The Canol Road was part of a project to build the Canol pipeline and a road from Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, to Whitehorse, during World War II. The pipeline no longer exists, but the 449 kilometres long Yukon portion of the road is maintained by the Yukon Government during summer months; the portion of the road that still exists in the NWT is called the Canol Heritage Trail. Both road and trail are incorporated into the Trans-Canada Trail; the Canol Road starts at Johnson's Crossing on the Alaska Highway near the Teslin River bridge, 126 kilometres east of Whitehorse and runs to the Northwest Territories border. The highway joins the Robert Campbell Highway near Ross River, where there is a cable ferry across the Pelly River, an old footbridge, still in use, that once supported the pipeline. Construction and development of the Alaska Highway and airfields along the Northwest Staging Route and provision of military bases in Alaska led to a determination that a source of fuel was required.
High-grade oil was available at Norman Wells, the scheme was to construct a pipeline to Whitehorse. Assorted components, including pieces from Texas, were moved to Whitehorse to construct a refinery. A road was built to provide access to service the pipeline. At first, the effort was to move all construction activity for the pipeline and road to Norman Wells from northeastern Alberta; this required the use of winter roads and river movement, including several portages around rapids, was soon found to be cumbersome, a bottleneck. Construction proceeded both from "Canol Camp" and Whitehorse, the roadway was joined in the vicinity of the Macmillan Pass in the Mackenzie Mountains, on the Yukon–Northwest Territories border, December 31, 1943; the 4 inch pipeline was laid directly on the ground, the high grade of the oil allowed it to flow at −80 °F. Workers on the road and pipeline had to endure mosquitoes, black flies, extreme cold and other difficult conditions. One poster for the company that hired workers warned.
The oil flow commenced in 1944, but was shut down April 1, 1945, having not performed satisfactorily. Some supplementary pipelines were installed to distribute product from the Whitehorse refinery, which closed in 1945. Twelve tankers-full of oil were delivered to Alaska annually in spite of the perceived threat from Japanese occupation of the Aleutians, while Canol only provided the equivalent of one tanker-full; some of the supplementary pipelines remained active into the 1990s, although the line to Skagway, had its flow reversed, it was used by the White Pass and Yukon Route railway to move petroleum products into the Yukon. Portions of the primary pipeline between Whitehorse and Canol was removed and sold for use elsewhere; the refinery was purchased in early 1948 by Imperial Oil and trucked to Alberta for the Leduc oil strike. The roadway is the surviving legacy of the Canol project. Although abandoned in 1946–1947, the southernmost 150 miles was reopened in 1958 to connect Ross River, with the Alaska Highway.
A molybdenum mine operated along this part of the route in the late 1950s. The next 130 miles from Ross River to the Northwest Territories border was reopened in 1972, soon after, mining exploration companies used the route to reach into the N. W. T. Including the use of washed-out, bridgeless roadway to scout for minerals, although none beyond the border have been developed. A barite mine has operated near the north end of the Yukon section; the highway was designated as Yukon Highway 8 until 1978, when it became Yukon Highway 6. The Yukon section of the road is little changed from 1945, although culverts have replaced some of the original one-lane bridges, several one-lane Bailey bridges remain. There are few two-lane bridges on the road. Many are marked with a sign indicating differing vehicle weight limits above and below −35 °C redundant since the road is closed in winter, when such temperatures would happen, it is a hilly road, resembling the original Alaska Highway. The road's alignment is emphasized with signs that show the symbol for winding road.
