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karmababy 11-13-2004 12:00 AM

What's it like living in the Yukon?
I've been thinking about this for the last couple of years. I'm so bored of Vancouver. It would be nice to find a job there and do activities while living there.

I assume there are many things one can do in the outdoors, snowshoe, ski, cross country and hikes in the summer.

Does anyone have any experience working way North? I"m oof a recluse so the solitude won't bother me.

Any comments?

If you want sympathy you can find it between sh!t and syphilis in the dictionary -- Sedaris

Peak Bagger 11-13-2004 12:19 AM

I lived in Whitehorse for a year. Cold and dark in the winter, but lots of outdoor activities. Great hiking in the summertime. The hikes have very few crowds and you're into the alpine very quickly on most hikes. Bushwacking is a lot easier too. There was a great ski track for cross-country skiing. One winter problem around Whitehorse is that they don't get nearly as much snow as we get in our local mountains. It's pretty dry around Whitehorse. They had a local ski hill called Silal mountain, but it was always hard up for snow. I don't know if it's still in operation.

Hope this helps.

sourdough 11-13-2004 10:22 AM

My girlfriend lived in Inuvik this past summer and she loved it. I guess it depends if you are going to a larger town like Yellowknife or Whitehorse, but she really enjoyed the local culture. People were very friendly and there were lots of summer events. There are problems with alcohol and other "problems" so as long as you keep your wits about you and don't try to be tough, you'll be fine.

I hope to go there next year.

Hiker Boy 11-13-2004 10:30 AM

I'd give my left errr, ummmm, hmmmm for the chance to move to the Yukon. :)

"My name is Hiker Boy and I approved this message"

Peter Flynn 11-13-2004 08:30 PM

How can you be bored with Vancouver?????????

Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.
St. Francis of Asissi

Grizzled 11-14-2004 10:52 AM

Go for it. You can always move south if it doesn't work out. We lived for 2 extended periods in the territories and thought it was great. One reason we now live in Western Alberta and not back on the West Coast is we prefer the style of outdoor adventure. The Yukon varies a lot but in a nutshell is a lot like the eastern slopes of the Rockies. You can break off more on your own without trails, etc., take a compass bearing a and 'just go'. There's not the insurmountable barrier of thick forests blocking access to a lot of areas.

The winters were actually not bad. Remember there's usually perfectly clear skies and this compensates a lot for diminished hours of sunlight. It sounds corny but you really are more at one with Nature up there. Also, most folks are just as transient or new as youself so it's easier to get to know people. After a couple months you're a 'local'.

After hiking for 35 years I still haven't reached the end of the trail.

Grizzled 11-14-2004 12:13 PM

A slightly tongue-in-cheek web page on the Yukon from our paleontological website: probably only fellow geologists will find it funny.

After hiking for 35 years I still haven't reached the end of the trail.

BeerSnob 11-14-2004 02:46 PM

Well, if you move to Whitehorse, you're about 2 hours away from Kluane Park, and 6 hours away from Tombstone Park. I can't imagine anything better anywhere near here!

I'd give my right *** to be able to do that!

seawallrunner 11-14-2004 03:24 PM

When I was in Whitehorse earlier this year, I learned that about 75% of the employed work for either the Provincial or the Canadian Government.

So, if you want to work in Whitehorse, look no further than Government career opportunities. Otherwise, a career in hospitality or retail - but then, you would be working for one of the half-dozen families that own the town ;)

I was enchanted by Whitehorse's arts community. It seems like everyone's an artist! Swing by the artists' coop downtown. And, of course, there's the Great Outdoors...

Don't forget to write when you settle in (sighhhh)

Cheers - C Wall

johngenx 11-15-2004 06:38 AM

I lived on Baffin Island from 1970 to 1977, in Inuvik from 1977 to 1981 and Whitehorse from 1981 to 1984. I have also done short stints in most every northern community. Whitehorse is the best place to live north of 60 without a doubt. The bugs are not as bad as many places, you can drive out and about, and the opportunities for being outsoors are unlimitied. You are close to Kluane, The Chilkoot, and closer to Denali than anyone but Alaskans. We returned last summer and found the highway greatly improved.

