Arctic Bay is located at 73°02' N and 85°10' W, making it the third most northerly community in Canada. It is called Ikpiarjuk - "the pocket" – in Inuktitut because of the high hills that surround the almost landlocked bay from which the community gets its name. As you look southward from the community toward Adams Sound, Uluksan Point is on your right, while Holy Cross Point is at the end of the long peninsula to your left.
Captain William Adams was the first non-Inuk to see Arctic Bay; he entered the bay in 1872 with his whaling ship, the Arctic. Another Arctic, an official Canadian government steamship under the command of explorer Joseph E. Bernier, wintered in the bay in 1910-1911. A Hudson's Bay Co. post was established here in 1926 but closed the following year. The post was re-established in 1936, when Inuit originally from Pangnirtung and Cape Dorset were relocated here from the unsuccessful Hudson's Bay post at Dundas Harbour.
The Anglican Church built a mission at Moffet Inlet, south of Arctic Bay, in 1937. It closed 10 years later, after the accidental shooting and subsequent death of Canon John Turner. A Roman Catholic mission operated in Arctic Bay for a short time in the 1930s. As with most other Baffin Island communities, the present town developed as a result of government housing initiatives in the 1960s.
Arctic Bay is connected by a 21-kilometre road to Nanisivik, a mining town developed in the mid-1970s. Nanisivik has closed as of September 2002.
Total Population: 817