There are few guardrails, other than a government campground, no facilities except at Ross River. Former Yukon Member of Parliament Erik Nielsen owned a cabin for a retreat at Quiet Lake, at party meetings, some people showed up with signs identifying themselves as delegates for Quiet Lake. Quiet Lake was the location of a small boat used by military officers for recreation during the war; the famous Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers wrote and performed a song called "Canol Road" which names several settlements in the area. Until the late 1980s, it was still possible for automobiles to reach some 15 miles into the N. W. T. Up to the second crossing of the Tsichu River. At the first crossing of that river, vehicles had to ford the river, since the wooden bridge from 1943 had long since collapsed. Since a washout occurred around the Macmillan Pass in 1987 or 1988, only the Yukon side is passable, as it was repaired by the Yukon government; the prospect of the N. W. T. Portion being repaired for automobile use is unlikely, as it is an difficult route in sections and the road condition has badly deteriorated.
If the demand existed for a road between Ross River and the Sahtu region, it would ma
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of 1,144,000 km2 and a 2016 census population of 41,786, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada, its estimated population as of 2018 is 44,445. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission; the Northwest Territories, a portion of the old North-Western Territory, entered the Canadian Confederation on July 15, 1870, but the current borders were formed on April 1, 1999, when the territory was subdivided to create Nunavut to the east, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. While Nunavut is Arctic tundra, the Northwest Territories has a warmer climate and is both boreal forest, tundra, its most northern regions form part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; the Northwest Territories is bordered by Canada's two other territories, Nunavut to the east and Yukon to the west, by the provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan to the south.
The name is descriptive, adopted by the British government during the colonial era to indicate where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land. It is shortened from North-Western Territory. In Inuktitut, the Northwest Territories are referred to as ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᖅ, "beautiful land."There was some discussion of changing the name of the Northwest Territories after the splitting off of Nunavut to a term from an Aboriginal language. One proposal was "Denendeh", among others. One of the most popular proposals for a new name – one to name the territory "Bob" – began as a prank, but for a while it was at or near the top in the public-opinion polls. In the end, a poll conducted prior to division showed that strong support remained to keep the name "Northwest Territories"; this name arguably became more appropriate following division than it had been when the territories extended far into Canada's north-central and northeastern areas. Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south.
It meets Manitoba at a quadripoint to the extreme southeast, though surveys have not been completed. It has a land area of 1,183,085 km2. Geographical features include Great Bear Lake, the largest lake within Canada, Great Slave Lake, the deepest body of water in North America at 614 m, as well as the Mackenzie River and the canyons of the Nahanni National Park Reserve, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Territorial islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago include Banks Island, Borden Island, Prince Patrick Island, parts of Victoria Island and Melville Island, its highest point is Mount Nirvana near the border with Yukon at an elevation of 2,773 m. The Northwest Territories extends for more than 1,300,000 km2 and has a large climate variant from south to north; the southern part of the territory has a subarctic climate, while the islands and northern coast have a polar climate. Summers in the north are short and cool, with daytime highs of 14-17 Celsius, lows of 1-5 Celsius. Winters are long and harsh, daytime highs in the mid −20 °C and lows around −40 °C.
Extremes are common with summer highs in the south reaching 36 °C and lows reaching into the negatives. In winter in the south, it is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach −40 °C, but they can reach the low teens during the day. In the north, temperatures can reach highs of 30 °C, lows can reach into the low negatives. In winter in the north it is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach −50 °C but they can reach the single digits during the day. Thunderstorms are not rare in the south. In the north they are rare, but do occur. Tornadoes are rare but have happened with the most notable one happening just outside Yellowknife that destroyed a communications tower; the Territory has a dry climate due to the mountains in the west. About half of the territory is above the tree line. There are not many trees in the north islands; the present-day territory came under government authority in July 1870, after the Hudson's Bay Company transferred Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory to the British Crown, which subsequently transferred them to Canada, giving it the name the North-west Territories.
