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Overview

In the far northwest corner of the Northwest Territories, you must see Inuvik with your own eyes to believe it, and then you may still doubt what you see—brightly painted houses on stilts, a monstrous church shaped like an igloo, metal tunnels snaking through town, and a main street where businesses have names such as Eskimo Inn, 60 Below Construction, and Polar TV. Meaning “Place of Man” in Inuvialuktun, Inuvik (population 4,200) is a planned community, transformed from some architect's drafting board into full-blown reality high above the Arctic Circle. All aspects have been scientifically planned, right down to the foundations (all ...

In the far northwest corner of the Northwest Territories, you must see Inuvik with your own eyes to believe it, and then you may still doubt what you see—brightly painted houses on stilts, a monstrous church shaped like an igloo, metal tunnels snaking through town, and a main street where businesses have names such as Eskimo Inn, 60 Below Construction, and Polar TV. Meaning “Place of Man” in Inuvialuktun, Inuvik (population 4,200) is a planned community, transformed from some architect's drafting board into full-blown reality high above the Arctic Circle. All aspects have been scientifically planned, right down to the foundations (all structures sit on piles of rock, ensuring stability in the permafrost and preventing heat from turning the ground into sludge). Access is by road along the Dempster Highway from Dawson City or by plane from the territorial capital of Yellowknife. Once in town, it’s easy to spend a day walking around town taking in all the sights, but the main attractions are beyond town, along the Arctic coast and the Mackenzie Delta.

Andrew Hempstead
About the Expert

Over the last 20 years, Andrew Hempstead has authored and updated more than 60 guidebooks for Avalon Travel, Frommer’s, Michelin, Odyssey, Dorling Kindersley, Michelin, and Sasquatch Books, including many books on Canada.

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Andrew Hempstead for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Inuvik, the administrative center of the Northwest Territories is located in the northernmost part of the territory, near the Yukon border.
  • Language: Inuvialuktun, Gwich’in, English
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Northwest Territories | Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June to September