Wednesday, 22 June 2011

What's new, Inuvik?

After one false start and 29 hours travelling, I finally arrived in rainy Inuvik -- where it NEVER rains. Second driest place on the planet after the Sahara, they tell me.

Anyhoo ... it didn't last long and by evening, Inuvik was back to its perpetually sunny summer self.

Nothing much has changed since I was here two years ago. The Midtown Market burned down last month, the victim of some questionable wiring. The Gallery Café now has wifi. The town just started a recycling program. And the recently opened Midnight Sun Mosque has been added to my must-see list.

The most obvious change to this town of 3,500 year-round residents, though, is a pair of giant (by Inuvik standards) buildings-under-construction. The swanky Aurora Research Centre and the "mega-school" are almost finished -- meaning they should be ready by next summer.

Like all buildings in Inuvik, the current schools and research centre are built on pilings pounded into the permafrost. Because the pilings are made of wood, they have a limited lifespan, and before the buildings collapse, the town must build new ones. When I was last here, the pilings for these two new buildings had just been set -- construction projects here take years.

Hot dog stands, on the other hand, can be set up in minutes ... which leads me to another significant development on the Inuvik streetscape: Ready Reds, a 'dog and burger stand is now open for business outside the Mad Trapper Pub. Other newcomers to the scene are Café 220 (aka lunch at the Legion) and the Twisted Ladle (aka the rec centre cafeteria), bringing the total number of Inuvik dining establishments to 10. I plan to try them all ...

Ready Reds is under the red umbrella on the left (north) side of the main drag, Mackenzie Road.


Sleepwalker said...

Yes, we want restaurant reviews in case we decide to come and grab a quick lunch.

DD said...

The hospital cafeteria is listed as one of the places to eat ... I'll let you know!