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Yellowknife, Capital of the Northwest Territories

Key Facts About Yellowknife, the Capital of the Northwest Territories, Canada

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Updated: 03/10/2013

About the City of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Yellowknife is the capital city of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Yellowknife is also the only city in the Northwest Territories. A small, culturally diverse city in the far north of Canada, Yellowknife combines all the urban amenities with memories of the old gold prospecting days. Gold and government administration were the mainstays of Yellowknife's economy until the late 1990s, when the fall of gold prices led to the closure of the two main gold companies and the creation of the new territory of Nunavut meant the transfer out of a third of government employees. The discovery of diamonds in the Northwest Territories in 1991 came to the rescue, and diamond mining, cutting, polishing and selling became major activities for Yellowknife residents. While winters in Yellowknife are cold and dark, long summer days with plenty of sunshine make Yellowknife a magnet for outdoor adventurers and nature lovers.

Location of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Yellowknife is located on the north shore of Great Slave Lake, on the west side of Yellowknife Bay near the outlet of the Yellowknife River. Yellowknife is about 512 km (318 miles) south of the Arctic Circle.

Area of City of Yellowknife

105.44 sq. km (40.71 sq. miles) (Statistics Canada, 2011 Census)

Population of City of Yellowknife

19,234 (Statistics Canada, 2011 Census)

Date Yellowknife Became the Capital of the Northwest Territories

1967

Date Yellowknife Incorporated as a City

1970

Government of City of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Yellowknife municipal elections are held every three years, on the third Monday in October.

Date of the last Yellowknife municipal election: Monday October 15, 2012

Date of the next Yellowknife municipal election: Monday October 19, 2015

Yellowknife's city council is made up of 9 elected representatives: one mayor and 8 city councillors.

Yellowknife Attractions

Weather in Yellowknife

Yellowknife has a semi-arid subarctic climate.

Winters in Yellowknife are cold and dark. Because of the latitude, there are only five hours of daylight on December days. January temperatures range from -22°C to -30°C (-9°F to -24°F).

Summers in Yellowknife are sunny and pleasant. Summer days are long, with 20 hours of daylight, and Yellowknife has the sunniest summers of any city in Canada. July temperatures range from 12°C to 21°C (54°F to 70°F).

City of Yellowknife Official Site

Capital Cities of Canada

For information on the other capital cities in Canada, see Capital Cities of Canada.

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