VY0BRR!!!--vy0brr--It's 10 and going up to 18!.

Wow! Iqaluit is a lovely capital city of the Territory of Nunavut. It has a new airport, many excellent restaurants and hotels, a cinema, a new Aquatic Centre with sauna, the lowest prices of food and several grocery stores carrying varied foods, a new Beer and Wine store, a terrific Lebanese restaurant that makes Shawarmas with lamb and the best pizza in all of Nunavut!

There is a large public library, Visitor's Centre, Fish store, the well known Frobisher Inn and lovely Caribrew restaurant featuring spectacular coffees, home made soups, salads and wraps as well as yummy desserts.

There are many activities to keep you busy during your down time and several fitness centres as well. They are building a Performing Arts Centre that will host orchestras from Ottawa, Montreal and elsewhere.

It is the happening place in all of Nunavut right now!

And it is home to one ham, me, Mike,VY0BRR! The other ham is also a Mike, vy0cf in Rankin Inlet to the west in Kivalliq region.

Iqaluit /iˈkælɪt/ ee-KAL-oo-it (Inuktitut: ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ; [iqaːluit]; French: [ikalɥi(t)]), meaning "place of fish"[10], is the capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut; its largest community, and its only city. It was known as Frobisher Bay until 1987, after the large bay on the coast of which the city is situated. In 1999, Iqaluit became the capital of Nunavut after the division of the Northwest Territories into two separate territories. Before this event, Iqaluit was a small city and not well-known outside the Canadian Arctic or Canada, with population and economic growth highly limited. This is due to the city's isolation and heavy dependence on expensively imported supplies as the city, like the rest of Nunavut, has no road, rail, or even ship connections for part of the year to the rest of Canada. The city also has a polar climate, influenced by the cold deep waters of the Labrador Current just off Baffin Island; this makes the city of Iqaluit cold, even though the city is well south of the Arctic Circle.

As of the 2016 census the population was 7,740 (Population Centre: 7,082, an increase of 15.5 percent from the 2011 census. Iqaluit has the lowest population of any capital city in Canada. Inhabitants of Iqaluit are called Iqalummiut (singular: Iqalummiuq).

 Iqaluit has been a traditional fishing location used by Inuit for thousands of years, hence the name Iqaluit, which means place of many fish.In 1942 an American air base was built there, intended to provide a stop-over and refuelling site for short range aircraft being ferried to Europe to support the war effort. Iqaluit's first permanent resident was Nakasuk, an Inuk guide who helped American Air Force planners to choose a site with a large flat area suitable for a landing strip. The wartime airstrip was known as Crystal Two and was part of the Crimson Route. Long regarded as a campsite and fishing spot by the Inuit, the place chosen had been called Iqaluit – "place of many fish" in Inuktitut – but Canadian and American authorities named it Frobisher Bay, after the name of the body of water it abuts. For the history of the air base, see Frobisher Bay Air Base.

The Hudson's Bay Company moved its south Baffin operations to the neighbouring valley of Niaqunngut, officially called Apex, in 1949 to take advantage of the airfield. The population of Frobisher Bay increased rapidly during the construction of the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW line, a system of radar stations, see North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)) in the mid-1950s. Hundreds of construction workers, military personnel, and administrative staff moved into the community, and several hundred Inuit followed to take advantage of the access to medical care and jobs the base provided. In 1957, 489 of the town's 1,200 residents were reported to be Inuit. After 1959, the Canadian government established permanent services at Frobisher Bay, including full-time doctors, a school and social services. The Inuit population grew rapidly in response, as the government encouraged Inuit to settle permanently in communities with government services.

Naval Radio Station (NRS) Frobisher Bay, callsign CFI, was established in July 1954 as a result of the closure of NRS Chimo, Quebec. Station CFI was part of the Supplementary Radio network. Because of its remoteness and size, it was very expensive to operate. Advancing technology eventually forced the closure of CFI in 1967.

The American military left Iqaluit in 1963, as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) diminished the strategic value of the DEW line and Arctic airbases, but Frobisher Bay remained the government's administrative and logistical centre for much of the eastern Arctic. In 1964, the first elections were held for a community council, and in 1979 for the first mayor. The founding of the Gordon Robertson Educational Centre, now Inuksuk High School, in the early 1970s at Iqaluit confirmed the government's commitment to the community as an administrative centre. At the time of its founding, it was the sole high school operating in more than one-seventh of Canadian territory.

On 1 January 1987, the name of the municipality was changed from "Frobisher Bay" to "Iqaluit" – aligning official usage with the name that the Inuit population had always used (although, many documents still referred to Iqaluit as Frobisher Bay for several years after 1987). In December 1995, Iqaluit was selected to serve as Nunavut's future capital in a territory-wide referendum, in which it was chosen over Rankin Inlet. On 19 April 2001, it was redesignated as a city.

Iqaluit was designated by Canada as the host city for the 2010 meeting of the G7 finance ministers, held on 5–6 February.[12] The meeting strained the northern communications technology infrastructure.


