Monday, 9 February 2015

Ivujivik, pretty settlement on the shores of Hudson Strait.

Ivujivik is a sub-arctic village in northern Quebec, Canada. It is the northernmost settlement in mainland Canada (*), just some 300 km south of the Arctic Circle.

Ivujivik is located near where Hudson Strait meets Hudson Bay, like a sentinel by the entrance door to the Bay.

Here the strong currents from Hudson Bay and the Hudson Strait clash, resulting in a chaos of ice accumulation.

The settlement sits in a small, sandy cove, surrounded by cliffs that plunge into the waters of Digges Sound.

Coordinates: 62° 25' N, 77° 54' W
Population:  ~ 370

The town center, the church at left.

Main street (rue Principale) - the co-operative store (1967) at the end.

The main street downwards to the seashore.

'Ivujivik' means "the place where ice floes accumulate", or maybe "Place of sea-ice crashing". In fact, the Hudson Bay currents have a violent effect on the frozen water surface, preventing it from completely freezing.

The prettiness of Ivujivik is probably due to the multicoloured-painted houses.

A hunter's dwelling, furs drying.

Modern housing in shades of gray...

... and the gray alley.

The new Nuvviti school.

A nice building for the local children.

The anglican Church.

Ivujivik airport

Winter in Ivujivik

The climate here is particularly hard during the long cold season, usually lower than -20º C; it can snow heavily from October to May, under strong winds, or still worse - the town can be under dense, freezing blizzards.

School transport in Winter.

The co-op Hotel.

The Police station.

The area is ice-free for only a month a year, in the Summer.

Winter can be hard, with snowstorms or intense blizzard.

A little History

In 1909, the Hudson's Bay Company established a trading post on Erik Cove, near the site of today's settlement; the main trading was in Arctic fox. Operations closed down there in 1947.

The HBC trading post, around 1944.

A Catholic mission had been established since 1938 in Ivujivik, and people from the post and around were moved to the new town; when the mission closed in the 1960s, the federal government took over delivery of services in the emerging Inuit village.

Ivujivik native arts

Stone carving - in soapstone, serpentine, marble... - is a major inuit art in Ivujivik.

Carved bear in Ivujivik stone, by Nutaraluk Iyaituk (1943-2005).

Tarqiasuk Naluiyuk (1945 - ), river otter with fishes, 1980.

Aurora Borealis

This is also the place to watch the famous auroras.

Light often comes like a miracle in these latitudes.

(*) see Comments - Taloyoak is, at 69º 32' , a more northernly settlement, though already in the Nortwest Territories of Canada.