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Iqaluit City Guide

Updated: December 18th, 2023

Welcome to Iqaluit, a city that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity in the breathtaking landscapes of Nunavut, Canada. Nestled on Baffin Island, Iqaluit is the capital and largest community in this northern territory. As you explore this unique destination, you'll discover a rich cultural tapestry shaped by its vibrant immigrant population, contributing to the city's diverse and inclusive atmosphere.

About Iqaluit


Nestled on the shores of Frobisher Bay, Iqaluit is a city that captivates visitors with its unique blend of tradition and modernity. As the capital of Nunavut, Canada's northernmost territory, Iqaluit is a hub of cultural diversity and natural wonders.

Iqaluit's charm lies in its picturesque surroundings, where vast expanses of Arctic tundra meet the crystal-clear waters of the bay. Established as a trading post, the city has grown into a vibrant community, embodying the spirit of the Inuit people. Visitors will find a mix of traditional Inuit artistry and contemporary architecture, creating a cityscape that reflects the harmonious coexistence of the old and the new.

Did You Know?

  • Iqaluit is renowned for its stunning Northern Lights display, painting the night sky with vibrant hues of green, pink, and purple.
  • Home to the Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, the city offers hiking trails and wildlife viewing, allowing visitors to connect with the pristine Arctic environment.
  • Despite its northern location, Iqaluit experiences a surprisingly mild climate in the summer, with temperatures sometimes reaching above 20°C (68°F).

Prepare to be enchanted by Iqaluit's distinctive character, where cultural richness and natural beauty converge to create an unforgettable experience for every visitor.

Where is Iqaluit on the Map?

Discovering Iqaluit's geographical location is the key to understanding its unique appeal. Situated on Baffin Island, in the northern reaches of Canada's Nunavut territory, Iqaluit boasts a strategic position along the shores of Frobisher Bay.

Iqaluit Map

Embark on a virtual journey to Iqaluit and explore the wonders that this Arctic city has to offer.

Climate/Weather in Iqaluit

Iqaluit experiences a subarctic climate, characterized by chilly temperatures and distinct seasons, offering a unique atmospheric tapestry throughout the year.

The temperature range showcases the city's Arctic influence, with winters being notably cold, often dipping below -30°C (-22°F), while summers are relatively milder, reaching around 10-15°C (50-59°F).

Snow blankets the landscape for a significant portion of the year, creating a winter wonderland that lasts from October to May. Summers bring a welcome relief, with longer daylight hours, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor activities. While rainfall is relatively low, Iqaluit receives a generous amount of snowfall during the winter months.

Work and Jobs in Iqaluit

Iqaluit, the vibrant capital of Nunavut, offers a unique and rewarding work experience in a breathtaking Arctic landscape. With a population of around 7,000, the city boasts a tight-knit community and a strong focus on resource development, government services, and tourism. While the job market may be smaller compared to larger urban centers, it presents exciting opportunities for skilled professionals seeking adventure and career growth.

Job security in Iqaluit tends to be higher than the national average, with unemployment rates consistently hovering around 5%. This is due to the city's reliance on essential services and its growing economic diversification. Additionally, the government offers various incentives and programs to attract talent and support local businesses.

Job Title NOC Code CAD Annually
Heavy Equipment Mechanic 72401 $80,000 - $100,000
Registered Nurse 31301 $75,000 - $90,000
Teacher 41220 $70,000 - $85,000
Social Worker 41300 $65,000 - $80,000
Cook 63200 $55,000 - $70,000
Tourism Guide 62022 $45,000 - $60,000
Geologist 22101 $70,000 - $95,000
Information Systems Technician 22222 $60,000 - $80,000
Public Health Inspector 21120 $65,000 - $85,000
Construction Manager 70010 $85,000 - $105,000

Cost of Living in Iqaluit

cost of living in iqaluit

Iqaluit, the vibrant capital of Nunavut, offers a unique lifestyle amidst breathtaking Arctic scenery. However, its remote location translates to a distinct cost of living compared to the rest of Canada. Let's dive into the numbers using data from Numbeo to understand what it takes to live comfortably in Iqaluit.

Iqaluit's cost of living index is 149.30, exceeding the national average of 100. This means you'd need about 50% more money in Iqaluit compared to the average Canadian city to maintain the same standard of living.


Housing is the most significant expense in Iqaluit, with a cost of living index of 244.47. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages around $1,800/month, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost upwards of $3,000/month. Owning a home is also significantly more expensive than in many parts of Canada, with the average house price exceeding $500,000.

Item Cost of Living Index Average Monthly Cost
Rent, One-Bedroom Apartment (City Center) 259.72 $1,800
Rent, Three-Bedroom Apartment (City Center) 280.00 $3,000
Purchase Price, House/Apartment 232.14 $500,000+


Groceries in Iqaluit are roughly 80% more expensive than the national average, with a cost of living index of 179.90. Fresh produce and imported goods are particularly pricey due to transportation challenges.

