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Wildcat Café

3509 Wiley Road, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, X1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/07/27

Wildcat Café, 2002; E. Hawkins/GNWT
Wildcat Café, 2002
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Other Name(s)

Wildcat Café
The Wildcat

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1937/01/01 to 1938/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/04/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Wildcat Café is a City of Yellowknife Heritage Site. It is a one-story log building with a gable roof. The designation also applies to portions of surrounding lots. The café is prominently located in the heart of Yellowknife's Old Town, and close to many other municipal heritage sites.

Heritage Value

The Wildcat Café is one of the earliest permanent buildings in the City of Yellowknife. The building's structure and style are an excellent, well-preserved example of its time period. Built in 1937-1938 by prominent pioneers Willie Wiley and Smokey Stout, the Wildcat is a reminder of pioneering days for Yellowknifers, and all Canadians alike. A replica of the Wildcat Café is on permanent display at the Canadian Museum of Civilization's Canada Hall, where it serves as an icon of early industrial development in Canada's northwest.

The Wildcat was a gathering place for the founders of Yellowknife: prospectors, miners and pilots. It was the hub of Yellowknife's social activity. Prospectors wheeled and dealed, community members held meetings and banquets, while visitors came and went by floatplane. Throughout the years, the Wildcat was used as Yellowknife's first ice cream parlour and Chinese restaurant.

The Wildcat is a well-loved community landmark, and a symbol of Yellowknife heritage that nearly every visitor recognizes. From its prominent location in historic Old Town, the Wildcat creates and encourages a pioneering spirit, which is still alive in Yellowknife today.

Source: City of Yellowknife By-Law 3635.

Character-Defining Elements


-log construction
-massing of the building, including but not limited to low-lying ceilings, and long, narrow profile
-small, tucked-away entrance
-simple signage and landscaping, keeping in touch with the building's rustic roots
-prominent waterfront location, and visibility from the road
-location next to other heritage sites and float bases
-one-roomed eating area with large, wooden tables and benches
-use as a café

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Northwest Territories

Recognition Authority

City of Yellowknife

Recognition Statute

City of Yellowknife Heritage By-Law

Recognition Type

City of Yellowknife Municipal Historic Site

Recognition Date

1992/07/27

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Settlement

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Smokey Stout

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Yellowknife City Hall, Yellowknife, By-law 3635.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

NT0001

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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