Life In Northwest Territories

Situated in Northern Canada, the Northwest Territories are every outdoorsman’s dream. The province is a beautifully mesmerizing part of Canada and boasts the country's largest lake, Great Bear Lake which is 31,153 km².  

Overall, the Northwest Territories province is the second-largest territory in Canada at 1,300,000 km2, yet it is also underpopulated with only 40,000 people. The capital city of Yellowknife was founded in 1934 after the discovery of gold and has since grown into a small, yet bustling center of business. Here's all you need to know about life in Northwest Territories province.   

Where is the Northwest Territories Province? 

The Northwest Territories are bordered by the Yukon Territory to the west, Nunavut to the east, and the Arctic Ocean to the north. The summers in the Northwest Territories are short and cool, while winters are long and harsh. Like Nunavut, around 25% of the Northwest Territories are above the Arctic Circle. 

Cost of living in the Northwest Territories

Cost of Living Northwest Territories infographic | Life in Canada

The reality of living in the Northwest Territories is that the region is rather isolated and transportation costs affect the price of general purchases. Though these prices can be high, the wages and salaries per hour are some of the highest in Canada at $13, 46 per hour. The Northwest Territories encourage skilled workers to make the move here by paying a bonus or supplement to applicants. 


Currently, the Northwest Territories' economy is based on the extraction of petroleum and natural gas, as well as the mining of gold and diamonds. The land is rich in resources, and mining is, therefore, one of the major works conducted in this region. As a whole, immigrants enjoy various possibilities in the mining field as well as the transport and jewelry industry.    


great-slave-lake-northwest-territories-canada | life in the Northwest Territories

The majority of the population in the Northwest Territories is aboriginal, while the rest of the population is English, French, Irish, Scottish, and German. The unique province has 14 recognized languages, however, English remains the official language. Some of the aboriginal languages include Chipewyan, Cree, and Inuktitut.

A small group of fewer than 3000 immigrants from around the world choose to live in the Northwest Territories, with the largest group of people coming from the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Over half of the population follow the Catholic and Protestant faiths, though there are many other religions represented including Sikh, Buddhism, and Hindu.

Close to 20, 000 of the small population live in the province capital of Yellowknife due to the job opportunities in mining and transportation in the territory.


There are only two colleges in the Northwest Territories; Aurora College, and the Academy of Learning College. Both colleges offer limited programs, mostly in accounting, information technology, business, and office administration. For those interested in studying business management, the Northwest Territories are considered a great academic opportunity with a varied selection of interesting programs.  

Northwest Territories Attractions

nahanni-river-northwest-territories-canada | life in the Northwest Territories

Like other territories, the main attractions are outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, hunting, mountain climbing, dog-sledding, and wildlife viewing. The sports activities in the Northwest Territories are also varied, with fun activities for all ages and interests. Life is quiet and comfortable, offering a wonderful region to consider for your new home.   

Northwest Territories Nominee Programs

The Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) accepts applications under four categories:

Skilled Worker
Critical Impact Worker
Self-Employed Business

Ready to start a new life in the Northwest Territories, Canada? Let our professional immigration consultants help you.     

FAQ 1: What jobs are in demand in the Northwest Territories?

The Territory is well-renowned for its low unemployment rate, competitive income and plenty of job opportunities. Below is a list of jobs with NOC codes that are high in demand in Canada:

  • Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors (2271)
  • Early childhood educators and assistants (4214)
  • Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263)
  • Licensed practical nurses (3233 )
  • Financial auditors and accountants (1111)
  • Civil engineers (2131)
  • Social workers (4152)
  • Biologists and related scientists (2121)
  • Human resources managers (0112)
  • Restaurant and food service managers (0631)
  • Managers in natural resources production and fishing (includes mining) (0811)
  • Other administrative services managers (0114)

Yukon Nominee Program (YNP) Critical Impact Worker Stream

Under this program, applicants who have the necessary skill set and experience for the job may be nominated by Yukon employers to fill the in-demand gap in the territory. The Critical Impact Worker Stream is designed for immigrants with skill level C or D occupations. Below is a list of jobs that are high in demand as listed by the LMFNA.

  • Retail salespersons (6421)
  • Transport truck drivers (7511)
  • Home child care providers (4411)
  • Shippers and receivers (1521)
  • Material handlers (7452)
  • Light duty cleaners (6731)
  • Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers (6622)
  • Construction trades helpers and labourers (7611)
  • Railway and motor transport labourers (7622)
  • Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (6733)

FAQ 2: Is the Northwest Territories a good place to live?

The Northwest Territories are characterized by their stunning sceneries, landscapes and the Northern Lights which are known for their glimpses of spectacular colour in the sky. But besides its natural beauty, the place is known for its low unemployment rate with maximum job opportunities for those wanting to nurture their professional growth. Yellowknife is the capital of the territory as most of the population resides in this area. Yellowknife boasts a wealth of employment opportunities making it the peak rate of employment and one of the highest salaries.

Here are three simple reasons why you should consider moving to the Northwest Territories:

  • The Northwest Territories are rich in culture and diversity
  • Beautiful landscapes and exhilarating outdoor activities
  • Its booming economy

The Northwest Territories are lightly isolated from the rest of Canada and so its people have developed their own unique culture and indigenous identity. People in the territory are known to be friendly and hospitable while they place immense value on cultural practice. The territory is rich in diversity and boasts eight official languages; French, English and six aboriginal languages. What makes this area so interesting is the blend of traditional and native Canadians that comes together to form a distinctive cultural identity.

If you’re a lover of the outdoors and you’re looking for adventure, then Yellowknife is the place for you. Founded in 1934, Yellowknife was well-renowned for its gold that was discovered on the ground. When it comes to seasons, the Summer days call for approximately three months of sunny days while the Winter can be fairly harsh with ice-capped mountains and an extremely cold climate. From leisure hikes to fishing for Arctic char, this place will have you marvel at its natural beauty with plenty of outdoor activities to choose from making it an adventurer’s paradise.

The territory is rich in natural resources such as diamonds, wildlife, freshwater, minerals and oil which contribute to the bulk of the economic growth. The diamond, oil and gas industry happens to be the main driving force for the territory. However, the low population along with its rich natural resources makes the Northwest Territories the largest GDP in Canada.

FAQ 3: How do you get permanent residency in the Northwest Territories?

Foreign nationals who are interested in becoming permanent residents in the Northwest Territories can do so via the Northwest Express Entry channel targeted at skilled workers. The Northwest Express Entry program is designed to process applications of skilled workers who wish to settle in Canada (including the Northwest Territories) and gain permanent residence status.

But what is the difference between the Express Entry system and the PNP program? The Express Entry system has a faster processing standard so successful candidates will only pay the federal fees since the applicant won’t have to pay PNP application fees. Eligible candidates who are successful upon application will receive 600 points for a job offer (which only apply once) within the Express Entry pool.

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