Cambridge Bay, on the southern edge of Victoria Island (arctic archipelago of Canada) is a colourful Inuit settlement in the arctic semi-desert tundra.
Location: 69°07′ N, 105°03′ W
Remains of an old stone church
With a land area of more than 200,000 square kilometres, Victoria Island is the ninth-largest island in the world. The region belongs to the territory of Nunavut in extreme north-eastern Canada.The population of Cambridge Bay is around 1500 people. The native name of the settlement, Iqaluktuttiaq, means "a good place with many fish".
Inuit drum player
The name of Cambridge Bay traces back to the year 1839, when the district was mapped by the Hudson's Bay Company, the skin trade emporium, with a small outpost there:
Hudson's Bay Company cabin
In the 1940s a lighthouse was built in Cambridge Bay, followed during the Cold War in the 1950s by a large radar system which is no longer in operation.
These new conditions led to an increase in population, who had to live in an inhospitable region where average temperatures never rise above 10 °C in summer and the thermometer falls to average levels of below –30 °C in winter.
School bus stop
To enable so many people to live permanently in isolation, the hamlet has numerous facilities in its centre including schools, a health center, a swimming pool...
The shipwreck of the Maud
You are made for ice
You shall spend your best years in the ice And you shall do your work in the ice
In 1918, Roald Amundsen had launched an expedition through the North-East Passage. He had the ship Maud built for this purpose.
The expedition failed, and in August 1925 the Maud was taken over by the Hudson's Bay Company and used as a supply ship for Cambridge Bay, where she sank in 1930. Today, parts of the hull offer a reminder of this chapter in the opening up of the Arctic.