Parks Canada History
Park Summaries

Park Summaries
Yukon

Alberta | British Columbia | Manitoba | New Brunswick | Newfoundland and Labrador | Northwest Territories | Nova Scotia | Nunavut
Ontario | Prince Edward Island | Qubec | Saskatchewan | Yukon

All text and photos are copyrighted by Parks Canada or the Canadian Register of Historic Places (except as noted) and were extracted from either the Parks Canada or Canada's Historic Places Websites. Parks with a grey background are managed by Parks Canada.



©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1985
Canadian Bank of Commerce National Historic Site of Canada
Dawson, Yukon

The Canadian Bank of Commerce National Historic Site of Canada is located on the riverfront in Dawson City, Yukon. It is a handsomely designed, two-storey wood structure of native spruce with ornamental pressed metal fronts sanded and painted to resemble grey sandstone. Despite its small size and modest construction materials, the building is an ambitious essay in classical architecture, featuring a cornice, pilasters, elaborate mouldings and artificial rustication, all executed in pressed metal.

The heritage value of Dawson City's Canadian Bank of Commerce lies in its longstanding role in Yukon history, in the excellence and sophistication of its design and composition, particularly in a northern environment, and in its prominent location in the historic Gold Rush town of Dawson. Originally housed in a tent, the Canadian Bank of Commerce relocated several times before finally settling in the current building designed and built by W.P. Skillings and Robert Moncrief in 1901. Its grand architectural style reflects the important services that were performed by the bank, such as the buying and melting of gold into bricks and the brokering of gold on world markets. This structure, with its sophisticated form, was a prominent and visible symbol of the bank's significance within the community. It operated as a bank until 1989.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada
Important collection of buildings from the Klondike Gold Rush
Dawson, Yukon

The Klondike National Historic Sites of Canada commemorate the 1896 Klondike Gold Rush, the role of large corporation gold mining in the Klondike and river transportation in the Yukon. Dawson City, conveniently located at the junction of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, quickly became the heart of the gold fields during this time.

The Dawson Historical complex comprises the core of Dawson City, Yukon, a town established during the Klondike Gold Rush on a flat of land at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers in a vast, rugged, northern landscape. Most buildings reflect pioneer, boom-town architecture in their small scale, simple massing and wood construction.

Dawson Historical Complex was designated a national historic site of Canada for its association with the full extent (1896-1910) and impact of the Klondike Gold Rush.

The heritage value of Dawson Historic Complex National Historic Site of Canada is embodied in its evocation of the time and place of the Klondike Gold Rush, which is conveyed by the surviving natural and built landscape features. Of particular value are the outlines of the original townsite survey, and the wide range and occasional concentration of frontier structures, which confirm the town's early nature, diversity, northern isolation, and links to mining activity during the 1896-1910 period. Since the 1960s, Parks Canada has conserved and presented many of the buildings in the town, laying the foundation for its re-incarnation as a tourism venue.

Buildings included in the Complex:
  • Bank of British North America/Bank of Montral
  • Billy Bigg's Blacksmith Shop
  • Canadian Bank of Commerce
  • Carnegie Library/Masonic Temple
  • Commissioner's Residence
  • Daily News Building
  • Dawson Post Office
  • Former Territorial Court House (see below)
  • Klondike Thawing Machine Company
  • Northwest Mounted Police Married Quarters
  • Palace Grand Theatre
  • Robert Service Cabin
  • St. Paul's Church (see below)
  • Yukon Hotel (see below)

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, John Gould, 1998.
Discovery Claim (Claim 37903) National Historic Site of Canada
Bonanza Creek, Yukon

