Over the years, Saskatoon has had its fair share of bad press. Our crime rate is nothing to write home about, far too many of us drink and drive, and then there’s the winters… Be all of that as it may, I LOVE living here. My husband and I returned to Saskatoon and started our family here just over 10 years ago. Since that time, the bridge city has had a few ups and downs, but one thing has become very clear, Saskatoon is the BEST place to raise kids. Here’s why:
8 Reasons I LOVE Raising my Kids in Saskatoon
1/ Manageable Commute Times
Our home address before relocating to Saskatoon was one in the UK. Now, IMO the UK is a beautiful place, full of beautiful people, and a culture that I have a borderline obsession with, but one thing I remember vividly about living there was spending a LOT of time in a cars, trains, or buses. At the time, I didn’t have kids and though I found the jams, delays, depressing traffic reports, and sheer number of hours spent stationary annoying, I am certain my reaction to such things as a parent would be amplified significantly. I can only imagine the deflation I would feel if my husband phoned to tell me he would an hour later than expected or the stress of having a baby crying in a car seat for that amount of time. I know commute times are also a thing to be reckoned with in many larger Canadian centres, but less-so in good old toon-town thanks to effective city planning and its manageable size.
2/ Parks, Parks, Parks
A friend of mine visiting from Halifax this summer expressed her disbelief at the number of parks and amount of greenspace in Saskatoon. Never having paid much attention on my travels, this came as a surprise! “You mean this is not the case in other Canadian cities?” I asked. Hailing from Ontario and having lived in several other Canadian cities, she declared that Saskatoon had decidedly the most she’d ever come across. Who knew?
3/ Walking on Sunshine
Saskatoon ranks among the 5 sunniest cities in Canada! No matter what the weather may have to throw our way, it’s always better knowing there’s plenty of sunshine around the corner.
4/ Not too Big, Not too Small
Now that that IKEA delivery station has arrived, it’s official…Saskatoon has every desirable amenity and then some! Having lived in places both much smaller and much larger, I’ve always thought Saskatoon strikes a nice balance between being a manageable size and having everything I could ever need or want.
5/ Proximity to Lakes
Short of living on the coast where, of course, it’s more likely to rain all the time, there’s no place better to sink your toes into some lovely sand than at one of the over 100 000 lakes in this province! Without a doubt, the BEST days and weeks of the year for our family are spent on the shores of a Saskatchewan lake. Again, having spent the majority of my life in this province, it wasn’t until I was older that I realized what a treasure it was to be able to hop in a car and land myself on an uncrowded piece of paradise in the sun.
6/ Affordable Housing + Jobs
Yea, if you’ve got a family, you kind of need a house and a job, and Saskatoon ranks among the top of Canadian cities in terms of both! The added bonus is that if your house isn’t costing you an arm and a leg, you have more disposable income for FUN with the family.
7/ Growing Arts & Culture Scene
The most palpable change in Saskatoon since returning here in 2007 is definitely the vibrant and growing arts and culture scene. This excites me, not only because of the infinite date night opportunities, but also in terms of what I will be able expose my kids to in their formative years! A world class art gallery, a thriving cultural scene, diverse entertainment opportunities, festivals, events, and attractions that reach out to families, and, oh my, THE FOOD!!
8/ The Unmeasureables
I can tell you all day about a low unemployment rate or quantify the numbers of hours of sunshine, and you wouldn’t have to look hard to find some less desirable statistics about our fine city, but what you won’t find are the unmeasureables–the REAL reasons I love raising my kids in Saskatoon. I love the school my kids go to, the caring teachers, the community programming, and the salt-of-the-earth people you meet everywhere you go. I love that a perfect stranger is willing to strike up a conversation with me at a sports arena and the inevitability of finding out that we know the same person. I love the quirky political climate, white Christmases, the comradery of discussing the woes of forty below, the South Saskatchewan River, a HOT summer season, and the wonderful families we’ve come to know over the years. Yep, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.