This is your official guide to a successful settlement in the territory of Nunavut.
Included in this landing guide you will find contact information for each service agency that you will require to begin your new life in Nunavut, whether you are moving to the city of Iqaluit or the surrounding areas.
Learn more about life in Nunavut.
Included in this Landing Guide to Nunavut you'll find information on:
- General Information
- Health Care
- Schools and Education
- How to obtain a driver's licence
- What can I bring to Canada?
- Emergency Services
General Information on Nunavut
Official provincial website: www.gov.nu.ca
Official City of Iqaluit website: www.city.iqaluit.nu.ca
Contact a local tourism office for maps and other geographical information: www.nunavuttourism.com
Health Care in Nunavut
You must register for healthcare as soon as you arrive. For information on Nunavut healthcare, visit: www.gov.nu.ca/health
Employment in Nunavut
To begin working legally in Nunavut after arrival, follow these steps:
- Apply for your Social Insurance number (SIN). For information visit: www.servicecanada.gc.ca/en/sc/sin
- Ensure your credentials are assessed with the Canadian Centre for International Credentials: www.cicic.ca
- For trade certification, begin by contacting Red Seal, a nation-wide trade certification organization at: www.red-seal.ca
- Register with the appropriate territorial regulatory organization for your profession, where applicable.
- Register for language classes, if you need to improve your English or French language skills.
Following these steps will ensure that you are prepared to begin working in Nunavut.
Note: Foreign workers must have valid authorization to work in Canada on either a temporary or permanent basis.
Finances in Nunavut
Open an account at a local bank or financial institution. Popular banks in Canada include HSBC, Scotia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), TD Canada Trust, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), National Bank of Canada, and Desjardins Bank.
Canadian Money is made of cents and dollars. There are 100 cents in 1 Canadian dollar. Currency is found in coins of:
- 1 cent ($0.01) called the "penny" - Note: the penny is no longer used in commercial transactions
- 5 cents ($0.05) called the "nickel"
- 10 cents ($0.10) called the "dime"
- 25 cents ($0.25) called the "quarter"
- 1 dollar ($1.00) called the "loonie" for the Canadian loon featured on the coin; and
- a two dollar ($2.00) coin called the "twoonie" as it is the equivalent of two loonies
Bills, or paper currency, are found in denominations of five dollars ($5.00), ten dollars ($10.00), twenty dollars ($20.00), fifty dollars ($50.00) and one hundred dollars ($100.00).
Schooling and Education in Nunavut
Children under 16 must be registered for school. Schooling generally begins at age four or five. Most children stay in school until they finish high school, generally at 18 years of age.
The Canadian public school system is generally divided into three levels: Elementary, Secondary and Post-Secondary, either college or university. Some districts or private schools may organize their grade levels differently, though education standards are regulated by the provincial government.
The academic year for all levels of education begins in September and runs through June for elementary and secondary students, and to April for college and university students. Standard holidays include Christmas and New Year's holidays in December and January, and a spring break in either March or April.
Contact the local school board in your neighbourhood for information on registration. Nunavut's Department of Education website can be found here: www.gov.nu.ca/education
For complete information on post-secondary education visit the Study in Canada Guide.
Obtaining a Driver's Licence in Nunavut
If you are planning on renting, leasing, or buying a car, you must have an official Nunavut driver's licence.
For information on how to obtain a Nunavut Driver's Licence, visit the following page: www.gov.nu.ca/edt/faq/where-can-i-get-drivers-licence
Note: Every vehicle and driver must have insurance. Contact a local insurance provider to become properly insured before you drive.
Housing in Nunavut
There are multiple different housing options across Canada. If you have not visited your new city previously, it may be best to rent a temporary apartment when you first arrive, and/or hire a real estate agent to guide you through the housing process and provide you with knowledgeable advice on the best areas for you and your family.
Apartment buildings are large, multi-unit buildings owned by one person or company where each inhabitant rents a unit. Studio or bachelor apartments are generally one room with a kitchen area and bathroom and are suited only for a single individual. Larger apartments can accommodate families as they have bedrooms and additional living space.
A large multi-unit building where each unit is owned by the inhabitant is called a condominium, and each unit is called a condo.
Often apartments and condos are found in homes that have been divided into separate living spaces.
Houses can be connected in a row, called townhouses or row houses, or detached, as separate, individual dwellings.
Though average living costs vary given the size of family, location, and level of income, housing is generally more expensive in cities. As a result, many families choose to live in suburbs which are towns located just outside of the city limits, where housing is more affordable. Suburbs often provide good neighbourhoods, schools, shopping, and healthcare, all within close proximity to the amenities of the city. Housing in the country can be even less expensive and is desirable for many families, but you will require a vehicle in order to travel for your basic needs including groceries, work, school, and healthcare.
Pets: If you are renting your home or live in a condominium, it is important that you ensure pets are legally allowed on the premises before you move in with your family pet, or purchase a family pet.
It is important that you take your family, your place of work, neighbourhood, and finances into account before deciding on a place to live.
What can I bring into Canada?
Canada has strict rules concerning what can and cannot be brought into the country. There are regulations regarding food, alcohol, nicotine products, plants, animals, cars and other products. To avoid problems, be sure to check in advance what is and what is not allowed to come to Canada, as well as what procedures must be followed to bring certain items into the country. For animals and food contact:
For automobiles, contact:
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5
Weather in Nunavut
Summers can be mild in Nunavut, but it is very cold in the winter, when temperatures can go below -30, even -40 degrees Celsius. It is very important to ensure that you are prepared for the cold weather. Invest in warm winter clothing, including sweaters, winter jackets, boots, hats, scarves, and gloves or mittens. If you do not dress warmly in the winter you will risk becoming ill or getting frost bite. Frost bite is severe damage to the skin caused by winter wind exposure.
Canadians keep candles and matches, warm blankets, flash lights, first aid kits, and small snow shovels in their cars and homes in case of emergencies. In most parts of Canada, your car must have specially designated winter tires in order to legally, and safely, drive in the winter.
Emergency Services in Nunavut
In emergency situations, dial 911. When you dial 911, you get connected with an operator who will assist you and dispatch emergency services.
In non-emergency situations, if you only require the police, use the contact number provided below.
RCMP Division V, Nunavut: (867) 975-0123
Disclaimer: This guide is a compilation of information from multiple sources. Though the information is maintained and updated regularly, the law firm for Campbell, Cohen is not responsible for information that may have changed. This is not a government document. Neither the federal nor the provincial governments were involved in the making of this guide.