Iqaluit's Northmart to reopen Saturday after fire
Blaze in Nunavut capital last week destroyed store's warehouse
Iqaluit's largest grocery store is preparing to open on Saturday after a fire last week that destroyed its warehouse.
Northmart has started restocking its shelves, after health and building inspectors toured the main store on Tuesday.
- Youth charged with arson after Iqaluit Northmart fire
- Prices won't rise after Iqaluit grocery store burns, Northmart says
"People have been in there cleaning non-stop, day and night," said Alex Yeo, president of Canadian retail for the Winnipeg-based North West Company. "We've also been working with the city and the government to expedite all approvals. We're following all the processes to make sure."
The fire burned for 22 hours, destroying much of the warehouse behind the store, which had recently been stocked with supplies brought up on cargo ships to last through the winter.
Iqaluit is not connected to the rest of Canada by road, so supplies are shipped up before the ice in Frobisher Bay freezes and flown in throughout the year.
Yeo says the company will not raise prices in the short term to compensate for the loss.
Until the store reopens, the Northmart pharmacy — one of two in the city — has its phone lines up and running to transfer prescriptions to Valupharm, the other pharmacy in the city.
Warehouse rebuild planned
Yeo says plans are already underway to rebuild the destroyed warehouse.
"We need to build the warehouse in time for sealift. So we're hoping for approvals by the end of this month," Yeo said.
A 17-year-old facing arson and disregard for human life charges related to the fire will having a bail hearing on Nov. 23.
The youth appeared in court Tuesday and remains in custody.
With files from Nick Murray