Did You Know – Churchill Facts

 

Beluga Whaleswebsite mod - IMG_2296

Beluga is derived from a Russian word BELUKHA which means white.

The Western Hudson Bay population is approximately 57,000 whales, with the Churchill River area having approximately 3,500 whales.

Nicknamed “Sea Canaries” by the ancient mariners due to their strange high pitched whistles, clicking, chirping and other underwater vocalization.

Caribou

The Cape Churchill caribou hear is more than 3,000 animals which  occupy a range of roughly 17,000 sq km.

Churchill River

Over 990 miles (1600km) long and runs through Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba where it drains into the Hudson Bay.

website mod - DSC01246Churchill Rocket Research Range

Established in 1957 by the US Special Committee, operated for almost 30 year.

Launched over 3500 sounding rockets in conjunction with experiments relating to northern lights and ionosphere.

Churchill Tides

Tides rise and fall very quickly, approximately 0.3 meters (2ft) in one hour.

Cultural History

This is archeological evidence in the Churchill area that dates back to 1700 BC.

In 1610, Henry Hudson was the First European to explore the west coast of the Hudson Bay in search of the Northwest Passage.

Fort Churchill (Military)

In the mid 1940’s the Us and Canadian Army Forces moved into Churchill to help with a proposed overseas route to support the Allied forces in Europe.

The military base had housing for 423 officers, 864 enlisted men, a hospital, 2 runways, 3 mess halls, a radio transmitter and receiver stations.

Fort Prince of Waleswebsite mod - IMG_9436

Originally built from wood in 1717, 5 miles (8 km) upstream, with supplies rafted in from 10 miles (16km) or more upstream.

A stone fort was authorized to be built by the Hudson Bay Co. with construction start in 1730 and just over 40 years later it was deemed complete.

Hudson Bay Railway

In the 1930’s, when the rail line was under construction, people required a permit from the district engineer to travel on the train to reach Churchill

The Hudson Bay Railway rail line starts at The Pas and ends at Churchill, a total of 509.8 miles (820km).  From Thompson to Churchill the rail line is 309.8 miles (500km).

The original end point of the rail line was Port Nelson, but was changed to Churchill when it was decided the Nelson River would have issues with silting and would require a large amount of dredging unlike the Churchill River.

website mod - IMG_9706Isostatic Rebound

Land that was once compressed under the weight of the glacial ice sheets is slowly and steadily rebounding.  In the Churchill area some research has indicated the rate is as much as 3 meters (9ft) per century.

Permafrost

Ground in the form of soil or rock that is frozen year round.  Most of the land in northeastern Manitoba, including Churchill, is 95% continuous permafrost.

Port of Churchill

Churchill is known as Canada’s only arctic seaport and ocean trade came to town in 1929.

Polar Bears

The Western Hudson Bay polar bear population is stable around 930 bears.

Their migration route falls within the Town of Churchill and the surround areas.

They are the largest land carnivore in the world.

Newborn baby cubs are approximately the size of their mother’s paw.

Northern Lights

Latin name Aurora Borealis; Aurora means pale light of dawn which precedes the sunrise; Borealis means of the north.website mod - churchill experience webpage0167

Temperature

The warmest month is July with an average temperature 12oC (53oF)

The coldest month is January with an average temperature -26.7oC (-16oF)

Town of Churchill

Churchill was originally established in 1689 by the Hudson Bay Co. as a staging area for exploration further north and for trade with the Inuit.  But, it mysteriously burned down a few months after construction started and new construction was not revisited until 1715.

The street names for the Town of Churchill are associated with HBC Fur Trade history and exploration in Canada.

The Town of Churchill was established in the middle of the polar bear migration route.

website mod - blue sky (1)Vegetation

Churchill has over 400 native plant species that can be found over the course of the short summer.

Trees have stunted growth on their northern side due to the fierce weather coming off the Hudson Bay.

Wapusk National Park

Established in 1996 to help preserve one of the world’s largest polar bear maternity den areas.

Wapusk is the Cree word for “white bear”.