Iqaluit is located in the Everett Mountains rising from Koojesse (Kuujussi) Inlet, an inlet of Frobisher Bay, on the southeast part of Baffin Island. It is well to the east of Nunavut's mainland, and northeast of Hudson Bay.


  • Downtown (central)
  • Happy Valley (north)
  • Lake Subdivision (north) – residential area
  • Lower Base (south)
  • Lower Iqaluit (southeast)
  • North 40 (northwest) – located on the north side of the airport
  • Plateau Subidivison (northwest) – residential area
  • Road To Nowhere (north)
  • Tundra Valley (west)
  • Tundra Ridge (west) – home to two of the city's schools and youth centre
  • West 40 (southwest) – commercial area


View of Iqaluit from Joamie Hill

Apex, officially and functionally part of the City of Iqaluit, is a small community about 5 km (3.1 mi) southeast (63°43′47″N 068°26′48″W) from Iqaluit's centre and is known in Inuktitut as Niaqunngut. It is located on a small peninsula separating Koojesse Inlet from Tarr Inlet. There is a women's shelter, a church, a primary school (Nanook Elementary School), a design shop and a bed-and-breakfast in the community.

Apex was where most Inuit lived when Iqaluit was a military site, and as such the suburb was off-limits to anyone not working at the base.


Iqaluit has a tundra climate (Köppen: ET) typical of the Arctic region, although it is well outside the Arctic Circle. The city has cold winters and short summers that are too cool to permit the growth of trees. Although it is north of the tree line, there are still shrubs that are classed, locally, as trees. These include the Arctic willow (Salix arctica) which is hard to recognize as a tree because of its low height. The permafrost does not allow the taproot to get deeper than 150 mm (6 in) so this does not allow vertical growth. The Arctic willow may be up to around 7.6 m (25 ft) horizontally, but only 150 mm (6 in) tall. Average monthly temperatures are below freezing for eight months of the year. Iqaluit averages just over 400 mm (16 in) of precipitation annually, much wetter than many other localities in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, with the summer being the wettest season. Temperatures of the winter months are comparable to other northern communities further west on the continent such as Yellowknife and to some extent even Fairbanks, even though Iqaluit is a few degrees colder than the latter. Summer temperatures are, however, much colder due to its easterly maritime position affected by the waters of the cold Baffin Island Current. This means that the tree line is much further south in the eastern part of Canada, being as southbound, in spite of low elevation, as northern Labrador.



Canada Day celebrations in Iqaluit, 1999
Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1971 2,014 —    
1981 2,333 +15.8%
1991 3,552 +52.3%
1996 4,220 +18.8%
2001 5,236 +24.1%
2006 6,184 +18.1%
2011 6,699 +8.3%
2016 7,740 +15.5%

The 2016 census reported that there were 7,740, people living in Iqaluit, a 15.5% increase from 2011 census. The land area of the city is 52.50 km2 (20.27 sq mi), therefore a population density of 147.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (382/sq mi). Iqaluit has 3,419 private dwellings, 2,749 of which are occupied by usual residents.

Iqaluit has quite a young population, the median age of the population is more than 10 years younger than the national rate, 30.1 years old compared to 40.6 years old.

Iqaluit has the most Inuit people in both numbers (3,900) and percentages (59.1%), of all Canadian cities with populations greater than 5,000.


Iqaluit is the smallest Canadian capital in terms of population, and the only capital that is not connected to other settlements by a highway. Located on an island remote from the Canadian highway system, Iqaluit is generally only accessible by aircraft and, subject to ice conditions, by boat.

Iqaluit Airport is a modern facility with a runway long enough for most modern jet aircraft. Plans are underway to build a new, larger passenger terminal building north of the current terminal, which would also include a larger apron adjacent to the new terminal.

Canadian North and First Air serve Iqaluit from Ottawa, Yellowknife and several communities in Nunavut. Locally based airlines Air Nunavut, Canadian Helicopters, Nunasi Helicopters and Unaalik Aviation provide air charters, and Air Nunavut and Kivalliq Air provide MEDIVAC/air ambulance service. Air Canada Jazz provided daily service to Iqaluit from Ottawa in 2010 and 2011, but cancelled service due to rising fuel costs, which prevented the route from being profitable.

Iqaluit shared its runway with the Royal Canadian Air Force until the Canadian Forces stopped using Iqaluit as a Forward Operating Location (FOL). The barracks and CF-18 hangars are maintained. The airport was a centre for cold-weather testing of new aircraft, such as the Airbus A380 in February 2006.

Rumours that Iqaluit was an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle are false.

Iqaluit stop sign, reading ᓄᕐᒃᑲᕆᑦ(nuqqarit) in Inuktitut

In the middle of summer, a few ships—generally no larger than a Liberty-class vessel—transport bulk and heavy goods to the city. Cargo is off-loaded onto barges as the harbour is not deep enough. The city is planning a deepwater port. Experienced locals also cross the Hudson Strait from the Canadian mainland when it freezes over, either on foot or by dog sled or snowmobile, a distance of over 100 km (62 mi).

