Yellowknife brings in contractors to shift ‘dangerous mess’ of snow

A snow removal sign in downtown Yellowknife in November 2022
A snow removal sign in downtown Yellowknife in November 2022. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

The City of Yellowknife says it will bring in contractors to join staff in racing to clear “unprecedented” levels of snow.

Roads and sidewalks across the city have verged on impassable at times this week with crews overwhelmed and snow continuing to fall.

The city already has four operators working at night and four more by day to clear what they can, but City Hall has said such significant November snowfall was impossible to foresee when budgeting people and resources for the season ahead.

Yellowknife’s director of public works says the snowfall to date has been around five times that experienced the previous year. Records suggest the city hasn’t seen snow like it at this time of year since 2008.



On Twitter, one resident told the municipality: “This city is a dangerous mess right now. Cars and trucks stuck all over the place. We were almost in three collisions this afternoon.”

On Friday afternoon, city spokesperson Sarah Sibley said by email: “Over the weekend and upcoming week, contractors and city staff will join forces to increase snow removal and winter road maintenance throughout the city.

“As work progresses, residents will experience disruptions to normal traffic flows, snow piles, and windrows that will affect vehicle and pedestrian access.”

“The City of Yellowknife thanks everyone for their patience as we deal with an unprecedented amount of snow.”

More snow flurries are forecast on Saturday but next week is currently snow-free in Environment Canada’s forecast – and, at times, brutally cold.

Yellowknife’s temperature will drop to -39C overnight between Monday and Tuesday, the forecast suggests.