This immense region comprised all of today's Canada except that, encompassed within the early signers of Canadian Confederation, that is, British Columbia, early forms of present-day Ontario and Quebec, the Maritimes, the Labrador coast, the Arctic Islands, except the southern half of Baffin Island. The first residential school opened in 1867 in Fort Resolution, followed by several others in regions across the territory, thus contributing to the Northwest Territories reaching the highest percentage of students in residential schools of any area in Canada. After the 1870 transfer, some of the North-west Territories was whittled away; the province of Manitoba was created on July 15, 1870, at first a small square area around Winnipeg
Wind-chill or windchill is the lowering of body temperature due to the passing-flow of lower-temperature air. Wind chill numbers are always lower than the air temperature for values; when the apparent temperature is higher than the air temperature, the heat index is used instead. A surface loses heat through conduction, evaporation and radiation; the rate of convection depends on both the difference in temperature between the surface and the fluid surrounding it and the velocity of that fluid with respect to the surface. As convection from a warm surface heats the air around it, an insulating boundary layer of warm air forms against the surface. Moving air disrupts this boundary layer, or epiclimate, allowing for cooler air to replace the warm air against the surface; the faster the wind speed, the more the surface cools. Many formulas exist for wind chill because, unlike temperature, wind chill has no universally agreed upon standard definition or measurement. All the formulas attempt to qualitatively predict the effect of wind on the temperature humans perceive.
Weather services in different countries use standards unique to their region. S. and Canadian weather services use. That model has evolved over time; the first wind chill formulas and tables were developed by Paul Allman Siple and Charles F. Passel working in the Antarctic before the Second World War, were made available by the National Weather Service by the 1970s, they were based on the cooling rate of a small plastic bottle as its contents turned to ice while suspended in the wind on the expedition hut roof, at the same level as the anemometer. The so-called Windchill Index provided a pretty good indication of the severity of the weather. In the 1960s, wind chill began to be reported as a wind chill equivalent temperature, theoretically less useful; the author of this change is unknown, but it was not Siple or Passel as is believed. At first, it was defined as the temperature at which the windchill index would be the same in the complete absence of wind; this led to equivalent temperatures. Charles Eagan realized that people are still and that when it was calm, there was some air movement.
He redefined the absence of wind to be an air speed of 1.8 metres per second, about as low a wind speed as a cup anemometer could measure. This led to more realistic values of equivalent temperature. Equivalent temperature was not universally used in North America until the 21st century; until the 1970s, the coldest parts of Canada reported the original Wind Chill Index, a three or four digit number with units of kilocalories/hour per square metre. Each individual calibrated the scale of numbers through experience; the chart provided general guidance to comfort and hazard through threshold values of the index, such as 1400, the threshold for frostbite. The original formula for the index was: W C I = ⋅ where: WCI = wind chill index, kcal/m2/h v = wind velocity, m/s Ta = air temperature, °C In November 2001, the United States, the United Kingdom implemented a new wind chill index developed by scientists and medical experts on the Joint Action Group for Temperature Indices, it is determined by iterating a model of skin temperature under various wind speeds and temperatures using standard engineering correlations of wind speed and heat transfer rate.
Heat transfer was calculated for a bare face in wind, facing the wind, while walking into it at 1.4 metres per second. The model corrects the measured wind speed to the wind speed at face height, assuming the person is in an open field; the results of this model may be approximated, to within one degree, from the following formula: The standard wind chill formula for Environment Canada is: T w c = 13.12 + 0.6215 T a − 11.37 v + 0.16 + 0.3965 T a v + 0.16 where Twc is the wind chill index, based on the Celsius temperature scale. When the temperature is −20 °C and the wind speed is 5 km/h, the wind chill index is −24. If the temperature remains at −20 °C and the wind speed increases to 30 km/h, the wind chill index falls to −33; the equivalent formula in US customary units is: T w c = 35.74 + 0.6215 T a − 35.75 v + 0.16 + 0.4275 T a v + 0.16 where Twc is the wind chill index, based on the Fahrenheit scale. Windchill temperature is defined only for temperatures at or below 1
The Mackenzie Highway is a Canadian highway in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. It begins as Alberta Highway 2 at Mile Zero in Alberta. After the first 4.0 km, it becomes Alberta Highway 35 for the balance of its length through Alberta and becomes Northwest Territories Highway 1. The Mackenzie Highway is designated as part of Canada's National Highway System, holding core route status from its terminus at Grimshaw to its intersection with the Yellowknife Highway, northern/remote route status for the remainder of the route to its northern terminus at Wrigley. Begun in 1938, prior to World War II, the project was abandoned at the outbreak of war resumed in the late 1940s and completed to Hay River, Northwest Territories in 1948/1949, though some sections in the vicinity of Steen River, remained difficult. In 1960, it was extended from Enterprise 39 km south of Hay River, to the northwest north past Fort Providence to Behchoko and southeast to the City of Yellowknife, which became the capital of the Northwest Territories in 1967.
