6 Amusing Facts About City of Iqaluit

The city of Iqaluit known as Frobisher Bay is among the most beautiful places to visit in Canada with beauty to admire. The people of the city of Iqaluit are one of their most important resources and are working together towards a better future that will preserve the strength of Inuit and northern cultures while embracing 21st-century reforms.

The city of Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut and the coolest city in Canada. Whether you are a citizen or a tourist, Iqaluit has a lot to offer. The city of Iqaluit is a living community and home to Iqalummiut, a diverse mix of people from all over Nunavut, Canada and around the world. They bring their skills, and experience and do their jobs with passion as well as contribute to the development and growth of Iqaluit.

History of City of Iqaluit

city of Iqaluit
Photo by VV Nincic on Flickr

Iqaluit, Nunavut, was merged as a city in 2001, with a population of 7,740 (2016 c), and 6,699 (2011 c). Iqaluit is the capital, largest community, and new territory of Nunavut and it is the only city in the area. Iqaluit is located northeast of the head of Frobisher Bay, south of Baffin Island. An area used by the ancient Inuit people and their ancestors, it is surrounded by hills near the Sylvia Grinnell River and overlooks the harbour in the mountains of the Meta Incognita Peninsula.

In 1976, the Inuit people introduced the proposal for the separate Nunavut Territory from the Federal government. In 1979, the first mayor, Bryan Pearson was elected and Frobisher Bay was designated as a city in 1982. The Canadian government officially approved the construction of Nunavut, and in 1987, Frobisher Bay has renamed Iqaluit, whose original name used to be Inuktitut meaning “place of fishes or many fish”.

Amusing Facts About City of Iqaluit

1. Experience Cold Weather during Summer in the City of Iqaluit

The amazing city will amaze you in every aspect and the major thing is the climate here. You will get to experience cold during summers and remind you that winters can be difficult as the weather can be freezing and you will have sunlight for not more than 4 hours during December.

In Iqaluit, summer is cold and cloudy, whereas winter is freezing, snowy, windy, and cloudy. Over a year, temperatures typically range from 22 ° F to 54 ° F and are rarely below 37 ° F or above 65 ° F.

Iqaluit has a tundra climate (Köppen: ET) common in the Arctic region, though outside the Arctic Circle the city has a long, cold winter and a short and cool summer. Mid-month temperatures are below freezing in the eight months of the year. Iqaluit receives more than 400 mm (16 in) of rainfall per year, wetter than most other areas in the Arctic Archipelago, with summer being the wettest season.

The temperatures of the winter months are similar to other northern and western continents such as Yellowknife and some extent Fairbanks, Alaska, although Iqaluit is much colder than the latest. Summer temperatures, however, are much colder because its eastern seas are affected by the waters of the Baffin Island Current. This means that the tree line is as far as the eastern part of Canada, as it faces south, despite the low altitude, as the northern Labrador.

Although located north of the line of the native tree, there are short, south-facing black spruce species (Picea mariana) that are protected from frost by winter, more than a few shrubs, which are woody plants. These include the Arctic willow (Salix arctica), which is difficult to identify as a tree because of its low height. Arctic willow can reach up to 7.6 m (25 ft) horizontally but remains only 150 mm (6 in) long.

Iqaluit weather is also colder than the Gulf Stream areas at the same latitude. For example, the Norwegian city of Trondheim has an average annual temperature of 15.2 ° C (27.4 ° F). The lowest temperature ever recorded was 45.6 ° C (−50.1 ° F) on February 10, 1967. The highest temperature ever recorded at Iqaluit was 26.7 ° C (80.1 ° F) on 21 July 2008.

2. Visir Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum 

Photo by Matthew Dillon on Flickr

The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum is a registered charity museum that contains a collection of works of art, tools, archives, photographs, and resource books, emphasising the local Iqaluit community and the Qikiqtani region. The visual space, which features a permanent collection and temporary exhibits, is located on the Iqaluit beachfront site in the old Hudson’s Bay Company building with a distinct red roof.

This friendly small museum in the old Hudson’s Bay Company building features an impressive collection of Inuit traditional clothing, tools, children’s toys, weapons and modes of transport, including a full-size leather boat, and carved soap and whalebone. Above are Thule masterpieces (including early glaciers) dating back hundreds of years.

This museum exhibits a large collection of regional, and local Inuit artefacts and arts. They also organise high-quality temporary exhibitions of modern Inuit artists. The gift shop stores handicrafts, jewellery, lucers (Inuit women’s knives) and more.

3. Know About the Popular Festivals of the City of Iqaluit

(a) Toonik Tyme Festival

The city of Iqaluit hosts the Toonik Tyme Festival, which marks the celebration of the Inuit culture and the return of spring and the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

The volunteer-run event brings family and friends out for two weeks of traditional Inuit activities, in April. The festival includes snowmobile races, igloo races, dog club races, trash hunting, hand shows and courses, and food.

This festival is suitable for families and is intended for everyone. There are activities for young children, teens, and adults, and all are free to enter. The Toonik Tyme Society, local organizations and businesses, and more than 100 volunteers came together to form a local Iqalummuit with visitors to preserve and showcase the Inuit culture.

