Despite its vast expanse, Canada's Yukon has a mere 43,025 inhabitants. This figure is on the up, as many people are beginning to realize its charm and appeal. But do you know why it is such a special place?
The Yukon has it all, from unspoiled wilderness to city life and village tranquillity. Read on as we discuss the best cities to live in Yukon.
Whitehorse is often referred to as the wilderness city. It has the perfect blend of city life with direct access to the beautiful Yukon territory and its natural wonders.
It has a population of around 30,000 inhabitants with an average age of 38 years old. A mere 5.2% are unemployed with a crime index of 56.33. The average house price is $529,500.
The large city status is mainly down to the location of the city and its positioning as a transport hub. It is at the edge of Yukon territory, close to the Gulf of Alaska and right on the Alaska Highway. Erik Nielsen Airport is also the major way into the territory by plane.
The city itself is small but perfectly formed. A hub of coffee shops, great restaurants, museums, and galleries await. For shopping, it combines high street fashions and big brands with smaller, unique artisan crafts.
Families will soon realize that the city has lots to offer. You can stroll along the Millenium Trail and take in the S.S. Klondike Sternwheeler. A day at the waterfront is always an excellent time to spend with friends and family.
However, its real draw is the access it provides to the wilderness itself. Within an hour, you can reach the lands of the Carcross Tagish First Nations. This area was once a vibrant hub for transporting gold.
2. Haines Junction
Haines Junction is situated in the Territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. It is a smaller and quieter town than its neighbour Whitehorse, though much of the same natural wilderness and beauty is accessible.
It makes it perfect for people looking for a slightly quieter life with only 613 inhabitants. Many of its residents are over 65, leading to a low crime rate. The average house price comes to $462,174.
Despite its smaller size, Haines has everything you need. Village bakeries and coffee shops sit next to pubs and diners. It has a modest selection of shops, but the big city is within driving distance if you need more specific supplies.
Around the city lies the Kluane National Park and Reserve. Its visitor centre has a lot of family-friendly activities. You can then take a drive across the unspoilt country or hike through one of its many trails.
However, the focal point of Haines Junction is the backdrop of the Saint Elias Mountains. This huge vista of sweeping peaks is home to Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada. It is undoubtedly the first thing you will see on approach to the town.
3. Dawson City
Often given the nickname of "The Paris of the North," Dawson city was built on gold. While the Klondike may be long gone, this small town still has the boom day spirit. It is awash with festivals, happening bars and culture.
Part of this is down to its influx of tourists, rare in many other areas of the Yukon. You will see groups bussing into town, learning about its history than taking tours on large paddle wheelers on the river. As for the inhabitants, it is so quiet that data on unemployment, crime and house prices do not yet even exist.
With tourism brings a range of choices you may not see in other towns as well. A great selection of restaurants and cafes are about, as is the bustling nightlife. A trip to Canada's oldest gambling hall is a must.
As well as its urban landscape, you get all the natural wonders of the Yukon. The midnight sun can keep you awake until the early hours, and when the dark months hit you can get one of the best views of the northern lights. For outdoor adventure and hiking, the Tombstone Territorial Park is right on your doorstep.
4. Watson Lake
Watson Lake is the third biggest town in the Yukon by population size. Located at the border with British Columbia, it rose to prominence because of its importance in the logging and mining trade.
You can pick up a property for around $224,450. The employment rate is 6.4%.
Its most famous tourist spot is a sign. Planted by a lone soldier building the Alaska Highway, it pointed to his home some 4000 km away. Since then, others have added signs to make a huge forest and historical tourist attraction.
Other sights include the Northern Lights Space and Science Centre. It teaches the science of this beautiful natural occurrence using displays and videos.
The town is quiet, with a population of just 790 at the last census. However, you often find many people stopping by to keep the conversation flowing.
Carmacks is a small town of only 493 people. Its local industries are a series of mining activities, such as zinc, copper and gold. However, its biggest draw is the beautiful view of the Nordenskiold and Yukon rivers meeting.
The spot was historically important as provided a stop between Dawson and Whitehorse, then on the Klondike highway. Now it is mostly used for pleasant fishing trips just outside Carmacks. The population is so low data on crime, house prices and the cost of living are hard to find.
For a wilderness adventure, you are only a short drive from the Five Finger Rapids. It is the site of one of only four bridges that actually span the Yukon itself. The settlement itself was named after George Carmack, who found coal nearby in 1891 and started a trading post.
Best Cities to Live in Yukon
Now you know the best cities to live in Yukon, you just have to choose one that is right for you. If you miss city life, go for Dawson or Whitehorse. For the sedate person, pick a smaller town like Carmacks.
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