York Factory National Historic Site

Time-travel through fur-trading history at York Factory

Availability: July and August, dependent on weather and tides

A busy Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade headquarters for 273 years, York Factory’s grounds and Depot with its wealth of relics and stories offers a compelling immersion into an iconic period in Canada’s history.

Step off a boat, climb the river bank and be awestruck by the massive white three-storey Hudson’s Bay Company building standing solitary on vast, empty tundra.

The centre point of the York Factory fur trading post, the Depot’s rooms are filled with countless cannons, a fur press, a church pulpit and ornate iron stoves stashed amid tables crowded with trade items like copper kettles, blankets, knives and guns. Search out historic graffiti adorning its wooden walls. Stroll wooden boardwalks over boggy tundra to the ruins of a powder magazine and cemetery.

Along the beach, the Hayes River erodes the banks, spewing 18th-century relics like clay pipe stems, axe-heads, rusty cannon balls and blue and white pottery shards onto the sand—a York Factory visit is a surreal step back in time to one of the most iconic chapters in Canadian history.

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