In the spirit of inclusion, opening ceremonies and many activities and events are held in English, French, and Inuktitut. The big outdoor games are also played in April when the city of Iqaluit sometimes announces a Toonik Tyme community holiday so that families and the entire community can go out and enjoy activities together.

(b) Alianait Arts Festival

The Alianait Festival takes place in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada in late June each year. These polar days experience 24-hour sunlight during this time of the year, which calls for a great celebration and recreation.

Through Alianait festivities, the place showcases the talent of Inuit and other circular and indigenous artists by featuring exciting world-class artists, circus acrobats, dancers, narrators, actors, filmmakers and visual artists from around the world.

The Festival is in its 18th year, and since its launch in 2005, it has become a prestigious Inuit exhibition and world art. Since 2010, Alianait has been hosting a series of concerts throughout the year and expanding these shows to other Nunavut communities whenever possible.

Alianait’s goal is to help build a healthy Nunavut artfully. They continue to work with local schools and community organizations to present family-friendly, non-alcoholic events, facilitate communication opportunities between artists and students and help their youth skills in art and music.

4. Airways are The Mode of Transportation for Far-off Cities

Photo by Philip Tellis on Flickr

There are no roads to Nunavut. The 25 different communities of Nunavut are not connected by highway or railway line, nor are they connected by road or train to any of the southern Canadian cities.

Air travel is the most common form of travel to Nunavut and its remote communities. Visitors to Nunavut can reach the city gate of Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay by plane from any major centre in the world.

The airport of Nunavut is amazing. The landing strip is long enough so that it can land the space shuttle, therefore, it is also often used for cold-weather testing of the world’s largest new aircraft.

5. Ride on The Route of A Road to Nowhere


The City of Iqaluit has many things that will amaze you and one among them is the road to nowhere. It is a short-duration drive if you are up for a fun-packed day.

The city of Iqaluit has a road that leads to nowhere. This 3.5 km road runs along the tundra, crosses the main road to Apex and ends, erm, nowhere. It is a beautiful place, famous for local campers. It starts with about a 20-minute walk from the city of Iqaluit.

Every city has its famous road and here it has Road to the Missing Area. Most tourists want a photo under the road sign which says Road to nowhere. If you like to experience the Road to Nowhere, you can hike or hike all year round, ski in the winter or drive in the summer. This beautiful trail will take you just outside the city on a winding road through lakes, hills and tundra to the end, in the middle of Nowhere.

6. Get Close to The Nature at Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park and River


Territory Park
Photo by Adam Jones on Flickr

Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park is located about a mile (two-thirds of a mile) from Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. The Sylvia Grinnell River cuts through the tundra valley of this beautiful park. The river is a great catch for the arctic char and the waterfalls make it a great picnic spot. Hiking trails with educational features explain to visitors the natural history of the area and cultural heritage.

The coastal area near the park has archaeological sites for the ancient Dorset and Thule people. The park contains unique species of plants such as woodsia fern, one of the rarest in the world. A few species of arctic wildlife can be seen in the park, including caribou in winter and spring, arctic rabbits, arctic foxes, and a host of bird species.

The park is a great hiking destination to see beautiful scenery, wildlife and oriental arctic vegetation. Walking paths in the park vary in length and degree of difficulty, from the simplest to the most challenging. The smooth flow of the River Valley passes through the bird sanctuary and the coastal area of the park. The terrain varies from a dirt road to uneven terrain of tundra and rocky outcrops.

The Hilltops and Meadows trail allow mountaineers to experience the tundra meadows, bedrock out rock and unrestricted view of the surrounding area from a few high points in the park. This route is considered to be a challenging walk over uneven terrain with steep slopes. It has trail signs to help navigate critical areas. Hiking travellers are encouraged to take a sidewalk along each major trail and camping in the park is very popular.

Sylvia Grinnell River

Sylvia Grinnell River was named after Sylvia Grinnell by American explorer Charles Francis Hall in 1861 after the daughter of her benefactor, American scholar Henry Grinnell, a close friend of Lady Jane Franklin who sponsored Hall in search of John Franklin’s lost 1845 voyage. Hall camped here in 1861 and named the headwaters of the river after his Inuit guide Koojesse.

The view is amazing and the locals enjoy camping here all summer long. The park offers baths, tent platforms and fire pits. There is a Pavillion that explains the history and features of the park. The river is a great fishing spot and the tundra landscape near the rapids and waterfalls is a popular picnic spot. There are ancient ruins of Thule near waterfalls and it is one of the most unusual plants in Canada, woodsia fern grows here. 

Something to Take Away

There are so many arctic activities you can do during your visit to the city of Iqaluit. Just outside the city, the arctic sea and the expanding tundra stretch for miles and miles awaiting exploration. Even in the city, there are many activities you can do to learn more about Inuit and their culture. If you like the outdoors, you will love the city of Iqaluit for its annual activities and for food you should go to some of the best Iqaluit restaurants.

Seeing the northern lights is a common sight in winter. To see the northern lights in the coolest, warmer months, visit the city of Iqaluit in March or October. Frobisher Bay is an excellent winter kite-skiing destination, as well as a ski resort. In the spring and summer, fishing, kayaking, boating and even diving will make your trip memorable. The tour guides can help you plan a day trip, city tour, or camping trip which you will enjoy.

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