Canadian Forts


Agiak Post | Amadjuak Post | Arctic Bay Post | Asiak River Post | Bache Peninsula Post
Baker Lake Posts | Banks Peninsula Posts | Bathurst Inlet Post | Baychimo Post
Belcher Islands Post | Bernard Harbour Post | Blacklead Island Post | Burnside River Post
Cambridge Bay Posts | Cape Dorset Post | Cape Kendall Post | Cape Krusenstern Posts
Charlton Island Depot | Chesterfield Inlet Posts | Clyde River Post | Coats Island Post
Fort Conger | Coppermine Posts | Craig Harbour Post | Crystal Three | Crystal Two
Detention Harbour Post | Devon Island Post | Dundas Harbour Post | Ellice River Post
Eskimo Point Post | Eureka Post | Frobisher Habitation | Frobisher Bay Post
Fullerton Harbour Posts | Gjoa Haven Posts | Fort Harmon | Fort Hearne | Fort Hope
Igloolik Post | Inman River Post | Kellet's Storehouse | Kent Peninsula Post
King William Island Post | Kugaryuak River Post | Lake Harbour Posts | Mansel Island Post
Mittimatalik Post | Northumberland House | Nueltin House | Padley Post | Pangnirtung Posts
Perry River Posts | Pond Inlet Posts | Port Burwell Posts | Port Leopold Post
Read Island Posts | Repulse Bay Post | Richardson Island Post | Fort Ross | Rymer Point Posts
Simpson Strait Post | Southampton Island Post | Tavane Post | Fort Thompson
Tree River Post | Wager Bay (Inlet) Posts | Western Arctic Post | Western River Post
Whitebear Point Post


Last Update: 08/MAY/2010
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2010 American Forts Network

NOTE: Separated from the Northwest Territories in 1999. The Arctic Islands were transferred from Great Britain to Canada in 1882.

Charlton Island Depot
(1680's - unknown, 1903 - 1931), Charlton Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post in James Bay, also associated with Fort Charles - Fort Rupert in Waskaganish, Québec. It was captured by the French in 1686 - 1693, and 1697 - 1713. HBC archival records cover 1903 - 1931.

The North West Company also operated here in 1803.

Belcher Islands Post
(1928 - 1950's), Belcher Islands
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records cover 1938 - 1940) on Tukarak Island in southern Hudson Bay. See also About Sanikiluaq from Qikiqtani Inuit Association

Mansel Island Post
(1930 - 1932), Mansel Island, near Ivujivik, Québec
A Hudson's Bay Co. post in northern Hudson Bay. Located on the north tip of the island.

Port Burwell Posts
(1907 - 1939), Port Burwell, Killiniq Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post located on western Killiniq Island, off the northern tip of Labrador. The HBC relocated most of the community in 1942 to Southampton Island. In 1978 all the remaining residents were resettled to communities in the Nunavik region of Québec and the town was later bulldozed.

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment was established here from 1920 - 1936.

Cape Dorset Post
(1913 - 1941), Cape Dorset, Baffin Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post. See also History of Cape Dorset from Hamlet of Cape Dorset

Amadjuak Post
(1921 - 1933), Baffin Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on the south coast of Baffin Island, east of Cape Dorset.

Lake Harbour Posts
(1911 - 1966), Kimmirut, Baffin Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on the south coast of Baffin Island. Several of the buildings still stand. The community was renamed in 1996. See also About Kimmirut from Hamlet of Kimmirut

The RCMP established a post here in 1915, and still maintains a presence.

