Shanghai-constructed rooms for new hotel on their way to Iqaluit

'They are all assembled — TVs assembled, chairs assembled,' said Harry Flaherty, president of the Qiktaaluk Corporation.

Hotel rooms are prefabricated, complete with television and furniture

The Qikiqtaaluk Corporation's mockup of what development on the rest of the parcel of Inuit-owned lands could look like. (Submitted by Sheldon Nimchuk)

The owners of a hotel project in Iqaluit are taking a different approach to combat the high price of construction in the North —  fully-assembled rooms are being shipped to Nunavut from Shanghai.

"They are all assembled — TVs assembled, chairs assembled," said Harry Flaherty, president of the Qikiqtaaluk Corporation.

"It's just a matter of hooking up the main lines and turn on the lights."

The Inuit-owned Qikiqtaaluk Corporation started constructing the new hotel's foundation and main floor last May. That building will include a 600-person conference centre, dining room, bar and gym. 

Flaherty said the corporation's board of directors chose to ship the pre-made rooms to save time and money.

"It was going to take another two years to construct [the rooms] and having the labour pool that we don't have, and having to hire a lot of other tradespeople from other jurisdictions would have made it more costly," he said.

The hotel will have just short of 100 rooms, including 12 suites, and a 5000 square foot conference centre. (Submitted by Sheldon Nimchuk)

"It will probably save us about $6 million initially and put the project one year ahead."

The rooms are expected to arrive in Iqaluit July 24.

Flaherty said not only did Canadian inspectors take a look at the rooms during construction in Shanghai, but inspectors are going to take another look once they are assembled in Iqaluit.

Not only that, but he said they will all be soundproof.

"Our goal is when you stay in this hotel, you will rest well," he said. 

Hotel to create 60 jobs

Flaherty said he is still in negotiations with the city over how to fund a new section of water and sewer lines that will be needed to satisfy increased demand on the system once the hotel, located on Federal Road, is built.

"Everybody is working hand-in-hand to make sure this is progressing well," he said.

Flaherty estimates the hotel, once complete, will create 60 new year-round jobs. Like other Qikiqtaaluk​​-owned businesses, he said he anticipates an Inuit majority will fill those jobs.

He couldn't say how much the rooms will cost per night, but did say he's hoping to have an official opening next spring.