5 Things to do in the Territories
By Delaney Rombough
Posted on August 16, 2021
The territories are the northernmost part of Canada. Approximately 125,000 people live in the territories. It’s cold and remote and sometimes the sun never sets. But the territories are home to beautiful landscapes, rich history and culture.
See the Northern Lights
Northern Canada is one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. In the territories, the Northern Lights can be seen almost year-round, but it’s much easier to see them in the winter. The Northwest Territories (NWT) are one of the best places in Canada to witness this magnificent site.
From Yellowknife, you can take a scenic bush flight to the Blachford Lake Lodge & Wilderness Resort. You can also head to the Aurora Village, a teepee village just outside of Yellowknife, that’s specifically for watching the Aurora Borealis. Seeing the Northern Lights is an experience you don’t want to miss out on!
Visit the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife is operated by the Northwest Territories government. It’s known for being a territorial museum, but it’s also home to the NWT archives and a collection of northern artifacts and collections. It’s a great place to go to learn more about the history of Canada’s northern communities.
Dogsledding in Yukon
Dogsledding may not be the most traditional transportation method, but it’s a fun one. In the Yukon, you can head out on a dogsledding adventure with a pack of husky sled dogs—going through snowy trails and frozen rivers. These adventures can be as tame or as wild as you want, whether you just want to ride along or actually try doing it yourself. Tours can be anywhere from half a day to multiple days. It’s an adventure that’s very unique to northern Canada.
Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories
Great Slave Lake is the second largest lake in the territory, the deepest lake in North America, and the 10th largest lake in the world. You can go fishing and eat delicious seafood, go sailing or paddling, go birdwatching, and witness picturesque views.
The lake is also home to five different, unique communities—the capital city, Yellowknife, the commercial fishing and transport centre, Hay River; the historic Métis town of Fort Resolution, traditional Łutsel K’e on the scenic East Arm, and Behchokǫ̀ on the North Arm. It’s an area rich with history and culture, from the Métis and Indigenous people to the Yellowknife gold rush in the 1930s.
Floe Edge Tour in Nunavut
In the spring, the floe edge—where the open sea meets the frozen sea—of coastal ice becomes one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. In Nunavut, from April to July, arctic wildlife including walruses, seals, beluga whales, and polar bears gather along the floe edge. It’s a great celebration for the Inuit people. You can take a tour of the area from a local, knowledgeable guide who will take you on an arctic adventure. The experience is a spectacle of wildlife, mountain scenery, drifting icebergs, and bird cliffs. It’s a unique Nunavut experience.