Saturday, October 27, 2007

Top Five Questions & Answers About Iqaluit

When we tell people we are moving to Iqaluit (and usually after getting stunned or puzzled looks), people begin to ask us questions about Iqaluit. Here are the five most common questions we are getting, and our answers.

Where is Iqaluit? In the territory of Nunavut, in Canada's eastern arctic. Iqaluit is on Baffin Island, which is parallel to Greenland. Its about a 3 1/4 hour flight northeast of Ottawa.

How big is it? About 6500 people, approximately 60% of whom are Inuit and 40% non-Inuit.

Can I drive there? We get asked this question a lot. No, you can't drive there. There is no road or winter ice road. You have to fly in. Every summer, community supplies come in by ship (on the "sealift") from Montreal.

Is there 24 hour darkness there in winter? It doesn't get down to 0 hours of sunlight, but does get down to an hour or so at winter soltice. But in addition to the time when the sun is over the horizon, there is usually a lengthy dawn and dusk. And by late March, it back up to almost 12 hours of sunlight again, because the sunlight changes happen rapidly compared to southern Canada.

Why on earth are you going there? Lorraine has worked and travelled quite a bit in northern Canada, and loves the north. She spent two months in Iqaluit in the winter of 2001, and fell in love with the place, and has always wanted to go back. Lorraine took the opportunity for an exciting new job in Iqaluit, and (fortunately) John was up for the adventure. We are really excited about going (especially now that most of the packing and moving stuff is done).

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