Dawson or Dawson City, city (1991 pop. 972), W Yukon, Canada, at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike rivers. It is the trade center of the Klondike mining region and a tourist center. During the gold rush of 1898 Dawson was a boomtown, reported to have a population of about 20,000. It was named for George M. Dawson (see under Dawson, Sir John William), the Canadian geologist. The territorial capital was moved from Dawson to Whitehorse in 1952.