Where Are They Now? Nahanni 2013

In this regular feature, we ask current staff and retirees,  “Where are you now?” Members can let us know what they are up to–whether climbing a mountain, or running for Parliament, or having twins.  This summer, Greg Petzold AAM, reported on his trip through the Nahanni

 Checking Out Northern Real Estate: Nahanni

End of the portage below 300 foot Virginia Falls (Nailicho)

This summer, the City of Winnipeg’s Greg Petzold AAM completed a two week raft/kayak trip down the fabled South Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories.

In 1978 Nahanni National Park was the first site in the world to be granted World Heritage status by UNESCO, joining an exclusive 1978 initial list of 12 including Yellowstone and the Galapagos.

The South Nahanni River flows some 350 miles from the Mackenzie Mountains near the Yukon border through the Funeral Range, Headless Range and Deadmen Valley before it joins a tributary of the Mackenzie River.

First Canyon view from the seat of a kayak

The river boasts the deepest river canyons in Canada (3,000 to 4,000 feet), a major waterfall twice the height of Niagara and abundant wildlife-notably grizzlies.

The Nahanni is also one of the largest parks in Canada (about three quarters the size of Switzerland) but access is limited to float plane or helicopter, so only 600 to 700 people travel the river each year.

Yellowknife Housing Sticker Shock:

Tax free Yellowknife houseboats on Great Slave Lake

A stopover in Yellowknife allowed some time to check out real estate.

The capital of the Northwest Territories has a population of about 20,000. Local real estate listings were a bit of a shock.

This was confirmed by CMHC predictions –they estimate an average resale housing price of $398,000 in 2013. This compares to an estimate of $266,000 for Winnipeg! The log cabin days are long gone.

Cash-strapped people could try going off the grid as “water squatters” on one of Yellowknife’s iconic houseboats. There are several dozen in Yellowknife Bay. Most are built on barges buoyed by empty fuel tanks welded together and are anchored in place by chains. There is even one Bed & Breakfast. Since they don’t touch shore, owners pay no property tax or moorage fees.

In winter owners can even drive to their door but they face some challenges in spring and fall.

–Greg Petzold AAM

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