Canadian Woodworking


Author: Ted Duquette
Illustration: Marcus Cutler
Published: August September 2008

Canadian Provincial Capitals Scroll Saw Patterns: Yellowknife


The capital of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife, is home to about half the territory’s population of 40,000.

It is located on the north shore of ancient Great Slave Lake near the outlet of the Yellowknife River. While originally settled by First Nations people, the town grew in response to natural resource exploration and extraction. The NWT is home to some of Canada’s largest rivers and biggest lakes as well as the great Mackenzie Valley. As with its cousin to the west, the Yukon, the NWT exists within the boreal forest ecosystem. The official tree of the NWT is the Tamarack Larch, a small to medium size deciduous coniferous tree (it has needle-like leaves which it sheds in the fall.) reaching about 60′ in height with a trunk of about 2′ in diameter. It is used for posts, poles and firewood.

The shield at the top of our pattern is from the territorial coat of arms. The wavy line at the top, which should be blue, represents water, while the white above and below the wave represents ice and snow. The bottom left part of the shield shows gold squares on a green background (standing for the mineral and forest resources of the south part of the NWT), while the right part shows a fox on a red background (the fur resources of the northern tundra).

Scroll cutting tips

Photo-enlarge the pattern to the size you want. Cover your substrate (such as ¼” Baltic birch ply) with masking tape, and then spray-glue the pattern to the substrate. Using a #5 13 tpi blade, cut out the shaded areas on the template. Start cutting out the smallest areas first, moving on to the next larger areas. Once the pattern is cut out, remove the masking tape, lightly sand as required, and then apply your finish.


The building in the pattern belongs in neighboring Inuvik. The appropriate building should have been the Prince of Whales Northern Heritage Centre.

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