WELCOME TO CHURCHILL, MB:
Churchill is internationally known as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’.
The Hudson’s Bay Company began building a massive stone fortress where the Churchill River meets Hudson Bay in 1731. Dubbed Prince of Wales Fort, this majestic military fortress would take forty years to complete.
Fort Churchill, located five miles east of Churchill, was first established in 1942 by the United States Air Force. Throughout the 50s and 60s it was a thriving military community with many of Churchill’s current residents growing up there. In the early 70s, public housing and a large Town Centre Complex were constructed as part of a redevelopment project.
Throughout July and August, pods of beluga whales enter the Churchill River with the tide, coming into the warm waters of the estuary to feed, give birth and raise their young, and generally socialize. Known as ‘Sea Canaries’, they are some of the world’s most communicative and expressive whales. With white whale numbers peaking around 3,000 by mid-summer, the Churchill River is virtually ‘swimming’ with whales! They are inquisitive and comfortable with tour boats, swimming beside, behind and under your boat. Enjoy an unforgettable kayak trip or even go snorkelling with the belugas.
BCRobyn social media travel blogger's story on Churchill (July 2013).
Aurora Canada Tours (Churchill)
Offering beluga whale watching, birdwatching and wildflower tours of one day to two weeks in duration. Northern lights tours are also offered in February and March.
Beluga Whale Watching (Churchill)
Over 3,000 white beluga whales come to the mouth of the Churchill River annually in early July to feed and calve.
Boreal Gardens (Churchill)
Greenhouses and gardens which grow local produce.
Cape Merry National Historic Site of Canada (Churchill)
Manitoba Star Attraction, National Heritage Site
Once called Knight's Round Point (for James Knight who, in 1717, began construction of a fur trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company), the cape was later renamed for Captain John Merry, Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1712-18. The remnants of a gun powder magazine can still be seen at the site. In 1959-60, a single battery was rebuilt using stone blocks found at the site. Its lone cannon, one of the orginal 42 from Prince of Wales Fort, stands today. Among the Cape's distinctions is that it was the site of the first Lutheran service delivered in western Canada. The service was performed by a Rev. Rasmus Jensen, a minister with the crew of Jens Munck, a European trying to find the Northwest Passage. A stone cairn at the cape commemorates the crew and Fort Churchill.
Churchill - Polar Bear Capital of the World (Churchill)
Manitoba Star Attraction
The large mammals, best viewed in the fall months of October and early November, give Churchill its title as Polar Bear Capital of the World. In fact, Churchill is the only human settlement in the world where polars bears, often weighing over half a tonne (1,100 pounds) and standing 3 metres (10 ft) tall, can be observed in their natural environment.
Churchill and Cape Tatnam Wildlife Management Areas (Churchill)
Habitats for caribou, polar bears and geese, the Churchill and Cape Tatnam Wildlife Management Areas encompasses and protect major portions of the Hudsons Bay coast line from Churchill to the Ontario border.
Churchill Nature Tours (Churchill)
Churchill Nature Tours serves diverse groups, from expert birdwatching to general interest tours, from senior citizens to school groups. The company's staff leaders offer an array of expertise from ornithology and wildlife research (including Polar Bears) to horticulture, history, and nature photography.
Tour packages include lodging, meals (restaurants and picnics), all transport transfers, baggage handling, entry fees, and tips to hotel and restaurant service staff. Most tours include a tour handbook, and all are led by experienced naturalist guides.
Tours range in duration from 4 to 14 days. Custom tours can also be designed for individuals and groups. Private guiding services, step-on guiding services and complete outfitting services are also available. Environmental education is also offered for schools and special interest groups.
Visit Churchill Nature Tour's website for complete information on their Polar Bear Tours, Manitoba Bird Watching Tours and Summer Safaris.
Churchill Northern Studies Centre (Churchill)
The Churchill Northern Studies Centre is an independent, non-profit research and education facility, which serves as a base for researchers and offers a wide variety of quality educational programs to the general public. The sub-arctic 'learning vacations' range seasonally from beluga whales, to polar bears, wildflowers, birding, northern lights, summer and winter ecology. Tours of the Centre are available.
Churchill Wild (Churchill)
The true Arctic Safari, Churchill Wild provides a variety of wildlife adventures, including walking with polar bears at the Seal river Heritage Lodge or Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Choose from Fire & Ice; The Great Ice Bear; Birds, Bears & Belugas; Caribou to Wolves and Mothers & Cubs.
Dymond Lake Lodge (Churchill)
Remote, fly-in lodge. Meals & guides included.
Eskimo Museum (Churchill)
The museum features a collection of Inuit artifacts and carvings that are among the oldest in the world, ranging from approx. 1700 BC to modern times. The Pre-Dorset and Dorset peoples made the area around Churchill their home during the period from approximately 3,000 BC to 1,000 BC. The museum has a gift shop where visitors can purchase Inuit art, books and other local items.
Frontiers North Adventures (Churchill)
Frontiers North Adventures offers a wide range of northern tours: Hudson Strait Expedition Cruises; Belugas, Birds and Blooms; Black and White Bear Adventure; Northern Lights, Northern Nights; and various polar bear tours.
Hudson Bay Helicopters (Churchill)
Sightseeing tours by helicopter of the Churchill area and Wapusk National Park by the longest-operating helicopter company in the Canadian sub-Arctic.