Item Cost of Living Index Average Price
Milk (1 Gallon) 102.40 $14.69
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 Lb) 133.52 $4.58
Eggs (Regular, 12) 108.69 $5.00
Chicken Fillets (1 Lb) 101.54 $7.27
Beef Round (1 Lb) 157.50 $11.22

Other Expenses

Transportation costs are also higher in Iqaluit due to limited options and dependence on flights or ferries. Utilities and restaurants are moderately more expensive than the national average.

Item Cost of Living Index Average Price
Monthly Internet Package (60 Mbps) 101.59 $78.24
Public Transportation Monthly Pass N/A $43.00 (Iqaluit City Bus)
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 136.36 $50.00
Domestic Beer (1 Pint Draught) 100.00 $9.00

Neighborhoods in Iqaluit

Tundra Haven

Nestled on the outskirts of Iqaluit, Tundra Haven offers a tranquil residential escape with breathtaking views of the surrounding Arctic landscape. This neighborhood is characterized by spacious homes, often featuring traditional Inuit design elements.

Residents of Tundra Haven enjoy a close-knit community atmosphere, with easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking and wildlife viewing. The proximity to nature makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a peaceful retreat while still being connected to the amenities of the city.

Downtown Iqaluit

As the heart of the city, Downtown Iqaluit is a bustling hub of activity and culture. Here, you'll find a mix of modern developments and historic landmarks, creating a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere. Residents and visitors can explore local shops, cafes, and cultural centers, providing a taste of the city's diverse offerings.

The iconic Legislative Assembly Building and the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum are notable attractions, adding to the neighborhood's rich heritage. With a blend of residential and commercial spaces, Downtown Iqaluit is the epicenter of urban life in the Arctic.

Sylvia Grinnell Park

For those seeking a balance between urban conveniences and natural beauty, Sylvia Grinnell Park is a sought-after residential area. Located near the eponymous territorial park, this neighborhood offers proximity to hiking trails, parks, and stunning vistas.

The housing in Sylvia Grinnell Park ranges from cozy apartments to family homes, catering to a diverse community. Residents here enjoy the convenience of nearby schools, recreational facilities, and the peaceful ambiance of the Arctic landscape. It's a harmonious blend of suburban living and outdoor adventure.


Perched on the hills overlooking Iqaluit, Apex provides residents with panoramic views of Frobisher Bay. Known for its close-knit community, Apex offers a mix of traditional and modern housing options.

The neighborhood is a gateway to outdoor activities, including dog sledding and cross-country skiing during the winter months. With its unique charm and stunning vistas, Apex is a picturesque neighborhood that captures the essence of living in the Arctic.

Transportation in Iqaluit

Iqaluit's unique location presents unique transportation challenges. But fret not, newcomers! Let's navigate the city's ins and outs:

Public Transport

Iqaluit City Bus:

Your main lifeline, offering affordable routes across the city center. Fare is $2.50 per ride, with discounts for seniors and children. Buses run from 7 am to 7 pm, with reduced frequency on weekends.


Taxis are readily available and convenient, though pricier than the bus. Expect to pay around $10-15 for a short trip within the city. Sharing a cab is common to split the cost.

Private Transport


Owning a car can be advantageous, especially for venturing beyond the city center. However, remember the high cost of gasoline and car maintenance in Iqaluit.

Walking and Cycling:

During the warmer months, Iqaluit is a walkable and bike-friendly city. Enjoy the fresh air and stunning scenery as you get around. Just be cautious of unpredictable weather and roaming wildlife.

Getting to Work and School

Most workplaces and schools are within walking or cycling distance in the city center. The bus system also covers major routes, making commutes manageable.

Do you need a car?

It depends on your lifestyle and needs. If you primarily stay within the city center and rely on public transport, a car might not be essential. However, if you crave outdoor adventures or live further out, owning a car becomes more convenient.

Remember, Iqaluit is a small, tight-knit community. Don't hesitate to ask around for recommendations on the best way to get where you need to go. Welcome to Iqaluit!

Things to Do in Iqaluit

Iqaluit, nestled amidst breathtaking Arctic landscapes, beckons adventure seekers with its unique blend of Inuit culture, outdoor thrills, and artistic vibrancy. Whether you crave adrenaline-pumping activities or serene cultural immersion, Iqaluit has something for everyone. Here are a few highlights to kickstart your Arctic adventure:

Snowmobiling & Dogsledding

Glide across the pristine snow plains during winter on a thrilling snowmobile expedition, or experience the traditional Inuit mode of transport with a dogsledding adventure. Imagine the wind whipping through your hair as you witness the breathtaking beauty of the frozen landscape.

