City of Yorkton

Saskatchewan's canola capital

The City of Yorkton plays a vital role in Saskatchewan’s industrial cog. Nestled just west of the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border, today Yorkton is home to more than 20,000, and represents a vibrant community, one that continues to see daily economic development.

“We have every amenity and service to be offered in our community, with regard to health care, a regional centre…we have industry, agriculture, we export internationally,” Mayor of Yorkton, James Wilson, tells The Canadian Business Journal. Home to a blue collar feel, Yorkton is a great atmosphere that provides plenty of employment, as well enjoyment for families for work, play, and an overall satisfying quality of life.

The industrial sector

Among the most lucrative sectors of Yorkton is its potash involvement. Nearby Mosaic Potash represents one of these locations. Most recently, Mosaic Potash made headlines with its announcement of a $2 billion investment and refurbishment in expanding its existing facilities.

Additionally, Yorkton is also home to two canola processing plants, both recently developed. A joint venture by Louis Dreyfus Group, an agriculture and energy commodities company, and Mitsui Group, the Japanese conglomerate, joined to create LDM Foods, based in Yorkton, that today exports all over the world.

Meanwhile, Richardson International, a Canadian-based company involved in the Canadian and international agriculture and food sectors, has also developed a canola crushing plant. The two plants are new to the area and have put Yorkton on the map, adding further value to its growing food industry. The city’s business base only continues to grow, with more manufacturing and more agricultural production.

That theme of growth is illustrated across the City of Yorkton. According to Wilson, Yorkton has grown by more than 11 per cent in the past year with newcomers to the city.

“We have solid infrastructure existing within our city, prepared for future growth. We’re rated in top one percentile of Saskatchewan for infrastructure, water, sewer, and the basic necessities of our mandate that we are to provide to the citizens of this community,” Wilson said. “We recently completed our $60 million water treatment plant facility…a brand new plant. Environmentally, we have set out to have a zero per cent landfill injection by 2026, so we look at technology as means of doing this.”

Yorkton 2020

The city’s strategic plan, known as Yorkton 2020, was developed through informative discussions representing all walks of life of Yorkton, including youth, offering what people want to see in the city in the future. It’s a plan of continued improvement and growth, covering healthcare, education, safety, security, recreational amenities, and a variety of other noteworthy endeavors.

“We structured high level goals for ourselves as a city that we can strive for. We make it lucrative for business to develop here. We want to have a welcoming policy that we are adaptable to the needs of the business community for expansion and growth, but also other businesses that want to locate here,” Wilson said.

In fact, because the city offers such business prosperity, Yorkton has even faced some difficulties in growing too quickly, with land and accessibility becoming an issue. Nevertheless, the city’s roll-up-your-sleeves attitude has continued to shine through, always willing to work together for the betterment of the city and its future.

“We’ve worked with our local municipalities to make sure we are all on side for the growth and to make it happen properly. People from all over the world have approached us and are investing here,” said Wilson, acknowledging that the City of Yorkton is diligent that any decisions it makes today have an impact and realization on its continued development.

“We’re always looking long term…what we have to do today for the future,” Wilson added.

“There is very healthy market for housing that exists here today. The job prospects here are fantastic. There is an abundance of job creation. We have a number of people relocating here from all over the place—internationally too,” Wilson beamed. “We see a considerable amount of Albertans in this area, who enjoy our quality of life. It’s a strong, vibrant, economic engine rolling here.”

Working together, working better

According to Mayor Wilson, to say Yorkton has successfully navigated the recession would be cutting it short.

“We haven’t felt the economic impact. BHP Billiton, the largest player in any mining company in the world, and Louis Dreyfus, and Richard International, and Mosaic International are all taking a look at us and investing here and realizing the potential of Saskatchewan,” said the mayor.

Saskatchewan has been very healthy through the economic downtown and that result has trickled down with solid and steady growth in Yorkton.

“Our region and our city have been very solid, simply because we have taken the attitude that we don’t expect others to do it; we have to do it for ourselves. We step forward and make it happen. In Yorkton, we believe in working together.

“People say Yorkton is something they don’t see around the world, let alone Canada, where people are buying property, investing in Yorkton, and investing their business in Yorkton.”