Cost of living in the Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories, located in the northern part of Canada, are every nature lover’s fantasy. The province is a very gorgeous area of Canada, with Great Bear Lake, the country’s biggest lake at 31,153 km2. 

With a total area of 1,300,000 km2, the Northwest Territories is Canada’s second-largest province, yet it is also underpopulated, with just 40,000 inhabitants. Yellowknife, the capital city, was created in 1934 following the discovery of gold and has since evolved into a modest but thriving economic hub. 

The average cost of living in the Northwest Territories is $2,017. This estimate is determined by adding up the costs of food, transportation, health care, rent, utilities, taxes, and other incidental expenses. 

It’s difficult not to be charmed by this place’s beauty, with its huge wilderness regions, lakes, and stunning views. If that’s what you’re searching for, it’s a spot where you can genuinely get away from it all! 

However, the hard fact in the Northwest Territories is that the territory is somewhat remote, and transportation expenses have an impact on the pricing of everyday items. The cost of living in Yellowknife is 42% higher than the national average. Despite the expensive pricing, the hourly wages and incomes are among the best in Canada, at $13.46 per hour. The Northwest Territories entice talented employees to relocate by offering a bonus or supplement to those who apply.

Here’s all you need to know about the cost of living in the Northwest Territories.

Cost of food and groceries

Groceries for one person per month in the Northwest Territories costs an average of $300. To eat out at a fast-food joint or inexpensive restaurant, you’ll spend an average of $25 per meal. A nicer, midrange restaurant will charge around $75 for a three-course meal for two people.

Cost of housing and rent

Although the rent here is inexpensive compared to some other parts of Canada, it is still on the high side. A one-bedroom apartment will cost a single person $1,675 per month in the city center, and about $1,200 outside the city center. 

For families, three-bedroom apartments in the city center cost $2,600 every month and around $2,100 outside the city center. If you prefer to buy a home, be prepared to spend between $250,000 to $400,000.


The cost of utilities is pretty high in the Northwest Territories. Basic stuff like electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage disposal for an 85m2 apartment will run up to $480. Phone bills go as high as $250 and you will have to shell out $108 every month for internet connection.

Transportation costs

To commute around the Territories via bus, you can either get a one-time pass for $2.85, or a monthly pass for $75. There are also taxis available and their tariffs range between $2-$4. If you own a car, you will buy gasoline for $1.30 per liter.

What’s good about the Northwest Territories

The rent is relatively affordable

In comparison to other regions of Canada, the rental price in the Northwest Territories is quite inexpensive. This makes it a desirable location for retirees and those considering relocating from another country.

Furthermore, the Northwest Territories have a relatively small population. This means that those who reside here have the chance to foster a small-town atmosphere by participating in various community clubs and activities.

The economic situation is favorable

The economic activity in the Northwest Territories is booming, and there are plenty of job opportunities all year.

Many people who relocate here discover that there are many job opportunities, so you’ll have a lot of options on the market with regards to prospective employers. If something doesn’t feel right for you, there will certainly be another prospect heading your way shortly.

Generally, the economy of the Northwest Territories is mainly focused on the production of crude oil and natural gas, as well as gold and diamond mining. Because the terrain is rich in resources, mining is one of the most common activities in this area. Immigrants benefit from a variety of opportunities in the mining, transportation, and jewelry industries.

Activities and attractions

Outdoor activities like fishing, camping, shooting, mountaineering, dog sledding, and nature viewing, as in other regions, are the primary draws. Sports activities are diverse, offering enjoyable activities for people of all ages and interests. Life is peaceful and calm, making this an ideal location for your new home.

The locals are nice

The United Way is a non-profit organization that works to make communities in the Northwest Territories healthier, safer, and more affluent. For its members as well as other people of the area, the organization provides health services, educational initiatives, and job possibilities.

People here are kind, and there is a strong feeling of community.

It is beautiful and filled with nature

Many people who relocate to the Northwest Territories are enthralled by the natural splendors of this region of Canada. If you want to live somewhere where nature can thrive, the NWT is the place to be! The region is home to a variety of habitats and fauna that many people find to be truly wonderful.

What’s not so good about the Northwest Territories

The unpredictable weather

In the Northwest Territories, the weather is frequently erratic. Summer temperatures are typically mild, although they can plummet to -43 degrees Fahrenheit.

The impacts of cold weather on the body are numerous, including hypothermia and respiratory issues. If you reside in the area year-round without proper precautions, you run the risk of heart attacks or strokes. During seasons of harsh weather, be sure you have the proper clothing and equipment.

It’s a bit of a secluded area

The Northwest Territories is a large province with numerous isolated areas in which you could live. Due to a dearth of facilities in these locations, simple tasks such as purchasing groceries or seeking assistance if something goes wrong with your vehicle might take hours.

Traveling beyond the territory might also be challenging since flights from smaller airports are frequently significantly more expensive than flights from bigger airports on either coast.


The cost of living in the Northwest Territories is high, but the high salaries also make up for it. If you like it there, you can find a good job and make the finances work.

If you’re searching for peace and quiet and a slower pace of life, this may be the place for you. However, if you’re searching for more excitement, some areas may be a better fit for you than the Northwest Territories.

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