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yellowknife travel restrictions

Phase Two of Emerging Wisely Launches; Travel Restrictions Amended

Yellowknife — June 12, 2020

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has moved to Relaxing Phase Two of Emerging Wisely – the territory’s plan for relaxing the COVID-19 public health restrictions,  and made amendments to the territory’s travel restrictions.

In phase two, outdoor gathering limits increase, more businesses and organizations will be able to open indoors with precautions in-place, and offices will be able to have a maximum of 25 people per floor as long as they are set up for physical distancing of at least two metres.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola has recommended we move to Phase 2 because standard testing remains strong, contact tracing capabilities remain strong, and community spread is non-existent.

The territory still has no active cases, and has not reported a new case in 69 days.

Most jurisdictions have seen an increase in cases when public health restrictions have been lifted and efforts will be made to avoid this across the NWT

The Chief Public Health Officer continues to require physical distance of two metres while at outdoor gatherings, recommends keeping to a limited friendship circle for indoor get-togethers, and requires businesses and organizations to have strong precautions in-place.

Updates have also been made to the Public Health Order – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Self-Isolation Protocol, and these changes come into effect today. Amendments have been made to form a two-territory travel bubble with Nunavut.

Other amendments include clarification on requirements for those moving to the NWT and traveling within the NWT for work or school. There is also additional clarity for family reunification as a compassionate exemption.

Notice of Future Amendments

Future amendments will also be made to the travel order to allow exemptions for residents of the NWT who are employed as:

  • Supply chain workers
  • Flight crews
  • Airline employees

These workers regularly leave the territory for employment purposes and return in the course of the same day. They have minimal contact with other communities and therefore the need to self-isolate, so long as the right precautions are taken are not necessary.

These situations to date have been handled on a case-by-case. The future amendments would eliminate the need for this burdensome implementation step, and provide clear precautions for these workers to abide by.

“I am pleased that our territory has reached a point where the Chief Public Health Officer feels it is safe to move into phase two of the Emerging Wisely Plan.  Reaching new phases is an important part in making sure our territory is moving forward and able to focus efforts on recovery. As we continue to meet these milestones, the GNWT will continue to work together and find ways to support NWT residents and ensure the health and safety of our people, territory and economy are at the forefront of our decisions.

- Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories 

“The changes residents of the NWT have made to the way they live, work, and play during the COVID-19 pandemic, is what has allowed us to reach this phase two milestone. As we enjoy the loosened restrictions though, we are accepting more risk and more responsibility. Chances are we will get more cases in the future, so playing our part and following the rules and recommendations are more critical than ever to keep the ones we love safe.” - Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services

“I’m pleased we’ve reached a point where we can revitalize our communities and un-cancel summer. But remember – COVID-19 is unforgiving, and it can move silently. So be on high-alert – not just for today. Get used to good habits we’ve been practicing as we prepare for a large surge of infections across Canada most experts believe will come this fall. Keep up with the basics: wash your hands, cough and sneeze into a tissue or flexed elbow, stay two metres apart, keep your get-togethers small, wear a non-medical mask when you’re out and unable to keep your distance, and stay home if you’re sick. That’s how we can keep each other safe.”

- Dr. Kami Kandola, NWT Chief Public Health Officer

Quick facts:

  • The two-territory travel bubble will allow NWT residents to visit Nunavut without needing to self-isolate upon return, and vice-versa once Nunavut has completed the requisite changes to their public health orders.
  • As of today, Nunavut residents will be able to visit the NWT without self-isolating.
  • This will not exempt Nunavummiut who are required to self-isolate when returning from travel outside of their territory.
  • Residents should note that travel originating anywhere other than the Northwest Territories continues to not be permitted in Nunavut. They will not be able to enter.
  • Self-isolation is still required to take place in the existing isolation communities – Fort Smith, Hay River, Yellowknife, and Inuvik.
  • For those coming for professional reasons, the GNWT will not be responsible for costs if an established isolation centre must be used.
  • Existing processes for essential workers, infrastructure workers, those supporting essential workers (i.e. childcare providers), and remote camp workers remain the same.

Related links:

  • Emerging Wisely – Focus on Phase 2
  • NWT Public Health Orders

Media contact

Mike Westwick

Manager, Communications (COVID-19 Response)

Health and Social Services

[email protected]

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Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce

For the GNWT's comprehensive website for COVID-19 information and resources, click here.

Download the GNWT's Fact Sheet on Economic Supports in response to COVID-19 here.

BDIC: Deferred Loan Payments

Clients (borrowers) of the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) can apply to have their loan repayments reduced or deferred until March 31, 2021 without penalty or additional interest charges. Regular interest will still be charged.

Clients will need to make their request by the 24th of the month prior to which they want to start their deferral period. The last date for such requests will be Feb. 24, 2021. Businesses are automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the Covid-19 crisis.

For more information and application instructions, visit: https://ww w.bdic.ca/

BDIC: Working Capital Loans

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is offering low interest loans to NWT businesses through the NWT BDIC. Applications to this initiative can now be made at any time, and loans will be processed as they are received. 

Loans of up to $25,000 (or more if need is clearly addressed) are being made available to qualified businesses at a rate of 1.75%. Loans will be amortized for up to five years with options for payment deferment for 3 months upon request.

For more information and application instructions, visit: https://www.bdic.ca/

NWT Wage Top-up Program

This program has been extended through February 28, 2021.

To support low-income workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, the GNWT has implemented the Wage Top-up program that provides temporary financial assistance to NWT workers aged 15 or over and earning less than $18 per hour. This financial relief is a taxable benefit for the recipient.

The program is delivered to eligible employees through a partnership with businesses. 

For more information on this program, including application information, click here.

SEED Funding To Get Financials In Order

Up to $7,500 is available to businesses that need bookkeeping or financial statements to advance economic recovery or to apply for government funding.

A minimum equity requirement of 10% is required.

Applications will be considered retroactive to April 1, 2020 and the program will be available until March 31, 2021 or until the funding is spent.

View the January 13, 2021 press release here.

For application information, please click here.

Labour Market Recovery Program

Labour Market Recovery Wage Subsidy

The Labour Market Recovery Wage Subsidy is intended to support employers in recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing a wage subsidy to support the hiring and retention of staff.

The subsidy is available immediately and is retroactive from April 1, 2020.

To apply, contact the North Slave ECE office at: 867.767.9356

Labour Market Recovery Project Fund

The Labour Market Recovery Project Fund is intended to support employers, organizations and community partners looking to implement projects that will have an impact on the recovery of hte NWT labour market. Eligible projects could include:

  • Capacity building initiatives
  • Development of training programs
  • Employment creation
  • Industry transition support
  • Extension of service delivery
  • Initiatives to fill gaps in service or to help individuals find work

Labour Market Community Support

Labour Market Community Support is funding which can be used to hire local residents to address pandemic-related needs and support labour market recovery. ECE will be connecting with all 33 communities to provide this funding.

yellowknife travel restrictions

For more information on Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and the supports available to individuals and businesses, please visit the Government of Canada's website here.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The CEWS is available until June 2021.

To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must meet 3 criteria:

  • Have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020
  • Be an employer who is not exempt from income tax
  • Have a experienced a drop in revenue

Claim Periods & Benefits:

For periods 1 to 4, you must show that your eligible revenue dropped by a minimum amount to qualify for the subsidy. If you meet the minimum revenue drop, the subsidy calculation uses a fixed rate of 75% wage subsidy.

  • Period 1: March 15 to April 11, 2020
  • Period 2: April 12 to May 9, 2020
  • Period 3: May 10 to June 6, 2020
  • Period 4: June 7 to July 4, 2020

For periods 5 and later, there is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify for the subsidy. The rate your revenue has dropped is only used to calculate how much subsidy you will receive.

  • Period 5: July 5 to August 1, 2020
  • Period 6: August 2 to August 29, 2020
  • Period 7: August 30 to September 26, 2020

Beginning in period 8, the top-up rate and base rate are now calculated using the same one-month revenue drop. Use the new top-up calculation or the previous 3-month average drop, whichever works in your favor.

  • Period 8: September 27 to October 24, 2020
  • Period 9: October 25 to November 21, 2020
  • Period 10: November 22 to December 19, 2020
  • Period 11 : December 20, 2020 to January 16, 2021

For more information on the CEWS program, click here.

For more information on the evolution of the CEWS program, click here.

To apply for the CEWS program, click here.

10% Temporary Wage Subsidy For Employers

A 3-month measure that allows employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions they need to remit to the CRA. This only applies to the federal, provincial, or territorial income tax portion of the remittance.

The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee. The maximum total is $25,000 for each eligible employer.

For more information on the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy, click here.

Employers that either claimed the TWS or claimed the CEWS and did not claim the TWS are required to complete and file the CRA's PD27 form.

You can find the PD27 form here.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) This program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs.

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000 ). If the loan is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be covered to a three-year term loan at 5% interest.

Businesses interested in seeking support through these programs should contact their current financial institution.

All applicants now have until March 31, 2021 to apply.

The CEBA program has been expanded to provide businesses and not-for-profits access to an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022.

For more information on CEBA expansion, check out the October 9, 2020 news release here.

For more information on CEBA, click here.

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises & Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Export Development Canada is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

The size of your loan or line of credit is determined by your financial institution.

Business Development Canada is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow needs, including regularly scheduled principal and interest payments on existing debt.

Postpone principal payments for up to 12 months if you need additional breathing room.

These programs are available through financial institutions and support will be available until June 2021.

For more information on the Business Credit Availability (BCAP) Guarantee with Export Development Canada, click here.

For more information on the Co-Lending program with the Business Development Bank of Canada, click here.

Mid-Market Financing Program & Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program

The mid-market financing program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the BCAP program.

This program is for businesses with annual revenues in excess of about $100 million to $500 million, from any sector or industry.

This program is available until June 2021.

The Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues between $50 million and $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. Export Development Canada (EDC) will work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75% of new operating credit and cash-flow loans ranging from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million.

These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada.

For more information on the Mid-Market Financing Program, click here.

For more information on the Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program, click here.

CanNor's Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF)

The NBRF provides short term support, in the form of a non-repayable grant, for ongoing operational costs. Grants range from $2,500 to a maximum of $100,000, covering a maximum period of 4 months from April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

No new applications are currently being accepted. 

Update: CanNor will extend financial support beyond July 31, 2020 to current eligible recipients of the NBRF program. The funding extension is based on demonstrated need and would provide funding up to a maximum of $100,000 or up to March 31, 2021, whichever comes first.

This extended support is intended primarily for businesses in tourism, accommodations and food service, arts, entertainment/recreation, transportation and retail. Businesses in other sectors may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For more information on the NBRF program, click here.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, from September 27, 2020 until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

  • Period 1: September 27 to October 24
  • Period 2: October 25 to November 21
  • Period 3: November 22 to December 19
  • Period 4 : December 20 to January 16, 2021

You may apply for the rent subsidy retroactively for any period up to 180 days after that period has ended.

Lockdown Support

Qualifying organizations that have been affected by a mandatory public health order would receive an additional 25% of rent support.

The combined effect of the rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support is that hard-hit businesses, non-profits and charities subject to a lockdown can receive rent support of up to 90%.

For more information on the CERS program, please click here.

For more information on the expired Canada Emergency Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, click here.

Black Entrepreneurship Program

The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000. This program will include:

  • $53 million to develop and implement a new National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led business organizations across the country.
  • $33.3 million through the new Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund that will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. This will be administered through financial institutions
  • $6.5 million to create and sustain a new Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub that will collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify Black entrepreneurs' barriers to success as well as opportunities for growth

Applications for the National Ecosystem Fund are open until December 21, 2020.

For more information, or to apply for the National Ecosystem Fund, click here.

Applications for the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub are open until January 18, 2021.

For more information, or to apply for the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, click h ere.

Work-Sharing Program

Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

The Program allows employers to:

  • retain qualified and experienced workers, and
  • avoid recruiting and training new employees

The Program allows employees to:

  • keep their jobs, and
  • maintain their work skills

Further information on the Work-Share Program, including eligibility and application forms, can be found here.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.

These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.

The Government of Canada has mandated BDC to provide a guarantee to your financial institution for 100% of the value of a new term loan, to increase your company's ability to access new credit.

Benefit from a 4% interest rate and a repayment term of up to 10 years. You may also be able to receive a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan.

This guarantee is available until June 30, 2021.

Contact your financial institution to apply.

More information on the HASCAP program can be found here.

Access a one-pager reference sheet to help you understand the program here.

Support For Self-Employed Individuals / Employees - Government Of Canada

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

The government has announced proposed changes to the eligibility criteria that may deny individuals who travelled internationally from claiming the CRB.  The changes would apply to eligibility periods starting on or after January 3, 2021 (periods 8 to 26).

How Your Income Affects What You Keep

You may earn employment or self-employment income while you receive the CRB. If your income excluding CRB is over $38,000 / year, you will have to reimburse $0.50 of the benefit for every dollar of net income that you earn above $38,000.

For more information, or to apply for the CRB, click here.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The CRSB provides $500 (before taxes) per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:

  • Are self-isolating for reasons related to COVID-19
  • Have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatment or have contracted other sicknesses that make them more susceptible to COVID-19
  • Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19

You may start applying on the first Monday after the 1-week period you're applying for has ended.

For more information, or to apply for the CRSB, click here.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The CRCB provides $500 (before taxes) per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:

  • unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family members because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19
  • because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19

For more information, or to apply for the CRCB, click here.


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Yellowknife Travel Guide

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories capital is known as the diamond city above 60 parallel where life is just a bit different.

Yellowknife NWT old city harbor

yellowknife travel restrictions

Table of Contents

Did you know

  • The city of Yellowknife is nestled in the great Northwest Territories wilderness. In summer the sun stays up nearly 24 hours, which means long days of exploring this northern city and its surroundings.
  • The name Yellowknife originates from a local Dene tribe known as the Yellowknives Dene, who used copper-bladed or yellow knives. In the Tlicho, Yellowknife is known as Somba K’e – “where the money is.
  • Yellowknife is the Diamond Capital of Canada.
  • Sunrise in Yellowknife on June 21 at 4:03 am and sunset at 10:55 pm.
  • In winter it gets cold in Yellowknife. Temperatures can drop to -40 C or lower. The days are short with limited daylight. When the sun does come out it is bright and wonderful.
  • Ice roads are real and an important part of the NWT transportation system in winter. If you’re up to the experience, take the Dettah Ice Road from the main dock in Old Town. To be safe, check the signage, and stick to the road.
  • Houseboaters live on the lake all year round, whether the lake is frozen or not. The only thing that changes with the season is how they get home.

Yellowknife's famous houseboat bay, NWT

Getting there

  • By Plane – Yellowknife Airport is located five kilometres west of the city along Highway 3. It is the hub of air travel in the Northwest Territories. Several regional and national airlines offer daily and weekly flights.
  • By Road – Driving to Yellowknife got much easier after the Deh Cho Bridge was built spanning across the mighty MacKenzie River. You can access the Mackenzie Highway (NWT Highway 1) via Alberta’s Highway 35 or British Columbia’s Highway 77. From there take the Liard Highway (NWT Highway 7). From Edmonton Alberta , the driving distance is approximately 1,500 km which is about 20 hours of driving.

Getting around

You can pretty much walk anywhere or use the city’s bus service . The city and the airport have car rental firms and taxis available.

Or you can rent a bike from Old Town Glassworks, Overlander Sports, or Borealis Bike Tours.

History of Yellowknife

Discover the history of Yellowknife

The Yellowknife Dene have lived and travelled in the region for centuries around the Yellowknife River and Yellowknife Bay. Today the Yellownives Dene live throughout the city and in two distinct settlements, Dettah and N’dilo.

Dettah is a small community with a population of 220, located east of the city across Yellowknife Bay, a 15 km drive from the city along the Ingrahm Trail. In winter, a 6 km ice road across Yellowknife Bay makes the drive considerably shorter.

N’dilo is located on the tip of Latham Island just past Old Town and is home to approximately 200 members of the Yellownives Dene First Nation.

Yellowknife was permanently settled after the discovery of large gold deposits in 1934 and became the capital of NWT in 1967. In 1970, Yellowknife was officially declared to be a city.

After 60 years of controlling the economy, the gold era eventually slowed down. As a result, the last mine stopped operation in 2004. Diamonds were discovered north of the city in 1991 and today three diamond gold mines are in operation. The city built on gold is now known as the “Diamond Capital of North America”.

Top things to see in Yellowknife

View from Pilots Monument Yellowknife

From the city centre take Franklin Avenue (50th Ave) and drive down the hill to Yellowknife’s Old Town. The first log and frame buildings were erected at this site in the 1930s. The roads are narrow. Look for the parking lot on your right. Along the narrow streets the Quonset huts, converted buses, original settler’s homes, old boats, and tiny shacks look quite unusual in a Canadian capital city.

In Willow Flats, East of Franklin Avenue you find the most unusual housing. Many buildings have signs telling the story about the building.

Wildcat Café

Historic Wildcat Cafe Yellowknife NWT

The Wildcat Cafe was built in 1937 and was thriving in the business of bush pilots, prospectors, and other early settlers of the Yellowknife area who came north in search of gold. It became the first ice cream emporium in 1939 but was later abandoned.

The restored heritage building is open to the public as a summer restaurant. Treat yourself to a specialty coffee or a meal.

Pilots Monument

The monument is atop The Rock above the Old Town and celebrates the aviators who helped build the North. Take the short hike up the six-story staircase and enjoy the 360-degree view of the city. From here you can watch floatplanes land and take off amongst the houseboats.

Ragged Ass Road

The short, unpaved residential street in the Old Town, Ragged Ass Road was named by Lou Rocher, who owned property along the road at the time. A season of poor prospecting left Rocher “ragged ass broke” and the street name was born.

The road has been declared one of the most famous streets in Canada. Singer Tom Cochrane’s 1995 album, Ragged Ass Road, includes a song about the road.

Houseboat Alley

Yellowknife Bay, NWT

The floating community in Yellowknife started in the 1970s when Tim Shandrick parked his home in Yellowknife BAY. Start your walk from Old Town’s public docks to reach the colourful houseboats of Yellowknife Bay.

Houseboaters live there year-round, canoeing to the mainland in summer and walking on the ice starting around mid-November.

Legislative Assembly

NWT Legislative Assembly Yellowknife

The glass-domed building on the shore of Frame Lake is anchored to the ground with an indigenous stone. Inside the building are wonderful displays of art sculptures and paintings.

Find out how decisions are made in the Northwest Territories and check out the unique territorial mace . If possible, try to take part in a tour and you won’t regret it.

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Opened in 1979 by Prince Charles, the impressive building on the shore of Frame Lake houses artifacts and collections from across the Northwest Territories. It showcases the NWT’s culture and heritage and has various exhibits happening.

The building also houses the NWT archive, a large selection of historical documents mostly accessible to the public. You can easily spend a few hours here.

