SASKATOON -- According to Statistics Canada (StatCan), Saskatoon ranks among the top 10 urban centres in the nation when it comes to its rate of growth.

The city's population rose by 1.9 per cent, tying with Calgary and Kelowna for fourth place, the agency said in a new report.

“It’s a testament to the fact that Saskatoon is a place that people see has a strong future,” said Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark.

Clark noted that despite all the difficult economic headwinds western Canada has faced and the added difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatoon is viewed as a place people want to call home.

Chris Molenaar, associate broker with EXP Realty, said Saskatoon is an attractive place for newcomers to begin their journey to Canada, as well as investors looking for properties with positive cash flow, which isn’t seen as much in Vancouver and Toronto.

The report draws on data collected between July 2019 and July 2020.

While Saskatoon saw growth, larger urban centres such as Toronto and Montreal saw a record-breaking loss of people.

Oshawa, located about 60 kilometres from Toronto, saw the highest rate of growth in Canada, with a two per cent population increase.

“This is an era where midsize cities like ours have a lot of opportunity to benefit,” said Clark. “We have high quality of life, we're a relatively safe city to live in, we don’t have long traffic commutes to get to work every day, we got room to breathe and great beautiful spaces to get outside.”

Saskatoon also made a strong showing in a StatCan report last year, also placing fourth among cities, with a two per cent growth rate. Clark believes the city will continue to experience a population increase.

“We are planning for growth, we’ve been doing a lot of work to make sure that we're actually ready for growth up to 500,000 and even a 1,000,000 people."