Frobisher Habitation
(Kodlunarn Island National Historic Site)
(1576, 1577, 1578), Kodlunarn Island
Kodlunarn Island was the site of mining expeditions by English explorer Martin Frobisher during the summers of 1576, 1577, and 1578. Like his predecessor John Cabot, Frobisher was searching for a northwest passage when he found what he thought was gold. Five crewman were captured by the Inuit on the first voyage, and never seen again. His vessels returned to the Arctic twice more to remove some 1500 tons of worthless ore from several mines. They remained for a period of four to five weeks each year, exploring the area and making landfalls to extract ore. One of the major sites they visited was Kodlunarn Island, also known as Qallunaat, White Man’s Island, and Countess of Warwick Island, where Frobisher planned to leave a large party to mine during the winter of 1578-79. Although his plan was never realized, he did build a stone house for accommodation. Today the ruins of this house together with various excavations, earthworks and scattered artifacts remain on the island. Archaeological expeditions carried out preliminary surveys of the locations related to Frobisher on this island in the 1970s and 1980s. Located along the north shore of Frobisher Bay near the Blunt Peninsula.
See also Buss Island from HBC Heritage

Frobisher Bay Post
(1914 - 1949), near Iqaluit, Baffin Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at Ward Inlet (HBC records cover 1920 - 1939). Relocated to Apex (Niaqunngut) in 1949, about 5 km southeast of town, after the U.S. airbase was re-established. Some buildings still remain. See also History of Iqaluit from City of Iqaluit

Base Crystal Two
(1941 - 1946/1963), Iqaluit, Baffin Island
An American military weather and radio station was established here at Frobisher Bay in October 1941. An airbase and emergency landing field for the North Atlantic Air Ferry Route was constructed in 1942. This became the Frobisher Bay U.S. Air Force Base from 1947 - 1963. It became the center for the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line construction operations in the 1950's, and was an important forward Strategic Air Command base. It is now the civilian Iqaluit Airport. The town, originally named Frobisher Bay until 1987, became the Territorial capital in 1999. (NOTE: the "Crystal One" base was located at Fort Chimo, Québec)

Blacklead Island Post
(Blacklead Island National Historic Site)
(1925 - 1931), Blacklead Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post along the south coast of Cumberland Sound on Baffin Island, near Ptarmigan Fiord. This was a former whaling station, established in the 1890's.

Pangnirtung Posts
(1921 - 1939), Pangnirtung, Baffin Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post. In 1925 the HBC also acquired a nearby whaling station (buildings still remain). The HBC also operated an experimental fox farm in 1930 - 1932. See also About Pangnirtung from Qikiqtani Inuit Association

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police established a post here in 1923.

Base Crystal Three
(1941 - 1944), Padloping Island, near Cape Dyer
An American military weather station was established here in October 1941. Located at the southeastern tip of Baffin Island in Merchants Bay, just above the Arctic Circle. A Canadian weather station was later established in 1950. The island has been uninhabited since 1968.

Clyde River Post
(1930 - 1939), Clyde River, Baffin Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on the central east coast of Baffin Island.

Igloolik Post
(1939 ? - 1940), Igloolik
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records cover 1940). See also About Igloolik from Qikiqtani Inuit Association

Fort Hope
(1846 - 1847), near Repulse Bay
A Hudson's Bay Co. post located on the North Pole River flowing into Repulse Bay, near a place now called Neakongut, was the winter quarters of Dr. John Rae of the HBC and ten men of the British Navy's Arctic Expedition of 1846-47. A stone house, four houses made of snow blocks, and two observatories comprised the original camp. The snow houses with skin roofs held provisions, fuel, meat, and baggage and were connected by passages under the snow while the observatories, built of snow with a pillar of ice in each, were used to study the aurora borealis and magnetic fields. The walls of the stone house were two feet thick, with three glass windows. Caribou skins stretched over a frame of wood furnished the door, and a roof was fashioned with the oars and masts of Rae's boats, the Magnet and North Pole, and covered with oilcloth and moose hide. The house proved to be cold with daily indoor temperatures of -25 C. Despite the weather, the party celebrated Christmas of 1846 with a dinner of "excellent venison and a plum pudding," brandy punch, and a game of football. On his next stay at Repulse Bay in 1853-54, Rae preferred to live in a snow house less than one kilometre south of Fort Hope. On his fourth and last expedition to the Canadian Arctic in 1853-54, Rae returned to Fort Hope. Ruins of the stone house still stand today. See also Historic Sites of Repulse Bay from Hamlet of Repulse Bay

Repulse Bay Post
(1919 - 1939), near Repulse Bay
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records cover 1925 - 1939) at Beach Point, south of the present community.

