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Northwest Territory and Yukon Radio System

Stations of the Royal Canadian Signal Corps’ Northwest Territories and Yukon Radio System, which operated from 1923 to 1959.

Camp Takhini:

On 1 April 1946, the Canadian Army assumed control of the Alaska Highway.  A total of thirteen camps dotted the highway as well as numerous small airfields. 

Camp Takhini was established on land once occupied by the Standard Oil Refinery, in Whitehorse, Yukon.  Like all army camps,  it featured the usual selection of neat and tidy, nicely painted nondescript buildings that the military considers suitable for barracks, messes, and various types of storage. It also boasted an impressive headquarters building in which were located various administrative offices, including the Signals office.

Married quarters were provided for the soldiers’ families. Scattered through the camp site were trees, standing singly or in small groups between the buildings, that helped give the rather bleak camp a more pleasing aspect.  The children’s school, a large modern building, was in Whitehorse proper. Army buses provided transportation from the camp; their crews composed of a driver and another soldier whose business it was to keep order.

The primary Unit of NWHS was the Highway Maintenance Establishment (HME), Royal Canadian Engineers. Its headquarters was in Whitehorse and HME Maintenance Camps were located every 45 to 50 miles throughout the 1221 miles of the highway.

The Officers’ Mess was, rather surprisingly, not in Camp Takhini itself, but downtown in Whitehorse, at the eastern end of Sixth Avenue. It was not a particularly memorable building but it served adequately as a home for the single officers in particular, and the regular meetings, functions, and entertainment of the officers in general..

The Army remained until 31 March 1964, when Camp Takhini close and responsibility for the road system was transferred to the federal Department of Public Works. It has subsequently been taken over by the British Columbia and Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works.

Many of the former camp buildings remain in use today.

Source Material:   NWT&Y Radio System  web site –, Canadian Provot Corps web site –, Yukon Nuggets – Facts, Photos and News Radio.

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