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Inuvik, Northwest Territories

Inuvik Community Greenhouse

Canada's most northerly commercial greenhouse was once a hockey arena. 

In an old hockey rink in Inuvik, Canada, a smorgasbord of crops grows within the country’s most northerly commercial greenhouse. Fruits, vegetables, and flowers flourish beneath the glow of the midnight sun, protected from the harsh Arctic elements.

The town of Inuvik is located 120 miles above the Arctic Circle. Farming is difficult in such frozen terrain and importing fresh fruits and vegetables is an expensive endeavor. In 1988, the Community Garden Society of Inuvik launched an initiative to circumvent their produce predicament: They converted an hockey arena into a commercial greenhouse.

The giant greenhouse is divided into two distinct sections. A 4,000-square-foot commercial greenhouse takes up half of it, while the rest of the space is filled with nearly 180 individual plots that members of the community maintain. Some of the raised beds are allocated for vulnerable groups like town elders, children’s groups, and local charities.

Within the eight-foot-by-four-foot individual plots, a plethora of produce not otherwise growable in the Arctic flourishes. People plant tasty treats like spinach, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, squash, and even occasionally watermelon. Flowers are also a common find. The greenhouse’s growing season lasts from May to late September.

The greenhouse is just a few minutes’ walk from the town’s iconic igloo-shaped church.