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Fort Smith

Fort Smith, nicknamed the garden capital of the north, is the most southern of the NWT communities. You will never find yourself bored with Fort Smith’s vibrant social scene, endless outdoor activities and abundance of wildlife.

From Wood Buffalo Frolic Fest to Aboriginal Day, there is always an event to look forward to. The Wood Buffalo Frolic Festival is a two day event with a community feast, dance, games, a hockey tournament and dog sled races. Most popular, perhaps, is the caban a sucre – the sugar shack – where maple syrup is poured over snow for a scrumptious winter treat! Aboriginal Day is celebrated every year on June 21st and is packed full of games, singing, dancing and a community fish-fry.

If you’re a music lover join the flock of musician who gather at the South Slave Friendship Festival each year. The four day fest features musicians from NWT, Nunavut and Yukon and covers all genres; country, rock, alternative, folk, punk, heavy metal, blues and jazz – there’s something for everyone at the festival.

It’s easy to stay active in Fort Smith. Wood Buffalo National Park – the second largest park in the world – is the backyard of Fort Smith. The stunning park, decorated with caves, sinkholes and underground waterways, is home to the endangered whooping crane and the wood bison. For photos and more info, click here.

Fort Smith rests on a bank of the Slave River where four sets of rapids twist and tangle over a 25 kilometer whitewater jungle. This is a kayaker’s Mecca - the rapids are considered to be one of the most accessible and challenging whitewater spots in North America.

Keep your eyelids peeled when you’re in Fort Smith – Buffalo, moose, black bear, lynx, and wolves are just a few of the animals that make this northern local their home. When the weather turns chilly, check out the swimming pool, fitness classes, hot tub, sauna, steam room, squash court, curling club, senior’s center, or boxing club. There’s no shortage of activities.

Fort Smith is a community of stark contrast. In winter the record low fell to -54 degrees yet the summer months have seen temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius. There are very few places in the world that experience an 89 degree change in temperature!

A major advantage to living in Fort Smith is that it has the lowest property tax in the NWT. Rental costs range from about $350 and up per month (for an apartment/private room) to between $650 and $1100 per month (for row-housing renting). Groceries can get pricey, for example two liters of 1% milk is $4.18 and a loaf of bread is $3.69 but there are weekly sales and flyer items that help cut down on costs.

The town of just under 2,500 enjoys all the luxuries of technology - there is cell phone and internet access available and if you do not have a computer you can always use the ones in the town library.

Kaleidoscopic sunsets, wildlife, adventure, blankets of pure white snow, northern lights, friendly faces – what are you waiting for?