Headed to Yellowknife? What to expect and where in the world is Yellowknife?!
Yellowknife (Yk) is the capital of Northwest Territories (NT), Canada. Its semi-desert features and proximity to the Arctic Circle contribute to a pretty cold temperature during most of the year. Though it’s the largest city of NT, it’s still small with a population of only 20,000 people recorded in 2016.
The indigenous people, about 20% of the population, built the city on the northern shore of the Great Slave Lake after finding gold in the area about a hundred years ago. The gold eventually diminished and the economy shifted to diamond mining. Moreover, the stunning landscape and community events make it an exciting tourist place. Depending on the season, you could be either confronting the short, almost sun-less days of extreme cold or the fair summer days with too many hours of sunlight.
There are two ways to reach Yk; by air from most national airports, or by road, that’s about a 15-hour adventure ride from Edmonton. The main city is built around the Old Town where the older residences are, and the Downtown, where all the commercial stuff is. But it’s all within walking distance, plus there are lots of touring and taxi services that could be of use.
One of the most awe-inspiring attractions of Yk would be the northern lights, the Aurora borealis. Surprisingly, the lights are visible for most of the year, from August to March. Spring marks the beginning of celebrations that continue through summer, including the Snowking festival, bonfires, sled races, midnight golf tournament, music festival, the solstice, and lots of outdoor activities in, on, and around the water bodies. The winter wonderland also has some great attractions like the museum and heritage center, the Wildcat café, territorial parks and trails, and the legislative assembly building.
Make sure you get the most of your trip by planning ahead and prepping for the weather.
- Did you know the famous actress Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in some superman movies, was born in YK?
- The famous actor Dustin Milligan who’s a regular on Schitt’s Creek is also YK-born.