Discovery Claim National Historic Site of Canada is the place where the Klondike gold rush began. It is a legally defined mining claim measuring some 152.4 (500 ft.) by 609.6 metres (2000 ft.) located on Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River near the town of Dawson, Yukon Territory. The site is in a deep valley which has been dredged both by hand and with mechanized equipment, leaving deposits of dredge tailings and scarred hillsides below the heavily treed upper slopes.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, JF Bergeron, 2000
Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada
Symbolizes importance of dredging operations (1899-1966) with the evolution of gold mining in the Klondike
Bonanza Creek, Yukon

Not long after gold was discovered in large quantities in the Klondike, dredges were brought into the Yukon, the first dredge being built in the fall of 1899. One of the two dozen dredges that worked this area, Dredge No. 4 rests on Claim No. 17 Below Discovery on Bonanza Creek near the spot where it ceased operations in 1960. The largest wooden hull, bucket-line dredge in North America, it was designed by the Marion Steam Shovel Company.

Dredge No. 4 is a preserved bucketline sluice dredge used to mine placer gold. Located at its last place of operation on Bonanza Creek in the Klondike goldfields just outside of Dawson City, Yukon, it is now preserved and operated as a historic site.

Dredge No. 4 was constructed in 1912-13 by the Canadian Klondike Mining Co. to mine the gravels of the Klondike River Valley. It was dismantled when paying gravels ran out in 1940. All of its major mechanical components were refurbished by the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation and encased in a new wooden hull and superstructure built on Bonanza Creek. From September 1941 to the fall of 1958 it mined Bonanza Creek. There, it sank on its present site in 1959. It has since been preserved as a National Historic Site.

The heritage value of Dredge No. 4 lies in its association with Klondike gold mining and in its illustration of the process of bucketline sluice dredging used by corporations to mine placer gold in the Klondike Gold Fields in the 1899-1966 period.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, W. Lynch, 1995
Former Territorial Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Substantial frame judicial building, 1900-01
Dawson, Yukon

The Former Territorial Court House National Historic Site of Canada is a handsome, two-storey wood-frame building designed in a classical style, on a prominent setting within the Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada in Dawson, Yukon Territory. The building is distinguished by its imposing scale, regularly arranged two-over-two sash windows, and its metal hipped roof topped with a lantern. The building is now maintained by Parks Canada and serves as an important landmark on the streetscape.

Its heritage value resides in it identity as a symbol of the Canadian legal system as illustrated by its formal and functional design.

Purpose built to replace the original, inadequately sized log courthouse, the Former Territorial Court House was designed with two court chambers in order to accommodate the large volume of court business. The building of such an impressive structure in the remote location of Dawson was a clear physical statement of the Canadian government's determination to establish and maintain a stable environment for the Dawson community. Designed by Department of Public Works architect, Thomas Fuller, the former court house was built from 1900 to 1901. When the court was relocated in 1910, the building was taken over by the North West Mounted Police who re-allocated interior spaces for their own uses. In 1954, the Sisters of St Anne took it over for use as a hospital. They carried out further interior alterations and added a new wing, but maintained the integrity of the original exterior elevations. Today, the building is maintained by Parks Canada as part of the Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Ivvavik National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Inuvik, Yukon

Calving ground for the Porcupine caribou herd.

Ivvavik, meaning 'a place for giving birth, a nursery', in Inuvialuktun, the language of the Inuvialuit, is the first national park in Canada to be created as a result of an aboriginal land claim agreement. The park protects a portion of the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd and represents the Northern Yukon and Mackenzie Delta natural regions.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2012
Kluane National Park and Reserve of Canada
Headquarters: Haines Junction, Yukon

Yukon's UNESCO World Heritage Site contains Canada's highest peak.

Kluane National Park and Reserve of Canada covers an area of 21,980 km2. It is a land of precipitous, high mountains, immense icefields and lush valleys that yield a diverse array of plant and wildlife species and provides for a host of outdoor activities. Kluane National Park and Reserve is also home to Mount Logan (5959 m/19,545 ft), Canada's highest peak.

