Life in the Knife
Our first month in Yellowknife (October, 2015) was quite the whirlwind! We lived out of our tiny car and tiny cabin for another week and a half after our arrival, started our new jobs, explored our new city, had to purchase absolutely everything to outfit our new 600 square foot apartment and then had to build all the new furniture. Oh, and it was an interesting twist to have to order things without a true mailing address (which didn’t exist until several months after moving to Yellowknife). Oh, and then we had two and a half weeks to settle in before we were sent to Dallas, Texas for professional development training!
Despite the craze of moving our lives across the country, it wasn’t long before we were falling in love with our new town. Yellowknife is the only “large” city in Northwest Territories; with a population of about 20,000, it contains approximately half the total population of the entire territory! So being the main hub and transit centre for the rest of the territory, the capital city is equipped with all of the familiar big city comforts. We have 3 large grocery stores, a Walmart, Staples, Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, McDonalds, Boston Pizza, and the Brick to name a few. Along with big city feels, it also has the charming ‘ma and pa’ boutiques, restaurants, and quite a sizeable downtown art scene.
Our apartment is located right on the main street of the city, Franklin Avenue, which allows us to walk about 30 mins in either direction and pretty much cover the whole city by foot. Also, within 30 mins of walking in either direction, we would bump into a body of water which is one of the many really awesome features of the city. Yellowknife and the surrounding area is packed with beautiful fresh water lakes, both small and humungous. Yellowknife’s Old Town reaches out into Great Slave Lake which is the second largest lake in Northwest Territories and the deepest in North America.
When we pictured ourselves living in Northwest Territories, (for some reason) we pictured the landscape as a cold, flat desert with stubby trees. So imagine our surprise and delight when we pulled up to a city built on intricate rock faces coated in a combination of medium-sized coniferous and deciduous trees and fresh water lakes galore! It makes sense, of course, when you consider that Yellowknife sits in the lower two thirds of the territory, comfortably below the tree line. Nonetheless, it was surprising and exciting to discover how interesting and beautiful the landscape was. Better yet, by driving just 10 mins out of the city centre down a hilly, winding road, you quickly find yourself in the vast wilderness of the territory. All of a sudden, the noisy bustle of the city disappears and it’s just rolling rocks, trees, and lakes as far as the eye can see.
Here are some pics of our moving, shopping, and exploring in our first few weeks of life in the Knife:
Adam & Amanda