Discussion thread:


Due to the high volume of comments this thread is getting too complex to be useful. I am now redirecting people to the Reddit discussion thread about Inuvik.

Please ask and post your questions on that thread.


So you’ve decided to move to Inuvik. Congratulations! This is a very welcoming town (pop. 3,500) and an interesting region of Canada.

Surely you will enjoy life in this town: no traffic jams, no parking metres, no Christmas madness at the malls….

Here’s some responses to questions sent my way:

Patrick asks…

“My wife and I will be moving to Inuvik in the next couple of months, and I/we have tons of questions! As there isn’t all that much information on Inuvik online, it’s been a bit tricky finding out much. We live in Vancouver at the moment, so this will certainly be a big move for us. Mostly, I am interested in making sure we bring everything that we’ll need. What sort of vehicle is best for Inuvik? Where should we look for an apartment? Is there even such a thing as a “bad” part of town? How expensive are groceries really, I mean, should we try to bring tons of food? Do you know of any good resources for finding work in Inuvik (we are moving for a job for my wife; I am a recently graduated teacher with restaurant experience, I am crossing my fingers to find work shortly after our move). Anyhow, I just wanted to get in contact with someone who actually lives in Inuvik. Thanks for your time, I look forward to any insight you can offer. Bye for now,


Thanks for the letter, Patrick!
Let’s break it down by question.

1. What sort of vehicle is best for Inuvik?

Inuvik is small enough that you don’t need a vehicle. Something with some ground clearance — a pickup truck, let’s say — would be best if you expect to be travelling outside of town in the winter.

However, there are all sorts of cars here and they travel without any problem. There are even a few sports cars; I think someone in town has an old Charger.  Any car that’s running should be fine.

A while back some people even brought Smart Cars to Inuvik  to film a commercial, and they seemed to be doing fine. There isn’t a lot of snow here, so the problem is slick ice, not snowbanks.

Also remember you can take a cab anywhere in town for $5, so it might not be worth it to have a car at all.

(Just remember to bring a spare tire if you’re driving up, and equip yourself for the Dempster HIghway. It’s not like AA can come and save you in 15 minutes.)

2. Where should we look for an apartment?

Northern Properties pretty much has the monopoly on places to rent in town. They own the Nijaa, Boot Lake, Lakeview, Nova, and other apartment buildings.

You can expect to pay a minimum of $1,000 a month for any place to live, and to be honest most of the places are average at best with loud neighbours who party, and do idiotic things like steal fire extinguishers from the hallways. (Pretty much everyone I know who lives in Lakeview, Parkview and Nijaa complains of the late-night parties, etc.)

There are also rooms to rent in private homes, and some in-house apartments that people use  to offset the cost of utilities. You can see ads at the post office.

Finally, you can rent a row house for about $1,500 a month.

I recommend looking around for a place first, and going to the Northern Properties apartments as a back-up, second option. They’re not terrible, but they force you to sign a six-month lease which is often a trap. (ie: you move in, then realize your neighbours are loud. Too late, sucker!)

The nicest apartment building in town are Boot Lake Apartments, and they apparently have some kind of vetting process. (Here is an image found on Google Image Search)

Is there even such a thing as a “bad” part of town?

Inuvik’s history is marked by a deep division between sides. The west side has always been poorer.

Even today, some parts of Inuvik look like an Ontario suburb and others are rougher; this is where you find trailer homes with plywood instead of windows and scary dogs on big chains.

This being said: There are some beautiful homes which are trailers. It all comes down to the resident’s maintenance of the unit and their pride in where they live. Some of the insides of the trailers are very very nice and are kept very clean.

I have not heard of any part of town being dangerous. It’s too small of a town to really have a problem with things like random muggings. My suggestion is that anywhere is fine!

How expensive are groceries really, I mean, should we try to bring tons of food?

Groceries are more expensive, it’s true, but most of the stories you hear are from unreasonable people —– those who are shocked (shocked!) that somehow the arctic circle doesn’t sell things for the same price as a No Frills in Toronto or Ottawa.

We have three grocery stores and a visiting fruit and vegetable truck; while you might pay a little more, there is no need to pack supplies like you were moving to a desert island. Groceries are expensive, but you have to look at a map and realize it’s actually amazing considering where we live that you can get bananas, tomato or pineapple any time of year.

My advice is that moving is enough of a hassle, without shipping up boxes and boxes of non-perishables. You can do it to save money if you like, but eventually those boxes will run out, and you’ll join us in paying northern food prices. It’s tough if you’re raising a family, sure, but for two people you’ll be fine. Especially if you know how to cook.

Personal opinion? Concerns about food prices in the north are exaggerated by people with unreasonable demands. You live in the arctic circle, of course it will be more expensive! The federal government already spends millions on a food mail program to subsidize food.

Interesting fact here, the average NWT resident spends $3,000 a year on junk food and only $600 a year on fruits and vegetables.

Do you know of any good resources for finding work in Inuvik?

I would suggest that you subscribe to NNSL’s publications online and start looking at classified ads in advance. (www.nnsl.com) They are the territorial newspaper and they carry a lot of classified advertising.

You mention you are a teacher with restaurant experience, I would say your odds are very good! A high turnover of people in Inuvik (since a lot of people are transient) means there are often jobs available. That being said, the economy is in a slump right now and some restaurants have closed.

What about the bugs? not that bad. They are pretty bad for a short short season. Otherwise, the cold takes care of them. It’s a few weeks of swatting but then it’s done.

What about sewage, for regular living – laundry and such. Is there a town system? Yep, it’s above ground, but you can have a washing machine in your house, no problem. Plumbing is good, the drinking water is fine to drink.

How about the real issue with produce in the winter? Prices availability? Could we grow and freeze our own? Produce is not examplary and you will pay extra. However, it’s not the end of the world really. We have 3 grocery stores and they all do their best, considering the distance. The best fruit and veggies come from Bill Rutherford the “fruit man” who travels and sells the produce right off the 18-wheeler.

As for growing your own, you’d be surprized at what you can grow at the greenhouse over the summer.

Housing for a family of five, possibly or not?
Rent is expensive but you should be able to find a place. I think a house for five will be about $1,500 rent monthly.

Does everyone get the northern living allowance? Does it really cover most of your housing rent?

No, the living allowance is a tax deduction, which amounts to about $7 a day. It’s a big amount at tax time, but it does not cover your rent at all. Also, you need to claim it, so visit and accountant at tax time and make sure that’s done!

Do you need a vehicle? I don’t have a vehicle. You can walk across the entire town in 20 minutes, and cab rides are $5 flat rate which works for me.

What about the school calendar? School years are normal, with students getting the summers off. We have excellent school facilities here and good teachers.

I’m assuming no snowboarding? No big hills for that, no.

What about cost for house objects, paint, window covering and heat tapes?

We have a big Home Hardware store and they have pretty reasonable prices. Things are more expensive, yes, but considering where we are it’s kind of amazing those things are even available year-round.

$36 for a pizza isn’t bad if really have a craving….any kind of 24 hour market or 7-11 type store?

Yes, we have 3 convenience stores which are open late. The Alfornos fast food will make you a pizza at 2am on a Sunday.

Should we bring medication and vitamins? Costly up there?

Sure, you could stock up and save money. But we also have two pharmacies for when you run out.

What are the apartments like?
There are furnished and unfurnished apartments in town, as well as a variety of places to rent such as rooms and houses.

I live in Lakeview on Boot Lake Road and it’s close to everything. Rent is high in comparison to other towns — don’t expect to pay less than $1000 a month for a one-bedroom — and buying a house is very expensive also. Best bet is to rent a furnished place. (Lee Thomas, a pilot who writes dustysensor.ca, moved here earlier this year and he now lives in Mountainview, he likes it.)There is a moving company which can help carry furniture, but the cost is $90 an hour.

-Can I buy a car there?
There actually is an order-based dealership in town as well as a garage that sells used vehicles. But the usual method is buying in Whitehorse and driving the dempster highway (16 hours drive) Do you need a car? That’s debatable. The town is very small and all cabs are $5 flat rate (1 ride anywhere in town = 5 bucks) so I would certainly say you can do without.

-Are there homes for sale in Inuvik?
It’s rare to see houses sell for less than $300,000 in Inuvik, no matter what size. Real estate is very expensive and even trailer homes require a large investment.

-Are there cheap hotels?
All places are expensive, in range of about $100 a night. Mackenzie is the top of the line, it’s very nice but relatively expensive. If you want a real northern kick, try seeing if the Arctic Chalet has places available. It’s a series of rentable log cabins. You can also rent a dog sled there.

-What should I bring?
Clothing! There is no real clothing store here, apart from kids’ stuff at the North Mart and another boutique. Also, Timbits for people once you get off the plane, which is a local tradition.

-How cold does it get, really?
Do not believe the hype. Arctic winters are perfectly fine if you dress up. Wear many layers. It might get cold enough to snap your ipod headphones, but there are ways to cope. On the plus side, you will never deal with slush, soaked boots, or freezing rain.

No matter the temperature up here, nothing is as warm as the fur mittens made by local people.

-Do you have 24-hour darkness?
We definitely get 24-hour sunlight, but 24-hour darkness is a bit of an exaggeration. There is always a “solar glow” visible for a few hours, even in the darkest of winter. So you’ll go on your lunchbreak and see a little bit of pink on the horizon but that’s it.

