Living in Yellowknife

What Yellowknife Means to Me

Moving here to Yellowknife was an emotional process for me. When my husband accepted a job offer here I was happy for him. He had been working from home for 3 years as a graphic designer and when the recession hit in the year 2008, he was greatly affected. The job offer here in Yellowknife was an opportunity he could not pass. This job was his chance for a better career. So he flew here in Yellowknife in November 17, 2009 leaving me in Toronto with our 3 sons ages, 13, 7 and 1 year old. Single-handedly, I juggled with work and parental duties. I was very tired everyday and there were nights I cried myself to sleep because my family just do not seem to be in one place together. At that time, our 2 older boys just came to live with us in Toronto after staying with my husband’s parents for two years in the Philippines and then I was presented with this dilemma of having my husband living away.

In January of 2010, he told me that he wants to keep the job in Yellowknife. I was left with two options: leave my long time secure job and move the family to Yellowknife or keep my job and have this long distance relationship single parenting situation. I was confused and scared of the uncertainties that could happen if we move to Yellowknife. I was not sure how secured he is on the job, how will we manage with one income coming in, will I like the wilderness, is the weather going to make my eldest son’s asthma worse, will my boys fit in, will I fit in? What about the lifestyle I am used to, my friends and my family? I will miss my mom and my sister terribly. I had to make a decision and I did.

It’s been a month or so since we moved here in Yellowknife. Although my husband has been living and working here for 7 months, we came here as a family on July 31, 2010. Since then, my fears, confusion and self-loathing had slowly disappeared.

It was a lovely day when we arrived here. We went for a stroll down at the Yellowknife City Hall and I fell in-love with the sunset. The colours of the sky was amazing. I was surprised how beautiful Yellowknife is. We also went to the Pilot’s Monument and I was astonished by the breathtaking sight. The Wildcat Cafe experience was special. The food was delicious and I felt part of the Yellowknife’s history at that moment.

I find that the people here are welcoming and friendly. People smile here. They smile at each other and even to strangers like me. My two sons are now in school and they are so happy. They have made new friends and are excited to go to school everyday. A teacher told me that my 7 year old son fits right in as if he has lived here for a long time. I have made new friends as well. I am now adjusted to my new routine and I have embraced my new lifestyle.

Yellowknife to me is a safe haven with full of opportunities for its people. I enjoy and am thankful that my sons can go outside on their own and I would not feel the need to worry about their safety. It is a quiet place where I feel calm and at peace. I find that the lifestyle here is simple which allows me and my boys to be outgoing and closer to nature. I feel spiritual here. I love it that every time I look at the sky, I can feel that as if it is so close to me. Yellowknife is now the home where my family is complete and for that I am truly grateful.

This article was written by January Wayne


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  • You’re making me homesick, Jefondo! Great article. Have a great autumn in YK. Make sure you check out Cameron Falls. At this time of year, as the temperature drops and ice starts to form here and there, the hike to the falls is amazing.

  • As far as asthma, I find the NWT much better than anywhere else I know, because there is less air pollution. Air quality isn’t as good during the thaw when all the snow mold and other contaminants are released from the snow cap, but still better than down south. On the other hand, the first batch of mosquitoes each spring really aggravates my allergies.

  • Welcome home, I have been here 49 years and my wife over 30 and we still love it. Our town was build on families like yours taking a chance and finding they stay and make this home. Good luck.

  • Enjoy your time and the new adventures you’ll have in this new chapter of your life, soon it’ll feel like you’ve live there forever….:) Now I have a place to go “IF” I ever want to visit Yellowknife! <3<3

  • Neng am so happy to know that you’re contented and happy there in YK ^_* . Enjoy life with the kids and tibo. We are jaz an fb away…stay pretty and cool cuz LUV U ALL… MERRY XMAS sobrang advanced no? mwaaah TC

  • well i live in ottawa. i lost a job about 12 years ago and my life went downhill so quickly. i left 2 times to teach english overseas and every time i returned to ottawa i liked it less and less. people are very self righteous, rude and selfish, the entitlement culture is strong in ontario especially in ottawa with the public sector. if you are in the public sector you are considered the new rich where private sector employees make about 30 % less income with no benefits or pension like that in public sector. many public servants in ottawa are from other countries with poor work ethics but received scholarships to come to canada then get employment with our govt which is their goal. they work much less hours than anyone in the private sector and take time off whenever they want without it being recorded. on top of this they become arrogant and self righteous. you can spot public servants easily they think they are superior to other people but thats far from the truth. its disgusting to see the snobbery and imbalance that exists, here. i need to get out of here. the province has become a police state, case workers everybody u deal with treat you like criminals its also become a punitive society. we are all bad unless u r a public servant earning 6 digit salary. yet our taxes dont go to help those who really need it. it goes to pay for their high salaries to control us. so as you can see i hate canada and i hope there is a place for me to move to. have a modest simple life far away from the materialistic self righteous and greedy, im considered an empath and just want to have connections with people. that doesnt exist much in ottawa either. help me please

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