The shortest flight from Toronto to Beijing is via a northern polar route over Greenland, Russia, and Mongolia toward the Yellow Sea.
Leaving Canada, we flew over Iqaluit, NU. It is the Capital City of the Canadian Territory of Nunavut. Iqaluit, with a population of 6699 in the 2011 census, is the lowest population of any Canadian capital city. The city was renamed in 1987 to its native name, Iqaluit, from Frobisher Bay used because of its location at the northern end of Frobisher Bay on Baffin Island.
In June, there is still ice around the shore line and the ocean is littered with flow ice.
Have you noticed that time is being used to measure distance? For example, the distance to stars is measured in light years. That is the distance that light travels in a year.
I have found myself starting to measure distances around the world in terms of time zones. Consider Beijing is 12 time zones away from New York or half way around the world. How about California is 3 time zones away from New York. Paris is 6 time zones from New York or one quarter of the way around the world. Be aware that at the equator the distance around the world is about 24,900 miles. Moving north or south of the equator, like to New York or New Zealand, the distance around gets less. Approximately 24000 miles divided by 24 time zones means 1000 miles per time zone.
Common sense teaches that the shortest place between two points is a straight line. Ok, where is the straight line on a curves surface like the earth? Remember one way to create a straight line is to tie a string between the two points and draw it tight. This is used to plant straight rows in a garden or to lay bricks straight in a wall. Apply that to measuring distances on a globe and you may find that the shortest distance between two cities on opposite sides of the world may be over the north or south pole.
Here is a picture of one of the two great jet engines that brought me about 7500 miles over the arctic to a rain washed Peking airport in Beijing China. Where do you want to go today?