Despite the difficulty of construction there, Yellowknife is growing at a phenomenal rate. There are condos perched on rocks all around what used to be the outskirts of town. The area doesn't have a whole lot of soil, just big red rocks poking up everywhere. It's kind of amusing the way what would be a vacant lot anywhere else is just a big rock. Over the last 75 years builders have cherry-picked the easiest spots, so even along the main street you still get half a block or so that is just a chunk of rock with trees on it. Yeah, I don't know how the trees grow out of the rocks. There must be some dirt there too.
The rocks and trees stuff continues in the surrounding landscape. Yellowknife itself sits on Great Slave Lake, which is huge, and there are lesser lakes all around. Here's a picture of the landscape on the way to Rae-Edzo. You can see the road. That's all there is. I think the road ends at Rae, but there's another aerodrome, Snare River, not far beyond that. In the winter this is just white and you can't tell lakes from rocks.
As I mentioned there's a lot of traffic in and out of Yellowknife: helicopters, people landing in the back bay on floats, and airplanes of every size and speed coming from all directions. I noticed that pilots report by radial here, not just "20 miles west" but "20 miles back on the 260 radial." I don't know whether it's an accuracy thing or a habit picked up from the amount of IFR traffic. Lots of larger aircraft like Boeing 737s. It must be quite a challenging environment to work ATC in, but they didn't let the stress show and kept us safely separated from the IFRs without restricting us noticeably.
And here's the view out my hotel window. The hotel is up on a hill (i.e. sitting on a giant hunk of rock) and I'm on the fifth floor. The territorial legislature building is off to the right and downtown to the left.