Skip to content
Home » Canada Courthouses » Northwest Territories » Yellowknife


Yellowknife is named after the Yellowknife band who lived in the area in 1880’s and produced copper or yellow knives.


Surrounding Courthouses: 


N – Inuvik 

E – Nunavut Territory

S – Hay River

W – Yukon Territory


Location:  Yellowknife is located in the south central part of the Territory.

Judicial Region:  Yellowknife Judicial Region


Courthouse – Yellowknife


Location:  4903 – 49th Street / 49th Avenue

Built:  1977 – 1978

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces northwest and is a six story aluminum siding, glass and concrete structure. The building is located in the center of Yellowknife. The northwest front has a recessed one story section supported by columns and rising two stories. On the east side is the main section rising six stories. The windows are horizontal. The roof line is flat. In the interior, there is a courtroom on the first and second stories. The building houses the Supreme Court, Territorial Court and Youth Justice Court. The building also houses the Northwest Territories Court of Appeal.


Old Courthouse – Yellowknife


Location:  4903 Franklin Avenue / 49 Street

Built:  1955 – 1956

Style:  Modern Federal

Architect:  C H Whitham Ltd.

Contractor:  C H Whitham Ltd.


Description:  The building faces southeast and is a three story white coloured stucco, steel and concrete structure. The building is located in the centre of Yellowknife. Originally constructed as a post office, the court occupied the second story as the first courthouse. The building was named as the Federal Building. In 1858 the building had alterations completed including the addition of a third story. The contractor was Ivor Johnson.


History:  The Northwest Territories were created in 1870. The first  government sat in 1872 in Fort Garry (Winnipeg now in Manitoba) after the Temporary Northwest Council was appointed. The first government sat inside the territories in 1876 at Fort Livingstone (now in Saskatchewan). The government moved to Battleford (now in Saskatchewan) in 1878. In 1883, the government moved to Regina (now in Saskatchewan) and in 1905 moved to Ottawa (Ontario) until 1967. In 1911, Fort Smith became the administrative capital. In 1867, Yellowknife became the capital. The first Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories was created by the federal Parliament in 1885 to replace the system of individual stipendiary magistrates which had previously operated in the Territories. The former stipendiary magistrates were appointed as the first judges of the new Supreme Court. In 1955, the federal Parliament re-created a superior court of record for the Northwest Territories, known originally as the Territorial Court. The Territorial Court initially consisted of one judge appointed by the Governor-in-Council. In 1956 the first courthouse was the Federal Building in Yellowknife. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1976 to 1979.


Courthouse – Yellowknife



Northwest Teritories Legislature – Yellowknife

Photos taken 1998