northern village in Quebec, Canada

Kuujjuuaq (formerly Fort Chimo) is in the Nunavik region of Northern Quebec. It is the largest community in Nunavik, with a total population of 2,754 (2016 census). "Kuujjuaq" means "great river" in the Inuktitut language. After the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, a dam reduced the river’s flow.

View of the town


Kuujjuaq is located on the west shore of the Koksoak River, about 50 km upstream from Ungava Bay, in the boreal forest. Black spruce and larch grow in the marshy valleys around the village. The annual migrations of the George River caribou herd pass through the region throughout August and September.

Inuktitut is commonly used, and many older people speak only that language. About 90% of the population is Inuit; anyone who is not Inuit is Qallunaat.

The village's hospital serves the population of Ungava Bay. The village has hotels, restaurants, stores, arts and crafts shops and a CIBC bank with 24-hour ATM.


Around 1830, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) started the fur trade business in Nunavik by establishing a post on the east shore of the Koksoak River, about 5 km downstream from the present-day settlement. Inuit, Montagnais and Naskapi people came to trade at the post.

In 1942, a U.S. Air Force base (Crystal 1) was built on the west shore of the Koksoak River, where Kuujjuaq is now. The American presence between 1941 and 1945 sped up the development of the community. After the end of World War II, the United States turned the base over to the Canadian government. In 1948, a Catholic mission was established, followed by a nursing station, a school and a weather station. When the HBC moved upstream closer to the airstrips in 1958, it was followed by the remaining families that still lived across the river at Fort Chimo. In 1961, a co-operative was created.


In summer, expect bright sunshine, wind, rain and perhaps even snow. Pack long underwear, a fleece jacket, knitted hat, polarized sunglasses, insect repellent and protective clothing. Mosquitos can be particularly difficult in summer.

Snow can arrive as early as mid-September. In winter, blizzards can whip up in just a few hours.

Average regional temperatures:

  • Winter: −23.6 °C (−10.5 °F)
  • June: 6.8 °C (44.2 °F)
  • July: 11.0 °C (51.8 °F)
  • August: 10.4 °C (50.7 °F)
  • September: 5.3 °C (41.5 °F)

Get inEdit

With no roads connecting Kuujjuaq with the rest of Quebec, the only way into the town is through the airport.

By planeEdit

  • 1 Kuujjuaq Airport (YVP IATA).    
    • First Air, toll-free: +1-800-267-1247. flies non-stop from Montreal daily (2½ hours), starting at $2400 roundtrip (fees and taxes included); from Ottawa (7 hours) Mon, Wed, Fri, starting at $3300 roundtrip; Iqaluit (1hr 10min) Mon, Wed, Fri starting at $540 roundtrip; and Rankin Inlet, Arviat and Baker Lake (Wed, Fri). (All fees and taxes included in prices shown.)
    • Air Inuit, toll-free: +1 800 361-2965. flies from Montreal (daily Mon-Fri, starting at $2100 roundtrip), and Quebec City (Mon, Wed and Fri, starting at $2025 roundtrip), and Sept-Îles (Sun, Tue, Thu, starting at $1750 roundtrip). On Mon, Wed and Fri, the flight from Montreal and Quebec City continues on to four other settlements in Nunavik: Kangirsuk, Quaqtaq, Kangirsuk, and Salluit. (All fees and taxes included in prices shown.)

Get aroundEdit

  • Ookpik Taxi, +1 819 964-0220. Bobby Snowball, Proprietor
  • Location et transport Tivi Inc., 5205 Air­port Road, toll-free: +1 800 964-2465, . Offering a selection of four-wheel-drive pick-up trucks, SUVs, vans, station wagons and 12 passenger vehicles. Pick up your vehicle at the airport or at the company's business location.
  • Johnny May's Air Charters, +1 819 964-1410. Air charters for tourists.


  • Old Chimo: original settlement a few kilometres downstream on the opposite shore.


Kuujjuaq Beach in late July
  • Atlantic salmon and sea-run trout fishing
  • Caribou hunting
  • The Town Hall is sometimes used as a movie theatre


  • Amautik Reg’d, +1 819 964-8860, . Retail - camping supplies
  • Nunavik Marine Supply and Services Tourism - Adventure, +1 819 964-0242, . Adventure tourism
  • Polar Adventures Inc., +1 819 964-0054, .
  • Northern Store/Quick Stop. Mon-Fri 8AM–8PM, Sat 8AM–5PM, Sun noon–5PM). Groceries, clothing, hardware and home products. Fast food and other cooked meals. Coffee and other beverages. Gas station.



  • Auberge Kuujjuaq Inn, 550 Airport St, +1 819 964-2903, . Dining room and restaurant (breakfast 8–10AM, lunch noon–1PM, dinner 5–8PM – Monday to Sunday). Bar (Mon-Thu 5–9PM, Fri 5–10PM, Sat closed)
  • Kuujjuaq Cooperative Hotel. Dining room and fully equipped kitchen for guests. Common area includes big-screen cable television. Gift shop showcasing soapstone carvings and ivory jewellery $225/night.


Go nextEdit

This city travel guide to Kuujjuaq is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.