Saskatoon — renowned as a business-friendly, innovative city at the heart of Canada’s prairies

Attractive tax incentives, a stable economy and a dedicated, highly-educated workforce make Saskatoon one of the most diversified economies in Western Canada

Saskatoon, with its diverse economy including mining, energy, manufacturing, transportation, life sciences, information communications, construction and agriculture, has enjoyed positive GDP growth with an average of 2.9% over the last 10 years, well above the Canadian average.

For the third year in a row, Statistics Canada lists Saskatoon as Canada’s fastest growing city and also its youngest city with a median age of 34.9 years, the lowest in Canada. This population helps to drive attendance for the many festivals, events and attractions. The culturally rich region, with a deep history dating back over 6,000 years, serves a diverse population.  As a four-season destination, residents are active, enjoying activities both in and out of doors. “Saskatonians” are huge proponents of their sports culture and they enjoy the benefits of living in Canada’s sunniest city.\

Situated on the banks of the scenic South Saskatchewan River, one of Canada’s most business-friendly cities is linked to the world by a first-class international airport and excellent road and rail systems. Saskatoon is located 348 km north of U.S. border and almost exactly halfway between the Manitoba and Alberta borders.

Rated as a global Intelligent City by the Intelligent Community Forum, Saskatoon has the lively ambiance that people expect of a college town. The University of Saskatchewan has one of the fastest growing research parks in North America that includes one of the world’s most advanced synchrotron particle accelerators.

Vecima Networks Inc., SED Systems, Cameco Corp. and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. are among those calling Saskatoon home. Entrepreneurs can access resources and venture capital from vibrant angel investor networks, business incubators and accelerators.

Why Saskatoon

Hosting the second largest oil producer in the country and being the third largest natural gas-producing province make the oil and gas industry one of the largest contributors to Saskatoon’s economy and gives the province a solid economic foundation. The Saskatoon region is the commercial centre of Saskatchewan, with excellent transportation links to national and international markets. Saskatoon is connected to the U.S. as well as to Eastern and Western Canada by 190,000 km of highway networks and intermodal rail terminals in the province. International flights connect to Saskatoon International Airport every day.

The region also has the highest mining productivity in Canada and is the world’s largest producer/exporter of potash, supplying 51% of the world’s production. Plus the region has the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine. The region’s uranium mines account for 20% of global production. The area also has the largest diamondiferous kimberlite field in Western Canada.

Saskatoon is home to 35% of Canada’s Ag-Biotech industry and is fast becoming Canada’s centre for plant and animal genome science, offering world-leading agricultural biotechnology. The city has one of the fastest growing research parks in North America that includes the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, Intervac (North America’s newest level three containment facility), the NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute and the POS Pilot Plant Corporation. 

Business advantage

Saskatoon offers businesses all the benefits of being part of an economic powerhouse. With one of Canada’s lowest rates of unemployment, Saskatoon is expected to be among the top two Canadian cities with the highest GDP economic growth rates in 2013, according to the Conference Board of Canada. Also, Canada’s banking system is ranked the soundest in the world, for five consecutive years, and the country has the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7 — factors that Saskatoon capitalizes on as it attracts investment into its energy and technology industries. Most notably, Saskatoon has one of Canada’s lowest corporate income tax rates for manufacturers and processors — as low as 10% for qualifying companies — and royalty rates are among the lowest in Canada. 

Future plans

Saskatoon is experiencing growth at an unprecedented rate. A few new projects in progress:

  • Mining investment and capital expansions exceeding $20 billion over the next 5-7 years
  • BHP Billiton Mine, a development with a projected cost of $12 billion
  • Construction of a $300 million six-lane bridge
  • Planned $1.2 billion perimeter highway and transportation system
  • $100 million expansion of the Saskatoon International Airport
  • Growth in industrial areas — plans for 1100 acres of industrial commercial developments
  • University of Saskatchewan expansion with new building projects including the International Vaccine Centre

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