Journey to Churchill is the most comprehensive northern species exhibit of its kind in the world.
Visitors experience a variety of naturalistic landscapes and animal viewing areas. Interpretive signage and interactive displays invite visitors to learn about biodiversity, climate change and conservation. It is an educational classroom like no other, inviting exploration, challenging thinking and promoting personal action.
A towering inuksuk welcomes visitors to Journey to Churchill. Here, visitors first encounter beautiful snowy owls, while caribou stand alert on a hill behind them. To their left, Arctic fox play while mighty muskoxen graze on the rise above. In the distances, wolves keep a watchful eye on their surroundings.
With no visible barriers between the species, visitors experience the vastness of the tundra. Interpretive content describes the age, scale, fragility, and beauty of the tundra and the many species that depend on it.
The Gateway to the Arctic is a primary viewing point for polar bears and seals. Interpretive media helps visitors learn about physiological adaptations to life on and under the sea ice. Underwater viewing tunnels, known as Sea Ice Passage, give visitors the rare opportunity to view these amazing creatures swim from below the surface of the water. With only a clear wall bisecting the two species habitats, the polar bears and seals see and smell each other, creating a dynamic and enriching environment. This interaction between the seals and polar bears will be part of what puts this exhibit at the forefront of arctic zoo experiences.
Located inside the Gateway to the Arctic building, the domed Aurora Borealis Theatre is a place of wonder and awe. With the play of the northern lights above and the encircling wall projecting a 360 degree horizon, visitors will appear to stand in a vast expanse of Arctic landscape. Through a short film, they watch the Arctic’s seasonal beauty unfold and learn about the people and animals that live in Canada’s north. After hours, the theatre becomes a dramatic venue for private events.
The Churchill Coast is the culmination of the Journey to Churchill. With a façade resembling the town of Churchill, visitors will feel as though they have been transported to the northern frontier. The landscape includes bear dens that can shelter a bear from the summer sun or winter wind. Visitors can watch the bears from the Tundra Grill while they enjoy their lunch. The adjacent Polar Playground is uniquely designed to engage children in a polar-themed wonderland of active participation.