Things to Do in Iqaluit
The word Iqaluit means “place of fish”. This is the capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut and is perhaps Canada’s best-kept secret. Its tourism industry is rapidly increasing. It used to be called Frobisher Bay, named after the bay it sits on but was renamed in 1987 to better reflect its aboriginal origins.
There are plenty of things to do in Iqaluit that will fill up your time here.
St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral–This building is in a distinctive shape that is more function than design. It’s in the shape of a white igloo. Inside, the altar is in the shape of a traditional Inuit sled, with a cross made from two narwhal tusks.
Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum–This museum has a large collection of Inuit and Arctic-region artifacts. This museum is located in what used to be a Hudson’s Bay Company building that has been renovated for this purpose. The building was actually moved to it’s current site on the Apex Beach.
Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park Reserve–Much of Iqaluit is unspoiled by human settlement. You’ll want to head to this park and nature reserve on the Sylvia Grinnell River. There is the perfect viewing spot at the visitor’s centre. This platform is on top of a hill that overlooks scenic waterfalls, fishing sites, and tidal flats.
Toonik Tyme Spring Festival–This is a spring festival held every year. It’s run entirely by volunteers and includes a combination of traditional Inuit activities and more modern events.
If you can stay up late at night, you may also see the Northern Lights during your stay here. Carefully plan your trip in advance, as it takes some effort to travel so far north of Canada. You’ll enjoy all the things to do in Iqaluit.
Photo credit: Sebastian Kasten