NWT Diamond Centre

That is why the NWT Diamond Centre was built. There you will find out how diamond mining has impacted the North. Tours are offered and you learn about the different steps that go into diamond mining and refining. You get to watch free diamond polishing demonstrations.

Yellowknife declares itself as the Diamond Capital of North America. The mines are only accessible by air or by driving 400 km on an ice road during winter. They are privately owned and not accessible to the public.

In Yellowknife, there is lots of action all year long. The Snowking Winter Festival is a glittering ice palace, the Folk on the Rocks Music Festival every July happens on the shores of Long Lake every year, the Midnight Sun Fly In is another one, and the list goes on.

Hiking Trails

Be sure to pack your hiking boots. Yellowknife has many beautiful trails suitable for walking, biking, hiking, and jogging. Carry water and bug spray and be prepared to see wildlife, including black bears.

  • Frame Lake Trail – The 9 km path loops around Frame Lake and can be accessed from several locations, including City Hall, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, and the Legislative Assembly.
  • Prospector’s Trail – This 4 km trail loops around Fred Henne Territorial Park.
  • Niven Lake Trai l – The Niven Trail is 2 km long, circles a picturesque lagoon full of wildlife and is one of the best bird-watching areas in the city. The trail can be accessed by taking the sidewalk from the Explorer Hotel to the Chateau Nova.

Inquire at the  Visitor Centre about a trail map.

Northern Lights

Yellowknife is one of the best places in the world to view the aurora borealis or northern lights. You have the best chance to see the aurora on cloudless nights from mid-November to the beginning of April.

Several tour operators offer aurora viewing combined with dog sledding and snowmobile excursions.

Yellowknife is warm and breezy in summer, cold in winter, and almost always dry and clear.

The average high in July is 21.3°C with perpetual daylight; March average temperatures are -12.5 °C with 12 hours of light.

Country Food

Bullcocks Bistro Yellowknife for seafood

Wild meat, fish, berries, mushrooms, and birch syrup are some of the northern delicacies.

Caribou is the main source of food for many people in the region. Chefs in Yellowknife offer locally harvested meat and fish as part of their menu choices. You’ll find caribou, muskox, whitefish, and more in many Yellowknife restaurants.

Fruit and vegetables travel a long way to get to Yellowknife. By the time they arrive, they lose some of their freshness. Fresh produce costs double the price of what you pay in the South.

There is no lack of restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, and other watering holes in Yellowknife whether you want to feast on fresh fish from Great Slave Lake or indulge in international cuisine. The city has a vibrant dining scene filled with multicultural fare.

Summer Camping

Campsite information and reservations at https://www.nwtparks.ca/

Canoeing on the lakes along Ingrahm Trail, Yellowknife

Fred Henne Territorial Park

The park is located on the outskirts of town, across from the airport on Long Lake, and is the closest campground to the city. Fred Henne is the most expensive campground in the Northwest Territories. Shower facilities were not available at the time when I was there.

Important Tip! If you arrive on a weekend, make sure to book ahead. Most sites are booked by Yellowknivers all summer long.

The Fred Henne Territorial Park is the start and finish of the scenic, 4 km trek across the colourful ancient rock formations. Interpretive brochures are available to highlight some of the geological features of the area.

Prelude Lake Territorial Park

Prelude Lake Territorial Park is the park I recommend if you don’t mind the 28 km drive from Yellowknife. Along the beautiful Ingraham Trail Route , the park offers full campsite facilities, a small sandy beach, boat rentals, and beautiful hiking trails.

Ride Lake Territorial Park

Drive another 35 km from Prelude on the Ingrahm Trail Route to Ried Lake Provincial Park. This park is an excellent base camp for water sports and exploring the surrounding lake systems. The park offers non-powered campsite facilities and tent pads.

Yellowknife offers a large selection of accommodations from first-class hotels to Airbnb.

  • Backcountry Accommodation Guide
  • How to Find Cheap Accommodation on Sites like Airbnb

Useful tips

Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound before heading for a journey north. The highways take you through isolated areas and service centres are few and far between. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary to get to Yellowknife, but I would recommend one.

  • Keep your gasoline tank as full as possible.
  • Carry a good spare tire and car jack, first aid kit, tow rope, flares axe, knife, matches, and candles.
  • Take along windshield fluid if you travel during summer – the amount of bugs make a mess of your windshield. Don’t forget the bug spray.
  • Bring along food and water.
  • In winter bring extra blankets, warm clothes, and a sleeping bag
  • Watch out for wood bison. If you see them on the road, stop and let them pass.
  • From Edmonton Alberta, the driving distance is approximately 1,500 km which is about 20 hours of driving. Try not to drive after nightfall. Bison frequently wander across the road and are hard to see. You don’t want to hit 1,500 kg.

Watching the float planes in Old Town Yellowknife

NWT Highway Conditions

  • For Highway Conditions visit www.gov.nt.ca

Yellowknife Visitor Information

  • The Visitor Centre is located at City Hall, 4807-52nd Street, Yellowknife. Website: extraordinaryyk.com/
  • Yellowknife Online

More about the North

  • Northwest Territories Travel Guide
  • 17 Best Towns in NWT to Visit
  • 5 Epic Gravel Travel Highways in Canada’s North


Fort Resolution


The Ingraham Trail

Liard Trail

Heritage Route

Waterfalls Route

Wood Buffalo Route

Frontier Trail

Dempster Highway

Road trip planner

Wildlife Viewing Sites

Things to do in the north

How to keep safe on a solo road trip

The Plan to Protect Indigenous Elders Living Under the Northern Lights

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A remote region with a thriving tourism economy, a strict shutdown and a surprising transformation.

By Peter Kujawinski

Photos and video by Pat Kane

March 11, 2021

It takes hours of flying across Canada’s vast, trackless north to reach Yellowknife, a small city on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake — one of the deepest and largest lakes in the world. The region is as remote as it is pristine. But travelers are drawn here from around the world to witness the splendor of the aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights.

Yellowknife is the capital of the Northwest Territories, an area twice the size of Texas, although its population — 45,000 — could fit into a Houston neighborhood.

For millennia, the Northwest Territories has been home to Indigenous peoples of many cultures and languages.

A majority of the population is Indigenous, reflected in nine of the Northwest Territories’ 11 official languages: North and South Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ (pronounced KLEE-cho), Inuvialuktun, Gwich’in, Chipewyan, Cree, Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut.

In Yellowknife, and the nearby Dene communities of Dettah and Ndilo, an entire tourist ecosystem has sprung up, renting Canada Goose parkas and fur-lined mittens, arranging snowmobile and dog sled rides, and organizing Indigenous cultural activities.

Visitors from all over — but especially Asia — venture onto the icy landscape and take pictures of houseboats frozen solid into Great Slave Lake.

As 2020 began, the Northwest Territories was expecting another record-breaking year for tourists. Then came the pandemic.

The threat of a deadly virus required a life-saving decision.

In Canada, the first known Covid-19 case arrived on a January 2020 flight from Wuhan, China to Toronto. It was a wake-up call for the country, but especially for Northwest Territories Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola. Several passengers from that Wuhan flight were bound for Yellowknife — tourists eager to marvel at the Northern Lights.

“Sitting there watching what was happening in New York, what was happening in Italy and China and Iran at that time, I had enough knowledge from their experience to realize that the critical thing around Covid is that you need to put in the restrictions early on. If you wait for community spread, it's too late,” Dr. Kandola said.

Dr. Kandola had specific reasons to worry about the Northwest Territories. Medical facilities are extremely limited, even more so in isolated communities. Community spread would quickly overwhelm local resources.

There was another reason for concern: the painful legacy of disease in the territory and its impact on elders, those most responsible for the very survival of Indigenous culture.

In his book “Yamoria the Lawmaker,” Dene elder George Blondin writes of a flu that ravaged the area in the early days of contact between white traders and Indigenous peoples. “The worst loss came in 1928, when the steam boats carried the dreadful virus all the way to the Arctic coast. The Dene say flu killed half of their population in the Deh Cho Valley.”

Verna Crapeau, a Dene elder from the community of Dettah near Yellowknife, said her mother was “only a baby, five years old, when she went through this in 1928. She lost her dad. Back in those days, they didn’t really have doctors or nurses.”

The region’s history is filled with waves of tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough and influenza. “These are very tragic stories of whole communities being wiped out by something they had little immunity to,” said Dr. Kandola.

When Covid came, community leaders wanted to protect elders like Ms. Crapeau, guardians of Indigenous knowledge, culture and language. This task was made even more vital because of the multi-generational impact of Canada’s residential school system, which, in addition to inflicting abuse, forced Indigenous children over most of the 20th century to forget their language and culture — an act of “cultural genocide,” according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

In March 2020, Dr. Kandola declared a state of emergency in the Northwest Territories, ordering a series of measures that were among the strictest in Canada — and the world. Dr. Kandola said Indigenous communities pushed for these restrictions, such as mandatory self-isolation for 14 days and border checkpoints. “No one has immunity to Covid-19, and they did not want a repeat of history, so it was really important for them that we put strong measures in place early.”

During the region’s strict lockdown in April and May, close-knit communities like Dettah looked after each other. “People that were out there at home couldn't go into the store,” said Edward Sangris, who has been Dettah Chief for the Yellowknives Dene First Nation since 2007. “So they were passing out food hampers and helping the people that way.”

He and other Dene leaders counseled the government not to lift restrictions. “We said it was too soon.” Canada’s federal government and the Government of Northwest Territories provided emergency support through projects like the Indigenous Community Support Fund and the Take A Family On The Land Program.

