Let me introduce you to my little friend; Norm. He came back with us the beginning of June after vacation. There was some worry as to how well he would adjust to his new surroundings (and the dog), but things are looking good. He has settled right into being our resident "Jabba the Hut", slothing himself all over his new favourite pillow. Is there really any other way to be a cat? Clearly northern life suites him, all curled up in his warm little bed. Meanwhile poor Tallinn, who still insists on being outside is constantly getting soaked with the large amounts of rain we have been having. Clearly the cat knows better then the dog!
It's no secret how I feel about not having a Starbucks, or even a Tims up here. The next best thing it to make it yourself, but it's always lacking. Why is that? Do the coffee shops in the south line their cardboard cups with some kind of drug that makes it taste better? For now this northern imitation will have to do, it's all there is to keep you awake during long nights at work, that and the extra hours of sunlight.
Lets start by informing all non-Nunavut residents about what Nunavummiut (I can't actually pronounce this word) is exactly and why we do a lot more online shopping then anyone else in the country. First of all Nunavummiut means "Residents of Nunavut or Nunvik". The community that I live in is lacking certain everyday items that in the south we take for granted. In the south you can just hop in your car and cruise on over to the local Walmart and pick up anything you need. Up here your choices are limited to only what can be purchased online and shipped to you on a plane. Not to mention certain stores like Walmart have failed miserably in joining us in 2007 and only offer a "shopping list" feature on their website. Their American counterparts who do offer online shopping don't allow shipping internationally. So I had to search for a few good Canadian stores and some American that do ship to Canada. Here is a list that I have compiled (with useful information) of a few online shops to cover any of your needs while living up north.
LONDON DRUGS http://www.londondrugs.com/ This site has been a lifesaver for me, shipping all bath & beauty products and much adored Cadbury Mini eggs when I couldn't possibly find them anywhere else. The shipping here works by weight; 0-4.5kgs is a flat $30. So if you get one item its not worth the shipping fee, they get you that way, because you want to use up all your weight allowance and keep adding things to the cart until you come in right under 4.5kgs. Shipping usually takes more then 2 weeks, so it's not fast. However you can't get the products they sell on here on any other Canadian online store.
CANADIAN TIRE http://www.canadiantire.ca/ Shipping is better here then londondrugs, however it really isn't that great. I got some Christmas decorations and furnace filters on this site, I ended up having to call and the woman said "where is Nunavut?", after I told her it was a giant territory she clued in. COST-CO http://www.costco.ca/ I haven't bought anything from here yet, but it looks promising. I read a lot of northern bloggers have had good shipping with them, getting huge items for very inexpensive shipping costs, I guess they haven't figured out about Nunavut yet.
LINENS AND THINGS http://canada.lnt.com/home/index.jsp I am not sure what shipping is like for this site, but it takes a lot of restraint to not buy everything on the site! I have a friend who has bought from this site, so I know it's good and their product gets where it's going, but I haven't bought anything here....yet! One annoyance is the Canadian & American websites look similar, make sure your shopping on the Canadian site! And if you find yourself shopping on the American site and switch over to the Canadain, you might see they haven't compensated for the new and better exchange rate for the Canadian dollar! Things are still exceedingly cheaper on the U.S site. So save yourself the grief and don't compare prices!
BATH AND BEAUTY LUSH http://ca.lush.com All I can say is FREAKIN amazing! These products smell good and work amazingly! They don't send to a P.O box so you have to just make up a street name and they also don't send certain products in summer as they may melt.
MARKS WORK WEARHOUSE http://marksworkwearhouse.com/ This one is good for clothing and shipping isn't too much either. The clothing changes for each season, so you can get fleece lined jeans, but closer to winter.
LA SENZA http://www.lasenza.com These guys are great for girlie underwear, awesome sleepwear and lounge wear. They also have a mens line of undergarments and lounge wear. The prices are good and shipping is pretty good.
1-800-PETMEDS.COM http://www.1800petmeds.com/ This one is good for some medications, and a few toys and other pet things. They are located in the states, so prices are American and you do have that chance of paying duty. I have shopped with them, and the experience was good. You can even call them up and talk to a person, which is just a plus. I try not to shop with a place that doesn't have a 1-800 number.
PETSMART http://www.petsmart.com/ps/main.jsp This place is my new favourite! Sure it's in the States, so you run the risk of paying duty, but it's so worth it. Where else can you buy 30lbs of cat litter with free shipping? Here is the scoop on this one though, you have to spend more then $50 to get free shipping. You also CAN'T buy food of any kind on here, and if they cancel litter or any other item, you just need to call their 1-800 number and talk to a person on the phone and they will put your order through. Sometimes on really heavy orders they charge a flat couple of dollars fee and there is also shipping to remote area fee for $20 or so, but really if you think of what you can get it's not so bad.
BULK FOODS http://www.bulkfoods.com/ I also haven't shopped here, but I hear it's another great place and they definitely ship up here. The only problem is that they don't calculate shipping rates until after you place your order.
You can also stick London Drugs perfectly into this category!
I could also add in the notable Amazon.ca, however we all know this one, but think of this, if they haven't accounted for the change in exchange rate, you might actually get a cheaper book deal buying from Amazon.com. You would have to look into it factoring in shipping to Canada costs.
There is also Futureshop.ca and Bestbuy.ca, however if you are buying cd/dvds/games, check out Amazon.ca. I find Futureshop.ca charges ridiculous shipping costs on cds...$4 for shipping for one cd? How much do they think it weighs? Amazon.ca ships free after $39.00! Not to mention I find Futurshops website irritating and harder to navigate then most. I am still waiting for a lot of larger businesses to join up with the rest of the world in 2007. For example you from Ontario might know Shoppers Drug Mart, but I am not holding my breath for Walmart!
Please Add anymore Online Shopping sites that are of interest, I am always looking for new stores! And the shopaholic lives on even if she is now a Nunavummiut!
I moved to Nunavut 3 years ago with my husband and Alaskan Malamute. Here we started raising our first daughter Ezri and shortly before we left, became pregnant with our second.
As every journey has an end, we found ourselves back south again, dreaming of returning north one day. Please read about my adventures and continue to feel free to send me e-mails.