In 1923 a French fur trading company, Révillon Frères, opened a store here. They were bought out by the HBC in 1936.

Wager Bay (Inlet) Posts
(Ukkusiksalik National Park)
(1925 - 1946), Ford Lake, Wager Bay
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records cover to 1934). Ruins of several wooden buildings still remain. Located on the northwest shore at the head of the bay at Ford Lake (Tusjujak), above an area of reversing tidal falls. This was the first HBC post run by a native Inuit manager. Guided public access only.

A temporary HBC post was established at the mouth of the bay in 1919 by George Cleveland before locating at Repulse Bay.

The RCMP established a temporary patrol post in 1910 on the north shore of the inlet near the Savage Islands.

Southampton Island Post
(1924 - 1952), Coral Harbour, Southampton Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post.

Coats Island Post
(1918 - 1925), Coats Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at Cape Pembroke.

Fullerton Harbour Posts
(1903 - 1914, 1918 - 1919/1922), Cape Fullerton
A North West Mounted Police post built to establish Canadian sovereignty in Hudson Bay as well as to administer whaling licenses, collect customs, control liquor, and maintain order. Fullerton Harbour was a popular wintering station for American and Scottish whaling ships. Replaced by the Chesterfield Inlet post in 1914. The wooden NWMP barracks was still being used in 1940-41 as a refuge for Arctic travellers.

From 1913 - 1919 American trader George Cleveland operated a trading post for the F.N. Monjo Company at Fullerton Harbour. In 1919 the Hudson's Bay Company bought out the post and Cleveland then moved it to Repulse Bay.

Chesterfield Inlet Posts
(1913 - 1941), Chesterfield Inlet
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on Hudson Bay. Some buildings still remain. See also History of Chesterfield Inlet from Hamlet of Chesterfield Inlet

The RCMP established a post here in 1914 - 1963. The Chesterfield Inlet detachment was responsible for summer patrols by boat to Southampton Island, Baker Lake, Marble Island, and Depot Island. Winter patrols by dog sled were made to places such as Churchill, Cape Fullerton, Rankin Inlet, and Baker Lake.

Tavane Post
(1929 - 1941), Tavane
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records begin in 1932) on Hudson Bay at Mistake Bay, about 31 km south of Whale Cove.

Eskimo Point Post
(1927 - 1942), Arviat
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on Hudson Bay. The town was renamed in 1989.

Nueltin House
(1936 - 1939), Nueltin Lake
A Hudson's Bay Co. post near the Manitoba border.

Padley Post
(1926, 1937 - 1940), near Arviat
A Hudson's Bay Co. post located on the north shore of Kinga (Kingarvalik) Lake at the Maguse River.

Baker Lake Posts
(1915 - 1918, 1938 - unknown), Baker Lake
A RCMP subpost of Chesterfield Inlet. Originally located at the east end of the lake, it was later re-established at the present community on the west end of the lake.

The Hudson's Bay Co. had a post from 1916 - 1939 (HBC records begin in 1924), originally located on the south shore of the lake at the mouth of the Kazan River (on Ookpiktuyuk Island) until relocated to the present town in 1936. Some buildings still remain, one now used as the town's Akumalik Visitor Center. See also History of Baker Lake from Hamlet of Baker Lake

In 1924 Révillon Frères opened a store here. They were bought out by the HBC in 1936.

Inman River Post
(1926 - 1932), near Cape Young
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at the mouth of the Inman River, near Clifton Point.

Fort Thompson
(1916 - 1931), near Coppermine
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records begin in 1926), also known as Bernard Harbour Post.

Cape Krusenstern Posts
(1926 - 1929), near Coppermine
A Hudson's Bay Co. post.

