What makes this small dot on the map a fantastic place to call home? Why would an average-sized Saskatchewan city be better to live in than a larger centre like Saskatoon, or the capital, like Regina? Here are ten reasons why one should make the move to little ol' Yorkton, Saskatchewan:

An image of City Center Park in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. 

1) Small Town Mind, Big City Body

An aerial view of Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Yorkton possesses the highly sought after small town charm: where the whole community is close-knit. This is rare to find in a city, mainly because of population size. Once you reach a certain number of people, it's not possible to know everybody. Even though this city numbers nearly 17,000, there's a neighbourly demeanour about the people. Maybe it's the layout of the place, maybe it's the proximity to so many farms, maybe it's the water....who knows? Whatever the reason is, we're thankful for it!

2) It's a Business and Shopping Hub

A sidewalk view of Broadway Street East in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Originally founded as a trading center near the Manitoba border, Yorkton is still going strong when it comes to business and commerce. This city is a large hub in the East-Central SK region, especially because it's so close to the border. It attracts people from both Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba. This has brought many business opportunities to town, and allowed small businesses to thrive. For shoppers, this means we have access to a diverse range of goods and services, without the need for special orders and/or long waits. 

3) Little To No Sirens

An aerial image of Dracup Avenue in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Unlike big cities, Yorkton is pretty quiet. You don't hear sirens every hour, or even every day for that matter. This aspect is often overlooked by people here, but one of the first things that newcomers notice. You can open up your windows at night and fall asleep to the sweet sounds of nature's ambient music.

4) Great Air Quality

An image of Yorkton's water tower.

Due to its smaller size as a city, Yorkton doesn't have a large industrial section or manufacturing facilities that pump out lung-clogging pollution. Also, Saskatchewan itself is a rather clean province. Those with allergies or respiratory issues can enjoy a better quality of life here. (Scroll down to the end of this article for bonus items regarding this topic)

5) Fast Travel and Commute Time

An image of a child using a scooter in the Yorkton skatepark.

This is the biggest bonus of living here, honestly. Start on one end of the city and time yourself. Doing the speed limit, it should take you anywhere from 6-8 minutes to get to the opposite side. That's it! Even at high traffic times such as 5:00 pm, traffic isn't bad at all, which means commuting at peak times isn't bad either. Yorkton doesn't suffer from traffic jams, or even long red light times (30 seconds is average). For those working out of town, highway traffic is spread out and low - moderate. 

6) Indigenous Events

An image of a Saskatchewan Pow Wow Dancer.

The Yorkton Tribal Council (YTC) is an organization that provides essential services to 6 member nations in Treaty 4 territory. The City of Yorkton is within Treaty 4 territory. One of the greatest benefits to living here is learning about Indigenous culture through some of the events the YTC holds. For example, all people are welcome to enjoy the annual Pow Wow held at the Gallagher Centre. Spectating this celebration is not only educational for non-aboriginal people, but awe-inspiring. With Covid-19 restrictions, events like this have been cancelled for now, but the YTC has adapted by holding virtual events with guest speakers.

7) Nearby Lakes 

An image of a dragon boat race at York Lake.

In the Central and Northern parts of Saskatchewan, you're never too far from a lake. York Lake is the closest body of water to Yorkton, with Good Spirit Lake being second. These two lakes are frequented by residents the most, where water sports and recreation are enjoyed daily during the summer months. For lakes with a lower number of visitors, you can make the one hour drive Northeast to get into Duck Mountain Provincial Park. There are a number of beautiful lakes whose natural ecosystems are well-preserved.

8) Recreational Facilities and Spaces

An aerial image of the Gloria Hayden Centre, M.C. Knoll & St. Michael's Elementary Schools in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Every neighbourhood in the city has a park and/or walkway to satisfy your recreation needs. There are also some dedicated/special use parks like the Off Leash Dog Park (Wiggly Field), Patrick Park & Rodney Ridge Disc Golf Courses, Silver Heights Park (Splash park and Crokicurl rink), and the downtown Skateboard park. When the weather isn't the greatest, you can head over to the Gloria Hayden Community Centre or the Gallagher Centre for a plethora of indoor activities and sports.

9) The Art Gallery

A three image collage of the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

The Godfrey Dean Art Gallery is a transcendental reflection of the diverse creativity within the community. In addition to supporting local and provincial artists, they provide interactive workshops for both kids and adults. There's always something beautiful, and always something meaningful going on at the art gallery! 

10) Local Eats

An image of the Hudson's Bay Building in Yorkton, an iconic heritage site.

Okay, every place has restaurants that serve good food. What we're talking about with this one are the restaurants just in Yorkton that are AMAZING, from the food to the dining experience. We're talking about Wander's Sweet Discoveries, an adorable pastry shop located on Second Avenue, below Rogoza's Optometry office. The small diner-style layout makes you feel right at home, and the goodies taste like they've been sent straight from heaven. The quiche, croissants and cinnamon buns in particular are must try items! Another incredible place to eat is Arigato Sushi, also located on Second Avenue. They have a delectable menu of Japanese and Korean food, and the staff make you feel so welcome - especially if you're a newcomer. Finally, Joe Beeverz Canadian Pub offers the most delicious Poutine you could ever sink your teeth into (there's lots of different kinds to choose from!). They're located on Broadway Street East, near the East Side Tim Horton's.

These are only some of the reasons you'll love living in Yorkton. If you've got a reason, share it in the comments! Photos courtesy of The City of Yorkton, Yorkton Tourism and the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery (websites). Source links below.




Two Things To Watch Out For While Living In Yorkton

  • Trains.

The two railroad giants, CN and CP, both have railroads that bisect the city. You will be stopped by one during the course of a week. It's a pain in the butt, for sure, but sometimes we need a humble reminder to stop and smell the roses during the day!

  • The Canola Crushing Plant.

Speaking of smells, there is one particular smell that we should mention...it's the smell from the canola crushing plant. To be blunt, it smells like a rotten fart. We're not sure who decided it was a good idea to build this place Northwest of the city when it's well known that our winds come from the West. However, the smell doesn't last long. 

And hey, if these are the major things to watch out for when you move here, it's not so bad. Compare that to large cities where serious crime is the major thing to watch out for!

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