Churchill

Churchill, town (2011 pop. 813), NE Manitoba, Canada, a remote port on Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Churchill River. The northern terminus of the Hudson Bay Railway, it shipped grain from the Prairie Provinces in the summer navigation season, but the port has been closed since 2016. As the polar bear capital of the world, it is a tourist destination; nearby Wapusk National Park is one of the world's largest polar bear maternity denning sites.

The Hudson's Bay Company established a trading post, later the British stronghold Prince of Wales Fort, nearby in 1717. Captured (1782) by the French under Jean La Pérouse, the fort was returned to the British in 1783; its ruins are preserved in Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site. The Churhill area also is the site of a former airbase, now an airport, and rocket range.

See J. Knight's journal, The Founding of Churchill, ed. by J. F. Kenney (1932).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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