Much of this extension is now known as the Yellowknife Highway. The 39 km stretch from Enterprise to Hay River is Northwest Territories Highway 2. In 1970, the highway was extended west from what is now the southern terminus of Highway 3 to reach Fort Simpson, in 1971, when the section to Fort Simpson was opened to traffic, work began to prepare a road grade from there to Wrigley, but the work was abandoned; this roadway, which starts at a junction 3.5 km from the island that "downtown" Fort Simpson is situated on, was made usable in 1994, includes the N'dulee ferry and ice crossings. There are social and economic studies being done on the extension of the highway north from Wrigley to join the Dempster Highway. W. T. government has completed 34 bridges across all but six of the widest river crossings, serving the ice road and awaiting the all-weather route. In June 2018, an announcement of $140 million funding would result in a bridge over Great Bear River and extend the Mackenzie Highway's all-weather road north by 15 km to Mount Gaudet.
Just east of Fort Simpson's airport, the highway crosses the Liard River by ice bridge. 45 km further east of this crossing, the location known as Checkpoint is the site of a former gas station at the junction with the Liard Highway from Fort Nelson, British Columbia. Highway 1 - Northwest Territories Department of Transportation 1948 Mackenzie Highway, Grimshaw to Hay River Mackenzie Valley Highway to Tuktoyaktuk
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now owns and operates retail stores in Canada, the United States, parts of Europe including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany; the company's namesake business division is Hudson's Bay referred to as The Bay. Other divisions include Home Outfitters, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. HBC's head office is located in Brampton, Ontario; the company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "HBC". After incorporation by English royal charter in 1670, the company functioned as the de facto government in parts of North America for nearly 200 years until the HBC sold the land it owned to Canada in 1869 as part of The Deed of Surrender. During its peak, the company controlled the fur trade throughout much of the English- and British-controlled North America. By the mid-19th century, the company evolved into a mercantile business selling a wide variety of products from furs to fine homeware in a small number of sales shops across Canada.
These shops were the first step towards the department stores. In 2008, HBC was acquired by NRDC Equity Partners, which owns the upmarket American department store Lord & Taylor. From 2008 to 2012, the HBC was run through a holding company of NRDC, Hudson's Bay Trading Company, dissolved in early 2012. Since 2012, the HBC directly oversees its Canadian subsidiaries Hudson's Bay and Home Outfitters, in addition to the operations of Lord & Taylor in the United States; the Hudson's Bay Company bought Saks, Inc. in 2013, German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof in 2015, online shopping site Gilt Groupe in 2015, 20 former Vroom & Dreesmann sites in the Netherlands in 2015. Gilt Groupe was sold to online fashion store Rue La La in 2018. In the 17th century the French had a de facto monopoly on the Canadian fur trade with their colony of New France. Two French traders, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers, Radisson's brother-in-law, learned from the Cree that the best fur country lay north and west of Lake Superior, that there was a "frozen sea" still further north.
