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Moving to Saskatoon, Canada

Saskatoon is the largest city in the province of Saskatchewan, with a metropolitan population of 300,000 residents. It is located in the Canadian Prairies – very flat grassland with no mountains or forests. The rural area is mostly farmland for wheat, canola, barley and other crops. Agriculture is a significant part of the province’s economy.

Source: Flickr |  zemistor

Saskatoon is known for its eight bridges and is often nicknamed “The City of Bridges”. The South Saskatchewan River divides the city into two sections: east and west. Many trails for walking and biking follow the riverfront and meander through the city, making Saskatoon a beautiful, green city.

There is a lot to see and do in Saskatoon. Come and enjoy the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, a 10 day long international event. Every summer, over 100 musicians from around the world perform, making it the second largest jazz festival in Western Canada. Another popular event is A Taste of Saskatchewan. This food festival counts over 30 restaurants and 55 performances from local Saskatchewan bands.

Area attractions include the Broadway District, filled with pubs, restaurants and exciting nightlife. Learn more about the history of the Prairie’s at the Western Development Museum. Current exhibits include the 1910 Boomtown display and the Tractor and Farm Machinery Gallery. Have some family fun at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway watching your favorite race car driver. Looking for something closer to nature? Enjoy the Beaver Creek Conservation Area, where you can see one of the province’s rare uncultivated prairie grass areas.

Temperatures can be extreme here, both in summer and winter. From highs of +30 Celsius in July to -30 Celsius in the deepfreeze of January, proper clothing and preparation is essential. Luckily, it is less humid in the prairies, making both extremes feel more bearable.

Job Market

Saskatoon is in the midst of an economic boom. When ranking major cities, it currently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. With the population growing every year, construction and housing jobs are also booming.

Exporting crops, such as wheat, oats and canola, is a big part of the Saskatoon economy. Mining is another important economic sector. Businesses are launching or moving to Saskatoon since the city has a lot to offer when it comes to amenities, services and infrastructure. Biotech, manufacturing, and agriculture are all important parts of the city’s diverse economy.

Neighbourhoods

  • Riversdale: One of Saskatoon’s oldest neighbourhoods. It was once an area to avoid, but is now starting to be seen as an up-and-coming area. It’s close to downtown, making it a convenient place to live. New condos are being built, along with the opening of coffee shops, art galleries and businesses.
  • Evergreen: Saskatoon’s newest neighbourhood. It was built in such a way to preserve an area of 50 year-old Scots Pine trees, now an urban forest. This urban village promotes walking and biking since shops and businesses are nearby. Homes in this neighbourhood are designed to be green and energy efficient.
  • Westview: A great neighbourhood for families. Mostly detached homes built in the 1970s to the 1990s, this area has lots of kids, schools and green space.
  • The Willows: This golf course community is posh and expensive. Out in suburbia, this neighbourhood is a longer commute from downtown.
  • Hampton Village: Located in the west end, this neighbourhood is family friendly and affordable. It is built around the village centre, keeping schools, stores and services nearby.
  • University Heights: Housing in this area was built from 1991 onwards. This northeast neighbourhood has many apartments, condos and row houses, making prices more affordable.

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Property information

Saskatoon’s cost of living is amongst the most affordable for Canadian cities of its size. The real estate market is seen as relatively stable without much talk of a housing bubble. All of the following prices are in Canadian dollars.

The demand for housing is on the rise since Saskatoon’s population is going up on a yearly basis. The most recent average home sale price (September 2014) was $354,818. With new construction, there’s a good supply of new and affordable condos, townhouses, semis and single family homes being built. This new supply of housing is keeping real estate prices steady and reasonably priced.

For those looking to rent, the average monthly rental price for a one bedroom apartments was $827. A two bedroom averaged $1,020 and a three bedroom was slightly higher at $1,074. The vacancy rate is around 3 percent. This means a good supply of available apartments on the market.

Schools and Education

In Canada, the majority of parents send their children to publicly funded schools as they rated among the best in the world. Education is the responsibility of the provincial governments. Schools in Saskatoon follow the curriculum created by the government of Saskatchewan. Children here go to school from pre-kindergarten to grade twelve. At the end of grade twelve, once students have accumulated enough credits, they receive their Transcript of Secondary Level Achievement.

There are three school boards in Saskatoon, which offer different programs:

  • Saskatoon Public Schools – offers English language schools with optional French Immersion programs.
  • Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools – offers Catholic education in English language schools, with optional arts or French Immersion programs.
  • Conseil des écoles fransaskoises – schools for francophones, education is in French.

Parents may choose to send their child to an English school, an English catholic school or a Francophone school if they meet the requirements.

For post-secondary education, Saskatoon is home to the University of Saskatchewan. With over 21,000 students, they offer many undergraduate and graduate programs. There is also the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, which offers different certificates and diplomas.

Cost of Moving to Saskatoon

Moving your belongings to Saskatoon can be done by international shipping container.The average shipping cost of moving for a family of three from the following cities will cost approximately:

From London £4,112 to £4,395
From New York City £2,345 to £2,507
From Sydney £6,838 to £7,310
From Dubai £6,838 to £7,310
From Beijing £4,284 to £4,580

Getting Around Saskatoon

In the city, walking and biking is safe and easy when the weather is nice. Public transit is also available with Saskatoon Transit buses. They offer different bus routes, including their express service called DART (Direct Access Rapid Transit). Driving commutes are relatively short since Saskatoon isn’t a huge metropolitan, but the bridges and major roads can be busy during peak times.

Saskatoon has an international airport named John G. Diefenbaker International Airport. The city is also serviced by VIA Rail Canada, the country’s national passenger train service. Saskatoon is on the Canadian line, which goes from Vancouver to Toronto. Saskatoon is located on Highway 16, which connects to the Trans-Canada Highway further east near Winnipeg.