Saguenay is a city located approximately 120 miles or 200 km north of Quebec City, on the Saguenay River. The city of Saguenay is found within the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Saguenay's geographical code is 941 and Saguenay constitutes a territory equivalent or also referred to as TE to a regional county municipality. Along with Le Fjord-du-Saguenay, another regional county municipality, it forms the census division or also known as CD of Le Saguenay-et-son-Fjord. Saguenay is the seat of judicial district of Chicoutimi.
Prior to its use as the city's name, the term "the Saguenay" or "Saguenay Valley" had already been utilized for the entire region of the Saguenay River.
Situated in a depression in the Canadian Shield, Saguenay has a more temperate weather than the surrounding area. This has allowed for agriculture and human settlement to happen. The particularly small and concentrated Lac St-Jean region where the city is located has been described as a remote "oasis" in the middle of the far-off wilderness of the vast region including Northern Quebec.
There are not a lot of roads which connect to the region from the east and the south, with just one road connecting from the northwest. The region has no roads leading into the northern wilderness. The last roads within the northern direction end just a short distance from Saguenay and are still considered within the Lac St-Jean region. Other than some isolated Inuit and Cree villages, there are no other human settlements due north of Saguenay up to the Canadian Arctic islands.
The city's economy is presently in transition, even if several of the mainstays continue to be in the sectors of teaching, developing research in applied technologies for energy, aluminum, genomics, Biomedical Sciences and boreal forest. The economy also depends on exploring water resources. Saguenay has 3 hydroelectric power stations, one operating within Pont-Arnaud, one within the borough of Jonquiere and one operating within Chute-Garneau since the spring of 2011.
There are 3 expansive industrial parks which total about 8,496,138 square meters of commercial facilities. There are 5 shopping areas and city centers, 2 power centers, 5 major commercial arteries and 6 shopping centers.
The corporation Rio Tinto Alcan confirmed a massive investment in the month of December 2010, to upgrade its plant. This plant would now produce more than 40% more aluminum. The initial ingots are scheduled to be cast during the first quarter of 2013. The first stage is slated to have 38 tanks equipped with new technology and an estimated production of 60,000 tons of aluminum per year.
The ISQ or Institute of Statistics of Quebec showed the per capita personal income for 2009 amounted to $31,677 versus $31,344 in the year 2008, a variation of 1.1%. The 2010 data also showed that the GDP of the Saguenay CMA in 2009 added up to a total of 6 billion compared to 9.1 billion to the GDP of the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean.