Saguenay is a city located approximately 120 miles or 200 km north of Quebec City, on the Saguenay River. The city is situated within the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area. The geographical code of the city is 941 and the City of Saguenay constitutes a territory equivalent or TE to a regional county municipality. Together with Le Fjord-du-Saguenay, one more regional county municipality, it forms the census division or CD of Le Saguenay-et-son-Fjord. Saguenay is the seat of judicial district of Chicoutimi.
The term "Saguenay Valley" or "the Saguenay" had been the name of the whole Saguenay River region, prior to being used as the city's name.
Saguenay is located within a depression in the Canadian Shield. Saguenay has a more temperate type of weather than the nearby area, which allowed agriculture and human settlement to happen. The specifically small and concentrated Lac St-Jean region where Saguenay is found has been described as an isolated "oasis" in the middle of the distant wilderness of the vast region including Northern Quebec.
There are not many roads that connect to the region from the south and the east, with only one road connecting from the northwest. The area has no roads leading into the northern wilderness. The last roads that direct north end just a short distance from the city of Saguenay and are still considered in the Lac St-Jean area. Except for some remote Inuit and Cree villages, there are no human settlements due north of the city all the way to the Canadian Arctic islands.
The economy of the city is currently in transition. Some of the mainstays are teaching and developing research in applied technologies for energy, aluminum, Biomedical Sciences, boreal forest and genomics. The economy also relies on exploring water resources. Saguenay has 3 hydroelectric power stations, one operating in Pont-Arnaud, one in the borough of Jonquiere and one operating in Chute-Garneau ever since the spring of the year 2011.
The city supports 3 expansive industrial parks, which has commercial facilities spread out over 8,496,138 square meters of space. There are 5 shopping areas and city centers, 2 power centers, 5 major commercial arteries and 6 shopping centers.
During December the year 2010, Rio Tinto Alcan confirmed investing 750 million dollars to be able to improve its pilot plant. This particular plant is located within Jonquiere AP-60 and would be over 40 percent more productive compared to the existing aluminum. The first ingots are scheduled to be cast in the first quarter of 2013. The initial stage is slated to have 38 tanks equipped with new technology and an estimated production of 60,000 tons of aluminum each year.
In 2009, the ISQ or Institute of Statistics of Quebec showed a per capita personal income of $31,677 against $31,344 over 2008 numbers, which is a variation of 1.1%. The data of 2010 also showed that the GDP of the Saguenay CMA in the year 2009 added up to a sum of 6 billion as opposed to 9.1 billion to the GDP of the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean.