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North America > Canada > Atlantic Canada > Newfoundland and Labrador > Labrador > Churchill Falls

Churchill Falls

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Churchill Falls in Labrador is one of the last company towns in Atlantic Canada. Its population of nearly 600 work for the Churchill Dam, a 5.428 gigawatt hydroelectric generating station, the third-largest hydroelectric station (by power output) in North America.

Understand[edit]

Little or no water goes over the falls; the generating station diverts everything

Installed about 300 m (nearly 1000 feet) underground, the eleven-turbine power station cost nearly a billion dollars and took thousands of workers five years to construct. The first power flowed from Churchill Falls on December 6, 1971.

Churchill Falls is infamous among Newfoundlanders for a notorious 1968 deal in which Hydro-Québec locked in artificially-low rates for hydroelectric power from the Upper Churchill well into 2041. As the only way at the time to get Labrador hydroelectric power to market at the time was through Québec, that province set rates so one-sided that, by 1996, the project brought in $1.4 million/day for Hydro-Québec but only $45,000/day for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The hydroelectric generating station is the ninth-largest in the world and the second-largest to be constructed underground (the main station on the LaGrande River at James Bay is the largest). Much of its power is exported from Québec to the US Northeast.

Get in[edit]

Access is by the paved Trans-Labrador Highway 500 between Labrador City (243 km to the west) and Happy Valley-Goose Bay (288 km to the east).

There is a tiny local airport, owned by the operators of the generating station; Provincial Airlines flies to Goose Bay and Wabush.

Get around[edit]

There is no public transport. The hotel operates a shuttle to the airport, which is 7.5km from the town.

See[edit]

One of 11 generating turbines at Churchill Falls

Do[edit]

  • Sport fishing. The large, enclosed freshwater reservoirs created by the dam are populated by several species of fish, including lake trout, brook trout (speckled trout) and northern pike.

Buy[edit]

There are few services other than a hotel, restaurant, supermarket and fuel station; there is no automotive repair garage.

  • Churchill Falls Labrador Corporation Town Centre (Donald Gordon Centre), +1 709 925-3271. Town hall, school, swimming pool, ice surface, auditorium, grocery store, library, hotel, kitchen and restaurant, fitness centre, gymnasium and bank... all in one building.
  • Strickland's Auto & Gas, 1 John Cabot St, +1 709 925-3233. Ultramar petrol station, convenience store, soft-serve ice cream, liquor and beer, hunting and fishing equipment.

Eat[edit]

  • Height of Land Hotel Restaurant, +1 709 925-3993. M-Sa 7AM-9PM, Su 7AM-8PM. Sandwiches, burgers, steak, fish and chips. $5-28/main course.

Drink[edit]

The small fuel station has a wide variety of liquor and beers.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Height of Land Hotel, 1 Town Centre, +1 709 925-3211, toll-free: +1-800-229-3269, fax: +1 709 925-3544. Check-in: 11AM, check-out: 4PM. Hotel. Opened February 2017 to replace the former Midway Travel Inn. $149 plus taxes.

Connect[edit]

Bell provides WCDMA (HSPA+) coverage in the town. Head out onto the Trans-Labrador Highway and the signal dies after the first few kilometres. As of 2017, there is no Rogers signal in Churchill Falls.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Churchill Falls
Baie-ComeauQc389.svgLabrador City  W NL Route 500.svg E  → Muskrat Falls → Happy Valley-Goose Bay



This city travel guide to Churchill Falls is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.