Dawson City, Yukon

Dawson City

Dawson City in the Yukon Territory draws some 60,000 visitors each year. The locals generally refer to it simply as 'Dawson'. The townsite was named in January 1897 after noted Canadian geologist George M.Dawson, who had explored and mapped the region in 1887. The Klondike Gold Rush started in 1896 and changed the native summer fish camp into a thriving city of 40,000 by 1898. By 1899 the gold rush had ended and the town's population plummeted as 8,000 people left. When Dawson was incorporated as a city in 1902 the population was under 5,000. It has been home to notable Canadians like Pierre Burton, and Robert W.Service. Today, history is alive and well in Dawson City. They’ve even restored Bombay Peggy’s brothel!

Audio Nominations

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Audio Nominations

Listen NowJohnny Caribou (1:44)

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Marilyn Brown-John

The city that Gold built remains a major tourist attraction and still conjures dreams of wealth--history and beauty and some great rail tales.

Maggie MacIntyre

…Although the gold rush only lasted a few short years, the amazing history and contribution of this small town continues in the arts and culture field (Pierre Burton, Jack London and Robert Service's homes are all within a block of each other!), the Klondike Institute of Art and the Dawson City Music Festival (often described as Canada's best Music Festival). Dawson also preserves the northern culture with a strong aboriginal community, beautiful aboriginal culture centre and dog races - all iconic northern and, in most of the world, Canadian images. … The sidewalks are all boardwalks and the streets aren't paved. In the river you still find a Steamship, the SS Keno, and the whole town is scattered with historic buildings and exhibits preserved by Parks Canada - these include stores, homes, saloons, hotels, theatres (on that note the Palace Grande Theatre in Dawson is a wonder in and of itself), a mortuary and yes, even a brothel!!! I believe it is Parks Canada’s only brothel that they preserve! … This nomination might seem long and passionate. However, never has a place in Canada impressed me as much as when I spent five months working in Dawson. I've lived in Northern Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia and although these places are all wonderful none combine in such a small space history, culture, literature and community!

Mike Pickles

Dawson City is not only home to the 1896 Klondike Gold Rush, but it continues to attract thousands of visitors today due to it's "back in time" look. Also, it is home to the famous Yukon River, the spectacular northern lights, the historic Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall, gold panning in the famous Bonanza Creek and world famous authors Jack London, Pierre Berton and poet Robert Service. Finally, it remains one of the only, if not the only city where you can still purchase products with gold dust.

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