Saskatoon’s Economy Based on Natural Resources and Solutions

Goldbeck Market Primer: Regina Economy Looks to the Ground, as well as the Future

Spirit of innovation applied to agriculture, energy, & manufacturing in Saskatchewan’s capital. Government, mining & manufacturing add value Regina’s economy is propelled by natural resources, ... Read more
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Saskatoon’s economy stands on several key industries, and this diversity results in a strong economy for Saskatchewan’s largest city. Longstanding natural resources industries aren’t resting on their laurels, but rather looking toward the future with innovation. The result? Strength and vibrancy. Let’s take a look at the sectors that keep Toon Town rocking.

Agriculture Meets Innovation for a Hungry World

“I’ve been hanging around grain elevators, I’ve been learning about food,” sang Burton Cummings on the classic Guess Who’s song ‘Running Back to Saskatoon’. The lyric rings true today as Saskatoon looks to both the soil and the lab to meet the world’s rising demand for food.

The province of Saskatchewan is home to 40% of the nation’s cultivated farmland, with canola, barley, and pulses all being produced in great quantity.1 The Saskatoon area has some 300 agribusiness companies, employing over 3,000 people. The processing and exporting of food is important to the economy, as are companies that lend mechanical and logistical support to the industry.

Much of the “thinking about food” takes place at the University of Saskatchewan, where the College of Agriculture and Bioresources tout their commitment to “finding solutions to sustainably feed a hungry and growing world.”2 Key to this mission is the Global Institute of Food Security, a partnership between USask, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Nutrien.3

Innovation and Technology Not Limited to Ag

Saskatoon’s innovation isn’t exclusive to the ag sector, however. Sometimes dubbed the ‘Silicon Prairie’, Saskatoon’s technology sector saw $136 of venture capital investment in 2022.4

In a city with numerous tech businesses and projects, several stand out.

The Canadian Light Source is a cutting edge facility where scientists from around the world utilize synchotron radiation to facilitate important R&D on everything from viruses to superconductors and dinosaurs.5

Software company Vendasta builds and curates digital business solutions, while 7Shifts Restaurant Scheduling provides a leading labour management platform for the restaurant industry.4

The city’s tech industry is supported not only by government funding and incentive programs, but by the many talented minds emerging from the University of Saskatchewan and other higher learning institutions in the area.

Mining in Saskatoon Produces Potash and Uranium

Even as the sky’s the limit for Saskatoon’s tech industry, it’s the ground that provides critical elements for the mining sector.

The city is home to Cameco’s head offices, one of the world’s leading uranium producers. Uranium is seen by many as a good, low-carbon energy source, and demand is expected to continue growing, making the future bright for this industry.6

Canadian fertilizer company Nutrien is also headquartered in Saskatoon. The company is the world’s largest producer of potash, which is used for fertilizer in the agriculture industry.7

Service Industries in Regional Hub

Saskatoon serves as a regional hub for the surrounding areas, with many employed in the service sector.

Saskatoon Health Region is the city’s top employer.8 The city is home to three major hospitals.

Another large employer is the University of Saskatchewan, which attracts students from throughout the province and beyond, creating a strong economic spinoff (as well as a great source of talent).

The city also serves the greater area with financial, retail, and hospitality services, employing many Saskatonians in the process.

Saskatoon is a Beautiful City 

Not only does Saskatoon boast a vibrant economy, but a great quality of life as well.

“It’s a beautiful city with a river running through it,” boasts Senior Recruiter Karen Epp. “You’ll see runners on the river pathways and cyclists riding to work, even in the winter.”

Great prairie sunsets and sunrises add to the appeal, as do welcoming, friendly people, art, and culture. “Housing prices are also excellent,” says Epp.

While Saskatoon’s reliance on agriculture and mining does make it somewhat susceptible to fluctuations in commodities markets, the combination of natural resources and innovation makes the city’s economy strong and stable. As a hungry world looks for food, health, and sustainability solutions, expect the hard working and innovative people of this city to meet the challenge, with a dynamic economy being the result.

Cited Sources

1 “Agriculture & Food ” Economic Development Agency for the City of Regina.” Economic Development Regina, Dec 20, 2023.

2 “Research.” AgBio Research – College of Agriculture and Bioresources | University of Saskatchewan. Accessed December 20, 2023.

3 “Saskatoon: Home to Major Agriculture Players and Transformative Innovations.” Destination Canada Business Events. Accessed December 20, 2023.

4 “Technology.” SREDA. Accessed December 20, 2023.

5 “Canadian Light Source.” Wikipedia, November 12, 2023.

6 Stojan, Jon. “The Future of Uranium: Millions of Acres of Desirable Land Amassed in the Athabasca Basin.” USA Today, October 4, 2023.

7 “Nutrien.” Wikipedia, December 20, 2023.

8 “Economy of Saskatoon.” Wikipedia, October 4, 2022.