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Iqaluit

Travel Guide North America Canada Nunavut Baffin Island Iqaluit

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Introduction

Iqaluit is the territorial capital and the largest community of the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Until 1987, it was called Frobisher Bay, a name that is still occasionally used. Iqaluit is located on the south coast of Baffin Island at the head of Frobisher Bay. As of the 2011 census the population was 6,699, an increase of 8.3 percent from the 2006 census; it has the lowest population of any capital city in Canada. Inhabitants of Iqaluit are called Iqalummiut.

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Sights and Activities

Inuit Culture

Explore the history of Nunavut to learn of tales of ancestors who risked their lives in small skin boats hunting whale in ice packed waters, accounts of the Tariassuit (shadow people), or enchanting memories of lives lived in close-knit Inuit communities. See Drum Dancing, where women sit in a circle and chosen men are coaxed to dance by the messages in the ayaya songs that the women are singing and hear throat singing, usually performed by two women who stand face to face, with one singer leading the song and the other repeating the sound of the first. The cyclic sound mimics the calls of birds and animals and other sounds of nature in a fast rhythm.

Dog Sledding

Qimmiit, Eskimo dogs, or canis familiaris borealis have been pulling qamutiit (sleds) across the arctic ice and snow for more than 2,000 years. Though mostly replaced by snowmobiles, dog sleds are still used as a form of transportation in the arctic, and a variety of dog team adventures are available in many communities throughout Nunavut.

Northern Lights

The full wonder of the Arctic sky,also known as Aurora Borealis, is best seen during the dark winter months, when only a luminous moon lights the snow-covered land and the star-studded sky glows with the dancing colours of the northern lights. The quest of many winter visitors, the aurora borealis, is a truly magical spectacle to behold. Created by the glow of molecular gases in the atmosphere activated by charged particles from the sun, the aurora normally occurs in a broad 500- to 1,000-kilometre-wide belt known as the auroral oval, which is centered on the North Magnetic Pole. Infused with subtly shifting greenish and lilac hues, the northern lights seen across Nunavut emanate a mystical quality.

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Getting There

By Plane

Travellers board in either Ottawa (Ontario) or Montreal (Quebec) for direct service to Nunavut’s capital city of Iqaluit. There is also east-west routing that links Yellowknife, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit. Iqaluit is the transportation hub for its region. Most communities are serviced daily by one or more regional airlines, however smaller communities may be less frequent. Charters are also available. Some northern airlines also fly routes between the regions providing extra flexibility in scheduling your itinerary.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.

Post

Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.

The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 12:39 on Jul 18, 13 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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