As part of a larger system of national parks and historic sites found throughout Canada, Kluane National Park and Reserve protects and presents a nationally significant example of Canada's North Coast Mountains natural region and the associated regional cultural heritage. Fostering public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of Kluane National Park and Reserve while ensuring ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations is Parks Canada's goal.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2000
Old Territorial Administration Building National Historic Site of Canada
Dawson, Yukon

The Old Territorial Administration Building National Historic Site of Canada is located in Dawson, in the Yukon Territory. The two-and-a-half storey building, set on landscaped grounds, is the largest of the buildings in the Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada dating from the late 19th and early 20th-century Klondike Gold Rush. Constructed in the neoclassical style, the building features an impressive front faade organized around a raised, pedimented entrance flanked by double ionic columns.

The Old Territorial Administration Building National Historic Site of Canada is located in Dawson, in the Yukon Territory. The two-and-a-half storey building, set on landscaped grounds, is the largest of the buildings in the Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada dating from the late 19th and early 20th-century Klondike Gold Rush. Constructed in the neoclassical style, the building features an impressive front faade organized around a raised, pedimented entrance flanked by double ionic columns.

The heritage value of the Old Territorial Administration Building lies in its associations with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896, and the subsequent growth of the northern territories and the rest of Canada. The imposing architectural design of the building in the remote location of Dawson was a clear physical statement of the Canadian government's determination to fulfill its administrative role, while asserting sovereignty of the territory contiguous with the American state of Alaska.

Designed by the Department of Public Works architect Thomas W. Fuller in 1899, the building was constructed in 1901 as the legislative and administrative headquarters of the new Yukon Territory. As Dawson's population declined with the end of the gold rush, the government centralized its territorial and federal services into the Administration Building. It became the sole government building still active, and remained the centre of the federal and territorial government in the Yukon until 1953, when the capital was moved to Whitehorse.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, P. McCloskey, 1977
S.S. Keno National Historic Site of Canada
Wooden steamboat built 1922, 140 feet x 30 feet, three decks, dry docked in Dawson home of the Klondike
Dawson, Yukon

S.S. Keno National Historic Site of Canada is a steam powered sternwheeler river vessel which rests on the bank of the Yukon River beside Front Street in Dawson, Yukon Territory.

The S.S. Keno was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is representative of Yukon lake and river sternwheeler steamers.

The heritage value of the S.S. Keno resides in its completeness and legibility as a fast water shallow drafter sternwheeler steamer representative of the type of vessel built for Yukon water transportation. The S.S. Keno was built in Whitehorse in 1922 to move ore from Mayo Landing on the Stewart River to Stewart Island on the Yukon River. In 1937 it was cut in half to permit three meters to be added to its length, increasing its freight capacity. She was retired at the close of river navigation in 1953, re-furbished in 1960 and sailed downriver to Dawson where it is managed as a historic site open to the public.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
S.S. Klondike National Historic Site of Canada
Largest and last Yukon commercial steamboat
Whitehorse, Yukon

The British Yukon Navigation (BYN) Company sternwheel fleet plied the upper Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City for the first half of the Twentieth Century. The S.S. Klondike was the largest of the BYN fleet. Originally built in 1929, she sank in 1936, was rebuilt and launched in the spring of 1937. Located on the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse, Yukon and restored to her original 1937-40 appearance, the S.S. Klondike pays tribute to an era of riverboat transportation and the inland water transportation system that linked the Yukon to the outside world before the advent of roads.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
St. Paul's Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada
Dawson, Yukon

St. Paul's Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada, located on the banks of the Yukon River, is a component of the Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada, Yukon. This example of frontier mission architecture was built in 1902 in the Gothic Revival style, its simple volumes set under a steeply pitched roof. The rectangular building has a central tower attached to the west end, truncated transepts and a semi-circular apse. Regularly placed, pointed arch side windows light the nave, while rose windows are set high in the transept terminals. Modest ornamentation includes the dark-painted accent boards and "half timbering" boards on the upper section of the tower.

