Yellowknife hosts of a hotbed of awe-inspiring photo opportunities waiting to be captured with a click of a camera, and social media users elsewhere are captivated.

From its distinct skyline and picturesque houseboat bay to the aurora, the city is an enticing destination for shutterbugs and aspiring, social media-driven photographers.

With more than 1,200 likes, this popular image of a hot water toss in frigid January air shows Instagram users are eager to take a peek at life and beauty in the North. The photographer, Kaila Walton, says she isn’t surprised the city was ranked the third-most Instagram-worthy place in Canada. photo courtesy of Kaila Walton

Now, with the release of an Expedia ranking, Yellowknife’s beauty has picked up some bragging rights.

The city has been named the third-most Instagram-worthy place in Canada behind Sherbrooke, Que., and Thunder Bay, Ont.

Instagram is a popular photo sharing app that allows users to upload, edit and showcase their pictures to friends and followers online.

The ranking was compiled through “social listening,” with the author searching hashtags including “#nofilter #instagramworthy and #instagrammable,” to see which places came up the most.

After sifting through thousands of posts to compile the rankings, Smithers, B.C., and Peace River, Alta., rounded out the top five Instagram-worthy places in the country.

“Yellowknife is the best place for you to discover what the frontier spirit really is,” reads Expedia’s entry on the territory’s capital.

“You can get some cute woofer photos on a dog sledding tour, or some of the best night photography when you see the Northern lights. NWT Brewing Co. is also found in this quaint town,” states the post.

The author also includes tips for fledgling photographers who are new to the North: “take a stroll in Somba K’e Park or get the perfect water photo at Cameron River Falls.”

Kaila Walton, 26, knows the falls – and the aurora – well. She’s one of the city’s top Instagramers who has amassed more than 6,000 followers.

Walton, a self-taught photographer who relocated to Yellowknife from British Columbia early this year, said she isn’t surprised by the city’s high ranking.

“This is probably one of the best places to photograph the Northern lights in the world. There’s also a few pretty waterfalls nearby that aren’t huge, but are very picturesque,” she said.

Walton’s camera-captured moments of the capital bring in big likes on Instagram, with nearly all of her posts racking up hundreds of double taps. But one post – a hot water toss shot in frigid January air just days after Walton arrived in the city – is the most popular photo in her collection, with over 1,200 likes.

Her personal favourite? A shot taken in March during the “best Northern lights show” Walton had seen in her life – and on her birthday, no less.

Walton said fellow Yellowknife-based Instagramers are “nice and helpful,” and often give her tips on locations that yield the best shots and most elusive wildlife.

Yellowknifer couldn’t get reaction directly from city officials, but Coun. Rebecca Alty weighed in on the new Instagram accolade via Twitter.

No filters required when positing pics of #Yellowknife on Instagram! Although, I do need a good app to capture Northern lights with my phone…,” she tweeted.


Brendan Burke

As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility...

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