I first came to Yellowknife in 1996 as the base manager of a local branch of a helicopter company. I had a choice between Manitoba and the Northwest Territories; being a history buff, I wanted the chance to explore the North. I lived and worked here until 2000, when I took a position in Calgary. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great life here, but I thought I wanted to live the big city lifestyle. Well, be careful what you ask for!
I found living in Calgary there was such a difference in the quality of my life. Let’s face it, we all work too much, but to add a commute to and from work made for a very long day. In big cities you have to make appointments to get together with friends, then drive 45 minutes across town to see them. Here, you call up friends to meet at the boat dock and you’re off for the weekend into the wilderness in less time than it would take to drive across town in a big city. That’s what I call quality of life.
When I moved south I got married and my wife Brenda and I had our first child. When the North came calling again in 2004 I thought I’d have a hard sell to get her to agree to move, but she never looked back and loves it here as much as I do. It’s a great place to raise kids. We just had our third, and the older ones are involved in everything from ballet to hockey. As the President and co-owner of Trinity Helicopters, I still work too much, but living here keeps what life is supposed to be about in perspective. I spend every moment I can with family and friends, doing the things I love.
Oh, and did I mention the 305 days of sun we get up here? Yeah, its cold up here in the winter, but it’s dry and sunny and the long days in summer are the best I’ve ever experienced.
I would say that anyone living east of Toronto should try the North. I’m from Marystown on the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland and if you are from down east, this is the place for you. Anyone who loves the outdoors, is looking for great financial opportunities, and a good community — there are about 4000 people from Atlantic Canada living here in Yellowknife — will find, like I did, that this is a great place to live, love and prosper.