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Phase I of Polar Extremes replicates an Arctic shoreline, allowing you to get closer to animals and nature. You can explore a pingo, a unique Arctic landform and climb on a whale bone play structure.

The Arctic habitat, which opened March 16, 2012, was the first of several projects aimed at transforming the Edmonton Valley Zoo.

Inspired by an Arctic shoreline, allowing guests to get closer to animals and nature in a naturalized environment, the Arctic Shores exhibit is home to animals of the sea and features state of the art environmentally friendly practices, and technology. Harbour seals and northern fur seals can be viewed enjoying their indoor/outdoor pool and shoreline.

Environmental Features

As part of the City of Edmonton's commitment to the environment, the exhibit was created with many sustainable features, including:

  • Green roof to minimize storm water runoff
  • Capturing storm water and treating it on site using streams and natural wetlands
  • Treating the water in the seal/sea lion pools on site with a combination of mechanical equipment and subsurface saltwater wetland so it can be reused in the animals' aquatic home
  • Drought-tolerant planting
  • Dark-sky-compliant exterior lighting

Life Support Building

The Life Support Building houses a state-of-the-art filtration designed to minimize energy by utilizing wetland treatment systems. Pool water is filtered naturally by plant materials within a working salt water marsh serving as a natural water treatment facility. In total 870,000 litres or 229,000 gallons of water is circulated and filtered every 90 minutes. This is the total volume of water that the seals swim and splash about in their home.

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7


In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311


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