Economic Profile

Chesterfield Bridge crossing the South Saskatchewan River. Photographer: Patti TrautweinLeader, with a population of 821, is the center of a retail trading area which includes three rural municipalities. Leader is one of the sunniest places in North America with 2350 hours of sunshine and an average precipitation of 31 inches (79 cm) snow and 10 inches (25.5 cm) rain per year. Mean temperatures range from a January low of -19°C to a summer high in July of +26°C.

Geese on field. Photographer: Dean FrancisLeader is a community of contrasts. The prairie landscape is broken by rolling hills to the south, and by the South Saskatchewan River valley to the north. The dry desert of the Great Sandhills lies to the east, but a few miles north is the fertile plain near the river. Here is some of the best farmland in the country, and the wide open ranch lands provide grazing for cattle herds. In the center of it all, at the junction of Highway 32 and Highway 21, is Leader.

Great SandhillsTerminalIncorporated as a town in 1917, Leader is the agricultural service center for the district. The grain and cattle industries provide long-term stability and form the base of the community. Commercial taxes have been lowered as an incentive to increase economic activity.

Fishing on the South Saskatchewan River north of Leader. Photographer: Ray HawkinsTourism is becoming a growth industry in Leader. The community lies directly in the migratory bird flyways and attracts visitors from across North America. Along the Leader Birding Trail, naturalists will find over 200 different species. These include Canada Goose, Sharp-Tailed Grouse and Ring Necked Pheasant. White-tail deer, antelope and moose can be seen in the area, and at the South Saskatchewan River, you’ll find pickerel, northern pike and sturgeon.

With its sandbars and sandhills, Leader is a truly unique part of the prairies. A great place to visit, a great place to work, a great place to live.