Best Places to Live in Nunavut

As the second-largest country in the world, the Great White has a total area of 9,984,670 km2. The country's largest territory, Nunavut, may be one of the most overlooked areas considered by newcomers, but this is what many may find appealing when considering a move to Canada. So if you are looking at settling here, major draw cards include a vast and beautiful territory, a unique and adventurous lifestyle, a rich cultural heritage, friendly communities and, let's not forget, an absolute winter paradise. This article will explore the top places to live in Nunavut, providing valuable insights and information to help you find your perfect home in this remarkable territory.

An Introduction to Nunavut

The territory of Nunavut is set in northeastern Canada. It is situated to the north of Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, and east of the Northwest Territories. It became Canada's youngest territory, after it was cut from the Northwest Territories in 1999, and is an official homeland for the Inuit of Canada.

Nunavut is the largest Canadian territory by land mass, with most of its land in the form of the Arctic Archipelago right above the Arctic Circle. A large part of the territory's land is classified as tundra, inhabited by many arctic species, such as polar bears and caribou, roam freely.

The Best Places to Live in Nunavut

Live in Nunavut | Best Places to Live in Nunavut

If you would love to move to Canada and are comfortable with icy weather, this territory is ideal for you. Let's look at the best places to live in Nunavut.


The city of Iqaluit is the capital of the province of Nunavut. Formerly known as Frobisher Bay, the modern city of Iqaluit can be found on Baffin Island at the northern section of Frobisher Bay, close to the mouth of the Sylvia Grinnell River. You can expect a lush environment with stunning landscapes, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and ancient sites close to beautiful parklands.

Iqaluit is the province's political, business, media and transport hub. The city has an excellent airport, so accessing flights won't be too complicated. It is rich in traditional Inuit culture and home to many Inuit artists, filmmakers and musicians. This means you can look forward to many arts and culture festivals, mainly in the summer.

You'll have 24 hours of sunshine a day towards the end of June to early July, so you can look forward to stunning twilight skies for two hours around midnight. In December, the shortest days get around four hours. You'll be able to see the Northern Lights from October to April, and you can expect winter temperatures to plummet to -32°C.

This city offers a range of amenities, including schools, healthcare facilities, and recreational activities. And with everything you'll need for a comfortable, fulfilling life, Iqaluit is an excellent choice for those seeking a balance between urban conveniences and the natural beauty of Nunavut.

Rankin Inlet

Located on the western shores coast of Hudson Bay and roughly 300 km north of Churchill, Rankin Inlet in Nunavut is known for its rich Inuit culture and picturesque landscapes. It is also a hub for transportation, health services, and business in this Kivalliq Region of Nunavut.

The area has a rich mining history, with most Inuit miners working underground at the North Rankin Nickel Mine from 1957 to 1962. Today, many of their descendants occupy positions in mining and related fields. Several industries are active in this region, from Business arts & crafts to tourism, food processing, construction, and hospitality. The area also has all the amenities that come with being a hub. This includes a post office, banks, schools, healthcare facilities, etc.

You'll have to love the icy temperatures to settle here, as temperatures drop to -50°C in winter, with the sea freezing over as early as October. Sea ice starts to break halfway into July, and you can expect rain or fog in dribs and drabs in spring and autumn.

Rich in natural beauty, you can expect a wide range of lifestyle activities in this area that gives you the best living on land and along the seaside. And when it comes to wildlife, you'll be spoilt for choice. You'll be able to spot tundra swans, arctic foxes and squirrels, sandhill cranes, beluga whales, polar bears and many other sea creatures.

Cambridge Bay

Situated on Victoria Island, Cambridge Bay is a close-knit community renowned for its breathtaking scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities. It is the center of government for Kitikmeot, the administrative and transportation hub for this part of Nunavut.

The hamlet of Cambridge Bay is close to the Ekalluk River, where the Ekalluktogmiut people are from. They have lived in this ancestral region of Nunavut for 4,000 years, so as you can imagine, the area has a wealth of archaeological history, natural beauty, and abundant wildlife. The latter includes fish, seals, geese, muskoxen and caribou. It is the largest stop for passenger and research boats and ships traveling along the Northwest Passage.