Lazy Bear Expeditions (Churchill)
Cozy & handcrafted log hotel and cafe. Spacious double-bed rooms with private bath and shower, cable TV and 24-hour phone service. Free shuttle to airport and train station. Room rate includes a hearty breakfast.
Cafe has beautiful two-way tyndall stone fireplace, menu includes Northern Cuisine choices and a screened outdoor attached eating area.
Lazy Bear Lodge also offers the following tours:
Polar Bear Adventure Packages
Beluga Whale Adventure Packages
Polar Bear & Beluga Whale Adventure Packages combined
Natural Habitat Adventures (Churchill)
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in wildlife and natured-based ecotours since 1985, specializing in all-inclusive six to nine day Churchill Polar Bear tours in November/December, Churchill Northern Lights tours January through March and Churchill summer nature tours featuring Beluga Whales in July/August. Visit us on facebook!
Nature 1st (Churchill)
Be a part of the ecosystem and explore the Churchill area in half-day or full-day tours. Tours available from beginning of June to end of November.
North Star Tours (Churchill)
Historical bus / hiking tours in Churchill, MB.
Parks Canada Visitor Reception Centre (Churchill)
Exhibits and information about local heritage and park sites in the area, including Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site, York Factory National Historic Site and Wapusk National Park of Canada.
Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site of Canada (Churchill)
Manitoba Star Attraction, National Heritage Site
The Hudson's Bay Company built this huge stone fortress over a 40-year period in the 1700s to protect their fur trade interests. The star-shaped bastions and other architectural features of the fortress make this site historically significant. Licensed guides provide details about the operation of the fort, and historical plaques provide additional information about Sir Thomas Button, Samuel Hearne, Matonabee and the Jens Munk expedition.
The site is only accessible by boat or helicopter.
Rail Travel Tours (Churchill) (Churchill)
Rail tour packages travelling Northern Manitoba's rail passenger routes roundtrip from Winnipeg to Churchill year round with an emphasis on Beluga Whale packages in the summer and Polar Bear migration tour in the fall.
Sea North Tours Ltd. (Churchill)
Sea North Tours provides tours to view beluga whales, Prince of Wales Fort, polar bears, seals and birds. Sea tours are aboard the Sea North II, a 32-passenger tour boat. Zodiac inflatable boat charters are also available.
Sloop Cove National Historic Site of Canada (Churchill)
National Heritage Site
A sloop was a wooden sailing vessel used during the fur trade. Sloop Cove was a sheltered, safe harbour for Hudson's Bay Company sloops during the 18th century. Rocks at the cove bear the signatures of HBC men including Samuel Hearne who was just 22 years old when he carved his name here. Hearne was employed by the HBC and was governor of Prince of Wales Fort from 1775 until 1782 when the Fort was destroyed by the French. He later established Fort Churchill.
Tours to the cove can be arranged with private tour operators, as access can only be gained by boat or helicopter.
The Great Canadian Travel Company (Churchill)
The Great Canadian Travel Company offers personalized or group tours to Canada's north. Luxury or on a budget, we can help you design your perfect holiday.
Wapusk National Park of Canada (Churchill)
Located south and east of Churchill, Manitoba's newest national park encompasses 11,475 square kilometres (4,430 square miles) of the Hudson-James Lowlands, and lies in a transition area between the boreal forests of north-central Manitoba and the Arctic tundra. The park is truly remote, with both a harsh terrain and climate.
Wapusk (which means "white bear" in Cree) is home to the world's largest known polar bear materinity denning sites. The park is an important habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds that nest on the Hudson Bay coast in summer, and which gather here to feed during the annual spring and fall migrations. Forty-two species of mammals inhabit the part, including the Cape Churchill caribou herd consisting of over 3,000 animals.
Geographically, the park has a number of unique features: a coastal habitat of salt marshes, dunes, beaches and extensive inter-tidal zone; a tundra zone; a taiga area of stunted white spruce, larch and willows; and a land area half-covered by small lakes, streams, rivers and bogs.
Access to the park is via authorized commerical tour operators in Churchill.
Wreck of the MV Ithica (Churchill)
While shipping a load of nickel from Rankin Inlet, in the Northwest Territories, to Montreal, Quebec in 1961, the MV Ithica was caught in a wind storm and was stranded in the tidal flats approximately 20 km (12 miles) east of Churchill. The ship was once owned by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. It can be reached by foot when the tide is low, or when the Hudson Bay is frozen over, although extensive corrosion of the decks has made it unsafe to board.
York Factory National Historic Site of Canada (Churchill)
Located near the mouth of the Hayes River approximately 250 km (155 miles) south of Churchill, this 102-hectacre site's most prominent feature is the Hudson's Bay Company's Depot building. For over two centuries, beginning in 1684, York Factory was a major administrative, transshipment and manufacturing centre and provided the HBC with access to quality furs, both from the hinterlands and from Aboriginal traders.
The current site is known as York Factory III and was developed after 1788. York Factory I (1684-1715) and York Factory II (1715-1788) were located about 1 km (0.6 mile) downstream from the current location.
The site was abandoned by the HBC in 1957 and ownership was transferred to the Government of Canada in 1968. It is now a National Historic Site.