Assuming this was Hudson Bay, they sought French backing for a plan to set up a trading post on the Bay, to reduce the cost of moving furs overland. According to Peter C. Newman, "concerned that exploration of the Hudson Bay route might shift the focus of the fur trade away from the St. Lawrence River, the French governor", Marquis d'Argenson, "refused to grant the coureurs de bois permission to scout the distant territory". Despite this refusal, in 1659 Radisson and Groseilliers set out for the upper Great Lakes basin. A year they returned with premium furs, evidence of the potential of the Hudson Bay region. Subsequently, they were arrested for trading without a licence and fined, their furs were confiscated by the government. Determined to establish trade in the Hudson Bay and Groseilliers approached a group of English colonial businessmen in Boston, Massachusetts to help finance their explorations; the Bostonians agreed on the plan's merits but their speculative voyage in 1663 failed when their ship ran into pack ice in Hudson Strait.
Boston-based English commissioner Colonel George Cartwright learned of the expedition and brought the two to England to raise financing. Radisson and Groseilliers arrived in London in 1665 at the height of the Great Plague; the two met and gained the sponsorship of Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert introduced the two to his cousin, King Charles II. In 1668 the English expedition acquired two ships, the Nonsuch and the Eaglet, to explore possible trade into Hudson Bay. Groseilliers sailed on the Nonsuch, commanded by Captain Zachariah Gillam, while the Eaglet was commanded by Captain William Stannard and accompanied by Radisson. On 5 June 1668, both ships left port at Deptford, but the Eaglet was forced to turn back off the coast of Ireland; the Nonsuch continued to James Bay, the southern portion of Hudson Bay, where its explorers founded, in 1668, the first fort on Hudson Bay, Charles Fort at the mouth of the Rupert River. Both the fort and the river were named after the sponsor of the expedition, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, one of the major investors and soon to be the new company's first governor.
After a successful trading expedition over the winter of 1668–69, Nonsuch returned to England on 9 October 1669 with the first cargo of fur resulting from trade in Hudson Bay. The bulk of the fur – worth £1,233 – was sold to Thomas Glover, one of London's most prominent furriers; this and subsequent purchases by Glover made. The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson's Bay was incorporated on 2 May 1670, with a royal charter from King Charles II; the charter granted the company a monopoly over the region drained by all rivers and streams flowing into Hudson Bay in northern Canada. The area was named "Rupert's Land" after Prince Rupert, the first governor of the company appointed by the King; this drainage basin of Hudson Bay constitutes 1.5 million square miles, comprising over one-third of the area of modern-day Canada and stretches into the present-day north-central United States. The specific boundaries were unknown at the time. Rupert's Land would become Canada's largest land "purchase" in the 19th century.
The HBC established six posts between 1668 and 171
The Mackenzie River is the longest river system in Canada, has the second largest drainage basin of any North American river after the Mississippi River. The Mackenzie River flows through a vast, thinly populated region of forest and tundra within the Canadian Northwest Territories, although its many tributaries reach into four other Canadian provinces and territories; the river's main stem is 1,738 kilometres long, flowing north-northwest from Great Slave Lake into the Arctic Ocean, where it forms a large delta at its mouth. Its extensive watershed drains about 20 percent of Canada, it is the largest river flowing into the Arctic from North America, including its tributaries has a total length of 4,241 kilometres, making it the thirteenth longest river system in the world. Through its many tributaries, the Mackenzie River basin covers portions of five Canadian provinces and territories – British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories. Thutade Lake, in the Northern Interior of BC, is the ultimate source of the Mackenzie River via the Finlay–Peace River system, which stretches 1,923 kilometres through BC and Alberta.
The 1,231-kilometre Athabasca River originates further south, in Jasper National Park in southwest Alberta. Together, the Peace and Athabasca rivers drain a significant portion of the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains and the central Alberta prairie; the Peace contributes the majority of the water, about 66 km3 per year, the Athabasca contributes 25 km3. The Peace and Athabasca meet at the Peace-Athabasca Delta, a vast inland delta at the western end of Lake Athabasca, which takes runoff from the northern third of Saskatchewan; the Slave River is formed by the confluence of the two rivers and flows 415 kilometres due north into Great Slave Lake, at Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories. The Slave is by far the largest river flowing into the lake, with an annual flow of 108 km3, it contributes about 77% of the overall inflow, forms a large delta where it enters the lake. Other rivers entering Great Slave Lake area the Taltson and Hay Rivers, the latter of which extends into Alberta and BC.