-What do you do, anyway?
There are plenty of activities in town. We have the Inuvik Family Centre, which has a year-round pool and waterslide, and also squash courts, a sauna and 24-hour gym. Inuvik also has a golf course (small, but getting better) and cross-country ski club which has world-class trails.

There is also a library and, believe it or not, a mini-putt. It is also guaranteed you’ll find a packed dancefloor at the Mad Trapper bar every weekend where a live band plays 6 nights a week.

-Are there jobs?
Yes! There is certainly work to be found in Inuvik. It’s expensive to live alone (rent is about $1000 a month minimum for a one-bedroom) but I know many people who’ve come north to work as hairdressers, bartenders, waiters, hotel staff, grocery store people (North Mart even helps staff with housing) and other jobs. North Mart was looking for cashiers and offering $16 an hour.

-Can you drive to Inuvik?
The answer is yes, most of the year. The Dempster Highway (see Wikipedia entry here) connects our community to Dawson City and eventually Whitehorse, which itself connects south to B.C. and the TransCanada highway.Overall, it takes about 16 days to drive from Ottawa. Be sure to pack some food because you’ll often go hours without a gas station. (The Eagle Plains rest stop, for instance, is hours between Fort McPherson and Dawson.)

The problem of course is that the Dempster Highway is intersected by two rivers, the Mackenzie and the Peel. These are usually serviced by free ferries, but the rivers are allowed to freeze for ice roads. So you cannot drive the Dempster to Inuvik for about 4-5 weeks of time, around November and April.Since ice roads follow the weather, all dates are subject to change.

-Are there a lot of drugs like ‘crack’ in the north? Do people sniff glue and gasoline?
Let me be real with everyone here for a minute — Inuvik has its share of problems, which are we refer to as “social issues.”

There is a surprising amount of homelessness for a community this remote. Some homeless people do drink mouthwash and other products and use drugs, and it’s true that no place is busier than the RCMP’s drunk tank on Saturday night.

For a town of 3,500 we have more than 12 full-time RCMP officers, who process more than 2,500 visits through their holding cells per year.

So, in answer to this question: Yes, we have people who drink and there is homelessness.

You might see a fight outside the bar, or someone passed out on a park bench. You will see vandalism and don’t bother bringing up a nice bicycle because you’ll find it missing.

You might also have neighbours who are drunks and argue loudly, especially if you rent an apartment.

This being said, the overwhelming majority of people in Inuvik are remarkably friendly and you can walk with full confidence you won’t get mugged.

What can I say? It’s a nice place to live, but at the same time the community has a lot of problems which require councillors, social workers, police, tutors, community groups, food banks, youth centres, etc.

-Can I voluteer at the Youth Centre or Food Bank, as a way to meet people and help the community?

You’ll find plenty of company — and plenty of work —  if you come to Inuvik with good intentions.

More questions answered in the thread below…


257 responses to “Discussion thread:

  1. Is the mini-putt indoor or outdoor?
    This is a great new section Phil!

  2. The mini-putt is outdoor outside Ingamo Hall. I should have taken a photo! (It was kind of decrepit this year and no one goes, but people fixed it. Maybe next year?)

  3. The Centennial Library is great and has an extensive selection of rare books about the Arctic see

  4. Hi!
    I think your website is great; about the best I’ve found. It’s helped me a lot to prepare for my move there. It’s great to actually see pictures of the town combined with the information that you have provided. I will be leaving Canada in early December and wonder if you could answer a few questions about things to bring and all that.

  5. Hello Diana,

    Thanks for the kind words! However, I must admit I don’t understand your request. Are you leaving Canada or moving to Inuvik?

  6. Okay (Clarification: Diana is moving to Inuvik from England)

    I would reccomend you bring clothing, as there is no real clothing store in Inuvik. Stock up; buy a few pairs of shoes and pants. The alternative is ordering from a Sears catalogue, or online.

  7. i use to live in inuvik, i really enjoyed the time i spent there. it was very cozey in the winter. and warm in the summer. i use to work at artic memories art gallery that was in the rec hall across from the norhtern. i lived about the liqour store, and we loved it. i mis it there. rod

  8. Thanks Rod — it’s nice to see someone use the optimistic word “Cozey” to describe -40c weeks and so little sunlight!

    Where do you live now?

  9. I found your blog starting from your longboard ride on you-tube! I was looking for some informations about Inuvik since I know the Regional Hospital is looking for a physiotherapist and I’m seriously thinking about it. You gave me many many answers! Thank you for this precious help. I’m Italian and still don’t know if I’ll decide to move to Inuvik, but I learnt so many things about it that I feel it could be my place…

  10. Where do all the people in ther 20s and early 30s hang out (besides the bar)? How do you meet people in this town outside of work?

    • A few things happening in town:

      -swim nights at the pool: usually people play volleyball there
      -volunteer firefighting
      -The cross-country ski club
      -Outdoor activities, camping, road trips to the Dawson City music festival
      -Music jams
      -Some people and I play Dungeons&Dragons on occasion
      -Sports such as hockey

  11. I am currently in the process of moving to Inuvik. I am a RN and very excited about this new place. Great website and beautiful pictures!

    • Hi Lisa
      I just seen your message on this blog and realize you posted in 2008 but I was just wondering how your experience went in Inuvik as a RN. I’m thinking of applying up north (I’m from Ontario) but would love to hear from another RN who has lived and worked up there. If you would be willing to share your experience that would be great!

  12. I lived in Inuvik from Oct 95 to Sept 96 & worked in the Brass Rail at the McKenzie Hotel & lived at the Trapper. I am wondering if you know if Marty & Vince are still at the McKenzie? I enjoyed living there & have always talked about my experiences in Inuvik. To this day when I tell people about Inuvik they listen in awe. I met a real beautiful friend when I was in Inuvik by the name of Debbie Robinson & have lost contact of her since I left but have always wondered whatever happened to her. I hope she reads this & gets in touch with me. How long have you lived in Inuvik?

    • First moved here in 2006, sorry I don’t know the people you mention!

    • That was the old Mackenzie hotel. They tore that down and built a new one, without a “Zoo”. There is a lounge called “Shivers”. Marty and Vince aren’t involved immediately, although I’m not sure if Vince owns part of it. Vince is in real estate and Marty works for Northwind now. I miss the Zoo, especially when they’re killing me with the country at the Trapper, LOL. :) Cheers. – tlg

  13. Great site and very helpful. If I wanted to move to Inuvik I’d be so grateful if I came across this website! Great work! :)

  14. oh man I’m so glad I found this blog. I’ve bookmarked it :-)

  15. Thanks Corrine and Lenora!

  16. Hi, I was looking at Inuvik as for my son Martin will be there tomorrow. He will be woorking at Cariboo Café as a cook. I was a bit worry so I was looking for infos about the town and what there was there to do. Do you know if there is anybody there whom is able to record (studio like) becose this would be of a big interest for him! If you’d like go welcome him, go by is new job and say his mom say’s hello…he would be quite intrigue!!!
    I am keeping your blog in my favorite and tank’s in advance.

    Johanne from Québec

  17. Allo Johanne,

    There is no recording studio in town — I assume you mean for a music album or something — but I believe my friend Ray Massey is trying to start something up in his home.

    Certainly, any musicians will be appreciated up here.

    I’ll have to stop by the Caribou cafe, it’s a nice place to eat. (Maybe I can take some photos of your son at work, if they’ll let me.)

  18. Hi Phill,

    It is so wonderfull to have you answer me! I feel like it is not as far anymore. Bare with me for the way I sometimes write I am from Quebec …you guess?. My son is a verry good rapper and I dont say that because he is my son…lol. Mostly he as rapped in French, but he speaks English and I am sure he can rapp in English if he want’s.I haven’t heard from him since he arrived sometime today…but I will keep our conversation a secret and let you surprise him! I am sure he would enjoy talking with people his age since he does’nt know anybody up there. I for sure would be happy if you sent me pictures!!!
    Take care and thanks alout for everything and this is so cool what you do with the blog and all!


  19. Hello Phil,

    I am asking since it seems like you know a lot of people in Inuvik. I am an OT student who will be coming up to Inuvik in 2 weeks. At first our school said that accommodations would be available but not anymore. I have looked into accommodations in town but it is not something that a student like me could afford after paying $1500 for the plane. I am just wondering if you have any friends who are going away in April and would like someone to house sit for them? I promise that I am really neat and tidy! If you do know anything please do not hesitate to let me know. I will check your site as frequent as possible. Many thanks.

  20. Thanks for this personal list of what to expect re: living and working in Inuvik. We are considering, taking the plunge, in the not too distant future. Previously lived in Whitehorse, miss the quiet and serenity and SNOW a lot now. I have added you to my blogroll, hope you will stop by and visit soon. G

  21. Hi Phil,
    I have just moved a week ago. I did a lot of research, however a few things people forgot to mention was that you must give a $150. deposit on Power Corporation also a deposit I think of $130 for phone and internet. I just thought I would add that for some who may come with there last $ to make a go of it here. I like it so far….But I came right at the Festival of Spring and went to a great Festival and Ceremonies, Jamboree, snowmobile races and dogsledding so a very busy week. But I can’t mention enough the cost of food is a bit of a shock at first.

  22. Winnie, have you tried sending an email around to staff at the hospital?

  23. My preceptor did but I don’t think it worked. She has contacted the Aurora College but I was not able to get in touch with them as of today- after trying to call them for at least 20 times (& I am arriving tomorrow!)… hostels here are $100 per night, I will be in serious debt by the end of it! Sigh!

