Dawson, Canada, the former capital of Yukon Territory. It is about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Alaska border at the junction of the Klondike and Yukon rivers. Whitehorse, the capital, is 280 miles (450 km) to the southeast. The city was founded in 1896, after gold was discovered on nearby Bonanza Creek, and was named for George Mercer Dawson. In 1898 Dawson's population reached a peak of 20,000.