Yellowknife. City Council fonds

Title Yellowknife. City Council fonds
Dates of creation 1920-2005
Physical description 60 maps, plans and blueprints
84 photographs
ca. 1.25 m of textual material
Administrative history or biographical sketch The discovery of gold on the shores of Yellowknife Bay in 1934 spurred a rush of prospectors in the area, and by 1936, Yellowknife was a boomtown. Town sites were established on the Con, Negus and Giant mine sites claims during 1936 and 1937, but Latham Island was the central hub of commerce and support services for prospectors and miners. In 1939, Yellowknife had a population of approximately 1,000 people. At this time, affairs were managed remotely by federal government bodies or the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories supported by a southern-based Territorial Council. The growing amount of activity and congestion in Yellowknife due to the rise of industry created a need for a local government outlet. Under the Northwest Territories Act, the Commissioner was empowered to establish municipal councils in the territories. It was decided that the Territorial Council would exercise their authority to form a municipal government with the power to tax and legislate local by-laws. The Administrative District of Yellowknife was created and the Local Trustee Board was established with two elected members and three appointed members selected by the Northwest Territories Commissioner.

The first election was held on December 5th, 1939. At that time Negus Mine Superintendent John “Jock” McNiven and Consolidated Mine District Manager George Carter were elected to the Trustee Board. The Commissioner of the Northwest Territories appointed businessmen Keith Miller and Otto Thibert. Lawyer John E. Gibben was appointed as the Chairperson of the board. The first meeting of the newly formed Trustee Board took place on January 17th, 1940. At that meeting, Albert F. Totzke was appointed as the Secretary-Treasurer.

The composition of the trustee board was changed in June of 1945, when the Local Trustee Board was expanded to nine members consisting of four appointed members, including a chairman, and three elected members. On April 15th, 1947, an amendment was passed to regulate elections and give further powers to the board. On October 22nd, 1947, a second amendment altered the composition of the board. The amendment provided that five out of nine Trustee Board members were to be elected. In 1950, a further amendment reduced the number of appointed members to three and increased the number of elected members to six.

In 1951 the general Ordinance for Local Administrative Districts was replaced by a Yellowknife Local Administrative District Ordinance. The new ordinance reduced the Trustee Board members to eight, of whom five were to be elected and three appointed by the Commissioner. The District of Yellowknife was re-defined as encompassing all the land within a fifteen mile radius of lot 1, block 2.

In June 1953, the Territorial Council passed a Municipal District Ordinance. At this time, the Yellowknife Administrative District became the Municipal District of Yellowknife, and the local trustee board gave way to the Municipal Council of Yellowknife. Under the Yellowknife Ordinance, the Municipal Council membership was to include eight elected members and one Mayor. Each of these officials were to be elected for two year terms. On January 1st, 1954, John “Jock” McNiven was officially instated as the first Mayor of the Municipal District of Yellowknife.

On September 18th, 1967, the Northwest Territories adopted the recommendations of the Carrothers Commission, and Yellowknife became the official capital city. The transfer of additional government powers from the federal administrative division in Ottawa to the Municipal District of Yellowknife fuelled further municipal growth.
Scope and content This fonds consists of approximately 1.15 m of textual material, 60 maps, 3 architectural plans and 84 photographs generated by the Local Trustee Board, Municipal District of Yellowknife, Town of Yellowknife, and the City of Yellowknife between 1940 and 2005.

The textual materials, which date from 1940 to 2005, include Local Trustee Board/City Council meeting minutes, correspondence files, Centennial Committee records, licenses, Yellowknife Board of Trade records, and by-laws. Subject files also include road construction, hospital construction, health and welfare, taxes, elections, federal funding, lot development, budgets, infrastructure development and the construction of housing. There are records from the Town's Planning Committee including budget information, utility franchise information, and records relating to town planning and zoning. A select number of municipal financial statements can also be found within this fonds.

This fonds also contains a select number of reports commissioned by the city and presented to council on issues such as the Yellowknife School District and water and sewage systems. Also included are reports delivered by the City of Yellowknife Heritage Committee, a committee funded directly by the City of Yellowknife. These records include "Policy for the Preservation and Development of Yellowknife's Heritage Resources," prepared by the Yellowknife Heritage Committee (1986), and a copy of the pamphlet entitled "Four Walking Tours of Yellowknife Old Town" (1987). As well, there are several reports authored between 2001-2005 documenting abandoned or demolished Yellowknife buildings as well as an inventory of New Town Historical Buildings.

The cartographic materials consist of maps of Yellowknife, development plans for Frame Lake and the capital site, street lighting plans, plans for water and sewage services, and zoning plans.

There are also architectural plans documenting the renovation of City Hall in 1969.

The graphic content, dating from 1920-1973, depicts meetings of the Municipal Council, municipal buildings, houses and businesses in the town. Buildings depicted include the Gerry Murphy Arena, the Municipal Town Hall, City Hall, the Bellanca Building, St. Patrick's High School, William McDonald High School and Mildred Hall Elementary School. Several photographs feature airplanes operated in Yellowknife by local transportation companies. There are also photographs taken during a dinner attended by Commissioner Stuart Hodgson and Bishop Henry Cook to mark the unveiling of Pilot’s Monument in Yellowknife.
Restrictions Access is restricted to a few files containing personal information. See N-1992-170 inventory for restriction details.
Copyright Copyright held by the City of Yellowknife.
Finding aids AIMS records available.
Reference # 269
Accessions list The fonds is comprised of the following accessions. Click any accession number below to see the accession description.
N-1985-506 N-1989-035
N-1992-090 N-1992-145
N-1992-170 N-2004-023
N-2005-019 N-2005-020