‘Go out on the land.’

An extensive winter road system built on snow, ice and tundra links isolated communities in the Northwest Territories. More specifically, the Yellowknife to Dettah road, which usually lasts from December to April, is called an ice road because it is built on the frozen water of Great Slave Lake. Residents use this ice road to “go out on the land.”

It’s a powerfully complex phrase: it means to immerse in Indigenous tradition, to restore the sacred bond between land and people, to strengthen the mind and to practice self-sufficiency.

“There’s no better place than on the land,” Chief Sangris said. “We follow our protocol, we follow our culture and our traditions.”

A short snowmobile drive from Dettah is the Dechinta “bush university” fish camp on Mackenzie Island in Great Slave Lake. The program teaches Indigenous studies and helps university students earn a degree while also learning traditional Dene skills. Its goal is to restore the knowledge, skills and spirituality of going on the land.

Dene elders like Charlie Sangris teach traditional skills at the Dechinta fish camp, like how to deploy a fishnet under the ice, the four steps to cleaning a fish, and preserving a fish by smoking it.

Traditional Dene ice fishing uses a net strung between two holes in the ice, usually about 50 feet apart. Key to setting the net is a jigger — a wooden apparatus that can be maneuvered under the ice using gravity and a pulling motion. The fish caught include lake trout, pike, pickerel, whitefish and inconnu, known locally as coney.

As Dechinta alum and staff member Justina Black explained, “If you're not familiar with the way in which Dene people teach, it might come off as somebody just speaking to you about their experiences, but they're teaching you through those experiences.”

Ms. Crapeau is one of the elders who currently leads demonstrations teaching the preparation of fish, keeping tradition alive. Ms. Black recalls the first program she went on in 2014. “Every time I work with youth and do fish demonstrations, I always say this is a teaching that I learned from my elder Irene back when I was learning how to work with fish. And I'm going to show you today these four steps, and I want you to remember them and to remember who this knowledge is coming from.”

After zero Covid deaths, there is a Winter Festival and a sense of hope.

After shutting down in the spring of 2020, the Northwest Territories did not lift travel restrictions even months after the last cases of Covid were detected.

Within the Northwest Territories, however, restrictions gradually lifted and life began returning closer to normal. Schools, restaurants, bars and pools reopened.

Even the famous Snowking’s Winter Festival is once again being held on the frozen surface of Great Slave Lake.

There is no centerpiece snow castle this time, due to Covid restrictions, and the name of the festival is now Snowbuddy’s Winter Garden. But everything else — the ice slides, the elaborate ice sculptures and open-air buildings made of ice and snow — is going strong.

Although recently Yellowknife has had a cold snap, with temperatures hovering at 40 degrees below zero, the city is nonetheless emerging from the deepest part of winter. On December 21, the winter solstice, Yellowknife saw less than five hours of daylight. By mid-March, the city enjoys over 11 hours of light, and each passing day adds an extra six minutes.

Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories remain closed to tourists, but residents are patient.

The protections worked. Since the pandemic began, no one has died from Covid-19 in the Northwest Territories.

Of the eligible population in the area, about half have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, the result of a concerted push and targeted outreach by all levels of government. Dr. Kandola hopes to have 75 percent of those eligible vaccinated by the end of March.

To cope with the stresses of the pandemic, Dr. Kandola finds solace in the same place as so many other residents of the Northwest Territories. “I have a cabin and my joy is to spend time with family and get out into the land.”

Despite the success of her public health work, she will need the land to help navigate the challenges ahead. “It's been over a year and most people are done with Covid, but Covid’s not done with them.”

Peter Kujawinski is a writer based in Chicago and the former U.S. Consul General to Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.

Pat Kane is a photographer in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories with a special focus on Indigenous issues and the relationship between land and identity.

Edited by Dodai Stewart, Marcelle Hopkins, Lynda Richardson, Veronica Chambers and Amy Virshup. Designed and produced by Danny DeBelius. Photo editing by Amanda Webster. Video editing by Jonah M. Kessel. Additional support from Adam Sternbergh, Lauren Reddy, David Klopfenstein and Jeremy Allen.

From Here is a collection of visually immersive stories that explore how communities are gathering in a time of unprecedented change.

Read more in this series


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Yellowknife Travel Guide

Yellowknife is a unique small town in Canada’s far north, where the northern lights dance across the sky in vivid shades of blue, green, pink and yellow. If you’re planning a Yellowknife tour, read on for everything you need to know before visiting Yellowknife. From when to go to Yellowknife to what to do in Yellowknife, I have you covered!

Yellowknife Climate and Best Time to Visit Yellowknife

The short answer: Yellowknife is an all year round destination. Yahoo!

The slightly longer answer:  Okay, it’s a tad more complex than, given that Yellowknife hits -30C (-22F) or colder in winter and the northern lights aren’t visible year round. There’s two main factors to consider in deciding the best time to visit Yellowknife: activities and weather.

Activities: First, what activities do you want to do in Yellowknife ? If seeing the northern lights is at the top of your list, travel to Yellowknife during the northern lights season (deets below). Want to combine the northern lights with winter activities like dog sledding and driving the Dettah Ice Road? Visit Yellowknife in winter. If you aren’t interested in the northern lights and want an outdoors lake and hiking holiday, visit Yellowknife in summer.

Weather: Secondly, as with most of Canada, the climate plays a big factor in travel planning. Can you tolerate the extreme cold (like, potentially below -30C / -22F)?! If not, then Yellowknife in winter may not be the place for you. That said, keep an open mind. I was a total hater on anything below 20 degrees celsius (yes, POSITIVE 20 degrees), but absolutely loved experiencing Canada in the winter time! Life is all about new experiences after all.

I’m somewhat obsessed with travel planning and the weather, so let’s break that down in a bit more detail.

Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Yellowknife  

Northern Canada is one of the BEST places in the world to see the northern lights, and Yellowknife has a fairly long aurora season. Unfortunately for sun worshipers, that season does not coincide with summer. (Such as it is in the far north.)

The best time to visit Yellowknife to view the aurora borealis is from August to April. May, June and July have very long daylight hours, making it difficult to spot the lights.

Within August to April, there’s debate about which month is best from a purely northern lights perspective. Many locals say that the dark depths of winter to early spring (January, February and March) are the best time to see the northern lights, as the nights are long and dark. Others vouch for September for good aurora viewing chances and warmer days. Late October to mid December can have increased cloud cover that impacts the visibility of the lights.

Yellowknife in Winter

Yellowknife Canada Travel Tour Tips - Bikes covered in snow

Visit Yellowknife during winter if you want to combine excellent northern lights viewing opportunities with winter activities like dog-sledding and snow-mobiling. While March is technically spring, I’m gonna lump March into the winter category for Yellowknife, since March will still be as freezing as heck and covered in snow.

Winter days are short, nights are long, and the weather is pretty much always below freezing (ouch!). Temperatures average around -20C (-4F) in December, January and February, and warm up slightly in March. There’s only 5-6 hours daylight in January, which quickly increases to 10+ hours in March. (Just in case this feels all Negative Nelly, winter is super pretty!)

We visited Yellowknife in January, on a weekend when temperatures were hovering between -20 to -40 celsius. We chose January because we wanted to have the best chances to see the northern lights, experience the extreme winter (and extreme it was!) and partake in winter activities (dog sledding I’m looking at you). And cos our travel schedule was filling up fast and we had a free weekend!

However, my pick for the best month to visit Yellowknife would be March. In March, you’ll benefit from the peak northern lights season, winter activities (yup, there will still be snow!), slightly warmer days than winter proper, longer daylight hours and the Yellowknife snow festival.

What to Wear in Winter in Yellowknife

If you visit Yellowknife during winter, you will need some serious winter clothing for any outdoor activities. I’m talking a warm thermal or base layer (top and bottom), insulated snow pants, a warm jumper, a heavy parka, snow boots, warm socks, a thick scarf and beanie and insulated gloves.

If you don’t own these items and aren’t willing to fork out a massive investment, you can hire winter gear. Our snow gear was stuck who-knows-where in quite possibly the world’s slowest airfreight on our move from Singapore to Canada, so we hired outerwear and accessories from Backyard Tours clothing rental . They’ll set you up with some serious winter gear, so you only need to bring thermal layers and regular winter clothes. My Backyard Tours’ winter clothing hire was reasonably priced, very wam and very good quality (including a fancy Canada Goose parka!).

Yellowknife in Spring or Fall

If you want to see the northern lights without freezing your lil’ butt off and aren’t too fussed on whether you have decent snow, visit in mid-spring (April) or during fall (September to November). Note: See ‘winter’ section above for March, which is an awesome time to visit Yellowknife!

Spring and autumn temperatures are still pretty chilly (it is the far north after all!) and can fall well into the negatives at the winter sides of the seasons. Make sure you check the climate averages and latest weather forecast and pack appropriately.

Yellowknife in Summer

Visit Yellowknife in summer if you’re not fussed about seeing the northern lights (you cray cray person) and want a classic Canadian lake holiday. During summer, highs average around 20C (68F) with lows of around 10 degrees. Not exactly tropical, but definitely summer by Canadian standards.

Yellowknife’s summer is fairly short and temperatures drop off sharply come autumn. Yellowknife summer days are unbelievably long, up to 20 hours. A local colleague said that the sun never really sets in Yellowknife mid-summer, and instead skirts along the horizon. This means that you can enjoy the great outdoors and lake activities 24/7 in Yellowknife summer! (Too bad if you wanna get some shut-eye.)

If you want the chance to see the aurora during Yellowknife’s summer, try visiting in late August.

