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Beautiful paddling on the South Saskatchewan River
Beautiful paddling on the South Saskatchewan River

25 Fun & Interesting Facts About Saskatoon

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On my first visit to Saskatoon – the largest city in all of Saskatchewan, I was surprised to see what a vibrant, young city it is. It’s also got a great foodie scene I was completely unaware of. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is misinformed about Saskatoon.

Check out these 25 fun, weird and interesting facts about Saskatoon to get a sense of the city.

Looking up the South Saskatchewan River from the CPR Bridge
Looking up the South Saskatchewan River from the CPR Bridge

Saskatoon history

Saskatoon is named after mis-sask-quah-toomina, the Cree Indian name for the local Saskatoon berry – a sweet, violet coloured berry that grows wild.

The city of Saskatoon was established in 1883. It was incorporated in 1906.

The Saskatoon area has been inhabited for between 5,000 and 8,000 years. There is evidence of buffalo kill sites, and teepee rings. Today approximately 9% of the cities population is native.

The Visitor Centre at Wanuskewin seen from the Path of the People trail
The Visitor Centre at Wanuskewin seen from the Path of the People trail

Saskatoon has a number of nicknames – The Paris of the Prairies because of the bridges, POW – referring to potash, oil and wheat, after the natural resources the city and area is famous for and The Hub City – because Saskatoon has been the hub of Saskatchewan.

Saskatoon has four sister cities – Cologne, Germany; Tampere, Finland; Shijiazhuang, China and Umeå, Sweden.

Places to visit in Saskatchewan include the South Saskatchewan River on an SUP
SUP on the South Saskatchewan River right into Saskatoon

Saskatoon demographics

According to the 2021 census, greater Saskatoon has a population of 282,900. It grew about 14% between 2016 and 2021.

In Saskatoon 12.1% of the population is over 65, less than the national average. The median age is 35. There were 50 people (in 2011) over the age of 100.

Saskatoon weather

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Saskatoon was -50°C in 1893. The coldest temperature with wind chill ever recorded was -60.9°C.

Read: 10 Things to do in Saskatoon in Winter

The highest temperature ever recorded was 40.6°C (105.1 F) on June 5, 1988.

Saskatoon averages 2,380.8 hours of sunshine per year.

On the summer solstice the sun rises at 4:45 AM and sets at 9:31 PM. On the winter solstice the sun rises at 9:13 AM and sets at 4:56 PM.

The only earthquake ever recorded in Saskatoon occurred on May 15, 1909. It lasted for about 30 seconds.

Saskatoon lies on the South Saskatchewan River. That explains why there are seven bridges in the city.

25 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Saskatoon
One of the many bridges in Saskatoon

Food and shopping

Sailor Dan – aka Dan Hicks is a local legend. His regular route is down Eighth Street to Broadway Avenue and back where he tries to sell his Sailor Dan original paintings.

The Midtown Plaza Shopping Center is the largest shopping center in Saskatoon.

There are more Tim Horton’s per capita than in any other city in Canada.

Forget hamburgers. Drive thru for Baba’s Homestyle Perogies, probably the only perogie drive thru in Canada. 

Saskatoon has one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada – and great ones with many of them embracing the farm to fork philosophy.

The fried chicken sandwich from Odla is awesome
The fried chicken sandwich from Odla is awesome

Saskatoon Festivals

Saskatoon has become a city of festivals. The Potash Corp Wintershines Festival features international ice carvers. Coming festivals include the Saskatoon Blues Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Jazz Festival, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and the Children’s Festival.

The vibrant Broadway area in Saskatoon
The vibrant Broadway area in Saskatoon

Famous and/or notable people from Saskatoon include Joni Mitchell (musician), Farley Mowat (author), Gordie Howe (former NHL player), John Diefenbaker (former Prime Minister of Canada), Ray Hnatyshyn (former Governor General of Canada), Yann Martel (author of  Life of Pi – and the movie version won some Oscars), Jim Pattison (billionaire businessman) and Roy Romanow (former Premier of Saskatchewan).

Saskatoon has been the subject of a number of songs. The Tragically Hip song – Wheat Kings – has a line in it – Sundown in the Paris of the Prairies – referring to Saskatoon. Johnny Cash co-wrote the song – The Girl from Saskatoon.

Two universities call Saskatoon home – the University of Saskatchewan and the First Nations University of Canada.

The world’s largest potash producer – PotashCorp – has corporate headquarters in Saskatoon. Almost two thirds of the world’s recoverable potash reserves are in the Saskatoon area.

25 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Saskatoon
Lots of colourful murals around downtown Saskatoon

Outdoor activities in Saskatoon

Saskatoon is a city of parks with over 870 hectares set aside.

The Meewasin Valley Trail – listed by Reader’s Digest as one of the top 10 greatest hikes in Canada in the fall – extends for 60 kilometres along the east and west banks of the South Saskatchewan River.

You can also cycle the city on a great network of trail – particularly along the river. Fat biking is popular in winter.

In summer, you can stand up paddle board on a long stretch of the South Saskatchewan River and finish in downtown Saskatoon.

25 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Saskatoon
A downtown section of the Meewasin Trail in winter
Places to visit in Saskatchewan include the South Saskatchewan River on an SUP
SUP on the South Saskatchewan River right into Saskatoon

Further reading on interesting facts about Canadian cities

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Fun and interesting facts about Saskatoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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