The Canalaska Trading Co. also had a post here from 1932 - 1934.

Cape Kendall Post
(1916), near Coppermine
An independent trading post built by Christian "Charlie" Klengenburg.

Coppermine Posts
(1919 - unknown), Coppermine
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police post.

The Hudson's Bay Co. established a post at the mouth of the Coppermine River in 1928 - 1935, also known as Fort Hearne.

Asiak River Post
(1927 - 1930), near Coppermine
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at the mouth of the Asiak River.

Kugaryuak River Post
(1927 - 1940), near Coppermine
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records cover 1928 - 1938) at the mouth of the Kugaryuak River.

Tree River Post
(1917 - 1929), near Coppermine
Originally a Northern Whaling and Traders Co. trading post at the mouth of the Tree River. The post was bought out by the Hudson's Bay Co. in 1918 (HBC records cover 1926 - 1928). Replaced by the Kugaryuak post.

The RCMP also had a post here (date ?) prior to 1940.

Agiak Post
(1917 - 1918), near Coppermine
A Hudson's Bay Co. post. Replaced by the Tree River post.

Detention Harbour Post
(1927 - 1928),
A Canalaska Trading Co. post at the eastern end of Coronation Gulf.

Banks Peninsula Posts
(1926 - 1937), near Bathurst Inlet
A Canalaska Trading Co. post.

The Hudson's Bay Co. had a post here from 1927 - 1936. Replaced by the Burnside River post.

Burnside River Post
(1936 - 1964), Bathurst Inlet
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at the mouth of the Burnside River. Also known as Bathurst Inlet Post (HBC records cover 1925 - 1940). The former HBC post is now the Bathurst Inlet Lodge (opened in 1969).

Western River Post
(1925 - 1927), near Bathurst Inlet
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at the mouth of the Western River. Replaced by the Banks Peninsula post.

Baychimo Post
(1964 - 1970), Umingmaktok
A Hudson's Bay Co. post.

Kent Peninsula Post
(1920 - 1927), near Umingmaktok
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on the south side of the Kent Peninsula on Melville Sound. Also known as Western Arctic Post (HBC records cover 1926 - 1927). Ordered closed by the Canadian government, it moved to Cambridge Bay.

Richardson Island Post
(1933 - 1938), Richardson Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on an island off the south shore of Victoria Island in Dease Strait, near Byron Bay.

Rymer Point Posts
(1926 - 1928), near Lady Franklin Point, Victoria Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on the south shore of Victoria Island in Dolphin and Union Strait. Also known as Fort Harmon.

Independent trader Christian "Charlie" Klengenburg operated a post here in 1919, taken over by his daughter and son-in-law Etna and Ikey Bolt from 1920 - 1932.

Read Island Posts
(1931 - 1962), Read Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records cover 1933 - 1936) on an island off the south shore of Victoria Island in Simpson Bay.

The Canalaska Trading Co. also had a post here from 1931 - 1938.

Cambridge Bay Posts
(1920/1923 - 1948 ?), Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on Victoria Island (HBC records cover 1927 - 1935). It was the main depot and administrative headquarters for the eastern section of the western Arctic district after 1927. The Baymaud, formerly captained by Roald Amundsen, was bought by the HBC in 1926 and operated as a supply vessel for the western Arctic between 1926 and 1927. It was moored at Cambridge Bay in 1928 and used a warehouse and wireless station until it sank between 1930 and 1932. The wreck is still visible. The town was relocated to its present site across the bay after WWII. See also Welcome to Cambridge Bay from Hamlet of Cambridge Bay

The Canalaska Trading Co. also had a post here from 1927 - 1938. The RCMP also had a post here (date ?), established in the 1920's.

Ellice River Post
(Queen Maud Bird Sanctuary)
(1926 - 1927),
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at the mouth of the Ellice River in Campbell Bay.

Whitebear Point Post
(Queen Maud Bird Sanctuary)
(1926 - 1927),
A Canalaska Trading Co. post near the mouth of the Ellice River in Campbell Bay.