How to Get to Yellowknife and Transportation

Yellowknife Canada Travel Guide - Dog sledding

Alternative Yellowknife transportation

Okay, now that we’ve covered the longest ‘when to visit’ in the history of the universe (told ya’ love the weather!), let’s move on to some other essentials.

Getting to Yellowknife

Yellowknife is in Northwest Territories in the far north of Canada, only 400km(ish) south of the Arctic Circle. Don’t let that put you off though! Yellowknife may only be a town of 20,000, but it’s served by a pretty reasonable airport. There are regular direct flights to Yellowknife from Edmonton and Calgary (approx. 2 hours), and occasional or seasonal direct flights from some other Canada destinations.

Yellowknife is a heck of a long way from anywhere, but if you’re up for an adventurous and loooooong road trip (like 15ish hours from Edmonton) then go for it.

Getting Around Yellowknife

Yellowknife is pretty small and easy to get around. Taxis are readily available at the airport and around town, and many tours include pick up from your accommodation.

The two main Yellowknife areas for hotels, restaurants and (non-outdoorsy) activities are the Old Town and Downtown. These two areas are only around 1km apart, so you can easily take the wai-wai express (that’s Kiwi for walking) most places.

Where to Stay in Yellowknife

Yellowknife Canada Travel Tour Tips - Bayside Bed & Breakfast

Yellowknife Old Town

The Old Town is my pick for where to stay in Yellowknife. The Old Town has a lot of character and is a tourist attraction in it’s own right, with the Bush Pilot Monument lookout, lake views, cute galleries and great places to eat.

There are mainly B&Bs in the Old Town. I stayed at Bayside Bed & Breakfast  (photo above) which was perfect. Bayside B&B is slap bang on the Great Slave Lake for epic views, has basic but comfy rooms mainly with private bathrooms, and serves an excellent breakfast at the Dancing Moose Cafe.

Downtown Yellowknife

If you want hotel style accommodation, stay in Downtown Yellowknife. Downtown Yellowknife isn’t as quaint as the Old Town, but is convenient for tours, museums and a range of shops and restaurants.

My Downtown Yellowknife hotel pick would have been either The Explorer Hotel or Chateau Nova Yellowknife .

For the Harry Hardcore adventurers, there’s some awesome looking fly-in lodges outside of Yellowknife. I’m not a fisher at all and was tempted to stay at Trout Rock Lodge  which has an ice fishing focus or at  Blachford Lake Lodge for its remote location and natural beauty. These lodges will be my pick if I’m lucky enough to return to Yellowknife in summer!

How Long to Spend in Yellowknife

If you’re hoping to see the northern lights, most local tour Operators recommend staying in Yellowknife for at least a few nights to maximise your chances of an incredible aurora viewing.

If you stay for three nights during peak aurora season, you’ll have pretty good chances of seeing the lights. However, there’s no guarantees. We stayed in Yellowknife for 3 nights in January, and unseasonable cloud cover and blowing snow meant that we only saw glimpses of the lights on one night. (All the more reason for a return trip I say!)

If you’re in Yellowknife to hunt the aurora after dark, there’s also more than enough activities in Yellowknife to keep you busy during daylight hours. During winter, for us, three full days was about the right balance between having time to fit in all the activities and the extreme cold preventing you from being outdoors for long periods of time.

During summer, the answer may well be how long is a piece of string. If you want to explore Yellowknife, chill out on the lake and do some hiking, you could easily spend one week in Yellowknife.

Best Things to Do in Yellowknife + Yellowknife Tours

10 Awesome Things to do in Yellowknife Canada - Aurora Village

Yellowknife Activities

Strangely, all my Canadian colleagues asked why I was visiting Yellowknife, as they don’t see it as a tourist destination. Did I have friends up there they asked? Ummm, have ya heard of those pretty lights in the sky I say?! Or dog-sledding, ice-roads, a cool Old Town and interesting museums? Not that I can judge, having barely seen any of my native NZ compared to the rest of the world.

Anyhoo, the Japanese tourists and I seemed to be the only ones in the know, as there is oh so much to do in Yellowknife. Most tourists are of course drawn to Yellowknife for the northern lights, which is undoubtedly the highlight of the far north. However, I’m willing to go out on a limb here and say that Yellowknife is awesome even without the aurora!

In winter, Yellowknife turns into a veritable winter wonderland. For someone who had been in the snow only once before moving to Canada in winter (crazy right?!), I marveled at the beautiful snow, giggled in glee as I sped through the forest on the back of my dog sled, and secretly panicked on the inside as I lay down on the Dettah Ice Road.

In summer, Yellowknife is all about the massive Great Slave Lake, boating, fishing and hiking. At any time of the year, you can explore the Old Town and visit Yellowknife’s interesting museums.

Read more: It’s impossible to sum up Yellowknife’s attractions in a couple of paragraphs. Check out my dedicated post on the 10 best things to do in Yellowknife !

Yellowknife Tours

There’s some great local tour operators in Yellowknife. In fact, the highlights of my Yellowknife trip were our Yellowknife Tour with My Backyard Tours , dog-sledding with Enodah Kennels organised through Yellowknife Tours , and our northern lights tour with Sean Norman . I would 100% recommend these tour operators, and hope to return for some of the summer activities on offer.

Best Yellowknife Restaurants

Yellowknife Restaurants - Bullocks Bistro

Canada’s small towns tend to pack quite a punch when it comes to eating out, and are over-represented by pubs and breweries. Yellowknife is no exception. This is a pretty good thing, as I’m a massive fan of gastro-pubs, especially to spend a lazy afternoon hiding from the cold! In fact, we spent all three of our afternoons in Yellowknife in the pub … don’t judge me.

NWT Brewing Company – The Woodyard Brewhouse & Eatery

I visited the NWT Brewing Company / The Woodyard three times during my three days in Yellowknife. Yup, it’s a clear favorite!

The NWT Brewing Company is on the main road in Old Town south. Here, you’ll find the most northerly brewery in Canada, along with a pretty classic modern trendy pub, with a range of local craft beer, other drinks and delish pub grub.

I’m not usually one for souvenirs and have very few momentos of my travels, so was stoked to pick up some cool merchandise at NWT Brewing Co. Choose from a range of caps, t-shirts and tops, or take home a growler and beer glass set. (Growler = vessel to transport beer. Also known as a ‘flagon’ in NZ, at least in the 80s when I grew up and accompanied my dad to the booze shop for a flagon refill.)

Bullocks Bistro

Bullocks Bistro is a bit of a local institution in the Old Town. On the outside it’s a small log cabin, on the inside the walls and ceilings are covered with graffiti from visitors. Local colleagues warned me that I might get yelled and/or sworn at (all part of the charm!), but all I encountered were friendly staff.

Bullocks does excellent seafood, if rather pricey, and serves alcohol. Defo worth a visit if you’re happy to fork out $30 for fish + chips.

Dancing Moose Cafe

Dancing Moose Cafe is a cosy cafe on the Great Slave Lake (Old Town) which serves tasty breakfast and lunch.

Happily for me, Dancing Moose Cafe was located in our Bed & Breakfast and breakie was included as part of the rate. Try the omelettes or porridge if you need to warm up!

Traders Grill, Explorer Hotel

Traders Grill at the Explorer Hotel in Downtown Yellowknife is a great option for hiding from the frigid cold for a few drinks and a pub style meal. We camped out at Traders Grill on some comfy leather loungers in front of a cosy fireplace for a couple of hours before our pick up for the Aurora Village.

Wildcat Cafe

Wildcat Cafe is another Yellowknife Old Town institution which came highly recommended by locals. Unfortunately for us, Wildcat Cafe is seasonal, and was closed for the winter when we visited. Yet another reason to return for a Yellowknife summer vacation!

Bonus Yellowknife Tips

Best Things to Do in Yellowknife - Yellowknife Old Town and Bush Pilot’s Monument

The first thing we did when we landed in Yellowknife was jump onto the Aurora Max website. The website has the aurora forecast for the next few days, along with a live ‘aurora cam’ to check out the current northern lights conditions from the warmth of your car or room. You can also watch a high-speed replay of the previous night’s activity (or inactivity as it may be), which can make for some pretty incredible viewing!

Prepare for Late Nights

Now, the young bucks out there who are used to nights of partying can just skip right on past this to the next tip. Those on the wrong side of 30 (me!) who prefer to be in bed before midnight (me again! …actually 10pm in my case) be warned.

The northern lights can appear any time it’s dark, but peak hours are usually either side of midnight. If you’re out on an aurora viewing tour, expect to return to your hotel around 1am to 3am. Best to schedule any day-time activities for late morning or the afternoon!

We watched the aurora max replay from the night before we arrived, and peak activity was around 3am when the sky burst alight. When we saw an (admittedly weak) aurora, it was around 10-11pm. Other locals said that if you’re lucky you may see the aurora from the plane from 5pm in winter. We were not lucky.

Friendly Locals

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know Canadians, but Yellowknife locals are super-duper friendly. My husband struck up a conversation with some locals at the pub as he was interested in the cribbage game they were playing. A few conversations later, at the end of the night, they INSISTED that we took their unique cribbage board home. Great momento of our trip, and a reminder of the kind people out there!

Keen to visit Yellowknife? Read my guide on the best things to do in Yellowknife during your Yellowknife tour!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Thank you for great information Planning our trip to Yellowknife NWT Excited , cant wait Would be nice if you could include routes when traveling by vehicle.

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Would you recommend it with a 2yr old? Coming from Montreal, so we are used to Canadian winters!

