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Canada - Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories is located in the north of the country and is one of the least populated areas of Canada. It has a large land mass of over 1 million square kilometres, but a population of less than 50,000. The population has risen over the last decade, as people move to the area as it is being developed and industries are growing. There is a small expat community in towns such as Yellowknife, which is beginning to grow as more industry and opportunities are made available.

Due to the large size of the region there is a variety of climatic conditions. The southern part of the province is subarctic and the northern part is considered to have a polar climate. Temperatures in winter in both parts of the region are extremely low, although summers in the south are much warmer. The terrain in the north is very bare, with no trees there or in the eastern parts of the province.

Northwest Territories – Employment

The Northwest Territories do not have as much work available as other areas due to the large parts of the region which are uninhabited. One of the main industries is mining and there may be opportunities in this field for those who have specialist skills and experience. Mined products include gold and diamonds, although the mining of some products is limited to protect the environment. Other major employers include the state government, who employ a large percentage of the population of the city of Yellowknife. The area has a very low unemployment rate, so there are always opportunities available.

The government of the territory has a website which offers advice and links for those who are hoping to move and work in the area. Experienced workers who have specialist skills are in demand, particularly in fields such as teaching and medicine, though some professions need to be regulated and workers should ensure that they apply for any relevant licences in advance. The tourism industry is growing all the time and the territories are a good place for those who wish to start their own tourism related business such as a B&B.

Northwest Territories – Property

The main urban area in the Northwest Territories is Yellowknife. There are clearly defined residential and commercial areas in the town. The residential sections are Range Lake, the Old Town, Niven Lake and Frame Lake. These have properties available in all price ranges and sizes, including small apartments, townhouses and detached family homes. Those with detached homes are usually found on large parcels of land and all areas have access to good schools and leisure facilities. There is a small community of expats already in Yellowknife, though not as many as can be found in some of Canada’s more well-known cities. Range Lake has a good shopping area and there are some high rise apartment blocks to be found in the downtown area.

Hay River is a small town of less than 4000 inhabitants and is divided into two, the new town and the old town. A large proportion of the inhabitants are aborigines and the town has excellent medical and educational facilities. As with all towns there are properties which cover a wide range of prices, from small apartments to large family homes. As the urban area is fairly small then most homes have easy access to the rural surroundings and the area is popular with those who enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities.

The town of Inuvik is around the same size as that of Hay River but has experienced a fluctuating population in accordance with economic conditions. As with Hay River there is a large community of Aborigines and aboriginal languages are commonly heard alongside English. The town has good medical facilities and a newly built leisure centre. Properties in the area are very reasonably priced, with homes to suit all tastes and budgets. The educational facilities are good, with schools suitable for all levels.

The advantages of living in a town in the Northwest Territories are numerous. The compact nature of the urban areas means that there are rarely any lengthy commutes required and it is only a short drive into the countryside, no matter where you are. All communities have a relatively low crime rate and expats are traditionally made very welcome.

Read more about this country

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