The city is most well known for its proximity to petrochemical facilities, including Dow Chemical, Sherritt International, Agrium and Shell Canada. It is also known for its flock of 50 sheep that roam its downtown park throughout the summer months eating the grass. The city mascot is a sheep named Auggie.
Fort Saskatchewan's main industries are commercial and heavy industry. Fort Saskatchewan is part of Alberta's industrial heartland, the largest Canadian industrial area west of Toronto. Companies with operations in the area include Dow Chemical, Sherritt International, Agrium and Shell Canada. These plants are major employers for residents of Fort Saskatchewan and the surrounding area.
With the city's growth , the commercial service sector has also grown. Multi-national corporations with stores in Fort Saskatchewan include Wal-Mart and the Home Depot, with Canadian Tire, Safeway and Sobeys acting as some of the other major employers.
In 1875, under the command of Inspector W.D. Jarvis, the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) established Fort Saskatchewan as a fort on the North Saskatchewan River. The community was incorporated as a village in 1899, a town in 1904, and a city in 1985.
The Canadian Northern Railway reached Fort Saskatchewan in 1905, placing the town on a transcontinental rail line. The first bridge across the river was also built at this time, with the rail company paying for it in exchange for free land for its station in Fort Saskatchewan. Prior to the bridge, the only method to cross the river at Fort Saskatchewan was via ferry. In the decade after the railway arrived, the town's population nearly doubled to 993.
A new $200,000 provincial jail opened in 1915 at the end of what is now 100th Avenue to replace the 34-cell guard house that had been used to hold prisoners since the NWMP fort was constructed in 1875. There were various additions to the jail throughout the next 70 years, including the construction of more cell blocks and a stand-alone power plant. By 1973, the jail employed 220 residents and housed both male and female offenders. The jail was replaced in 1988 when a new provincial correctional centre was built south of Highway 15 on 101st Street. The original jail cell blocks were demolished in 1994.
In 1952, Sherritt Gordon Mines started construction on a $25-million nickel refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, which started production in 1954. Following Sherritt Gordon's locating in Fort Saskatchewan, more industries constructed plants in the town. Between 1951 and 1956, the town's population doubled from 1,076 to 2,582.
Dow Chemical acquired 700 acres in Fort Saskatchewan in 1959, and open its plant in 1961 and further expanding it in 1967. Within five years of beginning operation at Dow, the population increased to 4,152 in 1966, from 2,972 in 1961.
Fort Saskatchewan is 25 km (16 mi) northeast of Edmonton. Highway 16 east from Edmonton to Highway 21 north to Fort Saskatchewan. Highway 15, known as Manning Freeway, also leads to the city.
- Edmonton Transit Service. Buses from West Clareview Transit Centre to 95 Street & 96 Avenue in Fort Sask -- 3 per day, 39 min, $3.
- Fort Sask Transit operates two routes M-F only 5:30-8:30PM, adults $2.25, seniors 65 and over/students 13-17 $1.50, children 12 and under free. Exact cash fare only.
- The city has many kilometers of bike and walking trails, with lush greenbelts following the river valley.
- Fort Heritage Precinct, 10006 100 Avenue, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Year-round: M-F 10AM-4PM, and late May-early Sep: Sa 10AM-4PM. The 3-acre site has 8 heritage buildings furnished with period pieces that form a picturesque historic village overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. A reconstructed fort (2014) shows what the original 'Fort on the Saskatchewan' looked like circa 1875. The Fort and Warden’s Residence are wheelchair/walker accessible. Other parts of the site are not. Adults $8, youth/seniors $5, children (2-12) $4, children (under 2) free, family $20.
- Dow Centennial Centre (DCC). A multi-use facility that includes an ice arena, gymnasium, fieldhouse, indoor track and fitness centre. The facility also features a 550-seat performing arts theatre, a permanent art gallery with monthly shows, a banquet hall and the local pottery guild.
- The city also has two other indoor ice arenas: the Jubilee Recreation Centre and the Sportsplex, that are used during the winter months by hockey, ringette and figure skating associations. In the summer months, the lacrosse association uses them. Fort Saskatchewan also has the Harbour Pool, which is an indoor swimming pool that includes a hot tub, sauna and slide.
- Over 30 km (19 mi) of paved trails meander through the city's dozen parks, including Legacy Park, which is the city's main gathering place and hosts festivals in the summer.
- There is one nine-hole golf course within the city's boundaries and three others nearby.
- The city's west end features a boat launch into the North Saskatchewan River, called Red Coat Landing, and a provincially preserved natural area, called the Fort Saskatchewan Prairie.
- Fort Station Mall, 99th Avenue at the intersection of 108th Street (on the east side of downtown). On the main strip in downtown Fort Saskatchewan.
- Cornerstone Mall, 10005 102 street (at the intersection of Highway 15 and Highway 21). Home to a number of the city's major big-box retailers (Canadian Tire, Walmart).
- The Downtown Diner, 10209A 100 Ave, ☎ . Daily 11AM-8PM. Burgers, sandwiches, mains $15-18.
- Atlantic Kitchen, 9904 102 St, ☎ . M-W 10AM-8PM, Th-Sa 10AM-8:30PM. Fish and chips, mussels, scallops, burgers, sandwiches. Sandwiches $10-16, mains $13-26.
- Bear's Den, 9923 102 St, ☎ . M-W 11AM-midnight, Th-Sa 11AM-2AM. The biggest sports bar in the Fort. Pool tables, games. Burgers, sandwiches, mains $13-16; pizzas from $10.
- Gloria's Soup Spot, 10208 99 Ave, ☎ . M-F 11AM-3PM. Homemade soups and sandwiches.
- Lakeview Inns & Suites - Fort Saskatchewan, 10115 88th Avenue, ☎ . Continental breakfast, free high-speed internet, free DVD movies, restaurant & bar, pets permitted ($20/night to a max of $60), on-smoking and smoking suites, wheelchair accessible rooms, on-site laundry. From $80.
- Stars Inn and Suites, 8708 101 St, toll-free: . Free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, sofas and desks, microwaves, minifridges and coffeemakers. Fitness centre, a sauna, a golf simulator and a meeting room. From $105.
- The Kanata Inns, 9820 86 Avenue, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. Smoke-free, 24-hour fitness center, 24-hour business center, air conditioning, free hot/cold buffet breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking, microwave, refrigerator. From $86.
- Southfort Inn, 140 Town Crest Road, ☎ . Fitness facilities, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, laundry and dry cleaning facilities. Free hot buffet breakfast. Montana’s BBQ & Bar restaurant is attached to the hotel. From $100.
- The Elk Island National Park, which is famous for its bison, is southeast of the city.