In 1757, a fur trading post was established in the Hudson Bay District, beside the Red Deer River. Ruins from the post have been found near the village of Erwood. In 1790, the North West Trading Company set up a trading post at the mouth of the Etomami River. Speculators think that a South Company's post was set up on the opposite mouth of the River, where there are remains of a 2nd post unaccounted for.
Over the years a settlement grew and in July 1907, an application was made to erect Etomami as a village. (Etomami was a native word that meant a place where 3 rivers join.) But in order to establish a hamlet, it was necessary to have fifteen occupied dwelling houses. By August, the list was completed and the village was formed. Mr. B.F. Noble was the first "overseer" of the village. The post office was also established at that time. It was located on the 100 block of Churchill Street. Then in 1909 the Canadian Northern Railway Company chose the name, Hudson Bay Junction, so the name was changed.
During the early years many difficulties were encountered in trying to maintain the Village. It was even suggested at one time that it be disorganized, but as time moved on, things improved and the town continued to grow. The Town was incorporated in 1946 and at the first council meeting, which was held in 1947, the town's name was shortened by dropping "Junction". In 1958 - parking meters were introduced on Churchill Street - although they have long since vanished. The year 1958 also saw the Town switch to Mountain Standard Time. But less than two months later, they decided to revert to Central Standard Time.
The Hudson Bay School Building' is a registered municipal heritage property, originally built in 1910 to house the composite school, it was built as a four room school house out of cement block in a Georgian Classicism/American Colonial style. Today the building houses the Hudson Bay Museum.
Hudson Bay has a diverse economy based on forestry, agriculture, processing and eco-tourism. Forestry has continued to be the major source of employment and economic generator over the years, and its community has shown itself to be capable of supporting existing world class industries in the production of plywood and oriented strand board. In 1979 Hudson Bay earned the title of Forestry Capital of Canada. In addition, with the abundance of wildlife in the area, it has also become known as the Moose Capital of the World. The vast tracts of untouched wilderness enable visitors to enjoy year round recreational pursuits. The nutrient rich soils which surround Hudson Bay have enabled farmers to produce a wide range of crops on over 175,000 cultivated acres (710 km2).
Today Hudson Bay is still a major junction with the railway running in three directions, and the highway running in all four directions. Via Rail provides scheduled passenger service at the Hudson Bay railway station.
Wizewood Products Ltd. established Canada’s first waferboard plant in September 1961, this was taken over by MacMillan Bloedel and Powell River (Saskatchewan) Ltd. in 1965, followed by a $4 Million dollar expansion in 1968–69 making it the largest particle board complex in Canada. A $14.8 million expansion followed in 1983, and by 1995 the plant was operating as a joint venture between Macmillan Bloedel and Saskatchewan Forest Products Corporation (SFPC) under the name SaskFor. When SaskFor opened the new oriented strand board mill, the old waferboard plant was shut down. In 1999 Macmillan Bloedel bought-out its part taking over full control of SaskFor, that same year Macmillan Bloedel was taken over by Weyerhaeuser. Wood products continue to play an important role in the local economy with both Weyerhaeuser and C&C Wood Products operating within the area.
Alfalfa is grown within the valley. Then dehydrated, it yields over 10,000 tonnes of alfalfa pellets annually for local sales and export.
On May 8, 2008 a major coal discovery by Goldsource Mines Inc. (www.goldsourcemines.com) sparked a land rush for coal prospecting permits. There have been many successful drill programs by such companies as Saturn Minerals, Wescan Goldfields Inc., North American Gem, and Westcore Drilling
An increasingly important industry is large game hunting in the area.
Hudson Bay has become a much sought after location for recreational snowmobiling. Tourists from across Canada and the United States visit Hudson Bay to experience its diverse, natural surroundings.
Hudson Bay is accessible by rail, bus, road and air. The town is located at the junction of Highways #3 (east and west) and #9 (north and south). The Canadian National Railway has three lines including the Bay Route to the Port of Churchill. Hudson Bay Transport provides truck service and the Saskatchewan Transportation Company provides daily bus service via Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert.
Major highways in all four directions along with daily bus and courier services are all important assets.
- 9 South to Regina & North to The Pas, MB
- 3 and # 41 West to Saskatoon & # 3 East to Manitoba
Saskota Flyway (Highway 9) is known as the International Road to Adventure, because it takes you from Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, all the way south to Bismarck, North Dakota and beyond, along the way passing through northern forest, prairie parkland, vast stretches of wheat-production, not to mention parks and coal mining country. Read more about the Saskota Flyway.
Via Rail: For more information on travel phone: 1-888-842-7245 Web site: www.trainpackages.ca
STC Bus Lines
Saskatchewan Transportation Company STC Bus depot 865-2914 Hours: Mon. - Fri. 6:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.; 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Sat. 7:00 a.m. - Noon
Hudson Bay Airport is unusual for a town of Hudson Bay’s size and having it available makes industrial expansion locally all that much more attractive. The airport provides excellent service for charter and local aircraft and serves a water bomber base for forest protection. The airport, with a 5,000 foot runway and a 2,000 foot cross wind runway is able to accommodate almost any size of aircraft. A beacon and lights allow night landing.
Distances from Hudson Bay to:
Saskatoon 331 km
Regina 383 km
Yorkton 210 km
Prince Albert 255 km
There is one public school in the Town of Hudson Bay, Hudson Bay Community School. It serves all the children of the town and surrounding areas. HBCS is a K-12 school. The enrolment is roughly 375 children. The Riders football team have made it to 12 provincial final games in 6-man and 9-man football over the years.
Hudson Bay has a number of established groups whose mandates are to provide cultural and artistic opportunities for the residents of Hudson Bay and District.
The Hudson Bay Allied Arts Council is very active in bringing professional performing artists to the Community.
The forest, rivers and lakes surrounding Hudson Bay provide inspirations for the members of the Hudson Bay Art Club. The active club organizes classes by professional artists for adults wishing to hone their skills and acquire new techniques.
Children receive qualified dance instruction in tap, ballet and jazz. The Community has several piano teachers currently giving lessons. Instruction on violin, guitar and organ is also available. Choral groups and instrumental ensembles from Stewart Hawke Elementary School consistently bring home trophies from the district musical festival. Both the elementary and high school have active drama clubs which attend Provincial adjudications. The High School has a well-equipped fine arts wing which houses its drama area and stage and its arts department.
Hudson Bay's active volunteer network provides a wide variety of cultural and artistic activities with the support of the Town of Hudson Bay and the School Division.
The Hudson Bay Economic Development and Tourism Committee is appointed by the Councils of the Town of Hudson Bay, the Rural Municipality of Hudson Bay #394 and the Hudson Bay Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of the Committee is to provide aid to local economic opportunities, striving to renew and revitalize the economic interest of the community and to examine and investigate all alternatives that are available. The Committee keeps an up-to-date list of local business opportunities as well as a current list of business / office space and industrial sites available.
Service Clubs include: Rotary Club, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Masons, Elks and Royal Purple, Royal Canadian Legion, Legion Ladies Auxiliary and Health Care Auxiliary. Other organizations focused on the youth in this area are: 4-H, Beavers, Cubs, AWANA, Scouts and Army Cadets.
Hudson Bay functions with volunteer boards such as the Wildlife Federation, Horticulture Board, etc.