If you are thinking of making one of the biggest choices you can make in life, by packing up and moving to a new city or country, you definitely want to feel like you have all the facts, whether they re good or bad, about any of the places you are thinking of moving to; and that is where I come in to help.
If Saskatchewan is a place that you are currently considering moving to, then read on to learn about the positives and negatives you will need to consider in order to ensure you make the right decision. To start, let’s take a look at the pros of living in Saskatchewan;
Pros of living in Saskatchewan
1) Lower Taxes
High taxes seem to be everywhere in Canada, from sales tax, property tax, income tax, to even having some areas charge a ‘camping tax’, and it can sometimes feel like the government is always finding reasons to increase taxes rather than lower them.
In some provinces, taxes are high because the population isn’t large enough to collectively generate enough tax unless the tax rate is high. In other provinces, the tax is high because the population is also, so extra money is needed for the upkeep of a larger population; it really seems like you cannot win.
However, fortunately, Saskatchewan finds itself somewhere in the middle, the population of the province is low but the taxes are relatively low also, with sales taxes, property taxes, and personal income taxes among the lowest in the country you won’t feel like you are constantly battling against the taxman so much every time you go out to eat or see your monthly payslip.
2) House Prices
Due to the more rural setting of the province overall, the average house price has always been on the lower end of the scale, but to further the good news, the average house price is decreasing still. The average house is predicted to be $272,500 in 2020, which is roughly $14,000 less than just two years ago.
Saskatchewan has seen one of the biggest house prices drops in the whole of Canada in the last few years, so it is safe to say that it is currently a good time to be a buyer. However, if you are not yet in a position to be able to buy a house, renting is not a bad option, as you can easily find affordable housing even in the cities.
For thousands of years, Saskatchewan has been inhabited by indigenous groups, groups that still live there today. There is a remarkable history that lives on in the province, and there are many areas that you can visit to learn about the tribes of past and present, there are also numerous heritage sites, aboriginal sites, and cultural attractions.
Added to this, Saskatchewan has an incredible history when it comes to dinosaurs; the largest T-Rex to ever be discovered was found along the Frenchman River, and the recovered bones can be seen on display at the T.rex Discovery Center Museum which is located in Eastend, in the southwest of the province. In the museum, you can also see thousands of other dinosaur bones and fossils that have been unearthed in the region; a great number of dinosaurs roamed this area, and the displays are truly fascinating.
Saskatchewan covers a vast space, and a lot of this space has been left alone, it has not been developed or built upon, rather it has remained how nature intended it to be. However, you can still explore these places, and I can assure you they are worth exploring, you will see some of the most wondrous natural beauty you have ever seen in your life.
There are sand dunes, mountain ranges, rolling hills, national parks, cascading prairies, and more than one hundred thousand lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. The nature that is on display in so many parts of the province are breathtaking, and you will often find yourself staring in disbelief that landscapes can be so beautiful.
As with all places, not everything is positive, so let’s take a look at some of the cons that you will need to think about;
Cons of living in Saskatchewan
1) There’s a lot of Space
The benefits of nature when having so much space is a wonderful thing, however, you might at times find yourself feeling like there is just too much space. For example, the total area of the province is almost twice the size as the total area of England. Now in England, the population is more than 55 million, and in Saskatchewan, the population is a little over one million.
You see, the difference in the number of people, to land area, is huge, meaning you can drive for hours and hours, never seeing another person. Some people may love the idea of this, and if you like to be alone, or among not many people, then Saskatchewan, especially the rural areas is ideal. But for people who like a hustle-bustle feeling, you might find yourself feeling a little alone in such a big place.
Even in terms of city numbers, Saskatchewan is well below average; there are only two major cities in the whole province, Regina, and Saskatoon, but even both of these have only a little more than 200,000 people in each place. You will mostly find intimate towns, or small cities, rather than a sprawling metropolis with a city buzz.
2) The Weather
Saskatchewan is landlocked, therefore there are no large bodies of water close by to moderate the temperature, and when this happens you end up with extreme weather. During the summer, particularly in the south of the province, the summer is very hot and humid, and during the winter there is extreme cold throughout the whole province that lasts far longer than your average winter;
The cold weather is harsh, going well below zero for long periods of time. Unfortunately, the weather cannot really be described as seasonal in Saskatchewan, rather it will alternate between hot summers and bitterly cold drawn-out winters.
3) Crime Rate
There is a higher than average crime rate in Saskatchewan, especially in rural areas; year after year the province scores highly in all crimes, with the rate committed per 100,000 people being up to double the amount compared to other parts of Canada – including big cities across the country – and in the last few years, crime in the north has hit an all-time high, becoming the highest in the country.
Officials have said that the reason they believe the crime rate as increased so much, is because more people are simply reporting crimes than before; whether this is true or not, cannot be said for sure, but it stands to reason that the smaller areas with fewer people, also have fewer resources available to help in the fight against crime, making these people and areas easier targets.
Crime in urban areas, mainly the south, is much less common, however, the overall rate of the urban areas is still more than the national average. There doesn’t seem to be a clear reason why even the towns and cities are struggling so much more than in other provinces to reduce crime rates, but it is certainly a big point to consider if you are thinking about living there.
4) Lack of Entertainment
You will find that you often have to come up with your own entertainment or spend your free time out in the wilderness on walks and hikes because, in terms of things to do, there are very few choices in Saskatchewan. Of course, the cities have bars and restaurants, but there isn’t a big nightlife, even with the bars.
There are not loads of huge outlets for shopping or places to take kids, and because of it being landlocked, you can’t easily head to the beach at the weekend or spend time partaking in water sports. Due to a combination of the position of the province, and the low population, you might often find yourself feeling like you have nothing to do, especially if it is too cold to head out into the countryside or into the mountains.
You can always travel to another city in a different province for a small break or to have the experience, but you certainly don’t want to always feel like you have to travel for hours on end just to have a good time or try something new.
Saskatchewan is different in many ways to other provinces in Canada, it is less developed, and has a much smaller population which in itself can have benefits, but it can have a negative effect also. There is no denying that it is a beautiful place overall, but the lack of opportunities when it comes to having a full city experience or feeling alone might be, understandably, too much of a problem for some people.
There is a lot of information to take in, but it is important to thoroughly consider both the positives and negatives so that you know for sure that you will end up living in the place that is best for you.
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