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The Making of the Hudson’s Bay Company


The history of Canada, or if you will, the history of North America, is inextricably linked to the epic story of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which helped open a continent and once held virtually autocratic sway over a vast fiefdom made up of western and northern Canada as Rupert’s Land. At one time or another in its history, the Hudson’s Bay Company has been involved in exploration, proselytisation[2], oil and gas extraction, shipping, warfare, overseeing a massive retail empire and, of course, most iconically — the fur trade.”[3]

The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), chartered on 2nd May 1670, is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. HBC was a fur trading business for most of its history, a past that is entwined with the colonisation of British North America and the development of Canada.[4]  Arguably, the story of British influence in North America started on 5th August 1583, when Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland for the English crown. It was the first English colony in North America and the beginning of what became the British Empire. Sir Humphrey’s rise to fame was short-lived as he died a month later, at sea, near the Azores.

The company (which I will refer to as HBC for most of the rest of this paper) was founded, in London, England, by a royal charter granted by King Charles II. The company’s full title was ‘The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson’s Bay’. Its primary purpose was to explore and develop the lucrative fur trade in North America. For that purpose, it was granted a fur trade monopoly over a vast territory known as Rupert’s Land, which covered much of present-day Canada, including parts of modern-day Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories.

Caption: Trading at an HBC trading post
Attribution: Henry Alexander Ogden (Harry Ogden), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
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Key individuals and names associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company
Key individuals and names associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company and its history are:

  • King Charles II of England granted the royal charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company[5] in 1670, establishing its monopoly over the fur trade in North America.
  • Prince Rupert: Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, was a cousin of King Charles II and played a vital role in its early establishment.
  • Sir George Simpson: Sir George Simpson was a prominent figure in the Hudson’s Bay Company during the 19th century. He served as the Governor of the Northern Department and later as the Governor of Rupert’s Land.
  • James Evans: He was an HBC missionary known for his work in developing Cree syllabics, a writing system used to facilitate Cree language literacy.
  • John McLoughlin: John McLoughlin was a chief factor (see later) and an influential figure in the fur trade during the early 19th century. He played a significant role in the company’s operations in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Sir Donald Smith: Sir Donald Smith, later becoming Lord Strathcona, was a prominent figure associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was a chief commissioner and was key to the company’s expansion and business ventures.
  • Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers: Radisson and des Groseilliers were French-Canadian explorers and fur traders whose efforts to establish a fur trading venture in the Hudson Bay region led to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
  • Sir Richard Baker: Richard Baker is a businessman and the executive chairman of Hudson’s Bay Company. He led a group of investors who acquired the company in 2020.

These are just a few of the many individuals and names associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company’s history. The company’s story involves numerous traders, explorers, employees, and Indigenous peoples, all of whom played critical roles in shaping Canada’s fur trade, exploration, and development.

The Indigenous Peoples of Canada
The history of the Hudson’s Bay Company is closely intertwined with the Indigenous peoples of the territories it operated in. Various Indigenous nations, including the Cree, Ojibwe, and Dene, interacted with the company through trade and alliances. The Indigenous peoples of Canada have a rich and diverse history, and their interactions with the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) played a crucial role in shaping the cultural, social, and economic landscape of the regions where the company operated. Exploring more about their relationships with the HBC, I found:

  • Trade Partnerships: Trade was at the core of the relationship between the HBC and Indigenous nations. The company relied on Indigenous traders and guides, often known as “middlemen,” who facilitated the exchange of goods between Indigenous communities and the trading posts. Indigenous nations traded furs, pelts, and other valuable resources with the HBC in exchange for European goods such as blankets, cloth, metal tools, and firearms.
  • Cultural Exchange: The fur trade fostered a significant cultural exchange between the HBC employees and Indigenous peoples. The traders and voyageurs learned from Indigenous partners about survival skills, navigation techniques, and knowledge of local flora and fauna. In return, Indigenous peoples adopted European trade items and technologies, blending cultures and practices.
  • Traditional Economies: For Indigenous communities, the fur trade became an essential part of their traditional economies. The fur trade provided a means of acquiring European goods that were not readily available through traditional means, enhancing their quality of life and contributing to economic stability.
  • Indigenous Protectors: In some cases, Indigenous nations protected HBC trading posts and personnel from threats posed by rival fur trading companies and potential hostilities with other Indigenous groups. These alliances contributed to the stability of trading operations and the safety of the HBC employees.

