Up there.


There is a ridge of bedrock that rises up above the Apex Road that I look at every day as I'm walking to work. There’s a wooden cross at the top of it. I’ve seen a couple of people walking their dogs up there, and the ridge is easily accessible from my apartment. When I looked out my window one morning a couple of weeks ago and saw blue sky, as opposed to the fog that had engulfed Iqaluit all of the previous weekend, I practically ran out the door (well, after washing a two-day build up of dishes and drinking an adequate amount of coffee).

Although the sun had disappeared and clouds were rolling in by the time I got outside, I still got a great view from the top. When I had arrived at my apartment building for the first time, I thought I must be in the furthest, most isolated, most unprotected-from-weather suburb in Iqaluit. As I climbed to the top of the ridge and looked back, my little neighbourhood looked positively cocooned in comparison to some others. Here are some panoramic views to give you a sense of what is where in Iqaluit. There are pointers and text on some of the photos - you should be able to read them in the enlarged view you get when you click on the photo.

Ed Hamel, take note of the snow fence in the fourth photo down!

apartment building

Apex Road from ridge

downtown iqaluit

snow fence


cross 2

I also spent quite a bit of time studying, in amazement, the plant life among the rocks. How these colourful and various living creatures survive up here is beyond me. One description I read said that plants on the tundra are literally, "clinging to life." They are on the edge of survival, on the edge of the inhabitable zone for living things. In addition to lichen, there are little berries growing on ground plants, root-like structures that seem inexplicably unconnected to a plant, minute mushrooms, and tiny evergreen/anemone-like growths that look like they belong on the ocean floor. And a bubbling stream with a clear layer of ice on top.


colour riot



evergreen anemones

ice stream