The North comes to Winnipeg

Assiniboine-zooDo you dream of journeying to Churchill? Basking in the beauty of the tundra and the once in a lifetime opportunity to view arctic animals in their natural habitat? If so, be sure to visit the Journey to Churchill exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this summer, it will give you a taste of Canada’s North and have you booking your flight soon enough.

zoo-entranceThe first thing visitors will notice is the new entrance, an expansive open beam structure with floor to ceiling glass situated along Roblin Boulevard. Equipped with a gift store, washrooms, membership desk and staff facilities, this state-of-the-art structure is symbolic of the grand changes that people can expect from our zoo this summer and as it continues its development plans into the future.

“Journey to Churchill will open as the greatest northern species zoo exhibit anywhere in the world and that’s something of which Manitobans should be very proud,” says Margaret Redmond, president and CEO of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.

The exhibit combines spectacular viewing areas, research, conservation and education in a venue that will introduce people to the wonders of the North. A sprawling 10-acre route will house three distinct zones with a variety of landscapes, animal viewing areas, audio-visual and interactive components.

arctic-foxStarting in the Wapusk Lowlands visitors will be greeted with a view of the open tundra populated with native species such as snowy owls, caribou, arctic fox and musk-ox. The animals will have no visible barriers, allowing visitors to experience the beauty of the tundra and species roaming about before them. Over the top of the hill they may even catch their first glimpse of a polar bear.

At Gateway to the Arctic, the main indoor hub, you’ll find the primary viewing point for the polar bears and seals. The addition of a 10-foot-wide acrylic tunnel allows visitors to view the animals interacting through clear panels both above and below the surface of the water. The 360-degree domed Aurora Borealis theatre will delight viewers with images of the northern lights and the seasonal beauty of the North through a short feature film.

In the final zone families and friends gather at Churchill Coast, a facade resembling the town of Churchill which transports you to this northern town. The Tundra Grill treats guests to a view of the bears through floor to ceiling glass walls. Children can run and play in the year-round interactive Polar Playground.

The Assiniboine Park Zoo has undergone incredible renovations and the grand reveal is scheduled for Thursday, July 3. In order to fully prepare the zoo will be closed for 10 days beginning June 23. Keep watching as new developments are still being planned including designs for a new conservatory to be unveiled inthe near very future.