Cambridge Bay is another region that enjoys 24-hour sunshine. This occurs here toward the end of May to the end of July. You'll also experience sparse rainfall, usually in the summer, when temperatures can go from 5°C to 25°C. Winter temperatures can drop to around -35°C, and the snow is in full force in October and November. You'll have to say goodbye to daylight in December and make the most of the starlight, moonlight and those Northern Lights.

Outdoor lovers will enjoy the region's various activities, from hiking, to hunting, fishing, dog sledding, cross-country skiing and snowmobile riding . The hamlet also has a vibrant arts and culture scene. And with its strong cultural heritage and friendly residents, Cambridge Bay's close-knit community will provide a welcoming environment for newcomers.


Nestled on the western shore of Hudson Bay, Arviat is seen as one of the most southerly and accessible Inuit communities in the Nunavut territory. It is surrounded by several large barren land rivers, an extensive tundra, and a gently rolling landscape with scattered ponds and lakes. The region is also famous for its stunning wildlife, which includes polar bears and beluga whales.

Aravat is an area engulfed in Inuit culture. It is the second-largest community in Nunavut. Here, you'll find a vibrant arts and crafts industry, with many unique sculptures and carvings being made by Aravat artists, and sealskin clothing made by local seamstresses. The area has also fast become a hub for mine training and employment for the Kivalliq Region.

This is another winter lover's paradise, with the coldest months stretching from January to March and temperatures dropping to -35°C. Expect snowfall from October and blizzards throughout the winter months. The days do, however, get bright and sunny in April until around June.

This community offers a peaceful and serene setting, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil lifestyle in the heart of nature.


Located on Baffin Island, Pangnirtung is a picturesque community that captivates visitors with its stunning fjords and majestic mountains. It is a hospitable hamlet that is around 50 kilometres to the south of the Arctic Circle. It is set on the broad reaches of an ancient beach in Pangnirtung Fjord in the northern part of the Cumberland Sound.

With a population of 95% Inuit, the community also has a history of contact with Europeans and Americans, which started in the 1800s, with a whaling station that started nearby in 1840. Today the hamlet's economy consists mainly of traditional subsistence harvesting and hunting, along with several wage-based jobs.

Summer months see the temperature warming from 5°C to 20°C, while winter months will plunge to around -40°C, with minimal sunlight and lots of wind halfway through the season.

There's a lot to do in Pangnirtung, so if you love adventurous outdoor activities, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty of opportunities to hunt, fish, glide around on snowmobiles riding, head out on a dog sled and even camp out in an igloo.

The hamlet has a rich arts and culture scene with many artists in the regions finding success with their Inuit art offerings. You'll also find a host of festivals as it starts to warm up.

Benefits of Living in Nunavut

Benefits of Living in Nunavut | Best Places to Live in Nunavut

Living in Nunavut has many benefits that make it an exceptional place of residence. Here are some benefits you'll discover when you live in Nunavut.

Natural Beauty

The untouched natural beauty of Nunavut is unparalleled. From the awe-inspiring snow-capped mountains to the pristine Arctic waters, and flora and fauna, this is a territory all winter enthusiasts should consider when planning a move to Canada.

Close-knit communities

When you live in Nunavut, you'll find a close-knit community with a strong sense of togetherness. So settling in this province is bound to be a lot easier for newcomers, with a solid and stable environment.

Communities Welcoming of Foreigners

As with all other Canadian provinces and territories, Nunavut welcomes foreign nationals settling here. With a small population, you'll provide this province with some relief by being able to fill one of its labor gaps.

A Region Rich in Culture

The people of Nunavut are proud of their Inuit heritage, adding a unique cultural richness to the territory. So prepare to become a thread in this rich tapestry as one of the many newcomers in this province when you live in Nunavut.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Place to Live in Nunavut

Let’s go through some of the things you will need to consider when planning to live in Nunavut.

