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Reliving the Gold Rush in Dawson City

Canada’s oldest operating casino is the venue for a summer tradition that has spanned more than a century.

Canada’s only public road that crosses the Arctic Circle is the Dempster Highway.
Canada’s oldest operating casino is the venue for a summer tradition that has spanned more than a century. The Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall in Dawson City hosts a can-can show illuminated by daylight from the summer midnight sun that often stretches past 11 pm.

During the gold rush of 1897, the once tiny hamlet of Dawson City grew to more than 30,000 residents almost overnight. And business to cater to those who had struck new found wealth sprang up to eventually give rise to the city’s new moniker ‘Paris of the North.’

Just as quickly as the town gained notoriety, it almost as suddenly disappeared when the Klondike gold rush came to a screetching halt a mere two years later. In 1899 when gold was discovered in Nome, Alaska, a mass exodus ensued and Dawson City was almost completely wiped from the map. 

Today, more than 60,000 visitors each year come to the town to relive its glory days. They are greeted by many buildings that still reflect the style of the era, as well as activities similar to the ones bygone residents may have enjoyed – like the can-can show.

Outside of town, visitors can also experience adventures unique to Northern Canada via side tours. Mount Logan – the country’s tallest peak at more than 19,500 feet – is located 100 miles south of the city, while a trip into the Arctic Circle can be found 250 miles to the north.

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