    If you know of anything please kindly let me know. It would be truly extremely appreciated.

  24. Winnie, I will look around to see if anyone needs a houseguest…

  25. HI, Phil,
    If you want to pass on my e-mail to Winnie…she can get in touch with me. I might be able to help.

  26. I may be moving to Inuvik in the next coming months, as my bf is a heli pilot and I’m coming with him. I work as a Marketing Communications Specialist, and am wondering what kind of work there is up in Inuvik for me. Right now I live and work in Vancouver, BC

    • Marketing might lead to tourism work, which is government.

      There are also various groups such as Healthy Foods north, who do public relations campaigns introducing people to concepts such as healthy eating, and the fact that soda is bad for you…

      not sure what specific jobs are available though

  27. Hi!

    Inuvik is beautiful, an stranger city! I’m from Piedras Negras (Mexico) / Eagle Pass,TX (USA), very different. Greetings from Mexico/USA!

  28. Hello!

    I’m a high school teacher living in San Diego California. This summer I was planning on renting a Hybrid vehicle (thanks to high gas prices) and explore the great white north. I keep reading about the Dempster and Inuvik and I would love to make this drive. Do you think a Toyota Prius with a couple of full size spares would be able to make the trip in July? I have a lot of 4×4 and outdoor experience, but unfortunately, economics is forcing me to leave my 4×4 behind.

    Thanks for your time.


  29. I know someone who drove here with a Toyota Camry or something similar, so it should be no problem as long as you wait for the dry part of the summer. (June, July or August.)

    Maybe bring a spare tire, but otherwise there should be no problem at all!

    Sounds like a wonderful idea for a trip, best of luck to you.

  30. Thanks a lot Phil. I just made the reservations for my car today. I can’t wait to make the trip!

  31. Hi!

    Love your blog and the information you provide.

    I’ve searched and searched on the internet and can’t seem to find a general idea of cost of living in Inuvik. I’ve seen that housing prices are high ($1,000 for a one bedroom seems steep for places like Portland and Seattle!) and I’ve seen folks mention that groceries are expensive. I was wondering if you could give me a general idea of what groceries/gas (per gal. or ltr…) are currently?

    Sometimes I can find a local grocery store (chain) on the internet that posts their “weekly specials” but I don’t find that for any store in Inuvik.

    Thanks for any info you have time to provide! I’m very curious about living in Inuvik!


    P.S. I’d be moving with my best buddy, my Dog…are there veterinarian services in Inuvik or is it do-it-yourself veterinarian medicine?! Do you know if most housing (apartments included) are large-dog friendly?

  32. Hi Elise,

    Inuvik used to have a travelling vet who would stop by every second month or so form Whitehorse, providing vaccinations, etc. I believe he is set up now more permanent services.

    Right now it’s possible to see 2L orange juice containers for $8.99, and you will rarely eat a sandwich that is not $8 or over.

    A hamburger at the Roost is about $13 and so is a bagel sandwch at the Cafe Gallery.

    It’s not unusual for me to get a coffee, small soup and bagel sandwich there for lunch, which costs $18.

  33. I am thinking of heading to Inuvik for work. Do you know any transplants from truly warm places that have learned to adjust to the cold? I am originally from San Diego, and have been in Vancouver for 15 years. Am I nuts?

  34. Wow, it really is terribly expensive, isn’t it!?

    Thank you again, Phil, for your response. I’m really interested in that area and Canada’s Northern Territories in general.

    You’ve got a great blog, and I’ve enjoyed reading your stories and seeing the pictures. Keep up the great work!

  35. Thanks very much! I try to create a site which would have helped me out originally, when first moving here…

  36. hi phil.
    i am looking at a hospital job in inuvik and was just wondering if there are a lot of people that are from other parts of canada working there that are my age….in their twenties or thirties?
    Also i know that groceries are expensive but is there any fresh produce or is it mostly pre packaged stuff. Ive also heard that some people either have their food mailed or flown in from bigger centers…is this true??

  37. Hi Jenn,

    There are plenty of people here in their 20s and 30s, who are doing exactly what you are planning to do. I don’t post party photos online (the blog really isn’t about me or my friends) but I can tell you there are plenty of BBQs and potlucks and friendly people here.

    If you go somewhere like the Greenhouse, it’s very easy to meet people.

    As for produce: it’s probably better than you are expecting. The grocery stores have fresh produce year-round but the price and quality varies because of the ice roads opening and closing. It’s not excellent but considering how far north Inuvik really is, the selection is mighty impressive. (Blueberries, for instance, in winter.)

    There is also “the fruit man” who drives up and uses his truck as a store. That’s where you find the best produce and his prices are terrific.

    Do people get their food mailed? I have heard of this but I don’t think it’s common. Some people probably save money by ordering their dry goods (cereal, salt, flour, cans, etc.) from a shipping company but I’ve never done it.

    We have three grocery stores to choose from.

  38. Patricia Morin

    To Johanne from Quebec
    I am a good friend of Martin & Rachel. He actually call me his Mama because I keep him honest. What a great kid you have.
    Moi aussi je suis du Quebec actual de Deux Montagnes. Il me dit qu’il va amener Rachel a ta maison au mois de Novembre.
    J’espere que tu es prepare. Il est un bon vivant.
    A la prochaine.

  39. I would like to visit for a few days in july 2009 and maybe my friend may come, too. We are both ladies in our 60’s and would like to visit and maybe stay with a local native family to learn about the history, culture, geology, flora and fauna and other non-touristy stuff.
    Do you have any suggestions on how we can connect with a host family?

  40. Hi there,
    I’ve been trying to find a Pharmacy tech (asistant) job in NWT and YT.Thus is there a pharmacy in town ? ,Whats the name of it etc.Thanks for any help you can provide.

  41. Hi Carol.
    You can go with someone to a whale camp. My family goes to the coast every July.

  42. Hi Phil,
    Awesome site-veeery helpful in filling in info gaps about Inuvit! I’ve been considering relocating and just happened to come across an ad for hotel help there in Inuvit…I’d be coming in from Toronto,ON…
    (BTW- do you know what the estimate cost of relocating from around here would be?? since you came from Ottawa and all that?)…I appreciate all the info…oh and great photos!!

  43. Hi Susan,

    Moving boxes can be done by mail, about $60 a box. (Weight limit is 80 pounds I think.)

    There is also a trucking company (MATCO) which will move your stuff in one big package but I don’t know the cost.

  44. Hi Phil,
    I was just feeling a little bit homesick for the Mackenzie Delta and was perusing the web, and I came across your blog site which is very impressive! I currently live in Winnipeg (for the last six years) but I grew up in Nunavut and NWT (lived in Tuktoyaktuk for four years). My family and I traveled to Inuvik frequently by ice road, and I always look back on my weekends spent in Inuvik with fondness, because there were actually places to go. My dad always took my sister and me to the Mackenzie hotel restaurant for lunch on Saturdays and I always looked forward to it, the double bacon cheeseburger with fries and later buying magazines from one of the convenience stores, or pizza at the Roost! It’s so awesome that the Fruit Man still visits that area. When I tell people here that a guy in a big truck from BC goes all the way up the Dempster to sell produce, they think I’m joking. Fruit Man, you rock. I miss the local cuisine SO much- Tim Hortons doesn’t compare to caribou lard donuts, sadly. And caribou stew and bannock! Thanks for stirring up some happy memories, Phil.

    -Erin G.

  45. hello!
    i’ve been reading this article about inuvik and im really interested in the city, may be for a summer and stuff, and i was wondering is there a way i can get hired by a company or something in inuvik so that i can work legaly there even if im curently in mexico? do they have a sort of imigration program?

    thanks ,

  46. Thanks to everyone for their comments!

    To Yoli:

    You could probably find a job here, but immigration is handled by national government, not cities or towns. You would thereofore need to apply to the main Imigration Canada about getting a work permit or citizenship, which I am sorry I can’t help you with. (And could take a long time.)

    Also, coming here from mexico would be a very expensive airline ticket!

  47. Also to Erin

    What more can I ask for? What a great comment! Thanks for the kind words

  48. Hi there,

    Thanks for the site. It is the best that I have seen by far. I have been thinking about coming up in the spring of ’09 to work in the hospital or possibly the school once I graduate. I was born in the NWT and would like to go back to see it. I did have a couple questions thats holding me back because I can’t find the answer to them anywhere and was hoping you might be able to help out!

    I was just wondering how you arranged housing when accepting a job? If you did it before or when you got there etc.

    I was also wondering if there are ever people looking for roommates to help cut down the cost of living? And are utilities normally included in the cost of renting?

    Thanks so much for your help :)!

  49. Hi,
    I’m thinking to move to Inuvik during this northern winter, and possibly longer. Do you know of any jobs going, and anyone willing to have a houseguest from Australia for this time? I want to experience the cold!

  50. Hello!!!
    I did send you a short email but just read this comment from Katrina…hope it s Ok to write here….As everyone said, by far your blog is the best where one can get any info so thank you very much for that!
    And to Katrina: I might be moving up there too around May – June 2009 and definitely would be interested in finding a roommate…It is not sure as the moving – depends on Job but if you still are looking for another female to share an accomodation with, I will know for sure by January-February. Hopefully Phil can get us in touch (give you my email or vice versa).
    Thank you Phil if that is possible!

