Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Baker Lake, the geographical center of Canada

Baker Lake is a native village located near the geographical centre of Canada:

Baker Lake sits inland, in a tundra forest region at the mouth of the Thelon River into the Baker lake.

Caribou crossing Thelon river at Baker lake

Other major rivers - the Kazan and the Dubawnt - flow into Baker lake. The lake is also connected to Hudson Bay by way of Chesterfield Inlet.

The local Inuit name this village as Qamani’tuuq, meaning, “where the river widens”.

Coordinates: 64'18' N, 96'04' W

Baker Lake, or Qamani'tuaq, pop. 1800.

The hamlet was founded in 1961, and has been growing due to local mining.
It has a health center, small hotels, swimming pool, library, primary and secondary school, youth centre and three small churches.

The main front, looking at the lake.

The hamlet in winter

New Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary school.

Inns North, a odd-looking arctic hotel

The local Northern Store

A Church in the snow

Baker Lake
is an intriguing example of a modern day arctic community, for the amazing growth of its artistic community. With Cape Dorset and Pangnirtung, Baker Lake is well known for its inuit arts and craft activities.

The Jessie Oonark Centre

Distinguished artists and studios promoting arts and crafts, such as the Jessie Oonark Centre, and well-established independent art galleries, are famous for the quality of their art.

The old Hudson Bay Company store

The Vera Akumalik Visitor Centre is located in the original historic Hudson's Bay Company Post near the waterfront:

The centre is a replica of the old store. Staff will help arrange local tours, and will make suggestions on local walks to appreciate the beauty of the rivers and the tundra.

The Rivers

The Baker lake drains through Chesterfield Inlet into Hudson Bay.

North Channel of Chesterfield Inlet

Musk oxen herd at Chesterfield Inlet

The Kazan River flows north for 732 km before discharging into the southeastern corner of Baker lake.

Beautiful Kazan Falls, where the water drops 25 m and rushes through a red sandstone gorge.

Kazan falls

The Thelon River is one the great rivers of the North.

It flows eastwards 904 km to discharge into Baker Lake and Chesterfield Inlet. The river's middle and lower reaches have been designated as a Heritage River.

For the Inuit of Baker Lake, these rivers are a vital source of caribou, fish and spiritual renewal. Not only did the Inuit People live near and around these rivers, but they provided the means and the route to the North for many of the Europeans that traveled and traded in that area.