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Practical information about living in the Northwest Territories.

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


Shirley's Story - Yellowknife

I’m originally from Newfoundland and was working in St. John’s as a lawyer in a general practice. I wanted to narrow my practice and develop experience in specific areas, so I began looking for job opportunities in Western Canada. In April 2007 I happened to see a recruitment ad for a position in Yellowknife and applied on a whim. My brief visit to Yellowknife for my interview was enough for me to know that I could live here. I moved in June 2007 and after living here for a very short time I knew for sure I had made the right decision in moving to Yellowknife. 
When I initially moved here I was working as a lawyer in private practice, primarily doing corporate commercial and real estate law. In March 2010 I took a job with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission as Legal Counsel. I provide legal opinions, interpret legislation, and assist with litigation matters.
Since I’ve moved here I’ve had some amazing work opportunities that I wouldn’t have had until much later in my career had I stayed in Newfoundland. I’ve also had the opportunity to sit on the executive of the Law Society and participate in the national Federation of Law Society meetings and events. Through these positions I’ve been able to meet with some very influential people in my industry, including two Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada.  I would not have had those opportunities until much, much later in my career if I hadn’t moved to Yellowknife. 
I have a very close group of friends here. The majority of us moved here around the same time, from all over the country.  We socialize as a group quite regularly. We spend time camping, hiking, canoeing, watching movies, dining out and volunteering for various local charities. 
The NWT attracts and retains people who are enthusiastic, passionate, energetic – and who love adventure. As a result there are more opportunities and support for a variety of causes. I am involved with the local SPCA, which does fantastic work sheltering homeless animals and saving abandoned and neglected pets. Through the professional organizations I’m a part of, and with my friends, I also contribute to many other causes, including assistance for the homeless and the needy. 
I don’t know where I’d be if I’d stayed in St. John’s, but I’m sure glad I listened to that little voice that said, “Take a chance.” That was a whim with a big payoff!