Illustration of a Snake woman (left) and a Cree woman (right), c. 1840–1843, Karl Bodmer
Attribution: Karl Bodmer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Land and Resource Management: Indigenous peoples had extensive knowledge of the land, waterways, and natural resources within the territories the HBC operated. Their stewardship of the environment and sustainable resource management practices played an important role in supporting the fur trade and ensuring the availability of fur-bearing animals.
  • Impact on Indigenous Cultures: The fur trade had a profound effect on Indigenous cultures. While trade provided access to new goods and technologies, it also led to changes in traditional ways of life. Some communities became increasingly dependent on European trade goods, which disrupted traditional economies and social structures.
  • Disease and Population Decline: The arrival of European traders and settlers brought new diseases for which the Indigenous communities had little immunity. The introduction of diseases, such as smallpox, had devastating consequences and led to a significant population decline among Indigenous peoples.
  • Treaty-Making: In the latter half of the 19th century, the Canadian government began negotiating treaties with Indigenous nations to acquire land and resources. The treaties, often called Numbered Treaties[6], were signed with Indigenous groups in areas where the HBC had significant influence.
  • Legacy and Reconciliation: The interactions between the HBC and Indigenous peoples have left a lasting legacy in Canadian history. The impacts of colonialism and the fur trade continue to be addressed through reconciliation efforts, promoting cultural preservation, and acknowledging the historical injustices faced by Indigenous communities.
  • Contemporary Partnerships: Today, HBC continues to engage with Indigenous communities in various ways, including initiatives for Indigenous employment, supporting Indigenous artisans, and promoting Indigenous-owned businesses in its retail operations.

The history of the Hudson’s Bay Company and its relationship with Indigenous peoples is a complex and multifaceted narrative that deserves thoughtful exploration. It demonstrates the importance of understanding and honouring Indigenous histories, cultures, and contributions to the development of Canada.

Exploration and Trading Posts
HBC played a significant role in exploring and expanding into the vast wilderness of North America. The company established a network of trading posts, known as “Hudson’s Bay posts,” along the shores of Hudson Bay and other waterways to facilitate fur trading with Indigenous peoples.

Initially, the company’s operations were closely linked to the fur trade, which drove explorations into uncharted territories, establishing trading posts and building relationships with Indigenous peoples. Some key points about HBC’s exploration and expansion are:

  • Early Explorations: In the 17th and 18th centuries, HBC focused primarily on exploring the regions around Hudson Bay. The company sent numerous expeditions to map the coastline, explore inland waterways, and establish trade relations with Indigenous communities.
  • Inland Expeditions: As the fur trade expanded, HBC ventured deeper into the North American interior. Explorers and traders embarked on lengthy expeditions to access new fur-bearing regions and forge alliances with Indigenous nations.
  • David Thompson’s Expeditions: David Thompson, a skilled surveyor and trader, played a crucial role in HBC’s exploration efforts during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He surveyed vast areas of western North America, including the Columbia River basin, and helped establish trade routes and trading posts.
  • Opening Trade Routes: HBC’s trading posts, known as Hudson’s Bay posts, acted as centres for exploration and expansion. These posts were strategically located near major waterways and in regions rich in fur resources. They facilitated trade with Indigenous communities and enabled HBC to push further into uncharted territories.
  • River Transportation: HBC relied heavily on river transportation for its expeditions and trade operations. Canoes were used to navigate the vast network of waterways, allowing traders and explorers to access remote regions.
  • Building Relationships with Indigenous Peoples: HBC’s success in exploration and expansion depended on establishing positive relationships with Indigenous nations. The company engaged in trade partnerships, negotiations, and alliances with Indigenous communities, which were crucial for obtaining furs and access to new territories.
  • Impact on Cartography: HBC’s explorations significantly contributed to the development of accurate maps and geographical knowledge of North America. The information collected during these expeditions helped to improve cartography and the understanding of the continent’s geography.
  • Expansion of HBC Territories: Through exploration and fur trading, HBC expanded its influence across vast territories, including present-day Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, the Northwest Territories, and parts of British Columbia.
  • Pioneering Northern Routes: HBC’s exploration also led to the opening of northern fur trade routes, such as the famous York Factory Express, an annual express service used to transport furs from the Columbia Department to Hudson Bay.

