Whether you want to migrate to Canada via Study, Express Entry or Provincial Nomination route, knowing what province to settle in is very important. Saskatchewan is one of the provinces in Canada and Doyin is here to tell us what is like living there. Life in every province in Canada varies vastly. I have heard so many things about Saskatchewan, some true, some false, however, it does not matter as this post will address what is living in Saskatchewan like.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I’m Doyin Famuyibo. I am a wife and mum to a 2-year-old. I am an Employee Experience Specialist for Saskatchewan Government Insurance. I also own a business called Settleeasysk which is a settlement company. It was born out of my passion for helping people because I realized that there was a gap in people settling in Saskatchewan. Our goal is to help people settle with ease. Our website is www.settleeasysk.ca and you can also find us on Instagram @settleeasysk. I am really proud of how far we’ve come.
What was your immigration journey to Canada like?
I immigrated through the Saskatchewan International Nomination Program (SINP) international skilled worker – job offer program. I was first issued a closed work permit which was tied to the company and got my PR about a year after. In 2018, I became a proud Canadian citizen lol.
You moved to Canada 10 years ago. What was life in Saskatchewan back then? Why did you choose Canada/Saskatchewan?
I moved from the UK, so landing in Regina, Saskatchewan was a huge shock because it looked like a big village and I remember thinking I made the biggest mistake of my life. Thank God I had my brother who had been living here and made it bearable. I did not start making friends until a year later. Back then I either knew the Nigerians here or the folks I didn’t know, I knew someone that knew them. Now! It appears new Nigerians are arriving every day and I love it. With the influx of Nigerians settling here, we have also seen massive growth in businesses providing goods and services (black hair salons/barbers, Nigerian food stores, a ton of Nigerian caterers, etc. Saskatchewan has really grown.
I have heard so many things about Saskatchewan which includes harsh weather and a somewhat remote area. As someone who lives there, what is life In Saskatchewan like?
Saskatchewan has a population of about 1.1 million. Regina is the capital and has a population of 254,061 but Saskatoon is Saskatchewan’s largest city with a population of about 325,000 as of 2020.
Quality of Life & Housing in Saskatchewan
The quality of life in Saskatchewan is great, which is what attracts a lot of immigrants to move here. The average family income is about $80,000 which is considered enough to have a comfortable life considering the cost of living is relatively lower. The minimum wage is $11.45.
The average cost of a house in Saskatchewan is $281,100 which includes apartments, townhouses, condos and single-standing homes.
Transport System in Saskatchewan
The transit system in Saskatchewan is fair. Saskatoon has the best transit system compared to all other cities in Saskatchewan, but it is advisable to get a car because it gets very cold some days and the bus route occasionally gets delayed. You don’t want to be stuck when it’s -40 trust me.
There are two major international airports Regina International Airport and Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport. The one major disadvantage of flying to Saskatchewan is there isn’t a direct flight, you have to connect from Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver which means it cost more.
Saskatchewan’s Education System
The Education system goes from elementary school which is from pre-kindergarten to Grade 8 and secondary schools have students from Grade 9-12. There are 3 types of school divisions in Saskatchewan which are: Public schools, Separate schools- primarily Roman Catholic and Francophone schools which provide education to students in French. Private schools are also available.
For post-secondary education, there are two universities namely the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan and 1 polytechnic namely Saskatchewan Polythetic which has 4 locations (Moose-jaw, Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert).
Saskatchewan comes alive in the summer, every year in June we have a week-long event in Regina called Mosaic the idea of this event is to celebrate different ethnicities by going to different locations within the city visiting different “countries” with a pass where you get to experience their food and entertainment.
Where are the must-see places in Saskatchewan?
Saskatchewan is blessed with a lot of provincial parks. I would recommend visiting:
- Waskesiu Lake
- Kenosee Lake
- Cypress Hill Interprovincial Park
- Echo Valley Park Buffalo pound park and lots more.
Some other major attractions in Saskatchewan are:
- Saskatchewan Legislative Building Tunnels of Moose Jaw
- Royal Saskatchewan Museum
- Saskatchewan Science Centre
- Wascana Centre
- RCMP Heritage centre
Where are the best places to live in Saskatchewan?
In no particular order, I would say the following cities are my top places to live in Saskatchewan:
- Moose Jaw
- Prince Albert
The most popular cities people tend to settle in, however, are Regina and Saskatoon just because they have more things to offer in terms of jobs, shopping, recreation, direct flight to bigger cities etc.
How easy is it to secure a full-time job in Saskatchewan? What are the jobs that are in demand in Saskatchewan?
It’s pretty easy depending on the sort of job you are looking for. Most jobs in retail sales, healthcare, construction, farming industry, IT, and Government are easy to come by. For people looking to move to Saskatchewan, I recommend the following job sites: Saskjobs, Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Workopolis and Monster.
You have an Instagram account – @settleeasysk that helps with settlement in Saskatchewan. Tell us more about it
Settleeasysk was started by my passion for helping newcomers/immigrants settle with ease. Many people who plan to relocate to Saskatchewan are unsure of what they need to do to prepare for their move. Other times, they struggle to know what they need to get done, once they arrive here. It can be quite challenging especially if you don’t have anyone here to support you or point you in the right direction and this is where we come in. Our Instagram account provides information on all things Saskatchewan from advice on accommodation, what bank you should consider as a newcomer, Job search advice and any other information we find that will help newcomers.
We offer a variety of packages and can also tailor our services based on your needs. A few of the services we offer range from airport pickup, assistance with accommodation, assistance with opening a bank account and many more. No one should have to struggle with settling in a new country, that’s why Settleeasysk was born. Our packages can be viewed on our website www.settleeasysk.ca
What do you love the most about Saskatchewan?
The people in Saskatchewan are very friendly and are always ready to help. I live in Regina and I like the fact that I can get from one end of the city to the other in 20 minutes. Believe it or not, our summers are one of the best in Canada, with warm long days and that’s when the city comes alive with so many activities all summer long. It is also a great place to raise a family with a relatively low cost of living compared to other provinces. If you are looking for a calm and peaceful province, then Saskatchewan is for you.
What is the least favourite thing about Saskatchewan?
The WEATHER lol. In January and February especially. The weather can go as low as -50 with the windshield. Another area Saskatchewan can improve on is shopping. I personally do a lot of my shopping online because we don’t have a lot of options.