Constructed in 1902 to serve the new settlement at Dawson, this small church is a significant example of frontier mission architecture. Its simple design blends Gothic Revival style elements, including stained glass windows and well-crafted woodwork, with an Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Other features include exposed roof trusses made of heavy timbers and transept-like side wings, which serve as a vestry, organ alcove, meeting and choir rooms. St. Paul's, which took the place of an earlier log building, is also a symbol of the long-standing presence of Anglican missions in Canada's North beginning here in the 1860s, ministering to Aboriginal peoples and later to miners and settlers.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, David Neufeld
T'w T'r National Historic Site of Canada
Teslin River, Yukon

Located at the intersection of many regional travel routes, it is an Aboriginal cultural landscape that represents the interconnected web of seasonal food gathering activities, family relations, travel and trade of the Southern Tutchone people of Ta'an Kwch'n.

The trails and waterways that lead out from T'w T'r illustrate the sustained relationship between the Ta'an Kwch'n and their traditional territory, through which the Ta'an Kwch'n travelled each year to harvest animals, plants and fish;

The travel routes that met at T'w T'r fostered a network of marriages and resulting family lineages, as well as cooperation, travel, and the maintenance of good relations with neighbours such as the Northern Tutchone, Tagish, Tlingit and Kaska peoples, culturally connecting the southern Yukon Athapaskan peoples to each other.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2000
Tr'ochk National Historic Site of Canada
Dawson, Yukon

Tr'ochk National Historic Site of Canada lies on an upstream flat at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, just south of Dawson City, Yukon. The Klondike River breaches the high hills along the east bank of the Yukon, just skirting the base of a steep hill that rises to form a high, flat bench. The river flat features a large, open grassy meadow that contains the remains of Hn fish camps, traditional plant harvesting areas and bench lookout points that offer views of traditional Tr'ondk Hwch'in First Nation land.

Tr'ochk is representative of the Tr'ondk Hwch'in 'home' in the middle Yukon River. It contains late prehistoric and protohistoric archaeological resources that attest to the profound influence of the Yukon River on traditional Hn culture, oral histories, language, and place names. For countless generations, the Hn spent the mid-summer to late fall at fishing camps at Tr'ochk, where they harvested and dried fish, cleaned skins from moose and caribou and prepared other foods for winter storage. The Hn made seasonal use of this site, named Tr'ochk to signify "the place at the mouth of the river," until the arrival of thousands of gold seekers during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century disrupted their traditional patterns.

The Hn people derive practical value from the river, which they use as a transportation route, a source of food, and spiritual value through the associations, stories and symbolic connections that the people have made to it. This cultural landscape also consists of trails and lookout points linked to the oral histories and traditional hunting, fishing and gathering practices of many generations of Hn people.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Vuntut National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Old Crow, Yukon

Northern Yukon's unique non-glaciated landscape.

Vuntut National Park was established in 1995 as part of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final Land Claim Agreement. Vuntut, which means "among the lakes" in the Gwitchin language, encompasses 4,345. sq. km of wilderness in the northwestern corner of the Yukon Territory. The park is bounded by the height of land and Ivvavik National Park to the north, the international boundary and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the west, Black Fox Creek to its confluence with the Old Crow River to the east and the Old Crow River to the south.

©Heritage Canada / Patrimoine Canada
Yukon Hotel National Historic Site of Canada
Dawson, Yukon

A small wooden false-front building on First Avenue, "Dawson City's" major street at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush.

The heritage value of the Yukon Hotel resides in its representation of typical commercial structures built at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush as illustrated by its site, setting and composition. Built in 1898 by J. E. Binet, the Yukon Hotel was first known as the Binet Block. Initially rented for Government Offices, it became a hotel in 1900 and served as such under a variety of names until 1957. Today it has been restored as part of Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada.

yt-e.htm
Last Updated: 06-Nov-2014