Perry River Posts
(Queen Maud Bird Sanctuary)
(1926 - 1928, 1937 - 1940, 1957 - 1967),
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at the mouth of the Perry River (HBC records cover 1926 - 1928).

A Canalaska Trading Co. post was also built here in 1926 - 1928, seven miles upriver. The Canadian government ordered both posts closed in 1928 due to overhunting.

Simpson Strait Post
(1923 - 1927), near Gladman Point, King William Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on the south shore of King William Island. Replaced by the Gjoa Haven post. Also known as King William Island Post.

Gjoa Haven Posts
(Northwest Passage Historic Park)
(1927 - 1938), Gjoa Haven, King William Island
A Canalaska Trading Co. post was built first, followed by the Hudson's Bay Co. post in the same year (HBC records cover 1926 - 1935). The Canalaska post closed in 1938. See also Northwest Passage Historic Park info from Amundson InnsNorth Hotel

Fort Ross
(1937 - 1947), Somerset Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post at the southern tip of Somerset Island (HBC records cover 1937 - 1943). It was closed due to severe ice conditions making access very difficult. The island is currently uninhabited. The manager's house and trade store are still extant, and are equipped and used as a shelter for modern travellers.

Port Leopold Post
(1848, unknown), Port Leopold, Somerset Island
In 1848 explorer James Ross wintered here during his search for the missing Franklin Expedition. A Hudson's Bay Co. post was later established here (date ?) on the northeast tip of the island.

Arctic Bay Post
(1926 - 1927, 1937 - 1941), Arctic Bay, Baffin Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post. See also About Arctic Bay from Qikiqtani Inuit Association

Pond Inlet Posts
(1921 - 1939), Pond Inlet, Baffin Island
A Hudson's Bay Co. post. Also known as Mittimatalik Post. See also History of Pond Inlet from Hamlet of Pond Inlet

The RCMP established a post here in 1922. A trading post was first established here in 1912 (HBC ?).

Devon Island Post
(1924 - 1933, 1947 - 1951), Dundas Harbour, Devon Island
A RCMP post established on the south coast of Devon Island to monitor foreign whaling activities in the area. Later re-established, but closed due to ice difficulties. A few buildings still survive.

The Hudson's Bay Co. leased the former RCMP station from 1933 - 1936, known as Dundas Harbour Post. It was relocated to Arctic Bay.

Northumberland House
(Wreck of the HMS Breadalbane National Historic Site)
(Beechey Island Historic Site)
(1852 - 1853), Beechey Island, near Resolute
Located off the southwest coast of Devon Island. This was originally a supply storehouse constructed from a wrecked whaling ship, established by W.S. Pullen of the H.M.S. North Star. It was also used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by British and Canadian sailors as a winter refuge. Erebus Bay, named after one of John Franklin's ships which had wintered there, contained a cenotaph erected in 1854 by Edward Belcher who had been in the area searching for Franklin's lost party. Meeting with failure, he erected the monument in memory of those whom he correctly assumed had perished on that expedition. In 1906 Capt. Joseph Bernier, of the C.G.S. Arctic, set up his own memorial and his crew added their names to the list of explorers that visited the island. See also Northern Vignettes from Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, N.W.T.