The Mackenzie River issues from the western end of Great Slave Lake about 150 km south-west of Yellowknife. The channel is several kilometres wide but narrows to about 800 m at Fort Providence, an important ferry crossing in the summer, used as an ice bridge in the winter for traffic along the Yellowknife Highway. In 2012 the Deh Cho Bridge was completed at a point about 10 km upstream, providing a safer permanent crossing, it is the only bridge across the main stem of the Mackenzie. West of Fort Providence the Mackenzie widens resembling a shallow, swampy lake more than a river. After heading west for about 100 km the Mackenzie narrows and turns northwest through a long stretch of fast water and rapids, past the village of Jean Marie River. At Fort Simpson it is joined by its biggest direct tributary, from the west; the Liard drains a large area in the southern Yukon and northern BC and carries a large amount of sediment during the summer melt – which does not mix with the clear water in the Mackenzie for 500 km downstream, with the resulting phenomenon of a clear current on the east bank and muddy water on the west bank.
The river continues west-northwest until its confluence with the North Nahanni River, where it turns north towards the Arctic. It flows through open taiga with its wide valley bounded, on the west, by the Mackenzie Mountains and to the east by low hills of the Canadian Shield; this uninhabited area is called the Mackenzie Lowlands. A number of major tributaries join from the west, including the Root River, Redstone River and Keele River. Below the Keele River, the Mackenzie River flows north along the western base of the Franklin Mountains before turning northwest, receives the Great Bear River, the outflow of Great Bear Lake at Tulita; the Mackenzie widens to about 6 to 7 km at Norman Wells, a major center of oil production. There is a narrows at the Mountain River confluence called the Sans Sault Rapids, where the Mackenzie falls about 6 metres. Below the Mountain River the Mackenzie flows due north until reaching The Ramparts, a limestone gorge 500 metres wide and up to 45 metres deep. Below The Ramparts is the village of Fort Good Hope, where the Mackenzie turns northwest again, soon crossing the Arctic Circle.
The Mackenzie here flows lower in elevation than the surrounding tundra, as a braided river between low bluffs about 3 to 5 km apart. It receives the Arctic Red River from the southwest at Tsiigehtchic, where traffic on the Dempster Highway crosses via ferry/ice bridge. About 30 kilometres northwest of Tsiigehtchic is Point Separation, the head of the vast Mackenzie River Delta, whose branching channels and wetlands spread across more than 12,000 square kilometres of the coastal plain; the delta is nearly 210 km from north to south, ranges in width from 50 to 80 km. It is the second biggest Arctic delta in the world, after the Lena River delta in Russia. Most land in the Mackenzie delta consists with great depths to bedrock. A characteristic feature of the delta is its numerous pingos, or hill
Yellowknife is the capital and only city, as well as the largest community, in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake, about 400 km south of the Arctic Circle, on the west side of Yellowknife Bay near the outlet of the Yellowknife River. Yellowknife and its surrounding water bodies were named after a local Dene tribe once known as the'Copper Indians' or'Yellowknife Indians', referred to locally as the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, who traded tools made from copper deposits near the Arctic Coast, its population, ethnically mixed, was 19,569 in 2016. Of the eleven official languages of the Northwest Territories, five are spoken in significant numbers in Yellowknife: Dene Suline, Dogrib and North Slavey and French. In the Dogrib language, the city is known as Sǫ̀mbak'è; the Yellowknife settlement is considered to have been founded in 1934, after gold was found in the area, although commercial activity in the present-day waterfront area did not begin until 1936.
