Visit

Summer Hours are here!

We’re experiencing difficulties with our wading pool. Please call ahead (705 272-2327) to find out the latest status, if this is important to your visit.

OPEN DAILY 9am – 5pm

Times are subject to change without notice. Last admission one (1) hour prior to closing.

The best time to see the bears is usually in the mornings when they are at their most active. However, since we give our bears as much control over their environment as possible, we can’t always predict when our bears will choose to eat, swim, sleep, or play. Unless we are cleaning inside, they usually have access to their bear holding building, too, and they sometimes choose to spend their time there, keeping tabs on what our animal care staff is up to. You may have to be patient to get the best views. But they’re worth it.

Bearkeeper Talks

This is a unique opportunity to hear about our bears from the people who know them best: their keepers.

Daily, we offer opportunities to hear our expert keepers talk about the bears in their care and the conservation work being done for them. This is also a great chance to ask them any questions you have!

  • Monday  1:30pm
  • Tuesday  11:00am
  • Wednesday  1:00pm
  • Thursday  10:00am
  • Friday  2:00pm
  • Saturday  11:00am
  • Sunday  2:00pm
Day Pass
  • Adults – $16
  • Seniors (65 and over) – $14
  • Students (12-17) – $12
  • Children (5-11) – $10
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $45
  • Children (4 and under) – FREE
  • Snowmobile Museum – $5 or FREE with day pass
Annual Membership
  • Adults – $25
  • Seniors (65 and over) – $23
  • Students (12-17) – $20
  • Children (5-11) – $17
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $60
  • Children (4 and under) – FREE

A Day Pass includes access to the bear enclosures and viewing building, Heritage Village, Snowmobile Museum, and daily bearkeeper talks.

Group rates are also available. Email frontdesk@polarbearhabitat.ca for more information.

  • By Phone or Email: +1 (705) 272-2327 or frontdesk@polarbearhabitat.ca
  • Address: 1 Drury Park Road, Cochrane ON, P0L1C0, Canada.
  • By Air: There is an airport in Timmins with daily flights to and from Toronto via Air Canada and Porter Airlines.
  • By Bus: Ontario Northland buses travel to and from Cochrane daily. The trip from Toronto takes roughly 13 hours.
  • By Car: Cochrane is an eight hour drive north of Toronto and one hour northeast of Timmins. When entering the town of Cochrane from Highway 11, take the first right after the OPP Station (JR’s Bar & Grill is across the street on the left). Drury Park Road is an extension of 2nd St.

Please note that all experiences must be booked in advance.

Bearholding Tour

A backstage pass to what we do here at the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat. With this experience you will get a look inside the bears food prep room, where they sleep, and a personal 1-on-1 experience with our animal care staff. To learn more or to book this experience, contact us.

Photography Package

This will allow you access to our walkway above the viewing building. From there you will have an uninterrupted view of the Arctic Enclosure, allowing you to capture beautiful shots of the bears with nothing to block your lenses. To learn more or to book this experience, contact us.

Bearkeeper Experience

(only available in Summer)

Step into the shoes of a bearkeeper! This experience includes a much closer look at training/feeding/zen sessions between the fence line, toy play between the fence line, and even a training session from the walkway on top of the viewing building. To learn more or to book this experience, contact us.

Crate Training Experience

(only available in Summer)

Participate in a once in a lifetime experience. With this experience you will get a front row seat to a Crate Training Session with a bear and bearkeepers. You will walk you through the process of this training, learning about how and why the bears choose to participate. To learn more or to book this experience, contact us.

Located on 70 acres of boreal forest, the Polar Bear Habitat welcomes you to visit the largest human care environment dedicated solely to polar bears. See the bears, visit our Heritage Village and Snowmobile Museum, or join one of our events throughout the year. Why not camp on our property in summer?

Welcome Centre

The Welcome Centre is your first stop upon arrival. Our friendly staff will welcome you at the front desk where you can buy some coffee, tea or hot chocolate while watching our bears on live TV. Watch our feature movie in Ganuk’s Theatre, or look at the beautiful artwork in our foyer.

There is also a giftshop and washrooms here, and we offer kennels with water for your visiting pets.

facility

Viewing Building

The Viewing building is the focal point of our habitat. Here you can look out our observation windows into the Arctic and Baffin Enclosures, or watch the bears swim gracefully in the pool right in front of you. Once you’ve had your fill of watching the bears, explore interactive exhibits to learn more about the world of polar bears or speak with one of our animal care staff during our Bearkeeper Talks.

Please note that our polar bears choose where they spend their time. They move between enclosures and may not be available to watch in the pools depending on weather, mood, and which enclosure they are in.

facility

Wading Pool

We have a small wading pool where visitors can wade in the water next to the bears, who have their very own pool on the other side of a glass barrier. The wading pool is open seasonally from late May to September, weather permitting.