Cost of Living in Nunavut

Living in Nunavut can be more expensive than other regions of Canada due to various factors. This includes the territory's remote location and limited access to resources. According to, you are likely to need around $3,065 to survive in an area like the region's capital, Iqaluit.

Here's what you can expect:

  • The average salary in Nunavut is around 2,034.16 CAD
  • You'll pay around 1,582.12 CAD for a one-bedroom apartment in the city and around 1,883.48 CAD in more far-out areas
  • A loaf of bread will cost you around 3.55 CAD
  • A litre of milk will cost about 3.65 CAD a litre
  • Gasoline costs around 0,94 CAD a litre
  • A one-way ticket for public transport will cost around 6,40 CAD

Finding Your Perfect Home in Nunavut

When you live in Nunavut, you'll want to find a great place to live and replant your roots. To find your perfect home in Nunavut, working with a local real estate agent with extensive knowledge of the region and its unique housing market is a good idea. These professionals can guide you through finding a suitable property that meets your needs and preferences. Additionally, online platforms and classified ads can provide valuable insights and listings for properties in the desired destination. Taking the time to visit and explore the community firsthand is also highly recommended to ensure that it aligns with your expectations and lifestyle.


You'll find that there aren't any roads that make driving to Nunavut possible. There aren't any roads that connect communities in this territory either. Your best bet would be to hop onto a plane to do both. Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton are considered gateway flight cities to Canada's largest territory.

Nunavut has no public transit, but some communities have taxi services. So when getting around in the community you decide to settle in will be a lot easier if you have a car. As a newcomer, you can rent, lease or buy a car for your transportation needs. You'll, however, have to make sure you are comfortable with navigating icy roads in conditions where visibility is often poor.

Employment Opportunities

Nunavut offers unique opportunities for employment and career advancement, which can offset the higher cost of living. The territory's economy has historically been based on the harvesting traditions of the Inuit community. Today, you'll be able to find a job in one of these main sectors:

  • Mineral Exploration and Mining
  • Traditional Harvesting
  • Fisheries
  • Tourism
  • Arts and Culture

Pathways to Nunavut

Pathways to Nunavut | Best Places to Live in Nunavut

Nunavut doesn't have a provincial nomination program, so if this territory is the one you choose to settle in, you should consider applying via one of Canada's federal immigration programs. You may want to consider the two pathways below.

The Express Entry System

The Express Entry system is one of the best and quickest pathways to immigrate to Canada. There are three federal economic immigration programs, namely, the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

This pathway is popular, as applications are processed within six months. Candidates are put into a draw pool with other candidates that meet the criteria. In the pool, you'll accumulate a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, determining whether you get Canadian permanent residency.

Family Sponsorship

If you have family in Canada, they can sponsor your immigration. And once you get Canadian permanent residency, you can sponsor your loved ones. To qualify to be sponsored to Canada under a family sponsorship immigration stream, you must meet several requirements.

You must be related to the person sponsoring you in one of the following ways:

  • A spouse or common-law partner
  • A dependent child
  • A parent
  • A grandparent
  • An adopted child
  • An orphaned family member
  • An extended family member

To be eligible for family sponsorship, you can't:

  • Have a criminal record
  • Be medically unfit
  • Be a danger to society

Your Canadian sponsor will have to meet the following requirements to sponsor you:

  • They must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be 18 or older
  • Live in Canada
  • Fall into an income bracket equal to or higher than the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for three consecutive tax periods before your application

Start Over in Nunavut

Nunavut offers an extraordinary opportunity for individuals and families seeking a new place to call home. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and friendly communities, The territory is a destination like no other. By understanding the requirements and opportunities presented by the Express Entry program or family sponsorship, you can embark on a journey to make Nunavut your new home. Whether you choose to settle in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Cambridge Bay, Arviat, or Pangnirtung, you are bound to find your ideal space to move to Canada. So, start your adventure and discover the best places to live in Nunavut today!


How Can I check my CRS Score if I Choose the Express Entry Route to Canada?

You can check your CRS Score by using our CRS Calculator.

Can Someone Sponsor Me if They Don't Currently Reside in Canada?

No. Someone can only sponsor you if they live in Canada when you apply.