Population: 3,243

Inuvik is located on the east channel of the Mackenzie River, at the end of the Dempster Highway, 481 miles from Dawson City, YT, by road and some 60 air miles south of the Beaufort Sea. 

Visitor Information: Western Arctic Regional Visitors Centre on Mackenzie Road, phone 867-777-4727; open June to September; Town of Inuvik.

Inuvik, meaning “The Place of Man,” is the largest Canadian community north of the Arctic Circle, and the centre for government, transportation and communications in Canada’s western Arctic. Construction of the town began in 1955 and was completed in 1961.

The town’s official monument says, in part, that Inuvik was “the first community north of the Arctic Circle built to provide the normal facilities of a Canadian town.”  Visitors will find food, gas and lodging in Inuvik. Accommodations at Arctic Chalet (cabins, bed-and-breakfast) and Capital Suites. There are several places to dine. Camping at Happy Valley Territorial Campground and at Jak Territorial Park.

There is a post office, territorial liquor store, a library, a bank (CIBC) and churches. Inuvik also has one of the most northerly mosques in the world, brought here by road and river from Manitoba. There are 2 gas stations with gas, diesel and car wash; propane, auto repair and towing are available. The town has a hardware, grocery, general stores, gift shops and a pharmacy.

Thanks to its geographical location, Inuvik enjoys 56 days of 24 hour daylight (late June, July and into August) and has 30 days when the sun does not rise, mostly in the month of December, with the sun returning in early January.



  • Favorite photo subject is Inuvik’s famous Igloo Church, Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church, painted white with lines to simulate snow blocks.
  • Take a custom or package tour of Inuvik and the Dempster Highway, or fly out to Tuktoyaktuk, Herschel Island and other locations with Arctic Chalet’s Arctic Adventure Tours.
  • Great Northern Arts Festival features artists and performers from across the North. Held for 10 days every summer in July.
  • The Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway—drive Canada’s newest, northernmost highway for 87 miles to the Arctic Oceanside community of Tuktoyaktuk.