Wondering what and where Saskatchewan is? Well, we sent in a lot of news articles, Wikipedias, and other sources to our friends and family, when we decided to move here, find jobs and call it home for over 4 years. Yup, former Saskatoon and North Battleford residents, sharing all the interesting and fun facts about Saskatchewan in this post.
Interesting and fun facts about Saskatchewan
We hope you find this post interesting, and enlightening at the same time. Having lived there, we enjoyed putting this together for you!
Saskatchewan’s History: Indigenous groups, and Europeans exploration
(bear with me as I share historical facts, History graduate here!) So millions of years ago, a large landmass of Saskatchewan formed the bottom of a seafloor. With geological changes, the landscape transformed. The way you see the province today or the land itself is relatively new.
Known as the Prairies, or the flatlands in Canada, they once had mountains and hills that eroded over time. Erosion, with the movement of the waters, caused various geological changes to the land, and they created grain belts, gas, and oil fields, with deposits of natural minerals that we can find in Saskatchewan today.
Various indigenous groups had inhabited the land we know as Saskatchewan. The Europeans came here in 1690 and settled in the year 1774. The area, as we know it now, was a part of the territory given to the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Regionally, it was a part of the North-West Territories, until it became a Canadian province in 1905.
Becoming a Canadian Province: Saskatchewan, and its icons
In 1905, Saskatchewan became a province. Today it is the seventh largest province by area.
Official Icons –
- Bird: Sharp-tailed grouse (chosen as the provincial bird emblem in 1945).
- Animal: White-tailed deer (designated in 2001).
- Flower: Western Red Lily (chosen in 1941). This flower grows in moist meadows and semi-wooded areas, and is a protected species.
- Tree: White birch (adopted as the official tree of Saskatchewan in 1988).
Saskatchewan’s flag, emblem and licence plate
Saskatchewan’s official flag was adopted in 1969. The flag has two prime colors – green and yellow gold. The upper half color is green, which represents the province’s forests; the lower half (gold color) signifies grain areas in the south.
The flag also features the provincial shield of arms along with the western red lily, which is the official flower.
Emblem: Multis E Gentibus Vires, “From Many Peoples Strength”
The provincial Coat of Arms was granted through Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II in 1986.
License plates: Saskatchewan requires a single rear license plate on all vehicles.
The plate has ‘Saskatchewan’ written on top, followed by the numbers, and a line at the bottom that says,’ land of the living skies’. They are all in green color. In between the 6 numbers are a symbol of grains, in golden color.
The name matters – Saskatchewan
If you watch ‘How I met your Mother’, you must recall that her pet dog was called Sir Scratchewan, referencing Robin’s home town – Saskatchewan. How cute!
Well, the name of the province is derived from the Cree name for the Saskatchewan River, which is “Kisiskatchewanisipi” meaning “swift-flowing river.”
The modern spelling was adopted in 1882 when the area became a district of the Northwest Territories.
Watch this video, and learn how to pronounce it correctly
Capital city of Saskatchewan
Regina is the capital city of Saskatchewan. It is also the second-largest city here and located in the south-central part of the province.
Largest city of Saskatchewan
The largest city of Saskatchewan is Saskatoon. It is also the largest metropolitan area in the province. The University of Saskatchewan is located in Saskatoon: it opened its doors in 1907.
John George Diefenbaker – Canada’s 13th Prime Minister
John George Diefenbaker was the 13th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from 1957 to 1963. He was born in Ontario but grew up in the then Northwest Territories, which later became Saskatchewan. The international airport in Saskatoon is named after him.
A province with artificial borders, and landlocked
Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada, with artificial boundaries, and is also completely landlocked. It is bordered by the US to the south, the Northwest Territories to the north, and Manitoba and Alberta to the east and west respectively.
USA states bordering Saskatchewan are Montana and North Dakota.
Saskatchewan’s natural reserves
Potash is Saskatchewan’s official mineral. They are the world’s largest producer and exporter of potash. Over 95 percent of the potash produced in Saskatchewan is used for fertilizer purposes.
