Province/Territory: Manitoba

Polar Bear Capital of the World

  • 01 rugged Hudson Bay coastline
  • 900 polar bears
  • 01 historic stone fort built in 1731

Churchill will steal your heart. It's the promise of polar bears, beluga whales and soaring Northern Lights that will bring you here; it's the warmth of your hosts in this remote small town that will stay in your soul. Set on the rocky coast of Hudson Bay, Churchill shows off its sub-Arctic charms with a spray of purple wildlfowers and the chance to ride like the wind on a dogsled. Run your hand along the 11 metre thick walls of 300-year old Prince of Wales Fort, home of French English conflict during Canada's robust fur trading days.

Outdoor adventure

  • Pull on a wetsuit and swim with belugas, watch polar bears, dine gourmet under the Midnight Sun in a wilderness lodge at Churchill.
  • Let the wind whip through your hair with a spirited dogsled ride from Wapusk Adventures or Bluesky Expeditions.

Nature & Wildlife

  • Visit Churchill's Eskimo Museum, hang with local musicians, ride the TundraBuggy® for an upclose view of polar bears, sleep in an outpost lodge on the tundra.
  • Helicopter high above the tundra to spot bears and foxes; hang on tight during your dogsled ride during the Polar Bear Adventure, Great Canadian Travel Company.
  • Wapusk National Park, home to one of the world’s largest-known polar bear maternity denning areas, also plays host to hundreds of thousands of migration waterfowl and shorebirds.

Arts & Culture

  • Get an up-close look at over 1,000 pieces of Inuit art dating back to the 1930s at the Eskimo Museum. Pick up rare books about the north and invest in a carving to take home.
  • Head to Prince of Wales Fort and marvel at its four-point design, 11-metre thick walls and stories of the French/English conflict to control Hudson Bay.
  • The wooden fur trading depot, built in 1832 on permafrost, still stands at York Factory National Historic Site of Canada. For almost 300 years, this port was the most important destination in the fur trade.

On the water

  • Glide your kayak silently along an unspoiled waterway, watch for moose, black bears and wolves on the Lazy Bear Wilderness Expedition, Lazy Bear Lodge.
  • Touch the rocks of Sloop Cove National Historic Site of Canada; look for the one bearing the name of Samuel Hearne, Canada's most famous northern explorer. Book your trip with a local boat excursion company.

Weather

  • Summers in Churchill begin in July and end in August— expect average daily temperatures of 12°C in July and August.
  • Winter, from October to May, brings brings freezing temperatures. January has the coldest temperatures, with an average daily hovering around -26°C. The subarctic climate means long, very cold winters. Overnight lows in the -30°C range are not uncommon. Prevailing north winds from the North Pole add to the bite.
  • Spring begins in late May and runs into June when average daily temperatures start to move above freezing.
  • Fall brings a blaze of colours through September before temperatures begin to drop once again.
  • Most visitors come to Churchill in July, August, September, October and November.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Quick facts

Area: 53.96 square kilometres
Total Population: 900
Official Languages: English & French (English predominant)
Provincial Motto: Glorious and Free

When to go
  • Come to Churchill in the summer months to swim with the beluga whales in Hudson Bay.
  • Witness the unexpected flush of colour in Churchill's wildflowers in August; premium time for birding.
  • Northern Lights sing and dance with gusto through September, October and November.
  • Polar bear viewing is at its best in October and November.
Getting Here
  • Churchill is located in the northern region Manitoba, on the coast of Hudson Bay and is accessible by air and/or train. There are no roads into Churchill.
  • The paved road ends at Thompson, Manitoba. A gravel road ends at Gillam, Manitoba.