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I think Yellowknife would be great with kids, provided they are used to the cold and have the right clothing if you are travelling in winter (which you would coming from Montreal!). A 2yr old might not be into all the attractions, but I’m sure they’d enjoy enough for you to all have a good time.

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Thank you so much for the information. Planning a trip for our 20th anniversary in March 2022 and Blachford Lake Lodge is the destination. We’re from Louisiana, so we’ve never experienced weather like that. But, somehow oddly, looking forward to it.. Although the temperature the last few days has been -60F…not sure we’re ready for that eventuality.

That’s so exciting! I hear you about the weather – I had barely been in snow in my entire life before moving to Canada in the middle of winter and was somewhat terrified. I ended up absolutely loving it though, lots of beautiful blue sky crisp (but freezing!) days, and proper winter gear made all the difference. Happy planning!

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Great review! Thank you! Would you recommend staying in Yellowknife or at Blatchford in March for the Northern Lights?

Either would be great! Blachford is a destination in itself and an ideal place for aurora viewing as you can see the lights direct from the lodge due to its remote location and lack of light pollution. Since Yellowknife has town lights, you’d typically do a tour or drive to a more remote location to see the lights. Pick Blachford if you’d love a lodge holiday in a remote location where you do activities at the lodge and have great chances of seeing the lights without travelling. Pick Yellowknife if you’d prefer to do other sightseeing around Yellowknife (e.g. dogsledding) and don’t mind a short drive to see the lights. Best of both worlds? Do a few nights at each!

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yellowknife travel restrictions

Effective April 1, 2022, anyone, regardless of vaccine status, can enter the NWT. Self-Isolation Plan is no longer required.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus producing mild to severe respiratory infections. COVID-19 can spread from person to person through heavy breathing, coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the coronavirus. Anyone can get COVID-19, regardless of how active or healthy you may be. It can cause serious illness requiring hospitalization, especially in people who are at higher risk, and even resulting in death.

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The most effective way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and stay up to date on your vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are available free of charge in the NWT. To find out if you are up to date on any of your vaccinations, please see the NWT Immunization Schedule or contact your local health centre .

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  • COVID Vaccine
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For more information on COVID-19, please click on the following links to the Canada.ca/COVID-19 website:

  • Symptoms, treatment, what to do if you feel sick
  • How COVID-19 spreads
  • Vaccination
  • Prevention for individuals
  • Prevention for communities
  • COVID-19 risks


Growing Tourism in Yellowknife

Tourism is a big deal – not just for hotels, restaurants and tour operators but for everyone who lives here. In fact tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Yellowknife economy. There are hundreds of local jobs in tourism and scores of local businesses that wouldn’t exist without tourists. To continue to grow tourism in NWT communities the Government of the Northwest Territories has passed legislation to allow tax based towns and cities to collect a levy on the daily cost of visitor accommodations.

yellowknife travel restrictions

Yellowknife Accommodation Levy

Let's get behind a NWT Accommodation Levy!

Over 100,000 visitors travelled to the NWT between October 2016 and September 2017 spending more than $200 million!

To continue to grow tourism in the City of Yellowknife a levy of UP TO 4% will be collected on short-term accommodations.

  • Levy Resources

Survey Results Support Levy

Destination Marketing Organization (DMO)

Almost all large cities in Canada have created Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) to diversify and strengthen their economies. These lean marketing organizations fill in the gap between the marketing efforts of individual tour operators and hotels and the larger tourism organizations that brand and market a whole province or territory. 

  • DMO Resources

Your Questions & Answers

News and updates

On october 28, 2018 the government of nwt passed bill 18..

The City of Yellowknife plans to collect a levy of UP TO 4% on all short term accommodations. These funds will support the creation of a Destination Marketing Organization whose primary function...

What is happening with the levy in October 2018

Bill 18 - An act to amend the Cities, Towns and Villages Act to authorize councils to impose a tax on tourist accommodations. Bill 18 has had its third...

Can the Levy Support a Visitors Centre?

We all have heard about the fate of the NFVA/Visitors Centre and the need for a new building to provide visitor services. We’ve received some questions about whether or not the Levy funds could be...

Air Canada to suspend passenger service to Yellowknife and Labrador later this month

Airline cutting operations due to 'stifled demand,' travel restrictions, quarantine rules.

yellowknife travel restrictions

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Air Canada is suspending passenger service to Yellowknife on Jan. 23 until further notice, citing reduced demand amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline is also eliminating all service to Labrador and cutting two more routes out of Newfoundland, the company said Tuesday.

The airline said in an email on Tuesday that it's cutting flights to the Northwest Territories capital due to "stifled demand from ongoing travel restrictions and blanket quarantine rules" stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Operating in this environment is not sustainable and we have made difficult decisions to suspend all passenger operations to Yellowknife airport until further notice, effective January 23, 2021." 

N.W.T. Minister of Infrastructure Diane Archie said the territorial government is disappointed but "understands that businesses must make decisions that they believe best fit with their business model and market conditions."

  • THE BIG SPEND Airborne: How one small northern airline is surviving the pandemic

Archie said the decision will not affect the territory's ability to provide medical travel services that residents depend on to access services outside the N.W.T.

Air Canada to cut service in Newfoundland and Labrador

Meanwhile, the airline has also announced cuts to passenger service in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Service between Gander and Halifax, Goose Bay and Halifax, and St. John's and Toronto ends Jan. 23.

The move follows a  mass reduction in service  to Newfoundland and Labrador last summer, when the airline dropped seven routes servicing the province.

  • Sydney airport now has no passenger flights scheduled to arrive or depart

A spokesperson told CBC News in statements regarding the suspension of flights in both regions, that the airline had experienced "stifled demand" due to COVID-19, ongoing travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.

As a result, the company is "suspending until further notice all passenger flights to these destinations."

'Right to refund'

A spokesperson for Omar Alghabra, the federal minister of transport, said the department was disappointed the airline cancelled more regional routes.

"Accessibility of all of our regions is important and air links are essential to regional economic development and prosperity," said Allison St-Jean.

"Before we spend one penny of taxpayer money on airlines, we will ensure that Canadians get their refunds, regional communities retain air connections to the rest of Canada and   Canadian air carriers maintain their status as key customers of Canada's aerospace industry."

She added the federal government knows major airlines need support and is developing a package of assistance for the airline industry.

In its email, Air Canada says its "overall network capacity" is down about 80 per cent from 2019.

  • New COVID-19 testing rules for air travellers kick in Jan. 7

The airline says it will continue to evaluate and adjust its routes based on the trajectory of the pandemic and travel restrictions. 

Air Canada did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.

Gabor Lukacs, president of the non-profit organization Air Passenger Rights, said Air Canada has no legal obligation to operate a route anywhere.

However, he said, passengers have "an unconditional right to a refund" if a flight for which they bought a ticket has been cancelled.

"Airlines have been delinquent in respecting consumers rights, so I cannot be sure that they are going to honour the right of passengers out of their own volition," he said.

A spokesperson for Air Canada said in an email to CBC News that "any affected customers will be contacted and provided options, including refunds as applicable."

A headshot of a man.

Others maintaining service 

The announcement didn't come as a surprise to Joe Sparling, president of Air North.

Last summer, the Yukon-based airline suspended its planned service between Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Ottawa, citing reduced travel demand and border restrictions.

"The Yellowknife market clearly could not support multiple carriers in this environment and Whitehorse is in a very similar situation," he said.

WestJet and Canadian North also run passenger flights to Yellowknife.

In an email to CBC News, a spokesperson for Canadian North said the company intends "to maintain our current services."

WestJet said it continues to operate four flights a week between Yellowknife and Calgary.

The airline said it has been forced to suspend the vast majority of its flights across the country due to the pandemic and is operating at 80 per cent less capacity than a year ago.

Related Stories

  • Air Canada suspends flights between Yellowknife and Calgary, Vancouver
  • What you need to know about getting home to Nunavut during this pandemic

yellowknife travel restrictions

Air Canada to make ‘important announcement’ about YK flights

An Air Canada flight arrives at Yellowknife Airport on October 24, 2022. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

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yellowknife travel restrictions

Aurora Village

COVID-19 Information

Latest updates.

Feb 13, 2022

Aurora Village will re-open from 2022 Summer/Fall season!!!

Aurora Village plan to re-open for 2022-2023 season, starting from the next summer/fall season on August 12, 2022.

Meanwhile we will remain closed for the rest of the current 2021-2022winter/spring season.

All bookings will be accepted from mid-June once our booking system gets rebooted.

Please rest assured that we will confirm all of your Aurora-viewing bookings then.

As of March 1 st , most Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted by our NWT government, and the remaining restrictions will further be lifted by summer.

Thank you for your patience in waiting the past 2 years to travel to Yellowknife to see our magnificent Aurora Borealis!!   We look forward to welcoming you and our guests from all over the world once again.


Yellowknife, Canada

15 November 2021

Thank you for your interest in Aurora Village!    

Aurora Village is now closed for aurora-viewing until further notice, as “tourists” are not yet permitted to enter Yellowknife at this time.   

Although Canada has opened its borders to fully vaccinated foreign travellers, our Northwest Territories(NWT), where Yellowknife is located, remains closed to ‘leisure travel’, or to ‘tourists’, from other Canadian provinces or from other countries.

Therefore, currently we are not able to take any bookings at this time for the 2021-2022 winter season.  Please rest assured that we will be able to confirm all bookings once we resume our booking, whenever it may be.

However, we do not foresee re-opening of Aurora Village until, at least, February 2022.   Depending on the late timing of the border re-opening announcement, we may not be able to open our facilities in time during this winter.   We do take pride in making sure that we provide the highest standard of service and safety to all our guests.  

