Real estate properties in Yellowknife include everything from modern condos to million-dollar mansions to double-wide trailers. There are also unique heritage buildings dating back to the city’s early days, and of course, the city’s famous houseboat community — but those properties rarely make it to market. The current market is healthy, but nowhere near as heated as in centres like Toronto and Vancouver, with real estate average prices slightly below Calgary. Costs are higher than in similar southern communities, but then again, that reflects the fact that this is a sub-Arctic community.
Yellowknife has three affiliated real estate companies — Homelife, Century 21 Prospect Realty, and Coldwell Banker. It also has a branch of the private-sale organization Property Guys. The three affiliated companies are members of the Yellowknife Real Estate Board.
In the late winter of 2017, typical listings included: a 2-Bedroom, 1-Bathroom condo in the downtown area for $269,000, a 5-Bedroom, 3-Bathroom 2-storey house on Latham Island — a more high-end part of town — for $688,900, and much inbetween. New developments, such as Grace Lake on the outskirts of town are attracting heavy interest with their waterside properties.
The territorial government provides residents financial and strategic homeownership help and advice through the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation’s Providing Assistance for Territorial Homeownership (PATH) program. It also offers support for ongoing house care and repair, and a host of other services.
The rental market in Yellowknife has eased up in recent years, as vacancy rates have increased thanks to increased home ownership and condo supply. In 2014, the vacancy rate hovered around five percent, while the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment was $1,690. Again, rental stock is extremely varied, from character-filled suites and homes in Old Town, to modern condos in the downtown. If you are single, many mine workers make ideal roommates, as they operate on a 2-week in, 2-week out schedule.
Yellowknife rental agencies include:
Listings can also be found in the local newspaper (which is behind a paywall), and on YKtrader.
The city’s educational system — from junior kindergarten to grade 12, at least — is more than comparable to any southern community’s. Post-secondary education is more limited, but many NWT-based students have access to a very generous grant system that heavily subsidizes their education costs at southern institutions.
Daycare services for preschool-age children are available through government-licensed daycares and day homes. Average daycare costs in Yellowknife range from $875 to $940 a month, depending on the age of the child.
Junior Kindergarten – Grade 12 Education
In the Northwest Territories, public education starts at junior kindergarten (age four) to grade 12. A child is eligible to start kindergarten if they are 5 years old by December 31 of that school year.
Yellowknife has two school districts (YK and YKS) and one school division: the Commission scolaire francophone des Territoires du Nord-ouest. These school districts and division offer French-language schools and French Immersion programs.
Parents can choose to send their children to the Public, Catholic or francophone school in the area where they reside.
Generally, elementary schools serve children from junior kindergarten until grade 8, while high school serves youth from grades 9 to 12. In the Northwest Territories provincial examinations start in grade 10.
Yellowknife School Districts
Yellowknife Education District No. 1
This school district offers education Yellowknife Education from junior kindergarten to grade 12. All schools in this district offer full-day kindergarten and some of them offer junior kindergarten. These include French immersion schools as well as Montessori programs. They also offer a French Immersion and Core French program, which starts in grade 1 and goes until graduation in grade 12.
Yellowknife Catholic School District
This school district oversees English Catholic schools. YCS also offers special programs such as French immersion program from junior kindergarten to grade 12.
Commission Scolaire Francophone Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CSFTNO)
This Francophone school district offers kindergarten to grade 12 at École Allain St-Cyr.
The GNWT’s department of Education, Culture and Employment has a complete listing of NWT schools, a student handbook, information on specialized services and details on curriculum.
There is currently one college in Yellowknife, offering a range of post-secondary and adult education courses:
Aurora College’s Yellowknife campus offers several career-oriented programs including: Developmental Studies; Business Leadership; Health and Human Services; Arts and Science , and Continuing Education.
Students can choose from certificate, diploma or degree programs. A large number of trade and apprenticeship programs are also available. For more information visit their website here.
French-language adult courses are also available in Yellowknife from Le College nordique
Continuing education programs are often offered through local school boards. Visit the Yellowknife School District No. 1 for more information or the Catholic School Board.
Student Financial Assistance
The department of Education, Culture and Employment offers generous financial assistance to eligible NWT residents to assist with postsecondary education-related expenses. All the documents to help navigate through the process of receiving SFA can be found here.
Getting here, getting out of here, car dealerships, services, vehicle rental, public transportation and more.
Yellowknife’s history has long revolved around aviation — the city would not be here were it not for the adventurous bush pilots who helped to define it. And today it remains well-served by aviation companies, both local and national.
The city is 1.5 hours, on average, from Edmonton, its main travel hub, and just over two hours from Calgary. Costs for flights to these hubs usually range around $400.
National airlines that service the city include Air Canada and Westjet.
There are multiple regional airlines operating out of Yellowknife, offering scheduled, charter and cargo flights around the North and to the south as well, including Canadian North, which offers regular service to Ottawa, Air Tindi, Buffalo Airways, famous from the popular TV series Ice Pilots for using vintage aircraft, First Air, North-Wright Airways, and Summit Air.
The Department of Transportation’s Yellowknife Airport website is home to the latest updates, including arrivals and departures.
The city is connected to the rest of Canada’s highway system, with the Alberta border just under 600 km from the city, while Edmonton is 1.497 km away. The road is paved and well-maintained, and since the construction of the Deh Cho Bridge over the Mackenzie River in 2012, it is completely open all-year-round. It’s still a long trip, though there are many campsites and several communities along the way. In winter, it’s highly advised to stay on top of weather conditions, and keep emergency supplies in your vehicle. And watch out for bison! They are peaceful creatures, but they have a tendency to wander in the road, and a collision with one is no joke, for car occupants and the bison themselves.
Highway conditions and other information is available from the GNWT’s Department of Transportation here.
Yellowknife has several companies that sell and service vehicles:
Yellowknife’s authorized Toyota dealer: (867) 920-4994
Yellowknife’s authorized Ford dealer: (867) 873-9580 or toll-free: 1-800-383-9211
Selling new and used Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and RAM vehicles: (867) 873-4222
Yellowknife’s authorized GM dealer, selling Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles: (867) 766-5000
Rental agencies include Hertz, Budget Car and Truck, National Car Rental, Royal Rent-A-Car and Yellowknife Motors.
Yellowknife has a small and somewhat underused transit system that offers three citywide routes serviced by modern buses. Buses run from approximately 7:10 am to 7:10 pm, Monday to Saturday. Fares are $3.00 per adult and $2.00 per student or senior. Monthly passes are $75.00 per adult and $50.00 per student or senior.
The city also has two taxi companies, both operating with a minimum fare of $4.50, and $2.00 per additional kilometre:
- Aurora Taxi: (867) 873-5050
- City Cab Ltd.: (867) 873-4444