NWT Quick Facts



Beginning at the 60th Parallel, the Northwest Territories stretches north from the BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan borders all the way to the Arctic Ocean and the High Arctic Islands. East to West, it spans the distance from the Nunavut boundary along the treeline to the Mackenzie Mountains and the Yukon border. 


At aprox. 1,352,000 sq km (850,000 sq mi), the Northwest Territories is the second largest Canadian Territory — approximately the size of Texas or Saskatchewan and Alberta combined.


Time Zone
Mountain Standard


Capital City


About 41,400 people, living in 33 communities. Over half of the population in the NWT are Aboriginal. The population in the capital city, Yellowknife, is approximately 20,000 and it continues to grow.


The NWT has a relatively dry, cold climate, with long winters and warm, brief summers drenched in sunlight. Temperatures can range from highs of 35ºC in summer to minus 45ºC in winter.


Hours of Sunlight
Hours of sunlight and darkness vary widely with the seasons, becoming more extreme as you travel north. In addition to the stated hours of sunlight, all locations experience additional periods of daylight prior to sunrise and after sunset.  For example, around the Yellowknife area in June and July, it's light enough to fish all night!



Typical hours of sunlight:

Region June 21st (Summer Solstice) December 21st (Winter Solstice)
South Slave (Fort Smith) 18 9
North Slave (Yellowknife) 20 6.5
Sahtu (Norman Wells) 22 4
Arctic Circle and above 24 0


Official Languages
Chipewyan, Cree, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North and South Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ, French, and English.



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