On my first visit to Saskatoon – the largest city in the province of Saskatchewan, I was surprised to see what a vibrant, young city it is. It’s also home to a great foodie scene that 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.
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.
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.
According to the 2022 greater Saskatoon has a population of 273,980. It grew about 11.3% between 2016 and 2022.
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.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Saskatoon was -50°C in 1893. The coldest temperature with wind chill ever recorded was -60.9°C.
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.
Breweries and Distilleries in Saskatoon
There are 7 breweries in Saskatoon, three distilleries and one cider company. I highly recommend the tour at Black Fox Distillery, a place where they age their spirits in barrels outside year round.
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.
Famous people from Saskatoon
One of the interesting facts about Saskatoon is the number of famous and/or notable people from the city. They 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).
Random interesting facts about Saskatoon
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 – Nutrien – has corporate headquarters in Saskatoon. Almost two thirds of the world’s recoverable potash reserves are in the Saskatoon area.
Saskatoon is the home of the largest indoor entertainment venue in Saskatchewan – the SaskTel Centre, with the ability to host 15,000 people.
Outdoor activities in Saskatoon
One of the interesting facts about Saskatoon is that it is home to 200 parks covering 870 hectares. If you included sports fields and naturalized areas, you’ll find 2,130 hectares of open space.
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 paddleboard on a long stretch of the South Saskatchewan River and finish in downtown Saskatoon.