Off grid living in Saskatchewan ( Canada’s Breadbasket )

Saskatchewan is located in the southern parts of Canada, and it is extremely similar to Alberta when it comes to climate and off grid living opportunities. Currently, Saskatchewan’s population is 1.2 million and the highest population density is in the southern parts of the province due to the mild climate. Saskatchewan only has two cities with a population of over 100k people, the biggest city is Saskatoon with a 250k population followed by Regina with 215k, Prince Albert 35k, Moose Jaw 34k, and Swift Current with 17k residents.

Saskatchewan is a good province for off grid living, the cost of property and living is fairly low, and this province has the most roads in the entire country, most northern provinces have a big problem with lack of roads. In addition to this, the local climate is fairly mild as this province has plenty of sunshine throughout the year, and summers can be fairly hot. Due to the local climate, you can also grow plenty of crops, and if you love fishing then you will love it here as there are thousands of lakes and rivers.

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The capital city of Saskatchewan is Regina, in the past, the Saskatchewan province was part of the Northwest Territories and the seat of government was in Regina. After the new province of Saskatchewan was formed the city of Regina became its seat of power. Usually, cities that are seats of power for a province tend to be the biggest cities, although Saskatoon has a significantly higher population.

Saskatoon is also considered the Paris of the prairies, and its population is quickly growing every year. Saskatchewan with the neighboring province Alberta gets the most amount of sunshine every year, around 2000 hrs per year, and summers can get fairly hot in these areas. Although Saskatchewan is also prone to having arctic winds from time to time which can last anything between a couple of days to several weeks.

Saskatchewan is famous for its lakes, there are over 10 000 lakes in this province, and a lot of people who live off the grid choose to do so near a lake. Saskatchewan also has sand dunes, just like in the Sahara, so if you ever visit this province then check them out just remember that there is no road access to them. These sand dunes were formed by massive glaciers that had sand trapped in them, once they melted the sand formed these massive sand dunes. When it comes to living off the grid this province is very similar to Alberta, for more information check out my recent article Off grid living in Alberta ( Sunshine Province ).

Saskatchewan climate

Due to its large size, Saskatchewan has several types of climates like humid continental, subarctic, and semi-arid. Generally speaking, the humid continental climate is in the southern parts of the province, the semi-arid is in the south and the subarctic climate is in the extreme north of this province. The average summertime temperatures are between 60F-90F ( 15C-30C), the average winter temperatures are below freezing and during the arctic winters, they can get significantly lower. If you want to compare this province to a state then check out my recent article Off grid living in Vermont ( The Green Mountain State ).

Types of crops grown in Saskatchewan

The southern parts of Saskatchewan are excellent for growing crops, the most commonly grown crops in this province are wheat, rye, oats, alfalfa, barley, canola, flax, and rapeseed. Although you can grow several crops in this province, but in some areas, there is a problem with the fertility of the land, especially in the semi-arid areas. You will be able to grow your own crops, but you will probably have to make your own compost and maybe even a greenhouse. If you want to take a look at one of the northern provinces then check out my recent article Off grid living in Nunavut ( Our Land ).

Freshwater availability in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is known for its thousands of lakes and rivers, even though the annual rainfall is not that high this province still has plenty of fresh water. The average yearly rainfall is around 13.9″ ( 354mm ) and the average yearly snowfall is around 50″ ( 128 cm ). Generally speaking the most rainfall and snowfall in this province is in the northern parts and in the southern parts the average yearly rainfall and snowfall drop down significantly.

Saskatchewan wildlife

The most common types of animals in this province are white-tailed deer, beavers, Canada geese, caribou, coyote, lynx, moose, raccoon, and wolves. Saskatchewan has thousands of lakes and rivers and most of them have fish, the most commonly found fish in this province are walleye, northern pike, lake trout, rainbow trout, yellow perch, brook trout, arctic grayling, whitefish, sauger, splake, and largemouth bass. You will need a license both for fishing and hunting https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/parks-culture-heritage-and-sport/hunting-trapping-and-angling/angling/buy-an-angling-licence.

Generating power off the grid in Saskatchewan

  • Solar power: Saskatchewan is one of the provinces which gets a lot of sunshine every year, so generating power with solar panels will be extremely easy especially in the southern parts of the province. The local solar incentive program is called the SaskPower Solar Rebate, which is a rebate of around $0.61/Watt, in Alberta, the rebate is $0.90/kW but in Saskatchewan, the rebate is limited to $20 000 and in Alberta to $5000.
  • Wind power: Due to the local climate some areas have a fairly constant wind all year round and you will have to contact your local authorities to find out if there are any local incentives for wind power.

Saskatchewan off grid laws

Living off the grid in Saskatchewan is legal, and the local authorities even offer generous incentives for renewable energy. The best areas for off grid living are in the southern parts of the state, but you will find plenty of off grid communities in the northern parts also where most of the lakes are. The quality of education in this province is fairly high although you can still homeschool your children, the homeschooling laws are fairly straight forward, although you will have to notify the local authorities.

Road access in Saskatchewan

Most of the provinces in Canada have a serious problem with the lack of roads, although Saskatchewan has probably one of the biggest road systems in the entire country. Currently, there are around 155k miles ( 250k km ) of roads in this province although during the wintertime some of them are inaccessible. If you are planning to live off the grid in the southern parts of the province then a 4×4 vehicle would do, but in the northern parts, you will have to start thinking about getting a snowmobile.

Price of land in Saskatchewan

The price of land in Saskatchewan is fairly similar to Alberta’s, near the bigger cities the price of housing and land tends to be the most expensive, although you will find cheaper housing in the smaller towns or near them. Generally speaking, the most expensive parts of this province when it comes to housing and land are in the southern parts where the population density is significantly higher.

Saskatchewan cost of living

The cost of living in Saskatchewan is fairly low, due to its geographical position and the local infrastructure, this province doesn’t have to rely on planes thus making the cost of living a lot lower than in the northern provinces. This province also has the most roads out of any province in the county which facilitates the transportation of goods, which also contributes to the lower cost of living.

Saskatchewan jobs

Currently, the unemployment rate in Saskatchewan is around 5.8% which is significantly lower than the national average of 6.9%. The minimum wage in this province is $11.32 which is around the same level as in the neighboring provinces. The biggest industries where most people work are oil, gas, mining, renewable energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.

Saskatchewan natural disasters

Saskatchewan has a couple of natural disasters like floods, storms, drought, wildfires, arctic winds, and even tornadoes. Although tornadoes are fairly rare when they occur they tend to do a lot of damage, generally speaking, most of the tornadoes occur in the southern parts of the province.

In conclusion

Overall Saskatchewan is fairly good for off grid living, generally speaking, living off the grid in the northern parts of the province gets more difficult due to the local climate. There are a lot of people and communities living completely off the grid in Saskatchewan as this province has everything you would need to live off the grid.