The homeless all have bicycles: Divergent views on quality of life in Saskatoon

The CanadaWest Foundation just released a report titled, “Urban Quality of Life and Urban Growth” which is based on survey responses gathered through interviews with 3,500 respondents in seven Canadian cities.

It seems that the highest “quality of life rating” was found right here in Saskatoon where close to 90% of those surveyed rated the local life as “good” or “very good.”Personally, I didn’t see what I’d consider being remarkable differences from one city to the next in this particular category, but one does get the sense that Saskatchewan people are a little more optimistic about the future when compared to respondents from other cities surveyed. Almost 58% of Saskatoon residents expect that quality of life will improve even more over the next five years, a stark contrast when compared to Calgarians who don’t seem to hold much hope for future improvements.

The responses measured in this study include;

The current quality of life in the city;

The current quality of life in the city compared to five years ago;

Expectations for quality of life in the future;

The attractiveness of downtown;

Protect historic buildings;

Population growth;

Population size; and

Population diversity

My discovery of this report was a timely coincidence.

I had just been reading an article about Saskatoon on an Alberta bubble blog in which one commenter, Groucho, bashed the crap out of Saskatoon.

Following a visit to both Saskatoon and Regina Groucho says, “People jaywalk like crazy all around you…the homeless all have bicycles…Saskatoon and Regina both have a lot of poor people (all riding bikes, of course) A lot of drugs and alcohol problems. It looks like a ghost town in some places…every single house we drove by has an alarm. Apparently they have a lot of crime there…there really is no culture to speak of…I don't want to bash Saskatoon and Regina here, but cheaper housing does not always equal a better quality of living.”

Well, thank you for restraining yourself and not bashing us!

It’s rare that I hear such a critical and condescending review of Saskatoon from anyone who has actually been here. You have to wonder if this guy actually found Saskatoon. Fortunately, he seems to have found his way back home.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. 

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra

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