Please stay tuned.  We will update this “Covid-19 Information” page on our website as soon as it becomes available. 

Also please see the NWT government’s website for further details.    

Non-residents | GNWT’s Response to COVID-19 (gov.nt.ca)

 (Please note that  ‘remote tour operator’ mentioned on its website refers to some specialized summer lodges outside Yellowknife and towns, and does not refer to any aurora-viewing in Yellowknife.  )

We look forward to welcoming you and our guests from all over the world once again very soon.

If it is not possible to see you this winter, we hope to see you for our summer/fall aurora season!

Thank you and see you soon!

AURORA VILLAGE               

(Feb 13, 2022)

October 2021

There are still travel restrictions in place regarding entry into the NWT,  for all updates on the COVID-19 situation in the Northwest Territories  please visit the NWT Government COVID-19 page for update.

August 2021

Information for Aurora + Hotel Packages Winter 2021-2022 is now available.  Hope we see you soon after territorial border open to you all.

23 September 2020

Aurora Village is back open to RESIDENTS OF THE NWT. 

There are still measures in place regarding entry into the NWT,  for all updates on the COVID-19 situation in the Northwest Territories  please visit the NWT Government COVID-19 page here.

06 April 2020

For all updates on the COVID-19 situation in the Northwest Territories  please visit the NWT Government COVID-19 page here.

16 March 2020


In light of the  Northwestern Territories Public Health advisory released on the 15 of March 2020 , The safety and wellbeing of our travellers and staff is our highest priority, therefore, effective immediately Aurora Village will be suspending all tours for the remainder of the winter season.

We will be contacting all customers  travelling pre-14 April 2020  as soon as possible to reschedule plans or issue full refunds. 

We will still be providing ground assistance to our guests that have booked direct and through our partners, that are currently in Yellowknife that have been affected.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this will assuredly create but we feel we would be irresponsible to go against the recommendations of our Territorial Public Health Authority and Federal Government of Canada advisories.

We are grateful for your support through this challenging time and encourage everyone to be patient and kind to one another while we navigate this global crisis. 

Aurora Village Canada


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City of Yellowknife Logo

Welcome Home!

Note: the page below refers to the evacuation of the city of yellowknife caused by wildfires in the north slave region in august 2023. as such, it contains information that is no longer current. the information below remains accessible to residents for reference only..

On September 20, 2023 the GNWT issued a  Public Safety Bulletin  that lifted the Evacuation Alert for Yellowknife, Dettah and N’Dilo. This means that the City of Yellowknife is no longer under an evacuation notice, alert or order. 

In addition to the Evacuation Alert being lifted, as of September 25, 2023 the City-wide  fire ban  on open-air fires (initially put in place on July 12, 2023) has also been lifted. A reminder to residents that burning is permitted in approved fire pits only.

  • City of Yellowknife and Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) Community Re-entry Plan Implementation September 1, 2023

Current Status for Yellowknife - September 29, 2023

As of September 20, 2023, the Evacuation Alert for Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ has been lifted. As of September 25, 2023 the City-wide  fire ban  on open-air fires (initially put in place on July 12, 2023) has also been lifted. A reminder to residents that burning is permitted in approved fire pits only.

The City of Yellowknife will be all waiving late fees and penalties for utility bill payments until further notice. For more information on the City’s online access and services, please check out the  City’s Virtual Town Hall . In addition to waiving late penalties for residents’ utility bills, the City of Yellowknife will also be waiving late penalties for the upcoming property tax installment and final tax levy (for those who did not sign up for a pre-authorized payment plan), due on August 31st. Pre-authorized monthly payments for property taxes will continue.

The City of Yellowknife and Yellowknives Dene First Nation have been working to welcome residents back home.  If you are returning by flight, a staff member will come onto the aircraft once you've landed in Yellowknife and explain the process of how to move through the airport, get your check baggage, and get a safe ride home.  Please see this Welcome Home document for more important information. 

Waste Pick-Up and Solid Waste Facility Hours

Upon returning to Yellowknife, take stock of the foods in your home. Although the city didn’t lose power, food in your fridge will have spoiled and will need to be assessed by you to see if it is still good. When in doubt, throw it out!

The Solid Waste Facility will be open Thursday, September 7 to Sunday, September 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. During this period, there will be a $0 tipping fee. The SWF will be closed Monday, September 11.

As of September 12, the SWF will open for regular hours and regular fees will apply.

Please note: The $0 tipping fee will apply for residential waste caused due to the evacuation and food spoilage, etc. Large items, construction waste and other waste will not be accepted. The City is working on a new date for the Fall Amnesty Day where these items can be disposed of.

Curbside pickup will begin as of September 7, 2023, and will limited to gray waste bins until October 2. Organic collection will begin the week of October 2, 2023.

Please be aware there has been more wildlife in the city because of the wildfires pushing animals out of their habitat. Be conscious of the way you dispose of waste, as that has the potential to attract wildlife.

Water Services and Water Quality

Upon arriving home, if you are on trucked water, it is advised to only use the water sitting in your tank for cooking or bathing purposes. Since the water has remained stagnant, if your tank has not been recently cleaned, it could be unfit for other uses. Please wait until a refill to use as drinking water. Regular water services are scheduled to begin on September 7, 2023.

For those on piped water, do not be concerned if your water comes out discoloured when you initially turn it on. This is because it has remained stagnant for three weeks. As you would when you come back from a vacation, please run your taps for 5 – 1o minutes until it is clear and flush toilets.

While you are doing this work, it is a good idea to check your circulation pump and ensure it is in good shape for the winter.  Water testing: 

The City of Yellowknife has continued to do all required water tests throughout this situation, and can ensure it is safe for residents to consume. 

Machinery Around Town and Areas of Work

Please ensure to take care when driving in these areas and give these machines space.

Until further notice, please do not go into areas where fire breaks were established, like the Engle Business District. Allow these workers and machines space to wrap up their work and move equipment.

The City knows that our furry friends are a priority and we are working hard with partners to ensure the safety of your pets. The NWT SPCA has been providing care for animals that were identified to them throughout the evacuation period. The SPCA will have limited supplies for pets upon arriving home, and stores will be open to ensure food can be bought for animals.

Deceased and Lost Pets 

If you had to leave your animal behind during the evacuation, please ensure you do a wellness check upon returning home. In the very unfortunate circumstance where a family pet has died, please contact the Municipal Enforcement Division at 867-920-2737 or the NWT SPCA if you require assistance.

If you left your dog and cannot find it upon return, please contact NWT SPCA at (867) 920-7722.

If you require a crate to transport your pet home from Edmonton, Alberta, please reach out to the NWT SPCA at [email protected] .

We know the past few weeks have been financially hard. The NWT SPCA has collected essential items such as food and litter to assist those in need.  Please e-mail [email protected] if you are in need of essential items for your pet.

Information for Tourists

We are excited to welcome you to our community at some point, but please be aware of the following:

The GNWT is advising that recreational visitors be aware of the current risks of traveling to the NWT at this time. The NWT is still under a state of emergency, and wildfire risks remain a concern across much of the territory, including around highways and evacuated communities.

Enterprise, Fort Smith, Hay River, K’atl’odeeche First Nation, and surrounding areas remain under an Evacuation Order. The City of Yellowknife remains under Evacuation Alert. Communities under evacuation alerts are still at risk from wildfires in the area. Please allow Yellowknife services to get up and running before coming to visit us. Currently, only basic services will be available. Keep your eye on the social media accounts of the Government of the Northwest Territories and the City of Yellowknife for the most up-to-date information, and reach out to your tour operator or hotel directly to confirm whether they are running at full capacity.

Northland Utilities Information

With people coming home soon to Yellowknife, please know that power remained on during the evacuation orders and while you were away. Your appliances did not experience extended power disruptions and should be in working order. Please see this Re-Entry FAQ Document , created by Northland Utilities, for more information. If you have questions, please contact their organization directly. 

Questions and Answers

When the airlifts land in Yellowknife, how do I get from the airport back home?

The City of Yellowknife will facilitate transportation for evacuees from the airport to their homes in Yellowknife.  There will be taxis and volunteer drivers available for those evacuees that need a ride. Taxi vouchers will be provided as people arrive at the airport in Yellowknife.  YKDFN will also have buses at the airport to transport YKDFN members home. Tłı̨chǫ Government will also be providing support for their citizens at the airport.

The city told drivers to bring three days of food home with them. Does that apply to air travellers, too?

The city will be open – but with basic services.  There will be food for purchase.  Grocery stores will be open but residents should be prepared for limited selection and longer lines. 

When was the last water distribution and sewage pump-out for everyone on trucked services, so they know what kind of situation to expect when they get home?

As indicated, the city will be open for residents to return but services will not be fully operational.  Upon return, residents can contact the service provider to arrange water delivery or sewage pump-put if necessary.  Trucked water and sewer delivery is expected to be at full service delivery as of September, 7, 2023.  Please watch the city’s website and social media channels for regular updates.

What’s the estimated time by which grocery stores are expected to be operating normally, with enough supplies for all residents to rely on them? Will there be any restrictions in place to prevent panic-buying or hoarding?

The City is not aware of any stores putting restrictions on purchasing in place.  The City encourages residents to only purchase the items that they require for immediate purposes. 

If we’re going down to evacuation alert, that means we must remain ready to leave at short notice. What’s the plan if we need a SECOND evacuation?

