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The City of Saskatoon has estimated its population to be 271,000 as of July 2017, Saskatoon is home to the University of Saskatchewan, the Meewasin Valley Authority which protects the South Saskatchewan River and provides for the city's popular riverbank park spaces, and Wanuskewin Heritage Park, a National Historic Site of Canada representing 6,000 years of First Nations history. 344, the most populous rural municipality in Saskatchewan, surrounds the city and contains many of the developments associated with it, including Wanuskewin.Saskatoon is named after the berry of the same name, which is native to the region, and is itself derived from the Cree .Straddling a bend in the South Saskatchewan River and along the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway, it has served as the region's cultural and economic hub since it was founded in 1882 as a Temperance colony.At its 2016 census population of 246,376, Saskatoon is the largest city in the province, while at a 2016 census population of 295,095, the Saskatoon census metropolitan area (CMA) is the 17th largest CMA in Canada.Chief Whitecap and Charles Trottier passed through the present day University campus on their way to join Louis Riel's armed forces at Batoche, Saskatchewan.Following the fighting at the Battle of Fish Creek, and the Battle of Batoche, wounded Canadian soldiers convalesced at the Marr Residence which is today a historic site.The lack of surrounding mountainous topography gives the city a relatively flat grid, though the city does sprawl over a few hills and into a few valleys.The lowest point in the city is the river, while the highest point is disputed between the suburb of Sutherland in the east side and the Silverwood-River Heights areas in the city's north end.
On the east side, Lorne Avenue demarcates east and west while Aird Street marks the north/south boundary, except in the Sutherland community where a separate east/west demarcation takes place with Central Avenue as the boundary (there is, however, no separate north/south divide).
Nutana, Riversdale, their historic main streets of Broadway Avenue and 20th Street respectively, the downtown core and other central neighbourhoods are seeing significant reinvestment and redevelopment.
Sutherland, the rail town the city annexed in 1956 that lies beyond the University lands, is now another historic neighbourhood.
, "Saskatoon" or the locatives: misâskwatôminihk, lit: "at the saskatoon berry", misâskwatôminiskâhk, "at the place of many saskatoon berries", mînisihk "at the berry"] comes from the Cree inanimate noun misâskwatômina "saskatoon berries", which refers to the sweet, violet-coloured berry that grows in the area.
In 1882, the Toronto-based Temperance Colonization Society was granted 21 sections of land straddling the South Saskatchewan River, between what is now Warman and Dundurn.