Ice to Meet You: 6 Delightful Insights into Iqaluit’s Charm

Anisha Places to Visit
16 Min Read

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 Iqaluit are one of their most important resources.

They are working together towards a better future that will preserve the strength of Inuit and northern cultures while embracing 21st-century reforms.

Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut and the coolest city in Canada. Iqaluit has much to offer whether you are a citizen or a tourist. Iqaluit is a living community and home to Iqalummiut, a diverse mix of people from all over Nunavut, Canada, and worldwide.

They bring their skills and experience, do their jobs with passion, and contribute to the development and growth of Iqaluit.

1. History of the Iqaluit

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 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.  It overlooks the harbor in the mountains of the Meta Incognita Peninsula.

In 1976, the Inuit people proposed separating the Nunavut Territory from the Federal government. 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 was renamed Iqaluit, whose original name used to be Inuktitut, meaning “place of fishes or many fish.”

2. Amusing Facts About the City of Iqaluit

Life in Iqaluit Nunavut

1. Experience Cold Weather during Summer in Iqaluit

The amazing city will amaze you in every aspect, and the climate here is the major. You will experience cold during summers, and I 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 climate that of a tundra region (Köppen: ET) common in the Arctic region, though beyond the Arctic Circle, the city has a long, cold winter and a short and cool summer.

Mid-month temperatures are less than freezing in the eight and 12 months. Iqaluit receives more than 400 mm of rainfall per year, wetter than most other areas in the Arctic Archipelago, in addition to summer being the season with maximum rainfall.

The temperatures during the winter months are similar to different northern and western continents like Yellowknife and, to some extent, Fairbanks, Alaska. However, Iqaluit has a much lower temperature than the latest.

Summer temperatures, however, are much colder because the waters of the Baffin Island Current hit its eastern seas. It can be said 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) protected from frost by winter, more than a handful of shrubs, which are woody plants.

These have the Arctic willow (Salix arctica), which is difficult to identify as a tree due to its short height. Arctic willow can reach up to 7.6 m (25 ft) alongside but remains only 150 mm long.

Iqaluit weather experiences lower temperatures than the Gulf Stream areas at the same latitude. For instance, the Norwegian city of Trondheim experiences an average annual temperature of 15.2 ° C.

The lowest recorded temperature was 45.6 ° C (−50.1 ° F) on February 10, 1967. The maximum temperature recorded at Iqaluit was 26.7 ° C on 21 July 2008.

2. Visit Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum 

greenland museum snowy visit
Image Source: Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum 

The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum is a registered charity museum with works of art, tools, archives, photographs, and resource books, emphasizing 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 many regional and local Inuit artifacts and arts. They also organize high-quality temporary exhibitions of modern Inuit artists—the gift shop stores handicrafts, jewelry, ulcers (Inuit women’s knives), and more.

(a) Toonik Tyme Festival

The city of Iqaluit entertains the Toonik Tyme Festival. The festival marks the celebration of the Inuit culture and the comeback of spring and is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

Toonik Tyme 55 Years Celebration Logo 2020
Image Source: Toonik Tyme Festival

The event is a volunteer who brings family and friends outside for two weeks of traditional Inuit activities in April. The festival organizes snowmobile races, igloo races, dog club races, trash hunting, hand shows and courses, and food.

This festival is perfect for families and is intended for everyone. There are activities for children, teens, and grown-ups, and all are free to enjoy.

The Toonik Tyme Society, local organizations and businesses, and more than 100 volunteers formed a local Iqalummuit with visitors to protect and show the Inuit culture.

In the context 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 Iqaluit sometimes announces a Toonik Tyme community holiday so families and the entire community can go out and have fun in activities together.

(b) Alianait Arts Festival

The Alianait Festival occurs 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 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 worldwide.

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

The Road to Nowhere | Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

There are no roads to Nunavut. The 25 different communities of Nunavut are not connected by highway or railway line, 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 gates of Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, and Cambridge Bay by plane from any major center in the world.

The airport of Nunavut is amazing. The landing area is extensive enough to bring down the space shuttle. Therefore, it is mostly used for cold-weather testing of the world’s largest new aircraft.

5. Ride on The Route of A Road to Nowhere

Iqaluit has many things that will amaze you, including 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 nowhere. It is a beautiful place, famous for local campers. It starts with about a 20-minute walk from Iqaluit.

Every city has its famous road, and the road to the missing area is here. Most tourists want a photo under the road sign that 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 outside the city on a winding road through lakes, hills, and tundra to the end, in the middle of Nowhere.

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

Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, situated approximately a mile (2/3rd of a mile) from the city, is the capital of Nunavut. The Sylvia Grinnell River cuts along the valley of the beautiful park.

The attractive river catch for the Arctic char and the waterfalls help to call it a great picnic spot. Hiking trails, in addition to educational features, describe the ones who come to the area’s natural history and cultural history.

The coastal area around the park has archaeological sites for the old Dorset and Thule people. The park has special species of plants, such as woodsia fern, among the rarest in the world. A few species of arctic wildlife are 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 where you can see pretty landscapes, animals, and oriental arctic vegetation. Walking paths in the region differ in length and degree of complexity, 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 differs from a dirt road to uneven terrain of tundra and rocky outcrops.

The Hilltops and Meadows trail allows mountaineers to experience the tundra meadows, bedrock-out rock, and unrestricted views of the nearby area from a few high points in the park.

This track is considered a challenging walk over uneven terrain with steep slopes. It includes trail signs to help navigate critical areas. Hiking travelers are motivated to take a sidewalk along each major trail, and camping in the park is extremely famous.

6.1 Sylvia Grinnell River

Sylvia Grinnell River was named after Sylvia Grinnell by American explorer Charles Francis Hall in the year 1861 after the daughter of her benefactor, American scholar Henry Grinnell, a close buddy of Lady Jane Franklin who financed Hall in search of John Franklin’s lost 1845 voyage.

Hall had a tent here in 1861 and called the river’s headwaters post his Inuit guide, Koojesse.

The view is amazing, and the locals have fun camping here during summer. The park offers baths, tent areas, and fire pits. There is a room that explains the past and qualities of the park.

The Sylvia Grinnell River is an amazing fishing spot, and the landscape, like that of the tundra region near the waterfalls, is a famous picnic spot. There are ancient ruins of Thule near waterfalls and it is among the most unusual plants in Canada, woodsia fern can be seen here.

Something to Take Away

You can do so many arctic activities while visiting 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 the Inuit and their culture. If you like the outdoors, you will love Iqaluit for its annual activities, and for food, you should go to some of the most profound 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 and a ski resort.

Fishing, kayaking, boating, and even diving will make your trip memorable in the spring and summer. The tour guides can help you plan a day trip, city tour, or camping trip that you will enjoy.

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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1 Comment
  • This article on Iqaluit was a delightful read! Learning about the city’s unique climate, the “Road to Nowhere,” and the vibrant festivals made me feel like I’ve already taken a virtual trip. It’s amazing how the community embraces its rich cultural heritage. I can almost picture myself exploring Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park. Thanks for sharing this.

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