Evacuating over 20,000 residents was an enormous undertaking that was necessary for everybody’s safety given the wildfire threat as of August 15 th .  As the Yellowknife/ Behchokǫ̀ fire is currently classified as ‘being held’, temperatures have cooled, precipitation has increased, and fire protection measures have been completed it is very unlikely at this time that a second mass evacuation would be required as swift action would be taken to address any wildfire threat that might emerge.  The Government of the Northwest Territories led the mass evacuation of Yellowknife.

Work is underway to bring back essential workers from critical services, which is Phase 3 of the Government of Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) Road to Re-entry Plan.

Right now there are very few people left in the Yellowknife, and most are fully dedicated to the emergency response. Before all 20,000 residents come back, we need to make sure that we have things like enough doctors, food, gas, and essential City services in place.

The City has identified a list of critical services. We are currently contacting these businesses and organizations directly. They are then asked to identify the staff they need to reopen at a basic level of service, the names of these staff and immediate family members they are travelling with.

Those names will then be provided to the Government of Northwest Territories, which will add them to a list of individuals permitted to pass the highway roadblocks or contact them to arrange air transportation once current travel restrictions for essential workers are lifted.

If you are named as an essential worker of a critical service, you will be contacted directly by your employer. Please do not contact the City of Yellowknife, the Government of Northwest Territories or any other order of government about your status unless you are asked to do so.

If you have not been specifically asked to return, do not attempt to do so.

Smaller communities along the Alberta/NWT border have limited resources and amenities available. Unless you have been named as an essential worker, please do not head north to wait to return. 

If you have been contacted by your employer and asked to return

Travel by road

Highway conditions remain variable due to several fires along Highway 1. If you are travelling by road, you should prepare for road closures of up to 24 hours, with few amenities available. Make sure you have adequate food, water, fuel and other essential supplies on your journey.

You should also ensure you check  Highway Conditions (gov.nt.ca)  before and as often as possible during your trip. Stay aware of weather forecasts, travel advisories and other alerts as conditions can change quickly.  Travel by air

If you are an authorized essential worker and you have asked to return by air, you will be contacted by the Government of Northwest Territories to confirm your flight details. 

What to expect when you return to Yellowknife

Yellowknife is currently offering very limited services. Some grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies are open with a few staff. Very limited health services are available. If you require specialty products, consider bringing them with you. If you have complex health needs, require child care or other specific amenities or services, please wait before you return. 

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Legislative Assembly of The Northwest Territories

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  1. Leisure travel expected to resume in the NWT on March 1, 2022

    Yellowknife — February 11, 2022. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is announcing that changes to the current travel restrictions and self-isolation Public Health Order are expected to go into effect Feb. 28th, 2022 so that leisure travel can be resumed in the Northwest Territories (NWT) on March 1, 2022.

  2. Containment and Gathering Public Health Orders Extended

    Behchokǫ̀ temporary COVID-19 Restrictions: extended to Oct. 7, 2021; Covid-19 Gatherings Order-Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilǫ: extended to Oct. 4, 2021; All other Public Health Orders for these communities related to masking, self-isolation after travel and leisure travel are in effect unless replaced by these temporary orders.

  3. Phase Two of Emerging Wisely Launches; Travel Restrictions Amended

    The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has moved to Relaxing Phase Two of Emerging Wisely - the territory's plan for relaxing the COVID-19 public health restrictions, and made amendments to the territory's travel restrictions. In phase two, outdoor gathering limits increase, more businesses and organizations will be able to open indoors with precautions in-place,

  4. PDF Public Health Order COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Self-Isolation

    Persons exempted in paragraph 1(a)-(k) herein shall comply with the travel restrictions set out in this order and all recommendations and directions provided by Public Health Officials. This order is effective on March 21, 2020 at 12:00pm and remains in effect for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, unless otherwise rescinded.

  5. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

    The Yellowknife Public Library . Effective January 8, 2022, the Yellowknife Public Library is closed to the public until further notice. ... What are the current Northwest Territories travel restrictions? For more information on Travel Restrictions for entering NWT, ...

  6. Yellowknife resident tests positive for COVID-19, no public exposure

    A Yellowknife resident has tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from out of territory travel. Chief public health officer Kami Kandola said an increase in N.W.T COVID cases is expected as ...

  7. Visitors Guide

    Take a flip through the City of Yellowknife's 2024 Visitors Guide for travel tips, maps of Yellowknife, activity suggestions and much more! Visitors Guide; ... Yellowknife Tourism Links; Contact Us. Subscribe to page updates. 4807 - 52 Street, P.O. Box 580, Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2N4 Tel: 867-920-5600. Living Here;

  8. Covid-19 Resources & Information

    Updated: March 9, 2021 Menu: Emerging Wisely - Information For Businesses Emerging Wisely is the GNWT's phased approach to safety ease restrictions. Indoor gatherings of 25 people or less are permitted. Communal food/drink not permitted. Outdoor gatherings of 50 or less are permitted. Outdoor tourism operators can accommodate 50 or less people, and 25 or…

  9. Yellowknife Travel Guide

    By Plane - Yellowknife Airport is located five kilometres west of the city along Highway 3. It is the hub of air travel in the Northwest Territories. Several regional and national airlines offer daily and weekly flights. By Road - Driving to Yellowknife got much easier after the Deh Cho Bridge was built spanning across the mighty MacKenzie ...

  10. Air Canada to resume passenger flights to Yellowknife next week

    Earlier this year, the airline announced it was cutting flights to Yellowknife due to "stifled demand from ongoing travel restrictions and blanket quarantine rules" stemming from the COVID-19 ...

  11. The Plan to Protect Indigenous Elders Living Under the Northern Lights

    In Yellowknife, and the nearby Dene communities of Dettah and Ndilo, an entire tourist ecosystem has sprung up, renting Canada Goose parkas and fur-lined mittens, arranging snowmobile and dog sled ...

  12. Yellowknife Travel Guide

    Yellowknife Travel Guide Yellowknife is a unique small town in Canada's far north, where the northern lights dance across the sky in vivid shades of blue, green, pink and yellow. If you're planning a Yellowknife tour, read on for everything you need to know before visiting Yellowknife. From when to go to Yellowknife to what

  13. YK is Nat Geo 'dream destination' for post-pandemic travel

    Yellowknife has been selected as one of National Geographic magazine's 25 "destinations on the rise" in 2021. The magazine's annual list compiles editors' picks for destinations to check out in the coming year. This time, emphasis is carefully placed on the phrase "future itineraries," recognizing severe restrictions on travel in many parts of the world.

  14. Yellowknife to enter 10-day 'circuit breaker' with stricter measures

    On Wednesday afternoon, Dr Kami Kandola said she hoped the restrictions will act as a "circuit breaker" to limit the spread of Covid-19 in Yellowknife. The city's schools will stay closed until at least the end of October 4. From 11:59pm on Friday, Dr Kandola said, public gatherings in Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilǫ will be further ...

  15. COVID-19

    COVID-19. Effective April 1, 2022, anyone, regardless of vaccine status, can enter the NWT. Self-Isolation Plan is no longer required. COVID-19 is caused by a virus producing mild to severe respiratory infections. COVID-19 can spread from person to person through heavy breathing, coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the coronavirus.

  16. Home

    Yellowknife Accommodation Levy. Let's get behind a NWT Accommodation Levy! Over 100,000 visitors travelled to the NWT between October 2016 and September 2017 spending more than $200 million! To continue to grow tourism in the City of Yellowknife a levy of UP TO 4% will be collected on short-term accommodations. Levy Resources; Levy FAQ; Survey ...

  17. Air Canada to suspend passenger service to Yellowknife and Labrador

    Last summer, the Yukon-based airline suspended its planned service between Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Ottawa, citing reduced travel demand and border restrictions. "The Yellowknife market clearly ...

  18. Air Canada to make 'important announcement' about YK flights

    At the start of 2021, Air Canada dropped all service to Yellowknife - citing "the effect of stifled demand from ongoing travel restrictions and blanket quarantine rules" - before gradually resuming flights later that summer as restrictions began to ease.

  19. Hundreds still coming to NWT despite Covid travel restrictions

    Air and vehicle traffic into the territory may have slowed since a ban on non-essential travel was imposed March 21 but that doesn't mean it has completely stopped.. More than 500 people flew into Yellowknife over a month-long period from March 27 to April 29, and more than 9,000 vehicles -- including local traffic -- crossed the Deh Cho Bridge, according to Department of Infrastructure ...

  20. COVID-19 Information

    October 2021. There are still travel restrictions in place regarding entry into the NWT, for all updates on the COVID-19 situation in the Northwest Territories please visit the NWT Government COVID-19 page for update. August 2021. Information for Aurora + Hotel Packages Winter 2021-2022 is now available.

  21. 44 St. Parking Signage and Restrictions

    The City of Yellowknife (the City) wishes to advise residents of signage and restriction changes on 44 th Street (Summit Condos access road). As of today, April 26, new signage has been installed on the Summit Condos access road near the parking area of École St. Patrick High School.

  22. Welcome Home!

    Note: The page below refers to the evacuation of the City of Yellowknife caused by wildfires in the North Slave region in August 2023. As such, it contains information that is no longer current. ... list of individuals permitted to pass the highway roadblocks or contact them to arrange air transportation once current travel restrictions for ...

  23. COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

    COVID-19 Travel Restrictions; House Status. Session will resume on. Thursday, May 23, 2024. COVID-19 Travel Restrictions. Language Undefined Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Minister: Thom. ... Box 1320; 4570-48th Street; Yellowknife, NT; X1A 2L9 | This website is copyright 2014 Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories ...

  24. Travel Advisories

    × External Link. You are about to leave travel.state.gov for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State. Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein.