Population - 43,439 June 2009, approximately 50 percent Aboriginal. There are 11 official languages: Inuktitut, Innuinaqtun, Inuvialuktun, Gwich'in, North Slavey, Tlicho, South Slavey, Chipewyan, and Cree, as well as English and French. English is widely spoken in all communities.
Accommodation: All communities, with the exception of Kakisa, Lutselk'e, Tsiigehtchic, and Dettah offer accommodation. For more information please see the accommodations section of our website: www.spectacularnwt.com/wheretostay
Visitors: Visitors to the Northwest Territories include business travelers (33600), pleasure travelers (24,000), sport fishers (7,300) and aurora watchers (5500). Approximately 2100 canoeists were also counted in 2009.
Cellular Coverage: Cell phone coverage across the NWT can be sporadic and is unavailable in some communities. The major carrier is Bell Canada, and currently Telus and Rogers cell packages are not compatible with this network.
Emergency: Local law enforcement can be contacted in most communities by dialing the local three digit prefix followed by 1111 (###-1111); local fire fighting services in most communities can be contacted by dialing the local three digit prefix followed by 2222 (###-2222). 911 service is not offered in the Northwest Territories.
Ferry Services: Five ferry services are operated in the Northwest Territories by the Department of Transportation: Lafferty (Hwy 1 near Fort Simpson), Johnny Berens (Hwy 1 at Camsell Bend), Merv Hardie (Hwy 3 near Fort Providence), Abraham Francis (Hwy 8 near Fort McPherson), and Louis Cardinal (Hwy 8 near Tsiighetchic).
All ferries are free, and carry cars, trucks and pedestrians. The schedule depends on demand - travelers looking for a ride park at the landing, and the captain keeps an eye out for traffic. Summer hours vary somewhat but ferries usually operate from 8 am to midnight. Hours of operation, and season information can be found at www.dot.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/home.aspx
Gas Stations: Gas stations can be found throughout the NWT, but the distance between stations can sometimes present challenges for motorists. If you plan on taking an extended road trip, it is recommended that you carefully plan your stops and fuel consumption in advance and take extra fuel in case of emergencies. A variety of grades of gasoline and diesel fuel are generally available.
Highways/Road Conditions: The latest road conditions and travel advisories can be found at www.dot.gov.nt.ca
Holidays: The NWT observes all Canadian statutory holidays, with the addition of National Aboriginal Day on June 21.
Ice Roads: Made famous by the TV show Ice Road Truckers, the NWT has several public ice roads that visitors can travel during the winter months. The NWT map, available from NWT Tourism, shows the locations of the ice roads, which are unique extensions of our highway network. There is one private road that links Yellowknife to the mineral deposits to the north, however traffic is welcome on the ice road between Dettah and Yellowknife, between Tlicho communities, and along the Mackenzie River as far north as Fort Good Hope. All travel is at your own risk.
Extreme caution should be exercised when traveling the ice roads - speed limits are designed for safety. High speeds on ice creates waves under the road, that occasionally burst through the surface, destroying the road and sometimes swallowing a vehicle. Ice and road conditions can be viewed at the Department of Transportation's website www.dot.gov.nt.ca
Radio/Television: CBC Radio and the Native Communications Society broadcast in all communities. Yellowknife and Hay River also have local broadcasters. Radio Taiga, the French language station, broadcasts in Yellowknife. CBC Television and APTN are available in most communities as well as most national and international channels, via cable or satellite service.
Taxes: Goods and services purchased in the NWT are subject to 5% GST. There is no provincial/territorial tax.
Taxi Service: Taxi service is available in the major centres, but may not be available in the smaller communities. In some communities taxis are shared with other passengers, like a bus, and a flat rate is collected from each person. Your accommodations provider can offer further assistance and contact information.
Time Zone: The NWT is in the Mountain Time zone. Daylight savings time is observed.