Kellet's Storehouse
(Dealy Island Historic Site)
(1853), Dealy Island
In 1853 the men of a British Navy enterprise under the command of Capt. Henry Kellett, H.M.S. Resolute, and Francis Leopold McClintock, H.M.S. Intrepid, constructed a storehouse on Dealy Island, off the southeast coast of Melville Island in the Western Arctic Archipelago. Kellett and his men were part of the Belcher Expedition of 1852-54. This was the British Admiralty's final search for the Northwest Passage Expedition of 1845, led by John Franklin, which had failed to return to England. Kellett's orders were to deposit provisions at a cache for expeditions in dire circumstances. Built with one hundred tons of local sandstone, the double walls of the storehouse were filled with sod and roofed with canvas and coal bags, supported by posts. The cache or "Sailors Home" was stocked with provisions, ammunition, and fuel sufficient to sustain a party of 66 men on full allowance for 210 days, which consisted of 123 varieties of food including six tons of flour, over two tons each of beef and bacon, over a ton each of sugar, preserved meats, vegetables and potatoes, and 600 pounds of dried apples. Clothing deposited at the storehouse included 66 pea-jackets, 108 sets of woollen underwear, 129 pairs of boots and 143 pairs of mitts. Two Hudson Bay muskets and ammunition, an inflatable "Halkett" boat, medical supplies and instruments, and a Union Jack were also placed in the storehouse. Also remaining from Kellett's expedition are a large cairn on the island's summit, the graves of three men, and two sledges and an abandoned whale boat of the H.M.S Resolute. Kellett left a plan of the stores in the cache. Although the expedition was unsuccessful in locating traces of Franklin's passage, spring sledging parties of 1853 located the H.M.S. Investigator, under the command of Robert McClure, which had been beset in ice at Mercy Bay on northern Banks Island for the summers of 1851-52, and rescued the crew.

Capt. Joseph Bernier of the C.G.S. Arctic visited the storehouse in 1909 while on a voyage to establish Canada's sovereignty over the Arctic Islands. He found that many of the provisions were well-preserved. He repaired the roof of the structure and replaced decaying items. The two useless muskets were substituted with two Ross rifles and 1000 rounds of ammunition; the muskets as well as the two sledges left by Kellett were given to the National Museum of Man. Bernier's men also carved a message on a rock near the storehouse.

Since the turn of the century many expeditions have visited and used the cache. Members of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-18, led by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, stopped there in 1917. They removed the roof which hastened the destruction of the storehouse's contents by exposing them to the elements. A patrol of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1929 used meat from the cache to supplement their rations of dog food. The RCMP schooner, St. Roch, commanded by Staff Sergeant Henry Larsen, anchored there in 1944, and ten years later, the island was visited by two icebreakers, the H.M.C.S. Labrador and the U.S.S. Burton Island. See also The Larsen Expedition from University of Calgary

By the mid-1970's, humans and nature had caused serious deterioration to the building and its contents. A team of archaeologists, conservators and architects decided that the best way to ensure the longevity of this heritage resource was to preserve it in place. Artifacts which had been strewn outside the building were removed and conserved and now rest at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife. Items in the storehouse were left in place and sealed beneath an insulated floor. The building was repaired and stabilized and the walls reconstructed as closely as possible to the original.
(info courtesy of Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, N.W.T.)

Craig Harbour Post
(1922 - 1930's, 1951 - 1956), Craig Harbour, Ellesmere Island
A RCMP post established the same year the settlement was, to enforce Canadian sovereignty over the Far North. Located 55 km west of Grise Fiord, to which the post and settlement were later relocated. The Grise Fiord settlement was originally located on the Lindstrom Peninsula, 8 km west of the present location, in 1953. In 1962 the Inuit followed the RCMP to their new site at Grise Fiord, where the community remains. Several building structures at the "old camp" still stand. See also History of Grise Fiord from Hamlet of Grise Fiord

Bache Peninsula Post
(1926 - unknown), Ellesmere Island
A RCMP post located on the Bache Peninsula on the central eastern shore of Ellesmere Island.

Eureka Post
(1901 - unknown), Eureka
A North West Mounted Police post, according to the "National Atlas of Canada" (1974).

Fort Conger (Historic Site)
(Quttinirpaaq (Ellesmere Island) National Park)
(1875, 1881, 1889, 1905, 1908, 1915 - 1935, intermittent), near Alert, Ellesmere Island
Located on the north shore of Lady Franklin Bay at Discovery Harbour. Used by various British and American military and civilian exploration and scientific expeditions. Three wooden huts still remain. Guided public access by advance permission only. See also Microbe Research on Historic Wood from University of Minnesota

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