Is Saskatoon Safe?
You may have heard that, per capita, Saskatoon has one of the country’s higher crime rates. This is sadly true, but most people will tell you they feel quite safe here. Many walk the river trails alone at night and some still refuse to lock their doors. The problem of being a small centre is that an event can have a bigger impact on a per capita basis. A break in in a town of 50 is the same, per capita, as 6,000 break-ins in a city the size of Saskatoon. In Saskatoon, one assault charge counts as equal to 10 assaults in Toronto on a per capita basis. Regardless, when researching where to live, you will probably want to look at safety. As far as rentals near university go, for the areas on this list, they are relatively to very safe.
The City of Saskatoon Police Service has an excellent crime map tool that is very helpful in understanding the crimes and types of crimes, and where they were committed. As a general rule, it’s not fair to say that a whole neighbourhood is unsafe and the tool helps illustrate that.
Local Thoughts on Safety
First of all a disclaimer. This information is not exhaustive and may not even be accurate. We really recommend looking closely at the aforementioned crime map. For the most part, we do consider Saskatoon safe but everything – even safety – is relative within Canada and within Saskatoon.
It used to be advised to avoid the ‘west side’, meaning anything west of Idylwyld. But Riversdale, one of the most vibrant and trendy neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, has been improving steadily for about 10 years now.
You’ll also hear to avoid the “alphabets” but Caswell Hill runs from Ave B to H and is fairly quiet. Today, the prevailing wisdom is that the worst area of town is in Pleasant Hill between 20th and 22nd St (from Ave H-W, near St Paul’s Hospital). However, there are areas on the southern end of Pleasant Hill that are nothing like the St Paul’s area.
In general, except for the Caswell Hill or Riversdale, students will probably want to look on the east side of the river in the neighbourhoods we’ve covered. Not just from a safety perspective, but to stay closer to campus. On the east side, the neighbourhoods near university can be considered safe. At worst there may be a few pockets that are not so quiet but certainly not dangerous.
It’s not possible to objectively list all the areas to avoid but below is a map from the Saskatoon Police showing crime against persons across the city in 2019.