Yellowknife became the centre of economic activity in the NWT, was named the capital of the Northwest Territories in 1967. As gold production began to wane, Yellowknife shifted from being a mining town to a centre of government services in the 1980s. However, with the discovery of diamonds north of the city in 1991, this shift began to reverse. In recent years, tourism and communications have emerged as significant Yellowknife industries. Traditionally, First Nations people of Yellowknives Dene culture had occupied this region; the current municipal area of Yellowknife was occupied by prospectors who ventured into the region in the mid-1930s. A Klondike-bound prospector, E. A. Blakeney, made the first discovery of gold in the Yellowknife Bay area in 1898; the discovery was viewed as unimportant in those days because of the Klondike Gold Rush and because Great Slave Lake was too far away to attract attention. In the late 1920s, aircraft were first used to explore Canada's Arctic regions. Samples of uranium and silver were uncovered at Great Bear Lake in the early 1930s, prospectors began fanning out to find additional metals.
In 1933 two prospectors, Herb Dixon and Johnny Baker, canoed down the Yellowknife River from Great Bear Lake to survey for possible mineral deposits. They found gold samples at Quyta Lake, about 30 km up the Yellowknife River, some additional samples at Homer Lake; the following year, Johnny Baker returned as part of a larger crew to develop the previous gold finds and search for more. Gold was found on the east side of Yellowknife Bay in 1934 and the short-lived Burwash Mine was developed; when government geologists uncovered gold in more favourable geology on the west side of Yellowknife Bay in the fall of 1935, a small staking rush occurred. From 1935 to 1937, one prospector and trapper named Winslow C. Ranney staked in the area between Rater Lake with few commercial results; the nearby hill known as Ranney Hill is a popular hiking destination today. Con Mine was the most impressive gold deposit and its development created the excitement that led to the first settlement of Yellowknife in 1936–1937.
Some of the first businesses were Corona Inn, Weaver & Devore Trading, Yellowknife Supplies and post office, The Wildcat Cafe. Con Mine entered production on 5 September 1938. Yellowknife boomed in the summer of 1938 and many new businesses were established, including the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Hudson's Bay Company, Vic Ingraham's first hotel, Sutherland's Drug Store, a pool hall; the population of Yellowknife grew to 1,000 by 1940, by 1942, five gold mines were in production in the Yellowknife region. However, by 1944, gold production had ground to a halt. An exploration program at the Giant Mine property on the north end of town had suggested a sizable gold deposit in 1944; this new find resulted in a massive post-war staking rush to Yellowknife. It resulted in new discoveries at the Con Mine extending the life of the mine; the Yellowknife townsite expanded from the Old Town waterfront, the new townsite was established during 1945–1946. The Discovery Mine, with its own townsite, operated 81 km to the north-northeast of Yellowknife from 1950 to 1969.
Between 1939 and 1953, Yellowknife was controlled by the Northern Affairs department of the Government of Canada. A small council elected and appointed, made decisions. By 1953, Yellowknife had grown so much that it was made a municipality, with its own council and town hall; the first mayor of Yellowknife was Jock McNiven. In September 1967, Yellowknife became the capital of the Northwest Territories; this important new status sparked. New sub-divisions were established to house an influx of government workers. In 1978 the Soviet nuclear-powered satellite Kosmos 954 crashed to Earth near Yellowknife. There were no known casualties, although a small quantity of radioactive nuclear fuel was released into the environment, Operation Morning Light—an attempt to retrieve it—was only successful. A new mining rush and fourth building boom for Yellowknife began with the discovery of diamonds 300 km north of the city in 1991; the last of the gold mines in Yellowknife closed in 2004. Today, Yellowknife is a government town and a service centre for the diamond mines.
On 1 April 1999, its purview as capital of the NWT was reduced when the territory of Nunavut was split from the NWT. As a result, jurisdiction for that reg