Northwest Territories and Nunavut: A New World

While the Northwest Territories has been part of Canada since 1870, Nunavut became Canada’s third territory on April 1, 1999. Formed from the eastern part of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut encompasses a massive portion of Canadian’s Arctic territory. “Nunavut” is an Inuktitut word meaning "our land," and this new territory is home to 25,000 residents, about 80 percent of whom are Inuit.

Combined, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut account for over two- million square kilometres of mountains, forests and tundra highlighted by hundreds of clean rivers and thousands of pristine lakes. Visitors come to view rare wildlife species from white wolves to white whales. In the distance herds of bison, prowling bears, moose and caribou can be heard roaming the frozen tundra.

While wildlife viewing opportunities are legendary in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Nahanni National Park has also become a popular tourist attraction. Here you can gear up for some canoeing, hiking, snowmobiling and/or dog sledding.

Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, is the main city centre for the region, and is the perfect starting point for your adventures.

Two of the biggest attractions in northern Canada are the long summer days of the “Midnight Sun,” and the aurora borealis or Northern Lights that can be seen in the night sky from late August until January.

A fiercely proud people, residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut encourage tourism, welcoming visitors with open arms, eager to display their native hand crafted arts, and tell the stories of their rich history.

  • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
  • April 9: Good Friday
  • April 11: Easter Sunday
  • May 24 (or closest prior Mon.): Victoria Day
  • July 1: British Columbia Day
  • Sept. (1st Mon.): Labour Day
  • Oct. (2nd Mon.): Thanksgiving
  • Nov. 11: Remembrance Day
  • Dec. 25: Christmas Day
  • Dec. 26: Boxing Day
Further Information for Visitors:


Fast Facts
Population: 64,105

Size: Northwest Territories 1,346,106 sq. km. (519,731 sq. mi.); ranks 3rd; Nunavut 2,093,190 sq. km. (808, 180 sq. mi.); ranks 1st

Capital City: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Iqaluit, Nunavut
Time Zone(s): Mountain/Central/Eastern/Atlantic, DST
Minimum Age for Unrestricted Driver’s License: 16 years
Minimum Age for Gambling: 19
Alcohol Consumption: Legal age is 19
Taxes: The Northwest Territories and Nunavut have no territorial sales tax. However, a 7 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) is levied
Highest Point: 2,762 m/9,062 ft., Cirque of the Unclimables Mountain northwest of Nahanni National Park Reserve  
Lowest Point: Sea level, Beaufort Sea 
  External links
  Northwest Territories
PO Box 610, Yellowknife,
Northwest Territories, Canada X1A 2N5

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