"Iqaluit - Place of Many Fish" Iqaluit by arcticboy

Iqaluit Travel Guide: 63 reviews and 132 photos

Nunavut's Capital

If anything, Iqaluit is unique. It's rough around the edges and has all the trademarks of a frontier town on the edge of the world. It's primarily an administrative city for the newly created Government of Nunavut, so if you're looking to get the authentic Inuit experience, Iqaluit might not be the best place for that.

It is a diverse city compared to the rest of the communities in Nunavut. Walking down the main stretch downtown, you can hear people talking in Inuktitut, English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Korean, Filipino, Portugese among others. I've met people up here that have immigrated directly to Iqaluit from such far off places as Chad, Peru, and Lebanon. Most of the non-Inuit seem to come from Newfoundland and Quebec though, and almost always the motivation for being here is the promise of high northern wages. This causes some tension with the Inuit, which make up 60% of the city as it's generally felt that the southerners that come up here take as much as they can and don't actually contribute much to the community.

Iqaluit, formerly known as Frobisher Bay was originally established as a recognized community in 1942 as an American Airbase, but the Inuit had long used the area as a fishing spot (hence the name Iqaluit, which means "place of many fish" in Inuktitut). The Hudsons Bay Company established a trading post in nearby Apex in 1949 and a Distant Early Warning site was built in the 1950s. The American military left in 1963 and the Canadian government started investing in building physical infrastructure in the community. In 1995, Iqaluit was selected as the capital of Nunavut following the signing of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement in 1993.

  • Intro Updated Oct 5, 2010
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Reviews (2)

Comments (11)

  • Dec 29, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    I would like to have some of these photos as desktop wallpaper in 1600x1000 resolution. Is this possible?

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2007 at 1:30 AM

    Great insight into Iqaluit, this place is really far away from where I live :)

  • Aug 17, 2006 at 8:07 PM

    hi arcticboy, i used to live in the arctic for 8 years. i miss it alot. i lived in iglooliq for 5 years and iqaluit for 3. i want to go back there but ill probably find alot different, judging i left in...1998. your page is helpful, thanks :)

  • freddie18's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2006 at 7:26 PM

    Hi Jesse. I know there are good things about Iqaluit although it is in a remote place. I admire you for being honest about your hometown. Nevertheless, I know I want to visit Nunavut but I do not know how. Regards from Freddie of Toronto

  • dtownkitty's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2005 at 9:02 PM

    Yikes! it looks cold!

  • caffeine_induced78's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2005 at 11:14 PM

    What a great snapshot of your hometown. You show great honesty and balance in your view of Iqaluit. Well done!

  • Carmanah's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2005 at 6:07 PM

    I have an itch to visit Iqaluit. It's the one part of Canada that's so unknown to most of the southern Canadian population... yet, it seems like it's truly the most fascinating and unique. I really enjoyed reading about your experiences.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2005 at 4:13 PM

    Great page. I like the picture "moon rise from my window" and igloos. Could you learn me how to build them, please? We still have snow and -12C, brrr... but a lot of sun as well.

  • Scandic's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2005 at 2:55 PM

    Hi Jesse. Your pages are gorgeous, I am glad someone brings up Nunavut as proudly as you do. It is a place which should have more respect and attention from all around. Plus Nunavut art is wonderful!

  • 78Eva's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2005 at 6:53 PM

    I wanna go to this place! You should write more about it and what life's like up there. I hope I can go some day!

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