Quality of Life
Dawson City boasts an eclectic mix of arts, culture, wilderness and history. Placer miners, artists, adventurists, old-timers and new-timers all share the town – a haven tucked away in the middle of Yukon.
Summer months bring with it an impressive array of events and festivals, when the population of the city surges with tourists and seasonal workers. In winter, Dawson City is well equipped for the low temperatures when cultural and recreational activities are plentiful despite (or due to!) the cold.
I knew Dawson was famous for musical and theatrical events in summer, but the continuous line-up of events throughout the year is extraordinary – my favourite has to be the Thaw di Gras Spring Carnival!
Dawson City Yesterday
The discovery of gold near Dawson City in 1896 brought a stampede of prospectors ready to “strike it rich”. Shops, theatres, saloons, casinos, and dance halls were quickly established to serve the miners, and a thriving, bustling city of nearly 25,000 people was born. It was an exhilarating time to live in the “Paris of the North”.
Three years later, The Klondike Gold Rush ended, and many moved on. Fortunately, Robert Service, Jack London, Pierre Berton and many other famous Yukon poets and writers immortalized this captivating era through their work. You can still visit these artists’ homes that they once occupied while in Dawson City, most notably, the Berton House, currently used as a Writer’s Retreat.
Taking a walk along the town’s wooden boardwalks today is like wandering through a living museum; with many homes, saloons, shops and theatres still functioning according to their original purpose
Dawson City Today
Today, nearly 2,000 people (2012) work mainly in the town’s tourism, mining and public service; some came to share in Dawson’s unique arts and culture community, others for the adventure and pristine beauty, and others to be part of the strong community spirit.
Dawson City is home to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in (People of the River), a community that has lived along the Yukon River for millennia, and now comprises over one-third of the town’s population. This self-governing First Nation is deeply committed to the preservation of their language, culture and environment.
Spend time with an engaged and creative community of people, take part in countless music, art and cultural events, enjoy endless days in summer, northern lights in winter and add to the mystic of this extraordinary town.
From its dirt roads and wooden boardwalks, to its rich history and intriguing traditions, there’s nothing quite like this little Klondike town."