Hiking & Kayaking

Summer reveals Iqaluit's vibrant tundra, perfect for exploring on foot or by kayak. Hike through scenic valleys, encounter caribou and arctic foxes, and discover hidden waterfalls. In summer, kayaking offers a unique perspective of the coastline and glaciers.

Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum

Delve into the rich history and traditions of the Inuit people at this world-class museum. Explore captivating exhibits showcasing ancient artifacts, hunting tools, and contemporary art, gaining a deeper understanding of this resilient culture.

Qaggiq Festival

Witness the vibrant celebration of Nunavut's performing arts during the annual Qaggiq Festival. Immerse yourself in traditional throat singing, drumming, and storytelling, experiencing the heart and soul of Inuit culture firsthand.

Marvel at the Northern Lights

Witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Aurora Borealis dancing across the Arctic sky. Iqaluit's remote location and minimal light pollution offer prime viewing conditions for this celestial phenomenon. Bundle up, head out on a clear night, and let the mesmerizing light show paint the sky with vibrant hues.

These are just a taste of the countless adventures awaiting you in Iqaluit. From exhilarating outdoor pursuits to enriching cultural experiences, Iqaluit promises an unforgettable journey for those seeking a truly unique and captivating destination. So, pack your sense of adventure and prepare to be amazed by the magic of the Arctic!

Education in Iqaluit

Education in Iqaluit

Iqaluit, the vibrant capital of Nunavut, offers a unique and nurturing education system steeped in Inuit culture and the awe-inspiring Arctic landscape. From early development to higher education, Iqaluit provides diverse learning opportunities for its young minds, fostering a lifelong love for knowledge and exploration.

Early Development

  • Early Learning Centres: Iqaluit boasts several vibrant early learning centers that provide a playful and stimulating environment for young children aged 0-4. These centers focus on holistic development, promoting language acquisition, social skills, and cultural awareness through play-based activities and traditional Inuit practices.
  • Head Start Program: This federally funded program supports children aged 4-5 from families facing challenges, ensuring they enter kindergarten with the necessary skills and confidence for success.

Primary and Secondary Education

  • Public Schools: Iqaluit features several public schools offering quality education from Kindergarten to Grade 12. These schools embrace Inuit culture and language alongside the Canadian curriculum, creating a truly inclusive learning environment./li>
  • Inuit Language Education: Inuktitut, the traditional language of the Inuit, is actively promoted and taught in schools, ensuring its preservation for future generations. Students can choose to immerse themselves in Inuktitut-medium programs or learn the language alongside English.

Tertiary Education:

  • Nunavut Arctic College: Iqaluit is home to the Nunavut Arctic College (NAC), the territory's premier post-secondary institution. NAC offers a diverse range of programs, including vocational training, university-transfer programs, and associate degrees, catering to various interests and career aspirations.
  • University Partnerships: NAC collaborates with several universities across Canada, allowing students to complete certain degrees and diplomas through blended learning and remote delivery, expanding access to higher education for Nunavut residents.

Immigrate to Iqaluit

Work Visa

If you're considering moving to Iqaluit for employment opportunities, you may need a work visa. Iqaluit's diverse economy offers various job prospects, from healthcare and education to trades and technology.

Study Visa

For those seeking educational opportunities in Iqaluit, a study visa is the key. Whether you're interested in the unique programs offered by Nunavut Arctic College or participating in university partnerships, explore the possibilities by visiting our study visa page.

Permanent Residency

If you're looking to make Iqaluit your long-term home, consider the options for permanent residency. Find comprehensive information about eligibility criteria and application procedures on the Express Entry System.

Discover the beauty and opportunities that await you in Iqaluit. Moving to this vibrant city is not just a change of location; it's an adventure waiting to unfold. Embrace the unique culture, explore the Arctic wonders, and make Iqaluit your new home.


Can I Survive the Arctic Chill?

Iqaluit is colder than most Canadian cities, but don't let that freeze your plans! Winters average -30°C (-22°F), but cozy clothing and proper layering will keep you toasty. Summers, though brief, offer temperatures above 10°C (50°F) and endless daylight – perfect for hiking and kayaking.

Is Iqaluit all About Igloos and Snowmobiles?

While igloos hold a special place in Inuit culture, modern Iqaluit offers a vibrant community with cafes, restaurants, and even a brewery! You'll find art galleries showcasing stunning Indigenous work, museums delving into Inuit history, and plenty of opportunities to experience traditional activities like throat singing and dog sledding.

How Do I Connect With the Local Community?

Iqaluit welcomes newcomers with open arms. Joining cultural events like the Qaggiq Festival, where you can witness mesmerizing throat singing and storytelling, is a great way to connect. Volunteering at community organizations or simply striking up conversations with locals at the grocery store can also open doors to authentic experiences and friendships. Remember, a smile goes a long way in the Arctic.

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