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Old 02-16-2012, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Downtown Toronto, Ontario
120 posts, read 229,474 times
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Has anyone visited or lived in the far north? It seems there are jobs available, and it would be a fun experience for a year or two (when sitting in the comforts of home and reading about it, anyway). Has anyone actually gone up there for a while, and what did you think? Would you go back? What were the people like?
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
2,200 posts, read 3,793,166 times
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IMO I think I would much, much more prefer Yellowknife over Iqaluit for a multitude of reasons.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,653,702 times
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I've spent some time up there. Worked out of Hay River, NWT for a couple of years (as a fishing guide in the summer, as a laborer fixing river barges in the winter). I occasionally still go up there for work, mostly around Yellowknife, though I've been to the arctic coast once.)

The north is enchanting, but if you're planning on going to Iqualuit, plan on feeling very, very isolated. I'd advise to not overwinter there, as winters in the far north can get very depressing. Yellowknife in the winter won't be as bad, as it doesn't feel quite so isolated. Depending what type of work you do, you can get fly in/fly out arrangements too, which are nice.

If you can get past the black flies and mosquitoes, summer is great. I'd definitely advocate doing summer work up there. The weirdest part, I found was that I required very little sleep all summer. We'd routinely work until 11 or so at night, stay up til 1, then start a new day at 6:30 and think nothing of it.

Winter's a little tougher, and the charm will start to wear a little thin. Expect to drink, a lot. If you work indoors, expect to exist in total darkness for several weeks, and spend a significant amount of time inside as it's just too damn cold to venture out.

Of course, I got to see fantastic northern light shows all day, tip over, tangle up, and fall off a dogsled, get drunk in an ice castle and other interesting things, so winter wasn't all bad, either.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
230 posts, read 434,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
Of course, I got to see fantastic northern light shows all day, tip over, tangle up, and fall off a dogsled, get drunk in an ice castle and other interesting things, so winter wasn't all bad, either.
This has got to be the funniest thing I've ever read on this forum!
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Calgary, AB
482 posts, read 2,159,294 times
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Yellowknife has some of the highest incomes in Canada and the cost of living is lower than places such as Fort McMurray... It is much more expensive than say Windsor though.

There is work in NWT too, but just like anywhere else in Canada who you know if more important than what you know... Also helps if you are already trained up for the role you are looking for as Canadian employers are notorious for their lack of training...
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:31 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,871 times
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Default Iqaluit living

Iqaluit living is difficult unless you have a job. Rental prices for apartments are astronomical, but if you work for the Nunavut government you may be eligible for a subsidized rate. Housing vacancy rates are generally around 1%.

It costs a lot to get up there. Easiest way is from Ottawa--direct jet flights daily by both First Air and Canadian North

You can easily live in Iqaluit without a car. There are just two major grocery/supply stores. Grocery prices are about 3-4 times more in Iqaluit than in the south.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Indiana
64 posts, read 119,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isobol View Post
Iqaluit living is difficult unless you have a job. Rental prices for apartments are astronomical, but if you work for the Nunavut government you may be eligible for a subsidized rate. Housing vacancy rates are generally around 1%.

It costs a lot to get up there. Easiest way is from Ottawa--direct jet flights daily by both First Air and Canadian North

You can easily live in Iqaluit without a car. There are just two major grocery/supply stores. Grocery prices are about 3-4 times more in Iqaluit than in the south.
Well, consider that everything needs to be flown to Iqaluit - the higher prices are justified. For most people, who have a problem with French, Inuit is really going to be a challenge. Just about the only air service is via Ottawa - I never figured out why nothing from Montreal, which has numerous connections. Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut, not exactly centralized, by any means.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:38 AM
 
28 posts, read 92,672 times
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Keep in mind that Yellowknife is only 20,000 people, so while there are jobs, you'll not find thousands. That said, there are few takers as most people in Canada see it as "the frozen north".

Yellowknife is a great little city and quite cultured. It has a unique mix of Western culture combined with Inuit/Native. It's also a rather artistic little city. Jobs pay quite well in Yellowknife & costs are not that outrageous. Excluding the ice breakup, food is generally reasonably priced. Renting IS expensive and most places are owned by 1 company. The real kicker is heating which can run 500+ a month in a cold winter. Remember, there are no basements or underground anything in Yellowknife. When the ice breaks up you may also experience shortages of things as they simply don't fly them in because it's too expensive. The entire cities electrical grid runs on generators and it's prone to problems. Believe it or not, ravens sometimes cause power issues as they fly into the lines, etc.

Life in Yellowknife can have it's challenges & one has to learn to keep more than 1 days supply of groceries on hand. Summers are awesome & quite warm, but black fly season is like you won't see anywhere else. All in all, it's a great place to live & you get the chance at making some real $$$. Residents are generally friendly and trustworthy as crime is minimal.

Iqaluit: Only traveled there but it's an isolated city of about 7 000 people on the tundra. It's very cold in winter and not warm in summer. There are no trees. Food is all flown in, so it's very expensive. It's generally a government town & few folks stay forever. That said, if you like wide open spaces this is the place. There is something surreal about standing on the tundra 10 minutes from town and realizing how big the world is.
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