Were their opportunites for my wife and I to earn our living there, we would return to Whitehorse. It's a great place to raise kids, and the outdoor opportunities make it highly desirable.

The economic system is comprised of the Territorial government, and that's about it. Transfer payments create gov't jobs, and they buy stuff, meaning economic activity. Also, Alaskans come shopping on "royalty cheque day." Tourism should be a significant provider, but is not. People are "headed for Alaska" and don't leave moolah in Whitehorse.

If you find work there, give it a try.

karmababy 11-16-2004 12:02 AM

Thanks for all your positive responses. My best friend doubts that I will like it. Maybe before taking a big plunge I will go on a trip next year, late winter/early spring, to the main cities like Dawson, Yellowknife, Hay River. I don't want to go any further East (ie, Nunavut.)

Trivia question: How did Yellowknife get its name?

Any suggestions as to where to stay? My money is tight and would like to see the "real" place and not some hotel walls. I was hoping maybe there is a work for food and board arrangements to be made with a local (just like they have in Europe.) This sounds like the best way to familarize oneself with the real Yukon or NWT. I understand the true locals are extremely friendly and generous.

I've been reading about the Yukon and NWT, and I am fascinated by the pictures. However, it's sad to see that although it is thriving economically, the local natives are seen unemployed and drunk just like in Vancouver. Statistically, over 50% of the population consists of people NOT from there.

Another thing I missed in elementary Canadian geography is that the NWT consisted of what is now Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec between 1873 and 1912. Fascinating!

If you want sympathy you can find it between sh!t and syphilis in the dictionary -- Sedaris

sourdough 11-16-2004 10:57 AM

What kind of work are you hoping to do up there if you move? Most of the jobs are either gov't jobs or resource industry jobs. I was heavily considering going north to teach but have since changed my mind. The idea still is very enticing to me but there are too many problems in the schools to deal with. The money is great if you work there though. Typically you can get a Northern Allowance if you get a gov't job which subsidizes your living expenses and you may also get a free trip back home once a year. Living expenses are very high and so is property and rent. I don't know how it is in the bigger towns but in Inuvik they only got vegetables and fruits after they were well passed their prime.

karmababy 11-16-2004 03:15 PM

I'm working for the govt right now and hoping to get into something with the govt there. I had no idea that rent was high. I thought high rent was derivative of a hot real estate market.

Answer to trivia: Yellowknives were the color of the copper knives that the natives were carrying. The foreigners eventually named the place Yellowknife.

If you want sympathy you can find it between sh!t and syphilis in the dictionary -- Sedaris

seawallrunner 11-16-2004 05:40 PM

I remember looking at the real estate papers when I was in the Yukon earlier this year (at springtime, yippee!! -22C and blowing snow!)

I was shocked, shocked! At the real estate prices. You can pick up a big house surrounded by big land for much less than the price of a tiny condo here in Vancouver. The city limits are cast far and wide, and there's lots of land available. The prices for housing are VERY low when compared to Vancouver.

Rentals may be a different issue - I suspect that the rental pool is small with few available units. Perhaps this is what is driving rental costs up?

And, if you are interested in real estate prices Karmababy, then just do a search on the internet. I suspect that there is a MLS up there, if not, just look for Whitehorse Real Estate in Google. I am certain that you will see a realtor's site pop up almost immediately ;)

cheers ! C Wall

To give anything less than your best is to waste the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Peter Flynn 11-16-2004 06:47 PM

Karmababy: when said, "Another thing I missed in elementary Canadian geography is that the NWT consisted of what is now Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec between 1873 and 1912. Fascinating!", it brought to mind a really neat picture I have of my great grandmother - it was taken in 1897 in Calgary. On those old pictures, it always has the name of the studio the pic. was taken at, and the name of the town. At the bottom of her picture, it says, "Calgary, Northwest Territories." Pretty cool, eh?

Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.
St. Francis of Asissi

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