Yellowknife, a city of some 18,700 people, is the capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is located only 400 km away from the Arctic circle, to the north of the Great Slave Lake, while the Yellowknife Bay spreads eastwards from the city. The climate of the region is subarctic, with the wettest month being August. Major industries in the city are commerce, tourism, education, government service, sectors, and transportation.

Origin of the city’s name
The city and the water areas around it were named after the Yellowknives – a group of the Dene indigenous people that populated the Northwest Territories of Canada. They used to make tools for the copper mining industry that was thriving in the region.

Linguistic and Ethnic Diversity

The ethnically-miscellaneous population of Yellowknife speaks five of the eleven official languages that are spoken in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Apart from English and French, the trained ear of an experienced linguist can distinguish between such linguistic rarities as Dogrib, Dene Suline, North and South Slavey.

Somba K’e

In the Dogrib language, the city is famous as Somba K'e, which means "where the money is". Indeed, there is quite a lot of cash in the city of Yellowknife. The first settlers came here in 1935 to develop gold-mining projects. The gold rush lasted until 1980, when Yellowknife switched from a typical mining settlement to an administrative center. Then, in 1991, the city returned to its mining traditions as diamonds were discovered in the area.

How to get there

The city of Yellowknife has the busiest airport in Northern Canada, but if you want to visit Yellowknife by car, you should consider the local speed limits – 45 km/h in the city, 30 km/h in school and playground areas and 70 km/h on the highways. Once you get there, you can use the local bus service. The city’s roads condition is far from perfect, owing mostly to the cold weather and heavy snowfalls in the winter.

Entertainment and leisure

Most of the tourists who visit Yellowknife are Japanese, who come here to experience the northern lifestyle and see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis). Indeed, Yellowknife is not exactly the clubbing capital of the north, but you can enjoy a wide range of daytime leisure activities, instead. The city of Yellowknife is the perfect spot for those who love calmness and pristine nature. You can go fishing or boating in the crystal-clear waters of the lake or take a hiking trip in the countryside to explore the diverse wildlife in the area. The famous Ingraham trail goes some 65 km eastwards of Yellowknife, reaching a series of picturesque picnic spots, camping sites and walking trails. In the winter, you can take a dogsled trip along the Northern frontier, visit the Snow King’s Ice Castle, or build your own igloo. If you happen to visit Yellowknife in March, do not miss the Caribou carnival activities performed on a snow stage. Groups of sports enthusiasts practice almost any sport in Yellowknife, including traditional northern sports like ice hockey and curling.