Iqaluit has a local road system only stretching from the nearby community of Apex to the Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, 1 km (0.62 mi) west of town. Iqaluit has no public transportation, although there is citywide taxi service. (There used to be bus service in the city, but the service was cancelled due to low ridership.) Motor cars are increasing in number, to the extent of causing occasional traffic jams known locally as "the rush minute". However, the cost of shipping automobiles and the wear-and-tear of the harsh Arctic climate combined with its notoriously rough roadways mean that snowmobiles remain the preferred form of personal transportation. All-terrain vehicles are also increasingly common in most of the Canadian Arctic. Snowmobiles are used to travel within the city and in the surrounding area. In winter, dog sleds are still used, but primarily for recreation. In winter, the nearby Qaummaarviit Territorial Historic Park and the more remote Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve are only accessible by snowmobile, dog sled or foot. In the summer, both are accessible by boat.

Residents and businesses identify their locations mostly by building number, and occasionally by the name of a prominent structure. Residents know where in the city certain series of building numbers are located; numbers tend to be aggregated in blocks, so someone might say that they live in the 2600s. Around 2003, street names were developed, although there were delays in finalizing them and posting the signs. Street numbers have not been assigned, and building numbers continue to be used. Iqaluit is the only Canadian capital city not to have traffic signals.


Most major roads in Iqaluit are paved with asphalt, but local and smaller roads are gravel. Roads do not have traffic signals, but use stop signs to control intersections.


The Qikiqtani School Operations based in Pond Inlet operates five schools in the area. Nanook Elementary School, located in Apex, Nakasuk School and Joamie Ilinniarvik Schooloffer Kindergarten to grade 5. Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik School offers grades 6 to 8 and Inuksuk High School offers grades 9 to 12.

The Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut runs École des Trois-Soleils and offers kindergarten to grade 8.

At the post-secondary level there are two, Nunavut Arctic College (Nunatta Campus) and Akitsiraq Law School.



Emergency services

Emergency services (fire and ambulance) are provided by city from a single station on Niaqunngusiariaq.

The emergency services fleet consists of:

  • Engine 1: Spartan Diamond/Smeal pumper
  • Ladder 1: Spartan Metro Star/Smeal 75' aerial
  • Command 1: Ford SUV
  • Command 2: Ford F250 4×4 pickup
  • Medic 1 and 2: Ford F450 Type II ambulances

Iqaluit Airport is brand spanking new and has a restaurant and 6 gates with plenty of space to accommodate travellers. It has Inuit art adorning the walls and is quite lovely.

Policing in Iqaluit, as with the rest of Nunavut is contracted to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) V Division.

Medical services

Qikiqtani General Hospital is the primary care facility in the city. It is staffed by physicians and has a busy EMERG.There are a few surgeons who are on-call. There is also a Family Practice Clinic providing primary care services by Nurse Practitioners. There are three dental clinics and a vet called Nunavet in the city.

Architecture and attractions









Mike, VY0BRR! QSL via: ve2xb on qrz.com with SAE or SASE with CDN stamps or SAE  and 3 greenbacks. Sorry for the delays. It has been very hectic and busy, busy, busy.


PSE DO NOT ask for SKEDS or send emails unless you are checking to see if you made it into the log. Pse be patient, courteous and listen, listen, listen b4 xmitting.

73, dx, tnx! Mike



 Times around the world!



73, dx, Mike, vy0brr


(Source: Wikipedia and some by this author.)

And and a special thanks to all of my Elmers, Bill, w2gjr/ve2(RIP) Ron, ve2kw(RIP)Don, ve3rm (RIP) and Stan, WA2BAH (RIP). All of my Elmers inspired me to get my ticket when I was young. It was especially nice to visit with Don at his well equipped shack and home in Eastern Ontario where I was ve2xb/3. He is gone but not forgotten. I miss him dearly as a close friend and talked with him right up until the end. I am setting up some older gear in my shack and the schools in Qik, Kimmirut, Pangnirtung, Clyde River, Cambridge Bay and Coral Harbour to pay tribute and honor to my Elmers. These will be Clubs so the students can earn their ham tickets and hopefully, get on the air...I am planting the seeds for the next generation...



I will be traveling to other places in Nunavut and will activate some very rare IOTAs including: Coral Harbour, Southampton Island/COATS, na-007, Sanikiluaq, Belcher, Islands, NA-196, Igloolik, NA-174, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, NA-006, and Qikiqtarjuaq/ Broughton Island, NA-130



It is starting to feel like summer and some arctic ravens are flying around. I did see some Caribou and Belugas recently.

Last edited on Jan., 6,2018

RIP: wa2bah, Stan, Don, ve3rm, Ron, ve2kw

Get dx in real time and add me to the cluster on


skyline of Iqaluit

Qikiqtani Hospital, Iqaluit

Flag Counter
eXTReMe Tracker