Saturday, January 19, 2008
'Here Before Christ' was the saying in the old days when the letters for the Hudson's Bay Company - HBC - were displayed. In a way it was true. The old company of adventurers trading into Hudson's Bay was formed in 1670 and often their traders arrived long before the missionaries. The white buildings with red roofs in the foreground were typical of the HBC trading posts found all over the Canadian north. Most of the buildings were built first to carry out the trade or to house the trader. As time went by, new buildings were built as stores or homes. The old buildings were then converted into warehouses or torn down.
In Kangirsuk, the manager's house is hidden behind the large building on the far left, which had become a warehouse. The store was the next building to the right. The remaining buildings towards the right were all serving as warehouses in the 1970's.
Today, many of these old buildings have disappeared. The old HBC post evolved into the Northern Store and of course, it was in yet another building built in the same area. The spot where I stood to take the photo was empty back then, often visited by arctic hares and ptarmigan. Today it is full of streets and houses! The town has grown a lot since my time when everyone lived across the bay in the background.