  51. Hi there!
    Well thanx alot for this site i feel like i can really get a hold on people that share the same interest than me in moving to Inuvik.

    I’ve been living in Montréal for a couple of years now and nothing compare to the landscape and lifestyle Inuvik seem to have. I’m not a city girl so i’m pretty sure i’d be happy to have an experience of the north

    I would love to move to Inuvik in 2009 but i must admit i’m a bit concerned about the living up there. The living cost seems very high and i wanted to know if it’s easy to live and find a job.

    I’ll ask the same sort of question than Katrina… is it easier to find a job first and then move up there or just go find a place to live and find a job?.. I know it seems like i’m just afraid to try it on my own but if i can get answers first then why not ask…

    I’m willing to have a roomate to cut down living cost so if anyone is in need of a roomate please contact me.

    Inuvik seems like a wonderful place to live. Thanks for all the pics …please continue to put more and more :)

  52. Hi Phil,

    Your page is so informative, plus I love your pics! I just moved to Inuvik from Ottawa, I have now been here for 3 weeks. I miss the buzz of the city, but I think I can settle here for a while. Altogether it’s an awesome place, I like the pace of things up here and I love meeting new people. I am a singer(well, that area needs some work) and a songwriter, but I don’t actually play any instruments… I was wondering if you know anyone that teaches piano or keyboard lessons, or someone that would be willing to teach me… If you don’t know anyone, do you have any suggestions of how I should go about looking for someone? Thanks so much for keeping this blog up, it’s a really great resource!



    • Hello Pippa,

      I don’t know of anyone who teaches…but seek out Luke Eberl at the high school, he’s a jazz piano player with professional-grade talent

      also Bob Mumford, Janet Boxwell and the rest of the Community Band

  53. I am glad I found this site! I miss Inuvik very much and want to return! Send me many cool info!!! Keep me posted! Inuvik ROCKS!

  54. Hi Vola,

    That sounds awesome. My e-mail address is kl.fontaine@gmail.com.

  55. Curtis H Judkins

    Drove the Demster in July of 07 in a chev HHR. Great trip and had no problems

  56. Hi Phil,

    Your post about moving to Inuvik is GREAT! Just got word that I will heading up in January for the last term of my Masters. Nice to know that there is another Ottawian (??) making a go of it in Inuvik.

  57. Blesie

    Hi Phil,

    I was in Inuvik from 1990 to 1997, which I can say, were the best years that I had since coming to Canada from the Philippines for many reasons: barbecuing , fishing, and blueberry picking at the Campbell River and Caribou Park; ice fishing and singing country and western music with Willie Simon and family; potluck at the Ingamo Hall and Family Hall ( I wonder if this hall still exists); Sunday brunch at the hotel close to the hospital (I forgot the name of the hospital), and many more. In other words, I enjoyed the whole Inuvik and its surrounding areas. I used to work at the hospital as a nursing aid, but I left for the south to pursue a career in Nursing. Browsing the internet about Inuvik and its improvement at this time is tempting me to go back up there. I can’t believe that Bill, the fruit and vegetable man, still goes up there.He told me that he was getting tired of his job the last time we spoke so I thought that he’d given up going up there. Please give my regards in case you see him, thanks. Thank you for your blog, where I enjoy reading some wonderful comments.

    • Yes indeed, Bill Rutherford, the Fruitman, is an institution here. He’s very well known across Canada now.

    • I applied a job as a LPN , i will be moving alone and leave my family in Edmonton.I would like to experience living there first by myself before moving my family. I am kind of worried.

  58. Hi Phil,
    Love your site. I might be relocating to your area soon. I have been offered work as a Counsellor in Aklavik, Tuktoyuktok, and possibly Uluhaktuk. I am wondering if you have any advice on these towns. I am very artistic person, well traveled, love culture and learning but have a little anxiety around the isolation of these towns. Any advice greatly appreciated.

  59. A 1995 Ranger pickup for $1500 made it up the Dempster in Aug 08 and I returned with only 2 flat tires back to Chicago in Sept 08. I see work is slowing in NT, but does anyone have any ideas for summer work for a semi-retired elect engr? See you in Inuvik again next summer.

  60. hey phil. its the first time back on this sit since 2007….. i live back in newfoundland now…. but i often think of inuvik…. had good friends there , some stll there.. such as ronnie and marnia simon…… ronnie and i are artist, and we use to go photo graph the northern lighs and wildlife … because of my time there i did a limited edition print of the northern lights…. maybe i can post here on your site , you can let me me know just drop me an email to ROD_HAND2@HOTMAIL.COM anyway great site…. funny thing is when i lived there there was alot of newfoundlanders there, and the joke was we were thinking of changing the name inuvik to inewfik lol rod

  61. I’m from Spain. I did like to go to Inuvik !
    I love a lot it.

  62. Hi! Not sure if it was already asked, but I am thinking of moving there, and I have a larger dog? Anyone know if apartments/houses to rent are dog friendly?

  63. Susan,
    So did you make the move from T.O.? If so, what’s it like? My son has been looking at the same ads for hotel work. He’s also a qualified lifeguard.

    Thanks for the site. Even if my son doesn’t make the move.

  64. Hi!! that is a really helpfull site and blog for a futur move.. i’m actually in need of new adventure :) i live in edmonton for two years now and originaly from Q.C and ready for new and bigger challenge !! i look up a few place north ….NWT or YT that’s what i’m looking for but just looking for the right place the right choice ! it’s expensive but when you work it’s like everywhere lol as i’m a welder i’m wondering if there is any place for these kind of position in this cute small little town or around there :-) Thanks a lot !!!

  65. Hi, I was thinking of going up north to Svalbard. I was thinking I could do it in Canada instead since I’m in the US. Northern lights, polar bears, reaching a northern coast. Are these practical?
    Would Inuvik be the best place to go? Are there no similar towns on the Eastern side of Canada, in Nunavut or Quebec that are up north?

    You mentioned 16 days from Ottawa. Is it because the average speed allowed to drive is low? Or is it because there are points where you just have to stop for some reason? How dangerous is it to drive there? Wildlife dangers, potential car problems, road problems?

    Thank you!

  66. Great sight, I have lived in Inuvik for 10 years now, I am married we have one son here and two grandchildren. For anyone moving to Inuvik we have a great indoor greenhouse which is open from the late spring until mid Sept. If you like gardening its the best. The Great Northern Arts festival is like no other the Art which is set up to view or buy is priceless, be a volunteer and make timeless friends. And save your work money to buy something special!
    Cheers Greg and Linda Stromgren

  67. Hi Phil,

    I heard that you had moved out of Inuvik, but it’s nice to see that you are still posting on your site. I believe that we actually know some people in common now… I was just up in Inuvik visiting Eli last weekend.

    Anyway, I’m planning a move up to Inuvik from Yellowknife, hopefully in the spring and am wondering if anyone out there might be looking for a roommate? I’m good fun… I promise!

    Thanks for all the great info Phil,

  68. Hi Phil,
    I have booked my flight to Whitehorse and my boyfriend ( a teacher) and I, a nursing student will be driving from Whitehorse to Inuvik May 1-2. I obviously have not looked into the geography too much, but will we be able to cross any rivers we encounter at this time of the year, by ferry or ice road, etc??

  69. Patricia Morin…..I just read your message. I was in Inuvik for 6 months. I am coming back for full time position. I was stunned to see your posting…Deux Montagnes, otherwise and best known as Two Mountains!!!Born and raised 40yrs. I knew a boy a bit younger than I, Paul Morin any relation? Well take care, fellow QC’r

  70. Hi,
    I am flying to Whitehorse on the 1st of May and then driving to Inuvik from there, to work at the hospital. From reading your website, I have realized that I might run into a problem crossing the water at this time. Do you know of any alternative ways to cross while the river is closed due to break up, also, do you know if it will be closed in the first few days of May?
    I am a Nursing Student and my boyfriend s a teacher, we are looking ot move to Inuvik when I graduate in a year from now. We will just be in nuvik from May to September and are looking for a place to live for those four months, any suggestions? We both have large debts so we can’t really afford expensive apartments.


  71. A friend and I will be travelling from Talkeetna, AK toInuvik in June and July 2009. We hope to be able to afford to drive my truck and haul a 24ft camper trailer. We would really like to learn about the history the culture of Inuvik. Does anyone know of a Inuit family we could stay with or learn first hand from?

  72. Hey there — thank goodness I found your blog!! :)

    I am moving to Tuk soon – with a few weeks stop over in Inuvik. Can you shed any light on living in Tuk — I haven’t found much online….is it much colder there? Do your same recommendations apply? I realize you are in Inuvik…but thought maybe you could help a gal out!! Thanks a ton!! *cheers*

  73. Very interesting, as a Canadian, I’ve always wanted to visit the North myself! I’d love to visit you!:) Thanks for sharing this info….

  74. I am in the first stages of considering applying for a job in Inuvik. Housing is a big concern for me as I have 2 dogs. Don’t see anything to buy, but probably wiser to rent. Do you have contact numbers for Parkview and Lakeview Apartments? I would definitely need a dog sitter as my job would require me to be away about 1/3 of the time. From reading this blog, it looks to me like there are all sorts of opportunities for jobs, roommates etc! I think I’ll apply for that job! Thanks for this great site! I found it really helpful.

    • Hi Joanne,

      I don’t have the numbers handy but they are owned by Northern Properties in Inuvik, th esite should be easy to find on google or by calling the town’s main number.


