Ice Roads, Northern Canada

Ice Roads, Northern Canada
Photo Courtesy Mike Grandmaison

Winter travel suddenly looks a lot more adventurous when you head out on one of Canada’s northern ice roads, which, for a few cold weeks a year, provide vital links to some of Canada’s “off highway” communities.  They really are made of ice in places, about a metre thick, and they cross tundra, lakes, and rivers. Northerners travel these roads in cars and trucks, snowmobiles, and dogteams, to connect with friends and family, or to pursue business interests. We received plenty of pitches for these unique northern roads.

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Tami Johnson

There's something about being able to only drive out on an ice road at certain times of the year, or having to wait for your housing supplies to come across on the ferry that is different from the rest of the country. Those challenges bind the residents together in a silent pact to stick together through the tough winter and emerge in the spring thanking God for the 24 hour sunlight.

Ellen, Age 12

I think that the frozen sea ice on Frobisher Bay, Iqaluit  should be one of the seven wonders of Canada because of all the things that it does for that community. In the winter, the only two ways to stock the local grocery store are to fly it in, or to use the ice road.

Neil Carroll

The ice road from Yellowknife to the diamond mines. 550km long. Spectacular to see. Amazing engineering feat. Essential to the economy of NWT, [as is] the whole network of ice roads and ice bridges in the North.

Roman Mahnic

Tuktoyaktuk, in the NWT, is the northernmost point that one can drive to in Canada via the winter ice road that is built out on the frozen areas of the Arctic Ocean and the Mackenzie River.

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