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The Stark Beauty of Iqaluit, Nunavut

Updated on November 5, 2014

The Land of The Midnight Sun

I took this photograph from my friend's apartment in Iqaluit last year.

It was taken close to midnight.

In the summer, there is almost no darkness. In the winter, there is almost no light.

When people from the south move north, it's often not the extreme cold they have trouble adjusting to. It's the extremes in light and darkness.

The arctic has it's own type of stark beauty.

It is devoid or trees, but each year small colorful flowers and berries add a splash of color amongst the rocks..

(all photos by me)

Frobisher Bay


In early July, the first icebreakers arrive followed by fuel tankers and cargo ships. The ships are critical in resupplying Nunavut's coastal communities. When the ice settles back in, in the fall, everything has to be flown in. There are no roads into Nunavut. In fact there are only about 40 miles of roads in the entire territory. (which is many many times the size of Texas)


Fun Facts About Iqaluit

Iqaluit sits on the shores of Frobisher Bay. In fact, the city was once named Frobisher Bay, but was changed to Iqaluit in 1987.

Iqaluit means "place of many fish" in Inuktitut which is the official language of Nunavut.

It's also the capital of Nunavut. Nunavut was created in 1999, when the territory ceded from the Northwest Territories, giving the Inuit more control over their culture, education and resources.

The community was originally an American airbase. It was set up in 1942 as a refueling station for planes traveling to England during World War II.

Iqaluit became a village in 1974, a town in 1980 and a city in 2001.

Today, more than 7,000 people call Iqaluit home.

Learn More About Canada's Arctic


Great information and wonderful pictures.

Nunavut (Hello Canada)
Nunavut (Hello Canada)

A great book for people interested in the Arctic.


Iqaluit Sits on the Far East of Northern Canada

Baffin Island
Baffin Island

Living in the Midnight Sun

The summer is the traditional time for Inuit in Iqaluit to fish and gather berries.

The nearby river is rich with arctic char (a fish that's served as a gourmet delicacy in fine Paris restaurants), and the hills are thick with berries.

It's not unusual to see children out playing at 11 o:clock at night. When school is out and the sun never sets, they can eat when they're hungry, and sleep when they're tired.

Inuit artists sit out in the sun, working on their creations. They don't mind you watching and will often chat with you about the piece they are creating.

Many Nunavut artists are known around the world for their one of a kind prints and carvings.

Nunavut Craftsmen

Nunavut is home to some of the best carvers in the world. On a nice day you can walk around Iqaluit and watch the carvers work. They are always happy to talk about their work. I've bought some of my favorite carvings before they were even finished, because it was so nice to talk to the artists.

Discover the Beauty of Inuit Art

Inuit Art Sitting Bear By Isaac Sala Stone Carving/ Collectable Original Signed Eskimo Soapstone Sculpture
Inuit Art Sitting Bear By Isaac Sala Stone Carving/ Collectable Original Signed Eskimo Soapstone Sculpture

Carvers bring Nunavut wildlife home. I have a carving almost identical to this one..


It's Expensive to Live Here

Your eyes aren't deceiving you. It costs $39.99 for 24 rolls of toilet paper. Breakfast cereal runs close to $10 a box and milk around $13 a gallon. These are Iqaluit prices. Go to the smaller Nunavut communities and You'll pay much more.

Could You Live in the Land of The Midnight Sun?

See results

A Bird's Eye View of Iqaluit

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New Guestbook Comments

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful !

    • MEDerby profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @GrammieOlivia: Thank you for the comment. I'm returning to Iqaluit this summer and looking forward to adding more photos.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Wow!, I could live with all the sun, but I would die when there was no daylight! Great lens, thanks for the education on the North!


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