Courtesy E. Hawkins/GNWT

Courtesy E. Hawkins/GNWT

Yellowknife Post Office: City of Yellowknife Heritage Site

Statement of Significance

On April 30, 1956, the current Post Office was opened as Yellowknife expanded from Old Town to New Town. It has been the centre of the downtown community life since New Town began.

On April 30, 1956, the current Yellowknife Post Office was opened as the young community of Yellowknife was expanded from Old Town to New Town. The building was originally configured to include the central post office on the main floor and the federal government offices and a courtroom on the second floor.

Traditionally, the post office has always been the focal point of northern communities and the Yellowknife Post Office is no different. In the early years, the post office served townspeople, first nations, government offices and the mining industry to mail letters, send money and receive distant mail order products. The post office received news from friends, relatives, and business associates. People valued the post office due to its attachment to the outside world, prior to modern high speed electronic news media and transportation services.

The building has been the centre of downtown community life since the new town began. The wide sidewalk in front of the building has been the principal location within downtown Yellowknife for people to meet and congregate to conduct business or socialize. During the summer days, elders and old timers sit on the benches to relax, observe downtown life, and meet friends and relatives. It has also been a key meeting place to sell community event tickets, to protest, and provide community and political information leaflets. The Yellowknife Post Office is an important historical site due to its significance as a social, cultural, and business cross-roads representing the community mosaic of the City of Yellowknife.

The heritage value of the Yellowknife Post Office is defined by the following elements:

  • Its two-storey, 10-bay, flat-roofed design, emblematic of federal government modernist architecture in 1950s small-town Canada.
  • Elements of original building materials
  • Its downtown core location, complimenting the adjacent Sutherland’s Drug Store; providing a historical context for the early streetscape of 50th (Franklin) Ave.

City of Yellowknife By-Law 4427.