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It should come as no surprise—the qualities that make the North so alluring are also what homeowners want to emphasize when they design or purchase their dream house.

“We are fortunate to have no end of beautiful sites in the North due to the varied terrain, including mountains, lakes, rivers and boreal forest,” says Jack Kobayashi, partner and co-founder of Kobayashi + Zedda Architects Ltd. in Whitehorse.

Something familiar and something completely new.

When you pull up a stool at most pubs in the North, you’ll find menus that cater to regulars and tourists alike, with locally harvested flavours enhancing some old classics. Mixing traditional southern pub fare with fresh new dishes and drinks, these popular watering holes are creating homegrown traditions as they go.

Here’s just a taste of what you can expect on the menu.

 

 

Nunavut

I still remember the movie nights at Bathurst Inlet Lodge.

Every so often, Glenn and Trish Warner, the lodge’s owner-operators, would rent a movie projector from the library in Yellowknife and bring in films. But these showings weren’t for the lodge’s guests—they were for the families who lived in the tiny settlement.

Inadequate. Unaffordable. In short supply.

That about sums up the housing situation ever since governments first encouraged and enforced settlement in the North.

There’s a long list of complicated reasons for why that is—geography, government policy, gaps in funding—and the extent and specifics differ from Whitehorse to Iqaluit, from Fort Good Hope, NWT, to Yellowknife. But generally, as you move from west to east, the severity of the housing situation worsens, as it gets more difficult and expensive to build in communities only accessible by sea or winter road, and air.

Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs pulled the ice-cold blankets over her body with numb fingers, silently cursing herself for not having planned better. It was mid-December and the Yellowknifer was facing -45 C for the first time as a tiny house dweller—with plenty of trial and error.

On a late-July evening, just after dinner time, Joe Kitekudlak is resting from another long day of work. A new duplex is going up in Ulukhaktok, the lone NWT community on Victoria Island, and Kitekudlak spent the day mudding and taping and plastering drywall. Kitekudlak, 76, retired after running his own company—Kitekudlak Construction Ltd.—for more than 25 years. But retirement didn’t stick. “I tried,” he says, before laughing. “I get restless, so I went back to work.”

When Rosetta Geddes saw her son’s girlfriend prepare Klik with a side of steamed rice, she had an idea. As a mother of four with a culinary background, Geddes is always looking for ways to spice up everyday meals, so she took the two ingredients, fried them up together and made Klik fried rice.

I figured the kids would like it,” she says. “I made a huge pan of it, and everybody loved it.”