province, or if you wish to become a farm owner/operator in Saskatchewan, you can be nominated for immigration and assisted through the process.

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program and SNIP Entrepreneur Program.

These organizations offer advice and support to people starting small businesses in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority

Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce

Downtown Saskatoon: The Partnership

North Saskatoon Business Association

Broadway Business Improvement District

City of Saskatoon
(click on “B” for Business)

Entering the workforce

This organization helps immigrants evaluate foreign credentials

World Education Services Canada

These websites and organizations help newcomers enter the labour market:
Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO)
Part of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It provides information, path-finding and referral services on foreign credential recognition to help internationally trained workers succeed and put their skills to work in Canada more quickly.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Planning to work in Canada: An essential workbook for newcomers

Saskatchewan Immigration Portal

Your Occupation in Saskatchewan

Information on Community Based Organizations offering employment skills and job readiness programs.
Email: Saskatoon.CanSask@sasked.gov.sk.ca

The Newcomer Information Centre
Email: info.nic@sasktel.net


SaskatoonEstablished in 1907, the University of Saskatchewan is a well-respected medical-doctoral university offering world-class opportunities while focusing on the experience of each and every student. It offers 58 degrees, diplomas and certificates in over 100 areas of study, and has attracted $107 million in research funds. It is particularly well-known for its research in biotechnology.

Saskatoon also has schools for children and youth in three systems: a public system, with 53 elementary and secondary schools; a Roman Catholic system with 39 elementary and secondary schools; and a Francophone school system which is provincial. Schools in all systems are free of charge. Some offer instruction in English and/or French.

Some Saskatoon schools also offer English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes. There are also special education programs for children with disabilities, settlement programs for immigrants, and before- and after-school daycare programs.

Universities, colleges and trade schools

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology

Schools for children and youth

Saskatoon Public School Board

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools

Conseil des écoles fransaskoises

Private schools may also be available

A useful handbook to learn more about the school system, visit:




Community Services

SaskatoonImmigration has played an important role in Saskatoon’s history, bringing cultural diversity and economic vitality to our fine city.

In the last five years the City of Saskatoon has adopted and implemented an immigration action plan to make it easier for immigrant newcomers and their families to settle in Saskatoon and feel at home. 

Language training

These organizations will assist with information on English language training.

Newcomer Information Centre (NIC)

SIAST Kelsey Campus

The University of Saskatchewan’s Language Centre
Includes non-credit courses in academic writing, TOEFL and CanTEST preparation, conversational English, and full-time ESL for international students.

The Saskatoon Public Library
Resources for ESL learners

Settlement help

These organizations provide all kinds of advice and support for immigrants:

Newcomer Information Centre (NIC)
A venue for refugee and immigrant newcomers and their families to access information and referrals to agencies providing settlement and language training services in Saskatoon, as well as mainstream services in the city.

Citizen and Immigration Canada
Provides information on coming to Canada to immigrate, study, work and live.  On this website you will find forms, policies and regulations, research, services, publications and visa offices.

These websites provide information on public transit, health, daycare and other issues important to immigrants:

City of Saskatoon Transit Services, including ACCESS Transit for people with disabilities
(click on  “T” for Transit)

Child Care Subsidy Office

Social Assistance Program

Saskatoon Health Region – Programs & Services

Parenting Education Saskatchewan
Information, resources and links for parents and caregivers.

One immigrant’s story

The story of a Mortgage Specialist settling in Saskatoon

I first moved to Canada in 1982. My port of entry was Toronto and my final destination: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the land of the living skies, and to me, the coldest place on earth. I missed my hometown, my friends and my family back home and I used to cry every day, wondering why I had ever come here at all.

As a newcomer to a completely foreign land, I had many realities to face. I was very well educated back home and I had completed my Master’s in Economics. Unfortunately, my degree was not recognized here so I would have to take extra credits at the local university to match it to Canadian educational standards. Classes were expensive so I thought it best to find a job and work for a while to save some money so I could upgrade my degree. With the help of the immigration counsellor, I completed my resume and went job hunting. This was not an easy task. Wherever I applied, I was told I am over qualified and that I needed Canadian job experience. After several weeks of disappointment, I went back to my counsellor and he advised me to put my education as grade 12 on my resume so that I would not be rejected for being over qualified. I finally received my first job as a cashier and sandwich maker at Mr. Submarine.

Life at this point seemed very lonely and depressing. I had finally gotten a job, but it was menial despite my high education. Working full time at a fast food restaurant, battling the bitter cold and having no friends except for my immediate family only increased my homesickness. My first three years spent in Canada were very difficult, but gradually things started to get better. I changed jobs three times, but I managed to make enough money to afford the extra classes and upgrade my degree. I successfully got a job at the bank and slowly worked my way up to a manager position. I made a wonderful group of friends, many from the same side of the world as me, who made my life brighter as we shared similar stories and experiences. I joined social clubs and became involved in the community. I was no longer alone and depressed. I even managed to beat the cold with endless layers of clothes and a good winter parka.

I have come a long way from the new foreign girl in Canada. I am still living in Saskatoon and have come to love it as my home. It is not the same boring Prairie city I once considered it to be, and it has greatly expanded to be recognized worldwide for its natural resources and farming. I got married, bought a home and raised two children, both pursuing their studies in university. I am now a successful mobile mortgage specialist at a local bank and have been working there for the past 21 years. I am still very involved in my community and joined Immigrant Women of Saskatchewan (now called International Women of Saskatoon) to encourage and support women like myself, who had left their homes behind to make a new life in Canada.

Settling in a new country is the biggest transition in life. To uproot yourself from your comfort zone and adapt to a new culture, atmosphere, language and climate is not easy. It involves a lot of hard work, and there are many times where you feel discouraged about this life-changing decision. By keeping a positive attitude and with support from family and friends, eventually the challenges you face seem smaller. You learn to make a new home, new friends and a new life, while cherishing the memories of back home.

Pinky Nundy, Saskatoon and Area


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