Inuvik, Northwest Territories – Our Lady of Victory, the Igloo church, was designed by Brother Maurice Larocque, a local Catholic missionary. The project had its challenges; wood needed to be transported 1,400 km and the building would have to exist on permafrost, which meant it had to be designed in such a way that the land under it wouldn’t get warm and melt, or the it would shift and be damaged. The actual construction work, which took two years, was done by volunteers. It opened in 1960. It was damaged by arson in 2005, and rebuilt.
While you are in the neighourhood go to the corner of Loucheux Road and Breynant St where you’ll find the most northern greenhouse in North America. It was made by converting an old arena.
Located 200 km (124 mi) north of the Arctic Circle, Inuvik is Canada’s most northern town (there are more northerly settlements, such as Alert.) In summer you can reach it by road on the 671-km (417-mile) Dempster Highway, from the Yukon’s Dawson City. It’s on the East Channel of the Mackenzie Delta. From January to April, the Mackenzie River turns into an ice road, enabling road travel to Aklavik and Tuktoyaktuk.
Quick tip: If you visit the Western Arctic Regional Visitor Centre in Inuvik you will be given a certificate awarded to all travellers who cross the Arctic Circle.
Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 180 Mackenzie Rd Inuvik, Northwest Territories