Coral Harbour

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Coral Harbour
Coral Harbour street.jpg
Coral Harbour
Canada Nunavut location map-lambert proj3.svg
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Coral Harbour
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Red pog.svg
Coral Harbour
Coordinates: 64°08′N083°10′W / 64.133°N 83.167°W / 64.133; -83.167 [1] Coordinates: 64°08′N083°10′W / 64.133°N 83.167°W / 64.133; -83.167 [2]
Territory Nunavut
Region Kivalliq
Electoral district Aivilik
  MayorWillie Nakoolak
   MLA Solomon Malliki
 (2021) [5]
  Land126.39 km2 (48.80 sq mi)
64 m (210 ft)
 (2021) [5]
  Density8.2/km2 (21/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−05:00 (EST)
Canadian Postal code
Area code 867

Coral Harbour (Inuktitut: Salliq/Salliit, Syllabics: ᓴᓪᓕᖅ/ᓴᓪᓖᑦ), [7] [8] [9] [10] is a small Inuit community that is located on Southampton Island, Kivalliq Region, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Its name is derived from the fossilized coral that can be found around the waters of the community which is situated at the head of South Bay. The name of the settlement in Inuktitut is Salliq, sometimes used to refer to all of Southampton Island. [11] The plural Salliit, means large flat island(s) in front of the mainland. [7] [12]



The Sadlermiut ("inhabitants of Salliq") whose name is derived from Salliq [13] previously occupied the area. The Sadlermiut are thought to be the last vestige of the Tuniit . The Tuniit, a pre-Inuit culture, officially went ethnically and culturally extinct in 1902-03 [14] when a Western illness killed all of the Sadlermiut in a matter of weeks. However, others believe that the Sadlermiut were in fact descendants of the Thule, whose geographically isolated culture would have developed idiosyncratically from the mainland Thule culture. A third theory indicates that the Sadlermiut did not necessarily belong to either group, but because of intermarriage, their roots may have in fact been part of both Dorset and Thule cultures. [14] [15]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the area was repopulated by Aivilingmiut, whose name was to be later adapted for the Aivilik electoral district, from the Repulse Bay and Chesterfield Inlet areas, influenced to do so by whaler Captain George Comer and others. Baffin Islanders arrived 25 years later. John Ell, who as a young child travelled with his mother Shoofly on Comer's schooners, eventually became the most famous of Southampton Island's re-settled population. [16]


Federal census population history of Coral Harbour
1991 578+21.2%
1996 669+15.7%
2001 712+6.4%
2006 769+8.0%
2011 834+8.5%
2016 891+6.8%
2021 1,035+16.2%
Source: Statistics Canada
[5] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]

In the 2021 Canadian census conducted by Statistics Canada, Coral Harbour had a population of 1,035 living in 225 of its 303 total private dwellings, a change of

Coral Harbour is the only Nunavut community that does not observe daylight saving time, remaining on Eastern Standard Time year-round. [26] [27]


The only way to reach this community is by aircraft at Coral Harbour Airport or by water (such as the resupply barges, which do not carry passengers, that come from Churchill, Manitoba and the East coast and St. Lawrence area, every summer) and the main transportation on the island itself (nearly the same size as Switzerland) is by snowmobile and dog sled in the winter and all-terrain vehicle in the summer. Despite the harsh climate there is plentiful wildlife around the island. Among some of the species found there are walruses, polar bears, barren-ground caribou, ringed seals, gyrfalcons, and (rarely) peregrine falcons.

Broadband communications

The community has been served by the Qiniq network since 2005. Qiniq is a fixed wireless service to homes and businesses, connecting to the outside world via a satellite backbone. The Qiniq network is designed and operated by SSI Micro. In 2017, the network was upgraded to 4G LTE technology, and 2G-GSM for mobile voice.

Notable residents

The Hamlet Office in Coral Harbour Coral Harbour Hamlet office.jpg
The Hamlet Office in Coral Harbour


Coral Harbour has a severe subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc), for which it just qualifies due to its 10 °C (50 °F) July means. It is a borderline polar climate, which results in barren vegetation. Coral Harbour has never gone above freezing in January, February and March (although the latter has recorded 0.0 °C (32.0 °F)). Due to the frozen nature of Hudson Bay, there is a severe seasonal lag until June despite much sunshine and perpetual twilight at night. Due to the drop of solar strength and the absence of warm water even in summer, temperatures still drop off very fast as September approaches, with only July and August having ever recorded temperatures above 24 °C (75 °F). Cold extremes are severe, but in line with many areas even farther south in Canada's interior. Unlike those areas, Coral Harbour remains beneath −25 °C (−13 °F) in terms of average high in the midst of winter.

Throughout December 2010 and early January 2011, Nunavut, northern Quebec and western Greenland set many high temperature records. In Coral Harbour, a high of 3.3 °C (37.9 °F) in mid-December broke the old record of 1.7 °C (35.1 °F) set in 1963. [30] The daily minimum temperature on 6 January 2011, was about 30 °C (54 °F) warmer than normal. [31] [32] The unusual warmth was due largely to an unseasonal area of high pressure over Greenland, and very negative values of the Arctic oscillation and North Atlantic oscillation. Mostly in the 21st century, the conditions have combined to produce an Arctic dipole anomaly that brings warm air to the Arctic regions and cold air to the continents.

Climate data for Coral Harbour (Coral Harbour Airport)
WMO ID: 71915; coordinates 64°11′36″N83°21′34″W / 64.19333°N 83.35944°W / 64.19333; -83.35944 (Cambridge Bay Airport) ; elevation: 62.2 m (204 ft); 1981–2010 normals
Record high humidex −0.6−1.9−
Record high °C (°F)−0.6
Average high °C (°F)−25.5
Daily mean °C (°F)−29.6
Average low °C (°F)−33.7
Record low °C (°F)−52.8
Record low wind chill −69.5−69.3−64.3−55.1−39.7−23.2−8.2−11.8−23.7−43.7−54.8−64.2−69.5
Average precipitation mm (inches)9.5
Average rainfall mm (inches)0.0
Average snowfall cm (inches)9.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)64.964.267.573.880.373.963.168.975.684.877.669.772.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 37.9112.1187.4240.2239.9262.2312.3220.4109.870.847.918.81,859.7
Percent possible sunshine 22.447.051.653.242.041.951.243.327.923.324.313.936.8
Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 [33]

Geological resources

The limestone around Coral Harbour (and nearby regions of Bad Cache Rapids) predominantly have a "Low Purity" value for industrial use. [34]

See also

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Further reading