  75. Enjoyed reading through peoples observations and experiences of Inuvik.
    I (and a friend) am planning a trip to the Yukon and up the Dempster to your town next month.
    It seems there is more to that part of the
    North than I expected.
    I was wondering if you had any suggestions
    for must see/do/experience/try.
    Looking forward to the cariboo fat donuts.
    We will be in the blue Landcruiser with
    the canoe on top.


  76. Very good website. Found it by googling, and this came up. I am from here, and also a landlord here. For those of you wanting to move up, living here is expensive, so your best bet if you want to live here short term would be to find a roommate or two, or house-sit, because it’s quite expensive to rent a rowhouse at $1600/mo plus utilites if you’re going to be here less than a year. On the other hand, if you’re looking for work, you’ll find some, especially in the summer, and our min wage is $7/hr (or has it changed?) If you’re in a profession, I would call first before coming. For those wondering about weather, it IS cold, but dress for it and you’ll be okay. That doesn’t mean, bring your warmest sweater and a cute scarf; that means a DOWN jacket and -40 boots. The Dempster will be the prettiest ride of your life. Just remember to drive slow, bring extra tires, gas up often (in case the next gas stop is broken down), and bring food for the road. And my own tip: bring an ipod and an FM Transmitter, cuz it’s a bumpy road and your cd player might not be able to handle it. Bring a camera! And, same as anywhere else, as long as you have an open mind, a good heart, and love to meet people, you’ll love it here. Cheers! – Tanya

  77. How are the gym facilities, and workout equipment up there?

  78. Non-smoker looking for shared accomodations with a neat and tidy person starting August 1st, 2009. Inuvik is the place to be!! Met so many wonderful folks already!!

  79. Hello Phil,

    I can’t ge over how you put yourself out there on this Blog, helping people out, trying to answer their questions, and offering useful commentary. A rare thing indeed!

    My husband and I are new teachers and are considering coming to Inuvik for work and the Northern experience more generally. I have to admit that I am a bit concerned about the price of food (rent I can handle, as I’ve lived in large cities before). How much (roughly) would you say that the average person would pay a month for groceries (per person that is). Any info would be very helpful (also any info on the general state of the school system there). Thanks so much!!!!!


    Chelssie (New Brunswick)

  80. Rene Beaudoin

    Hello Folks
    We lived in Inuvik from 89 to 94 and loved it, that is if you like winter stuff and a short camping season at Caribou campground 50 kms from Inuvik. Yes, buying groceries locally can be very expensive but there is other means to do it…
    Now we live in Ottawa for the past 13 years and sometimes we miss the North but not the social problems that come with it. Overall it was a good experience but happy to move back south where you can shop at a reasonable price and enjoy longer summer nights and cold beer in the back yard. Cheers

  81. Hi there, great blog!

    I should be moving up there this summer and had a couple of questions.

    What is the price of gasoline up there right now ?
    How much do utilities (approx) cost per/month ?


  82. When I lived in Inuvik from 1983-1986 I was Canada’s most northern lawyer.

  83. I work for the post office, is there any work available there?

  84. hi i used to live in inuvik for acouple of years many years ago im 46 now my dad was in the navy i loved it its beautiful and so were the people i miss it my parents are both gone now but they too loved living in the north wonderful memories forver keep in touch thanks

  85. Hi
    My name is Nicky.My husband and I are considering a change and coming up there to work we also want our children to be happy as well what kind of things are there for kids and I am a homeschooler is there any homeschoolers that you know of?Is there people whom provide childcare? just some things I am really curious about hope to hear from you soon! I am an LPN and hubby is a driller if you know anyone hiring thanks again and take care….

  86. Linda Kita-Bradley

    I’m doing some research on how Inuvik gets its food. Love the story of Bill the fruit man. Can anyone provide any more information on where food (staples, perishables) originate from and how they get into town? Fly in? Ice roads? Barges? I’ve read quite a bit already on the Community Greenhouse. Sounds wonderful.

  87. My husband (buyer IT technology) and me (nurse) are planning to move to Inuvik next year. We will start looking for job soon. Is there thing we should know before? Plus we have a one year old baby..is it easy to find babysitter? I

  88. My daughter has been offered a position as a dental assistant & plans to be moving to Inuvik in January. I think it’s going to be a wonderful experience for her. I’ve read food is experience, approx what are the prices for bread – cereal – can soups/pasta – milk – cheese…etc? Can’t find any info. Is there only the one grocery store there? And is someplace to rent movies?
    Thanks for your help

  89. Hi Heather,

    There are three grocery stores in Inuvik, and the prices are a litle higher than the south but they aren’t as bad as you might have heard, especialyl when it comes to packaged stuff.

    (I should have kept one of my reciepts and posted it online…oh well.)

    As for movies, there is an entire video store called “video effects” on main street which is like a blockbuster video type of place.

  90. Thx, this has definitely made my day!

    Propane Gas Heating Stoves

  91. I am considering applying for a job I saw posted in Inuvik. I have a daughter and am wondering if it would be too much of a struggle to find child care there?
    I love the outdoors, but I am wondering if my daughter and I would have much of a social life in such an isolated community? Thanks for posting this blog, Helen

  92. Hi Helen,

    I noticed your questions, as to no social life you would be fine here. We have an amazing rec center with a pool that looks like Dizney-Land.

    For a small community we have lot’s going on for kids, sports etc. You would meet lots of people with kids and we have a few great places to eat and a pub called the Mad trapper it is busy with young folk. Hope this helps,
    Cheers LE

  93. Hi there,

    My name is Cesar and I live in Brazil. I´ve been Canada 15 days ago.

    I´ve Been in Quebec and Ontario, so I was looking over the web for a quite diferent place in North of Canada then I´ve found Inuvik.

    Can you send me pictures of your hometown?

    It´s so diferent from where I live (Recife-Brazil).



    Cesar Abreu

  94. Hi: Your site has so much information.I am thinking about moving up to Inuvik in April 2010 to work in the school system .I know I will find work and a place to rent .I just have to take that Leap Of Faith…….you have helped.Coming alone will be an adventure!

  95. Is there alot of healthcare jobs in Inuvik? Such as RPN, PSW??

  96. Oh yes — plenty of healthcare jobs.

    And from what I hear the salaries are far above the Canadian average!

    Definitely inquire

  97. Thank-you very much I will, My friend and I want to take a trip there to check it out, when do you think the best time to visit there is? Does it ever warm up? I just don’t want to be in a situation where I am stuck in a crashed plain in the snow eating my own body parts lol!

  98. P.s ….. seriously it looks great there! I would love any info you can give me!!!!!

    • Sorry for the late reply — yes indeed, we have a summer here. June, July and August are all very hot months, when the grass is green and the sun is shining.

  99. I lived in Inuvik as kid in the 80’s (now live in Panama City Panama) and hold many dear memories for growing up there and one day hope to return to the town for a visit and see how its has changed over the year. Looking back to growing up there was an experience I would not trade for anything in the world. (other then the mosquitoes and black flies lol)

    This websites has some amazing photos…

  100. What is a LPN making for wages in the healthcare field in Inuvik?

    • I don’t know the specific wages, but I know they are good. They also include travel to and from Inuvik, as well as vacation travel and housing assistance.

      it’s a great great deal for health professionals

  101. I see you’re back!
    If you don’t mind my saying so
    I see your front too!
    Looking forward to hitting you again

  102. Is there anywhere to longboard in Inuvik!?!?

  103. Hi there. My fiance and I really want to move to Inuvik and would like to get in contact with some people who immigrated there, via facebook. We are from South Africa, where its warm and want to know if it would be a huge culture shock for us. I’ve read that the cost of living is high and also that you don’t get alot of fresh produce. Is this true? I’ve looked for groups on facebook for people who immigrated there recently, alas, to no avail. I would appreciate any help we could get. Thanks.

  104. Hi Phil,
    I have recently applied for a job in Inuvik and am desperately hoping to get the position. I only have several issues about moving there which I hope you could clarify for me.
    First, ss the Dempster Highway at all paved as it approaches Inuvik? I am a triathlete and I am hoping there would be even just 5km of paved highway that I could take my bike out on during the short summer (and just go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth…).
    Second, I am vegan (and noticed that in your longboarding video you were wearing vegan shoes, I think!) and am wondering about the availability of rice/soy milk.
    Third, my dog currently comes to work with me every day, but this will not be the case if I get the position in Inuvik. Are there any dog walking/daycare companies? It would be a huge shock to his system moving up there as he has never in his 5 years of existence been left home alone all day.
    Thanks a lot! And here’s to hoping I get the position!

    • Hi, yes there would be adequate padded road for you to run those impressive distances..

      I have heard of the youth centre walking dogs, just to give the young people something to do.

  105. Hi Phil,

    This info is extremely helpful. I might be moving up there soon (if I get the job I applied for :-)), but I am certainly looking for an opportunity to live and work in the NWT. One questions I have is about living expenses, such as groceries. A friend mentioned that usually people buy groceries for a year and freeze it. If you could give an idea, what one can get on a daily basis, and how the yearly purchase works, it would be very helpful.


    • Watch for a post, coming soon: I will post my entire grocery receipt when I do my weekly trip..

    • Grocery stores are open year-round, but people do buy a lot of frozen stuff. One of my favourite things to buy here is a pillowcase sized bag of frozen vegetables in big chunks. A little steam and they taste fine, you can even prepare them to be crunchy style like in Asian stir-fry.

