Yellowknife: Top 10

(continuer en français) – Last updated: December 19, 2020

The Northwest Territories within its current boundaries was incorporated in 1999, the name was formerly used to cover all of western and northern Canada. The capital city Yellowknife began as a mining town in 1939, since then the growth of the administration has taken over the mine, there are 20,000 inhabitants. The early days are still visible in many places.

01. Wildcat Cafe

The Wildcat Cafe opened in 1937 and is the oldest restaurant in Yellowknife. At the time it represented the last touch with civilization for all those who were then sinking into the barren vastness of the North. Its historical importance was illustrated by a replica of the Café long presented at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec.

02. The Rock

It is a rocky outcrop around which the first houses in Yellowknife were built. From the summit, the roofs of the old town are overlooked and the modern buildings at the end of Franklin Avenue can be seen. Since 1967, a monument has honoured bush pilots who died exploring or servicing isolated posts.

03. Cultural Crossroad

At the foot of McAvoy Rock, a collective street art work from 2002 was carried by the Francophone community, involving Aboriginal and Métis artists as well as Anglophones. The mix of influences is also reflected in the diversity of the work, all celebrating the Far North, its various people and animals.

04. Ragged Ass Road

This street in old Yellowknife, was named by its residents who were going through a rough time in the 1970s. At first a joke between neighbours, the name quickly became popular with visitors. With reluctance, the municipality eventually made the name official. The typical log cabins of the early days can now be found a little further down the street.

05. Houseboats

Yellowknife is located on the shore of Great Slave Lake, there are about 20 houseboats including a B&B. Legally, Yellowknife houseboats are off-grid, not under the jurisdiction of the municipality and do not pay local taxes. As a result, they do not receive any utilities and must be self-sufficient.

06. Bank of Toronto

This log cabin was built in 1938 as a dwelling. With the increase in financial activity related to mining, the Bank of Toronto purchased the cabin to open a branch in 1944. It operated until 1951, but the decline in activity led to its closure. It has been restored as a private residence since and is classified as a historic building.

07. Giant Mine

The main gold mine, Giant Mine was in operation from 1948 to 2004. Covering several hundred hectares and with several shafts. In total the mine produced more than 220 tonnes of gold. Significant quantities of toxic materials were also accumulated, now requiring decontamination treatment.

08. Float planes

Unusual sight in many places, float planes are a common sight in Yellowknife, moored among the boats along the lake and river banks. In addition to commercial airlines covering scheduled flights to other communities, there are many individual aircraft used to travel where there are no roads.

09. Legislative Assembly

The Legislative Assembly Building was completed in 1993. Since 1994 the Head of Government has been elected by the Legislative Assembly and bears the title of Premier, as in the provinces. The 19 members do not form political parties and participate in a consensus government. The Assembly is freely accessible even on weekends.

10. Visitor Centre

It is always interesting to visit the visitor centers, this is where the information is gathered. The one in Yellowknife also contains an exhibition of local wildlife that is often difficult to observe in the wild. From polar bears to caribou, they can be seen up close and personal, along with information about them and the rest of the region.

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    • Now if you consider that the water is frozen half the year, that doesn’t make them so much floating homes anymore. Canada already offers us vast wilderness areas, but going to the Territories in the north, takes it to the next level. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yellowknife is an interesting city. I have been there twice during my years as an employe of TD Bank to complete project work in the current branch location. Both times during summer solstice. It was nice to visit the original location where one of the Banks CEOs got his banking start. Amongst his duties were emptying the stove ashes and starting the stove to heat the branch for arriving staff. Talk about knowing the Bank from bottom to top. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for pointing that out. It is indeed the Bank of Toronto, which then merged with the Dominion Bank to form the current TD Bank, one of Canada’s leading banks.


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