Enclosures

Our bears have access to five enclosures totalling 24 acres, equipped with pools, trees, rock and natural vegetation, including the world’s largest polar bear enclosure encompassing a natural lake.

Please keep in mind, our polar bears choose where they want to be on any given day.  That means we will rotate them in enclosures according to their needs.

Holding Facilities

We have two bear holding facilities. These are not generally accessible to the public unless you have booked a special experience package.

The holding areas provide indoor protection and privacy for the bears, who may choose to go inside anytime if they don’t feel sociable. Our main holding includes bearkeeper office, food preparation area, crate room, denning room, and individual rooms for the bears. There is a smaller second holding area attached to the Greenland Enclosure with additional private rooms.

heritage village

Heritage Village

Take a trip back in time to Cochrane’s first generation of settlers. Our Heritage Village, just steps away from the Learning Centre, has a picturesque main street to explore. Here you will find a General Store, Butcher Shop, Doctor’s Office, Blacksmith’s Shop, Fire Station, Farm House, and School. We even have a Trapper’s Cabin facing the lake enclosure.

Nanook’s Restaurant, named after one of our past polar bear guests, and a youth train ride are open seasonally.

heritage village

Nanook’s Restaurant

The restaurant is only open during Summers.

Cochrane residents still have fond memories of the Habitat’s first furry resident, Nanook. Located across from the Heritage Village Railway Station and Train Ride, Nanook’s Restaurant offers family friendly food such as chicken burgers, hot dogs, onion rings and fries, as well as drinks and other snacks.

Look for this air conditioned, sit-down restaurant, or bring your own picnic lunch. Picnic tables are available at various locations throughout the habitat.

snowmobile museum

Snowmobile Museum

Visit Ontario’s northernmost snowmobile museum. The Cochrane Classic Vintage Riders Snowmobile Museum is adjacent to the Welcome Centre. The exhibit traces the rich journey of Cochrane’s snowmobile history from the 1950’s to present day. The museum showcases close to 100 vintage sleds and includes an archive of historic photographs and unique memorabilia.

Stay close to the polar bears. Take only photographs, leave only footprints. We have 13 big and small campsites on our property, perfect for tenting, caravans or RVs. Easy site access, whether on grass or forest clearings, with access to a public lake. Access to washrooms during open hours. Please help keep our property clean by taking your litter with you.

  • Camping Daily Rate $25.00 + tax per night
  • Camping Weekly Rate $160.00 + tax per seven (7) days

Includes dumping station, but no water or electricity

  • Dumping Station Only $20.00 + tax per use

All fees payable at the Habitat Welcome Centre. Please call us at (705) 272-2327 or email us for reservations.

Events for Everyone

Here at the Polar Bear Habitat, we love to celebrate with our bears and our community. Consult our events calendar to find out more about our upcoming events. Please join us; we can’t wait to meet you!

Nothing listed for the day you’d like to visit? We also host Bearkeeper Talks daily.

Hold Your Special Event with Us

The Heritage Village is available for special events and as a film location. Contact us for more information.

  • Nanook’s Restaurant will fit a maximum of 90 people for sit-down dining. The space has wifi, and can accommodate audiovisual gear.
  • There is a small outdoor stage for concerts.
  • The barn is a favourite for dancing.
  • Stables and riding circuit available for your gymkhana.

As the Polar Bear Habitat is a sanctuary, we do expect our patrons to respect our bears and the nature of our facility during their visit. Therefore, we’ve established the following policies and regulations to ensure our bears have as stress-free an environment as possible:

  • No pets of any kind are allowed inside the facility. For your convenience we have provided lockable kennels for your dogs just outside our front door. If your dog has kennel issues, ask us if we have any available staff and an area to look after your dog for you while you visit.
  • Service animals are not permitted past the Welcome Center. If a polar bear reacts badly to a barking dog, it isn’t just for an afternoon or a day, but can trigger behaviours that last weeks. We would be happy to look after your dog and escort you while you are on our premises. Please contact us in advance so we may prepare accordingly.
  • Please refrain from bringing any remote-controlled devices such as remote controlled vehicles, drones, or anything else that may fall into this category.
  • Balloons and plastics can be blown into bear enclosures and are also a potential hazard for our large quantity of ravens, crows, fox, grouse, beaver, otters and other wildlife.
  • Please avoid bringing single-use plastic items, and ensure all garbage is properly disposed of.
  • We also ask that all patrons refrain from running, taunting, or teasing the bears at any time.
  • Smoking is only permitted at designated areas outdoors. No smoking is permitted indoors.

By visiting our facility, we trust you agree with ensuring our bears have the best environment possible.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US IN OUR QUEST TO PROVIDE OUR POLAR BEARS WITH THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF CARE.