      I have not heard of people buying groceries a year in advance. I guess it’s possible though….


    And what about the daycare?
    there are only aboriginal daycare?
    Can I have a little choice?
    Like everything else, it’s expensive, but how much?
    What more?

    Thank you!

    • Daycare is for all people, not only aboriginal people…not sure what the prices are, but the NWT government is pretty good with subsidies, etc.

      Sorry I don’t know the answer to that one…

  107. Hey, I’m something of a nomad, I live in Central New York, in a tent, and was wondering how hard it would be to live in a wall tent in Inuvik? I have a huge stove, felt insulation, the works. Does anyone else do that up there? I know there are quite a few people in Alaska that live this way.

    • Hi Drew,

      People have certainly lived in camps, tents, etc, for generations, so I will say it’s possible. However! We have zoning regulations, etc, and you couldn’t just set up wherever you like…I think you would need some kind of arrangement with a landowner or the aboriginal groups who have the campgrounds

      you can camp all you like, but maybe not living year round. -40celcius is damn cold…super interesting idea though

  108. Phil,

    I have to say Thank you so much for this website….I have been on here almost daily since August 2009! Trying desperately to get the nerve to move on my own up there – applied and offered a job once already and backed out because I’m so nervous of moving up there on my own. But I can’t seem to stop checking or thinking about Inuvik and coming to this site just makes me smile! The tropicana commercials just make that desire to make the move stronger!
    Is there any advice you could give to a person thinking of moving there that could possibly calm those fears! What scares me the most is the isolation of the north but the isolation is also one of the many draws for me. Alot of the appartments I have looked at online require a year lease – I guess that’s part of the scare, if I decide after 6 months it’s too isolated I feel like I would be stuck! Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

    At the very least just know that this site puts a smile on my face and many others I’m sure! Thanks again for your help!


    • Thanks very much Sabrina, that’s really nice to hear

      I think Inuvik is less isolating that people think…it’s a fine town and in many ways it’s similar to any small town in Canada. Plus with the internet, the entire word has changed. I can buy things off ebay and talk to people in Ottawa with gmail chat…also for the apartment,s don’t worry about the lease. People break out of those all the time…plus many people are moving out constantly…

      I hope you come up, if you feel Inuvik is the right opportunity for you!

  109. Do you have a favourite time of the year in Inuvik? What month or season would you recommend for someone wanting to visit?

    • I would say the month of March would be an excellent time. You need to see the winter while you’re here, but it’s a little warmer and you get to see sunrises.

      Summer is good here too….

      Maybe the best trip would be: Dawson City music festival, drive up to Inuvik in 24-hour sunlight…

      • I’m a little scared of that drive on the Dempster…if one flies in the summer, is there a time when the bugs are really, really bad and should be avoided?

        Are the Northern Lights ever visible in March? I do appreciate your answer and your blog.

  110. ok i’m a little confused the post above me says it was posted tomorrow??? anyway ….

    I like everyone else have considered moving north and I would like to say Thanks Phil for the site / info/ comments etc.
    it is hard for me to find the info i’m looking for and this seems to be the one stop shop to get some answers and i have bookmarked it so i can get back and keep updated.
    I’m in calgary in school right now and really if your rent is anywhere in that 1,000-1,600 range it’s really the same as here right now, so that definitely doesn’t scare me lol

    i would really be interested in seeing what your averaging on groceries, and the greenhouse idea is awesome, hubby and i were talking about that as a bonus to get some fresh foods. the seed is planted in our minds and growing daily, I still need to graduate but once i do, i think at the very least we are going to come check it out. I’m originally from northern ontario and hubby is from northern Sask. so the cold doesn’t even scare us lol, in Sask. we would get like 8 months of winter so whats one more month lol

    take care and keep us posted on the things going on in Inuvik :)

  111. Hey.

    I’m looking for a place to rent early May to mid-August. (A room or cheap apartment)

    Do you know if the newspaper is a great place to advertise? Do you know of other places to advertise?

    Not sure if these questions have been asked, but maybe someone, who posted on this site, is also looking for a place this summer. Maybe we could rent a place together?

  112. I’m thinking of driving to Inuvik just for the fun of it. How hard is the road on tires? Is diesel fuel as easy to buy as gasoline? What is the cost of diesel?

    Have a good day,


    • HI Jack,

      The dempster is a nice drive; rule of thumb I have heard from people, two spare tires should have you prepared. Also it’s a good idea to bring a gerry can, just in case. The only gas station between Dawson and Inuvik is at Eagle Plains so that’s your place to fill up.

      Lots of pebbles and sharp little rocks. We do have diesel fuel here but I am not sure of the cost. Add about 30-40 cents to the regular price and that should be a ballpark…

      You can easily fill up on diesel here, because we have so many 18-wheelers. Thanks for reading!

  113. Linda null Eccles

    Hi Wendy,

    The bug time is soon here but July is nasty then it slows down. If you fly up its a fantastic journey take your camera on board for the flight shots, however if you do drive you will not regret it.

    The mighty Dempster is beautiful and unforgiving at times but worth the drive. Take spare tires and as like any road trip be prepared for anything and don’t forget that camera!!!! Its a once in a life time journey not to shy away from.

    Cheers Linda Eccles

    • Thanks, Linda!
      I’m coming for a visit in August – by plane. My son and his wife will drive me down the Dempster to Eagle Plains and back for a day trip. He can change the tire if necessary :) And I will bring my camera. Can’t wait


  114. Ginette Morin

    Could I fly from overseas to Inuvik? Do you know what is the common route from Asia for example or Austalia? Thanks from big fan

  115. My wife is moving to Inuvik in August. How are the internet connections? Is there broadband?

    • Download speeds are pretty good here, indeed there is high-speed internet. Northwestel is the company to contact with information. Unfortunately they charge big fees if you exceed your downloading cap. I pay about $40 a month for internet and a phone in my apartment.

  116. This is a great website. I have been doing alot of research on this town. My spouse and I are looking to relocate there in early early 2012. I am a Physiotherapist/ occupational therapsit (rehab) assistant. I have been in contact with town hall for information about the town, jobs, housing etc. I was hoping you could help point me in the right direction. I really appriciate your help. I am eager to move and want to do everything the right way.
    Thank you for your help and guidance. I look forward to hearing from you

    Koren Musson

  117. Liz Kadziolka

    Hello Phil,

    How are you tonight? I’m doing well. I currently live in Timmins, Ontario and have applied for a Nursing position in your town.

    I have a couple of questions for you. Is there cell phone service for Blackberry’s in Inuvik? Also, should I bring more than clothes and personal items when I move there if I’m going to be living in a furnished apartment? I imagine the furnished ones have coffee makers and microwaves and warm blankets for the chilly winter nights. I also have an indoor cat which I would love to bring with me……is that possible and allowable? Oh and I will be bringing Timbits with me. =o)

    Waiting to hear from you!


    • Hello Liz,

      Here are some answers as far as I know:

      Is there cell phone service for Blackberry’s in Inuvik?
      -Yes, some people here even have iphones

      Also, should I bring more than clothes and personal items when I move there if I’m going to be living in a furnished apartment?
      -Furnished apartments dont have kitchen supplies, TVs, microwaves, etc…also no coat hangers or curtains. Sometimes no shower curtains. It’s unfortunate, you’ll probably have to buy stuff here, or else ship up some boxes via Canada post (this is much cheaper!) also, the apartments do not have blankets or things like this, for the bed…

      I also have an indoor cat which I would love to bring with me……is that possible and allowable?
      -Yes, I have heard of people doing this. Call the airlines and discuss this with them. But it is possible

      Thanks for the message!

    • Hello Liz,

      I am also a nurse heading to Inuvik for the 1st time in August, and will be staying in one of the furnished apartments with the hospital. As far as I know they offer linens, and towels in the apartments, and there is a kitchenette in the building. It would be best to speak with HR to see what the apartments have and don’t have.
      Good Luck,

  118. Hello:
    You provide alot of good info!
    My wife and I live near Toronto,and we are contrac cleaners(banks,resturants,Doctor offices,ect.)and we are wondering if there is a demand for cleaning couples.
    We have wanted to go and live up north,but as you know,we would ned work/We are in our late 40s.
    Can you provide any websites that would be of help to us?We sure do not want to move there without an income,lol.

    Thank you~James~

  119. Hi,

    Just found your blog. Just wanted to compliment you on how great it is, and how nice of you to answer everyone’s questions so thoroughly! Very helpful!

  120. Just wonderin why NWT power Corp employees do not receive the northern living allowance. Their website says that employees do receive it. Can you help make sense of these contridictory claims?

    • Northern Living Allowance is a tax benefit which offsets the higher cost of living here. It’s another great benefit the federal government sends our way.

      I forget how much it is — a few dollars a day, for sure, more than $10 I believe — and I think there are probably some conditions, such as paying rent while you’re up here or something like this.

      As far as I know, every taxpayer is eligible. As a result of this benefit, it’s common to get $2,000 or $3,000 back at tax time, if you have a good job.