Highest wheat producing province
Saskatchewan grows over 54 percent of Canada’s wheat crop.
Official sport of Saskatchewan
Curling is the official sport of Saskatchewan (named in 2001). Their curling team has won three Canadian and World women’s championships in the ’90s, followed by the first-ever women’s Olympic gold medal in curling in 1998.
There are two National Parks in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is home to two national parks, namely Prince Albert National Park and Grasslands National Park. The former is located in the northern part of the province and boasts of boreal forests, and the latter showcases rolling hills in the southwest.
Cypress Hills is the highest point in Saskatchewan + Canada’s first interprovincial park
Prairies are flatlands, but Saskatchewan’s highest point is 1,392 m (4,567 ft) high in the Cypress Hills.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is located at the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary. It is about 368 kilometres from Saskatoon and is jointly administered by the two provinces.
One time zone and no daylight savings
Saskatchewan follows the Central Time zone, and it keeps the same time all year round (Lloydminster is the only exception, which follows Mountain Standard Time in the winters).
What to explore in Saskatchewan – destinations, and attractions
Where shall we begin? There are a lot of things to do in Saskatchewan. We were lucky to have lived there to explore provincial parks, lakes, rivers, and seasonal festivals.
Let’s start with Regina, the capital city of Saskatchewan. The Legislature building and a tour of the same is a must add to your itinerary. From urban parks, casinos to restaurants, Regina makes for a nice weekend away trip.
Next is Saskatoon. Characterized by the South Saskatchewan River (yea, the same river that followed us here to Edmonton :)), and with over 80 bridges, Saskatoon was home to us for 3.50 years and had treated us really nice. From Shakespeare on the Lake (Literary fest), to Remai Arts centre, Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatoon Farm & Forestry, there are tons of attractions to keep you busy here.
Saskatchewan’s signature Western Development Museum is a must visit across the province. There are 4 branches of the museum, located in Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Saskatoon and Yorkton. The museums highlight the economic development of the province, along with the introduction and impact of railways in the society.
Moose Jaw is another must-visit. You can easily explore it on a day trip from Saskatoon to explore the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, which showcases the episode of Chinese immigration, bootleggers, and Alcapone. There are guided tours available to enjoy, which relate historical facts with popular folklore.
The Town of Prince Albert and the Nipawin Bridge, with the national park of the same name, is another good place to hang out. From beaches, Waskesiu Lake campground, to hiking and walking trails, this national park deserves a place on your summer camping trip.
Explore Athabasca Sand Dunes
The Athabasca Sand Dunes are one of the most northerly active sand dune formations on the planet. The dunes are housed inside of the Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park and are only accessible by floatplane. Its nearest city is Uranium City.
Land of purple beaches
Saskatchewan is home to many purple sand beaches, they are quite a unique phenomenon. Find them at the Hunter Bay, and Prince Albert National Park in northern Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan is the site of North America’s oldest bird sanctuary
What to eat in Saskatchewan
Saskatoon Berry Pie is the most popular food in Saskatchewan, followed by the Regina style pizza that you go to try.
How is the weather like in Saskatchewan?
Saskatchewan summers are usually warm and dry. High temperatures are experienced in the months of July and August. January is the coldest month.
Saskatchewan gets the most sunshine of any Canadian province. It is the sunniest province in Canada, in spite of the long winters.
Land of the Living Skies – explained
Due to the vivid skies, and sun-kissed fields, Saskatchewan is affectionately known as the ‘Land of the Living Skies’.
Friendly and open to immigrants
Saskatchewan is one of those provinces that are very open to immigrants. The Saskatchewan Provincial Nominee Program welcomes aspiring immigrants, leading the pathway to Canada Permanent Residency.
We hope you enjoyed this round-up of fun and interesting facts about Saskatchewan. If you are planning a visit to the province, do let us know in the comments below!