Change your language | French


Practical information about living in the Northwest Territories.

Housing and food cost questions for living in the Northwest Territories are answered here.



The Northwest Territories government is a generous supporter of education from early childhood through kindergarten, grade school and post secondary to adult level. Educational opportunities are some of our better kept secrets. Financial assistance is offered to residents for university, Aurora College and trades training. The NWT’s education system can compete with any other, offering a contemporary set of curricula and a dedicated force of education professionals at every level and one of the best funded pupil-teacher ratios in Canada.

Early Childhood

Care for preschool age children is available through government-licensed daycares and day homes, with some schools providing pre-kindergarten classes. Median daycare costs in Yellowknife range from $875 a month for a preschooler to $940 a month for an infant. Fees at the daycare in Inuvik range from $1,170 a month for a preschooler up to $1,380 a month for an infant. Licensed day homes usually cost less.

According to a 2014 comparison of childcare costs in Canadian cities, the median cost of infant spaces ranges from $152 a month in Quebec cities to $1,676 a month in Toronto. On average, Yellowknife’s infant daycare rates are cheaper than rates in many cities, including Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and St. John’s.

Kindergarten-Grade 12

The NWT education system is divided into eight regional education boards that are responsible for administering the schools within their region. Each board serves students from diverse cultural backgrounds and languages. The City of Yellowknife has public, Catholic and French school systems. French immersion is provided from Kindergarten through to Grade 12. There are two Francophone schools in Yellowknife, and one in Hay River.

Visit the GNWT’s Education, Culture and Employment for a complete listing of NWT schools, a student handbook, information on specialized services and details on curriculum by subject.

Postsecondary and Adult Education

For postsecondary education in the NWT, Aurora College offers a wide range of programs in seven fields of study:

  • Developmental Studies
  • Business Leadership
  • Education
  • Health and Human Services
  • Trades, Apprenticeship and Industrial Training
  • Arts and Science Program
  • Continuing Education

From degrees to diplomas and certificates, Aurora College offers a truly northern education with key industry partnerships, Aboriginal perspectives and specialized training. Aurora also has strong partnerships with many southern universities, offering opportunities for transfer or advanced post-graduation studies. Visit the college’s site or call 1-866-291-4866 to find out more.

French language adult courses are also available in Yellowknife from Le College nordique


Student Financial Assistance

NWT residents and their children can access one of the most generous postsecondary financial assistance schedules in Canada. The Northwest Territories Student Financial Assistance program (NWTSFA) helps NWT students with the cost of getting a postsecondary education.

There are three categories of students eligible for the NWTSFA Program benefits:

  1. Indigenous Aboriginal students are entitled to 12 semesters of funding, including basic grants and supplementary grant/remissible loans.
  2. Students schooled in the NWT are entitled to one semester of the basic grant and remissible loan for each year of grades 1 through 12 that they successfully completed as an NWT resident.
  3. Other residents of the NWT are eligible to apply for a repayable loan.

Find more information about the NWTSFA or call toll-free at 1-800-661-0793.