  121. Hey, great site! I am enthralled! Did you ever post a grocery store receipt?
    Does Inuvik have good coffee? Espresso? Is there a bookstore?
    thanks! jay in chicago

    • Does Inuvik have good coffee? Yes, we have a new coffee shop now.
      Espresso? regrettably no…people are too laid back here, ha ha
      Is there a bookstore? yes and it’s very good. beckett’s business services and boreal books
      thanks for the questions Jay

    • The coffee shop sells espresso

  122. Moving to Inuvik in August!!

    Just wondering if there are sewing and craft supply stores or will I need to be ordering notions and fabrics online? Are there any metalsmiths in town? I also am interested in learning the fiddle, does anyone give lessons? I think you also mentioned you are a vegetarian, can you get soy milk and tofu up north? What about lentils, peas, and beans?

    Thanks for such an awesome blog!

  123. I thought I had already posted this? Anyways, I was hoping you could answer some questions:

    Hobbies: I like sewing/crafts, is there a place in town to get fabrics and craft supplies, or do I need to order these online? Is there a metalsmith or an artist around that works with metals? Is it possible to get fiddle lessons from anyone in town?

    Diet: Can I buy tofu and soymilk in town? How about peas, beans, and lentils? Or items in bulk?

    Thanks for taking the time to make this site, and for answering our questions!

    • yes, we have a sewing and art/crafts store. I should take a picture, it’s nice.

      Fiddle lessons? Maybe if you put up an ad at the post office? I don’t know. Many fiddlers though.

      Metalsmith? Sorry I don’t know.

      As for diet, soymilk, peas, beans, lentils — all that stuff is available in town. You can buy some things in larger quantities from the Stanton’s grocery store, but not exactly in bulk.

      • DempsterDame

        Thanks for the info. I am here now, and I still haven’t found a sewing/artscrafts store…just a couple of store selling already made art and crafts, and some fabrics at Arctic Foods and some crafts supplies at the NorthMart. I’ve been asking around but no one I talk to sews so far! By the way, nice weather we’re having! And thanks again for making this move so much easier.

  124. Hi Phil, great site. You are really providing a great service. We lived in Inuvik for 4 years, and actually met you on several occasions I think. I believe you are the young man who played drums with my son Trevor. Keep up the good work, we’re cheering you on from NB.

  125. “…The best fruit and veggies come from Bill Rutherford the “fruit man” who travels and sells the produce right off the 18-wheeler….”

    Bill Rutherford the “fruit man” has a Facebook page http://ow.ly/2tvya or http://www.facebook.com/bill.rutherford1

  126. Hey Phil, really GREAY SITE! I’m in Nova Scotia, been sitting at a computer job for 8 years after 25 years of fishing. My wife and I are definalely am looking forward to moving there. Are there many 50+ persons who move there, or mostly 20 – 30 year olds?

  127. Hi Phil,

    Im a RN student from BC and is wondering if there are a number of summer jobs in Inuvik, and if I can bring my daughter who is 13 along? What job website is excellent to look into ( for jobs in your town?)

  128. Hows the Internet service ?? Sounds like there is room for improvements…How about Banks too..? Love your web site..

  129. Hey Phil! What an outstanding amount of information you have here!
    The main reason I stumbled upon your page is that i was curious about prices and whatnot. I am hoping to work in Inuvik next summer and was wondering about rent and groceries. Are there lots of labour jobs during the summer? And do you find that many people are afraid to hire from abroad?
    Any reply would be great!

  130. Hello,

    I am moving to Inuvik in one week and was not too excited about it until I came across this website. Thank you for restoring some confidence in me and my decision to head up north :)

  131. Awesome page, I’m reading about north territories, I’m from Guatemala and looking for a Job in that region, I have learnt about this places and you is the first person that I saw answering to the people. Is easy for a foreign arrive there for job?

  132. I’m an LPN from Kelowna, BC and interested in a job opportunity in Inuvik. I see different posting re same, but no contact info. Can you provide me info on contacts? Hospitals, Community Care etc. I have not found on the internet. Any info greatlyappreciated!!

  133. HI ya look for..work.may have job with millennem.cont/…wish me luck..Iam a heavy equipment ..operator..truck driver..handyman..looking to move to invik..is there lots of work there..please let me no..thanks..an keep up the good work…hope to be there soon..

  134. Thank you for your terrific site. I am a Vancouverite and recent Publishing graduate. I’m thinking of heading north for work and have been researching both Nunavut and the NWT. I have come across quite a bit of info on Inuvik and it seems like a great community.

    I am looking for work in media with the possibility of making the transition to social work should I be able to find funding for training. If anyone has any more info on work, apartment rentals (I have a cat and small dog and would prefer to live roommate free), money saving tips, or just any general info on life in north, please feel free to pass it on. I would greatly appreciate it and look forward to making contact. And, of course, hopefully finding work!


  135. Great site and great submissions by locals with regards to life in Inuvik!

  136. I want to move to Canada from Europe, haven’t decided which town/city to go to yet but I prefer outside natural areas.

    Do the locals threat foreigners like trash, like in Europe?

  137. I apologize in advance if this is repetative but I didn’t see any remarks about cable tv and internet access. I will be moving to Inuvik on the weekend and would like to know what are the options for tv, internet and phone. Any testimonials are greatly appreciated.

  138. Hey Phil!

    I’m a musician from Virginia, and this summer I’m considering doing a tour that would take me as far north as possible in Canada. I’d love to come through Inuvik if people were interested and there were place to play. Would Inuvik be a welcoming place to play acoustic/electronic/pop rock? And if so, where do you think I could play?


  139. I’m a LPN nurse and interested in working 2 weeks to one month at a time. Can you provide me with info on contacts? Thanks!!


    PS: This site is great and makes Inuvik sound so exciting!

  140. Hey,
    Great blog! My wife and I are hoping to move to Inuvik in the New Year, or possibly in the summer. I’m a new teacher and am wondering about the schools. Any idea if there is work as a sub to get started? Do you know of any good resources for apartment hunting? We’d be moving up from Vancouver, how bad is the road in the winter? Thanks, I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and I’m excited about the prospect of moving North.

  141. Hi Phil,
    I am considering moving there to work and I was wondering about the cost of living. I know that it is expensive, but I can’t seem to find any estimates. I know that rent will run about 1000-2000 for a 1bdrm, but what about food? What would an approximate grocery bill be per month? Also, being that I am in my late 20’s, are there many people around that age to socialize with? And finally, (sorry so many questions, but it is a big decision) what about Internet/Cell service in the area? Is the Internet easily available/high cost, etc?

  142. Hi Phil
    Great site. My old roommate was from Inuvik, and lived there in the 80s. I probably drove her crazy asking her questions. Always wanted to see the north. Spent numerous hours at the Northern Pavillion during the Olympics. With you tube, I’ve seen lots of video, and had a chance to see a little of what goes on up there. I was hoping to fly to Whitehorse, and rent a car or SUV, to cut down on fuel costs from Vancouver. (I have air miles to cover the trip t0 Whitehorse) But alas the cost of a car rental is 5 times what I paid inHawaii for the same vehicle. So, I drive a SUV that passes everything but a gas station. So my question is two fold. First how far is it from Dawson City to Eagle Plains? Also how far from Eagle Plains to Inuvik. I know to carry extra gas cans, but I guess i need to know how many? Is there fuel at eagle Plains all summer? Dumb question I know, but I wouldn’t want to get stuck. Second question. Instead of staying in a hotel over night, would there be any problems up there crashing in the back of my truck? Is there any radio stations besides CBC up there.
    Thanks, and again great site.
    Cheers from Vancouver

    • Hi, the totatl drive between Inuvik and Dawson is about 10 hours, with Eagle Plains in the middle. I think you would be okay without erry cans, provided that you fill up in Eagle Plains, they’re open all summer and it’s a fine place to stop for a meal or to camp. (You can rent a space right in the parking lot, and camp for very little.) Bring one just in case you’re burning more fuel than you anticipated; one full tank ought to be okay.

      You can absolutely sleep in the back of your truck, there are free camping areas along the Dempster.

      • Oh, and yes, we get Whitehorse stations here. But CBC is the only radio station in town. Little communities like Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic have their own community AM stations.

  143. Thanks for the detailed post! We are really excited to be moving to Inuvik, see you in the new year. As there is no espresso, I’ll probably lug a 5lb bag up, but I’m glad to hear the coffee shop re-opened. See you soon, and thanks again.

  144. The 24 hour gym- what equipment does it have?
    -Upright bikes… not the spin ones?
    -Smith machine?
    -Free weights?

    I am a bodybuilder and this is VERY important to me:)


    • The gym is very well equipped. There are treadmills (good ones) a stepper, free weights, a rowing machine, a punching bag, steppers, a smith machine and everything else you’ve mentioend. The rates are great because the town is trying to encourage healthy activity. It’s open 24 hours a day and you pay less than $30 a month.

      There are also some people offering their services as pesonal trainers in town, I know some people — some members of the RCMP come to mind —– are bodybuilders. You should be content with the factilities, they’re very good.

  145. Hi, I read the part where you explained how groceries would be more expensive. I was quite interested in knowing how much fruits and vegetable cost compared to those in southern areas. Specifically green seedless grapes /lb and if there are differences in different stores(if possible, I’d like to know the names of these stores too, thank you!!!). You’ve also mentioned a visiting fruit and vegetable truck, how does that work? Are prices and variety any different from local stores?

    Thank you!

  146. Hi. Great site.

    Not that this is the only thing I’m interested in, but everything else seems to have been covered. Cost of a beer at a local pub? Is there even a local pub? Is there a liquor store? Cost of a standard (molson, kokanee, budweiser, etc) 6 pack?


  147. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for providing such a valuable service. I will be spending a couple of days in Inuvik around 20/22 June as a tourist (taking the long way to visit my daughter in Edmonton) and was going to ask around about the possibility of a job during the winter while I am there. Any suggestions ?


  148. Just curious…..you wouldn’t happen to know what Federal Government departments are in Inuvik. I may have a chance to relocate here but I need to find federal work for my wife.


  149. Hi.
    I am a pharmacist who may be moving to Inuvik soon and by reading your website it really help me to learn about the place. I would like to know how people get to know each other, because I don’t know anybody in Inuvik.
    Thank You,

    • Mostly we introduce ourselves to each other at house parties and ask “so, how long have you been in Inuvik?” ha ha

      Plenty of clubs to join: sports, skiing, photography club, etc.

  150. Hey!

    Great site!!!
    Just a couple of questions?
    Is it easy to get stuff you buy online shipped up there? When you buy stuff online and it says free shipping, is it still free shipping to up there?
    What company can you rent a townhouse from for 1500/month?
    Are there many people living up there ages 25-35?

    Thanks very much,

    • Hi Josh,

      ONline shipping is normal here, maybe add an extra week to your expectations. Free shipping applies across Canada I believe, and we’ve got an EXCELLENT Canada Post office with some dedicated and friendly staff, they’re really good.

      Townhouses…sorry I don’t know. They’re privately owned in most cases. Too bad Inuvik doesn’t have a real-estate agent. Search online? Sorry I am no help here.

      Also, plenty of people here aged 25-35…you will surely be invited to many BBQs and mixers just for showing up. :)

      Best of luck with your journey!

    • I recently ordered some clothes online, I ordered them on a Sunday, and by the following Friday there were here. 5 days in total! Shipping has never been a problem for me here.

  151. Hi,

    Just found out I am going to be living in Tuk and not Inuvik. Can anyone tell me about Tuk? All the info you could give would be much appreciated.


  152. Lorena Love Doggy

    Hello, Phil. Thanks for your cite, it seems to be a very helpful for so many… I was wondering about the Inuvik people, if you know. Do people still live out on the ice, fish, trap like before the discovery of oil ? I am from Florida and was facinated by the Canadian movie ‘Snow Walker’. Can you see the Northern Lights there ?
    I really enjoy reading your blog and think how awesome are you for helping out so many.
    thankyou, Lorena

    • Hello,

      Yes, we have Northern Lights here during the winter. And the Snow Walker is a wonderful movie! I’ve heard it’s very accurate. Hunting and fishing is still part of life here, but of course people have modern things — usually hunting is now a trip which brings people outside of town, insteead of the land being their primary residence. Thank you for the kind comments!

  153. Lorena Love Doggy

    Dear Phil, I may have tribes mixed up as well as their name and spelling. Please forgive this. My interest is if you knew about the original dwellers of this region you call home… I wonder if there are still hunters that do not live in city dwellings but maybe trade with you there? Also, are there any workshops availabe to live with people. I do not have money but would of course work and do my share and more if this dream could be made possible.. Thank you for your time and any help you can give. Just a BIG thanks for what you do do.

    • hello

      today there are still people who spend most of the year in their cabins, far from town. They are officially residents of one town or another, but often their homes can be miles away from any other person.

  154. Hi, I have been asked to interview with the Parks Board. My family and I are currently living in Ethiopia as I work for the United Nations. I am a Canadian and my husband is a Kenyan. We have two young children. How multi-cultural is Inuvik? Will my husband and children be comfortable or is there racism?

    Thanks for you response!

  155. Amazing this “blog” has been operating for four years. Great resource, and thanks. Phil, what would you say has changed the most in the last four years, since you first described life in Inuvik? Just want to be sure my info is completely up to date. Cheers.


  156. hi everyone, just found your site. my daughter has been offered a full time teaching job in aklavik and will be leaving in august. she has not looked into housing yet but would prefer to share a place. if anyone else is moving to aklavik at the end of the summer we would love to hear from you.

  157. Hey there, just stumbled across this blog and took the last hour or so looking at every picture and discussion..I’m fascinated. My friend and I are looking for an adventure and I think I just found it. I’ve recently been looking for teaching jobs in remote areas of Canada and Inuvik seems like the perfect place to settle for a little while. I don’t know that I have any specific requests or questions for you…other than can you find me a job, haha. I want to teach, my friend will do anything. That would be great, ha. All kidding aside, thank you so much for all the info on here, it’s great. I want to move to Inuvik !
    Melissa Sutton

  158. Hi,
    I was wondering what to social service field is like. I am a youth worker and would like to work up north. What are the possibilities for jobs as a youth worker up north. What website would be good for me to look at. Not sure if they have youth workers in schools like they do here in BC. I know there is probably a high demand for social workers but I am not qualified as one.Any information you can give me regarding youth workers would be great. Thanks

  159. Thank you very much for the information. I will looking into it

  160. Hello,

    What a great web site for such a small place. About 5 years ago I did a bicycle ride from Seattle to Inuvik and had a great time. If you want to check my experience out log into my web site:


    I have travelled the world for both work and vacations and I think the Northern extreme of Canada is the best place I have ever been. I liked Inuvik very much and wanted to consider the possibilities of moving there.

    Is it possible for an American to move to Inuvik? If so who do I contact? What are the odds of being able to do this?

    Historically I am a mechanical engineer and use to own a business that did engineering work for many companies around the world. I used to have 50 employees and we did quite well until I fell from a ladder and nearly died. I survived and am doing much better these days. I spent 17 months in the hospital and was able to leave about a year and half. My work related web site is worth a look. Is there any possibility for getting a job in Inuvik?

    http://www.parisfranceinc.com/portfolio/fioriinc/2003/Is a job for me possible for me?

    I am an engineer but I can cook well and I have built homes in the past.
    All the best,


  161. Hi:)
    I moved to Inuvik when I was 21yrs old (back in 1990). I took a job at the hospital, it was supposed to be for four months…..turned into 8 years…one husband and a son! Now I’m back in Ontario 12yrs, but I still miss the quietness, the colours of the sky in March when the sun is coming back and those walks to work at 6:00 in the morning in total darkness and -48′ with the crunch of the ice underfoot! My son was born there Dec 26th, 2003, when it was 24h darkness and -50′ that day, I had no family there, but the friendships I had were amazing. And yes most were from Newfoundland/Nova Scotia. I miss Mac’s News/The Northern Store/chocolate mousse cake at the Finto and Boot lake in summer….and even coming out of the Zoo at 2am with the sun shining bright! I’d like to take my son there to visit someday.
    Thanks for the meories:)
    Kim McKinnon

  162. I have just applied for work out there,here’s hoping i will hear something.

  163. What a great site ! My husband and I are looking into opportunity and have so many questions. Thanks to this site alot have been answered. Will keep checking back while going through interview process

  164. Excellent site you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours
    these days. I really appreciate individuals like you!
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  165. Wonderful a single, thank you for the tip

  166. Thanks for every other informative web site. Where
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  167. Hello Phil! i’ve been reading this article about inuvik and im really interested in the city, may be for a summer and stuff, and i was wondering is there a way i can get hired by a company or something in inuvik so that i can work legaly there even if im curently in Israel? Do they have a sort of imigration program? There are those who speak russian or hebrew. Regards Stanislav

    • Hello, Canada as a nation handles immigration and work visas, there is no seperation by town or territory…I encourage you to search further, but think national rather than regional. (though nothing stops you from applying here.) I don’t know how to apply for immigration to Canada.

  168. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I
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  171. I don’t leave many comments, however after reading a few of the responses here Discussion thread: | Life in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be just me or does it seem like a few of the responses look as if they are left by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing on additional online sites, I would like to keep up with you. Could you make a list of all of all your shared sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  172. Anyone know where I can get a couple of pairs of pants hemmed in town?

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  178. Lived in Inuvik in the 90’s. Miss the Finto, the old Mackenzie Hotel, and the small town flavor. However, looking back at all the social problems, alcohol, drugs, domestic violence and FAS babies, I realize that it’s best to stay for only a few years and than out. Keeping an eye on the local obits for all these years, I realized how many good people and old friends died way before their time. Maybe something to do with the lifestyle up there. Way too much fun for too many years.

  179. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the last part :) I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  180. tammy ryckman

    I lived in Inuvik in 1973-77.coming from Winnipeg it was a big culture shock. they were the fondest memories of my childhood. I would love to visit again someday. met lots of wonderful people , some names I remember some I don,t. Eleanor Firth comes to mind, her sisters Shirley and Sharon were great skiers. Leroy Omigoyituk, not sure of spelling.

  181. Superb, what a website it is! This blog gives helpful information to us,
    keep it up.

  182. Very informative post! Is it possible to find work as a teacher and what age is prefferable for the teacher position? What conditions do they live?
    Thank you.

  183. Hello, I am looking into working in the NWT through the GNWT website. Do they provide lodging for you while you set yourself up there? Or do you have to be ready to go financially, pick a place to rent and set it up yourself before you move there?

  184. Hi Kelly, I manage Tununuk Apts. we have 2 furnished units one of which is available Nov. 1/13, the rest of the units are unfurnished. contact me at gbh@northwestel.net and I can give you more info on Inuvik and accommodations here. ( or call…867-777-4569 )

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  186. I rarely drop comments, but i did a few searching and wound up
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    Is it only me or does it look like some of these comments come across like they are left by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting on additional sites, I would like to follow
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