HBC’s exploration and expansion efforts were crucial in opening up North America’s wilderness. Through its fur trade operations and establishment of trading posts, HBC played a major role in the early exploration, mapping, and expansion of Canada and the western regions of the United States. The company’s legacy continues to be evident in the historical geography of the territories it explored and in the enduring influence of Indigenous trade partnerships and cultural exchanges.

Beaver Pelts
The fur trade, particularly the demand for beaver pelts, was the primary economic activity of the HBC and the driving force for its existence:

  • Demand for Beaver Pelts: In the 17th and 18th centuries, beaver pelts were highly sought after in Europe, especially for making fashionable hats. Beaver fur was particularly valued for its quality, warmth, and water-resistant properties. It was used to create felt, a durable and versatile fabric made by matting together fur fibres. Beaver felt was ideal for hat-making because it could be easily shaped into various styles and held its form well, making it a preferred material for hat manufacturers.
  • European Fashion and Status Symbol: During this era, wearing hats was not only a fashion statement but also a status symbol. Hats made from beaver pelts were considered high-end luxury items and were often worn by the wealthy and aristocratic classes in Europe. These fashionable hats became an integral part of European social customs, and demand for them soared.

Caption: A Beaver Felt Hat
Attribution: By Themightyquill – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

  • Scarce Supply in Europe: Beavers were native to North America, where they were abundant, especially in regions like Canada. However, in Europe, beavers had been hunted to near extinction due to the high demand for their pelts. European beavers were rare and insufficient to meet the growing need for fur, which led to a reliance on North American beaver pelts.
  • The Hudson’s Bay Company’s Role: The HBC played a crucial role in the beaver pelts fur trade as it established a vast network of trading posts across North America. The company focused on building relationships with indigenous communities and European settlers, facilitating the collection of beaver pelts from trappers and local tribes. The HBC became the dominant player in the fur trade due to its strategic control of key trading routes and territories rich in beaver populations.
  • Monopoly and Economic Importance: The British Crown granted the HBC a fur trading monopoly in its chartered territory, which covered a significant portion of present-day Canada. This monopoly allowed the HBC to maintain high prices for beaver pelts and enjoy substantial profits. As a result, the fur trade became the primary economic activity of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and it played a pivotal role in the economic development of Canada and the growth of the British Empire.

Over time, changing fashion trends, declining beaver populations, and shifts in economic activities reduced the significance of the beaver pelts fur trade. However, its historical impact on early European colonisation and trade in North America remains an essential part of the continent’s history.

Competition and Conflict
HBC faced competition from rival fur trading companies, most notably the North West Company. The competition sometimes led to violent conflicts known as the fur trade wars.


  • French Rivalry: In the 17th and 18th centuries, the HBC faced competition from French fur traders, particularly those associated with the North West Company (NWC). The rivalry between the HBC and NWC was intense, with both companies vying for control of the lucrative fur trade in North America.
  • Native American and Indigenous Traders: Before the arrival of European traders, Indigenous peoples in the region had their well-established networks for fur trading. When the HBC entered the scene, they had to navigate and compete with these existing trade relationships.
  • American Companies: As the HBC expanded its operations westward, it encountered competition from American fur traders, such as John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company. These American companies were also interested in the highly profitable fur trade in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Maritime Competition: In the 19th century, the HBC faced competition from British and American maritime interests that were eager to challenge the company’s monopoly over trade in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Railway Expansion: With the advent of railway networks connecting Canada from east to west, other retailers and businesses gained easier access to the fur-rich territories, which posed further competition to the HBC.

The Fate of Rivals
The HBC is the only European trading company to have survived, outliving all its rivals:


  • French and Indian Wars: During the 17th and 18th centuries, the HBC faced conflict and hostility during the French and Indian Wars. These conflicts were part of the larger imperial struggle between France and Britain for dominance in North America.
  • North West Company Rivalry: The competition between the HBC and the North West Company often escalated into conflicts, with violent clashes between their employees and even armed confrontations, leading to casualties on both sides.
  • Pemmican Proclamation: In the early 19th century, the HBC faced a crisis known as the Pemmican Proclamation, where the company prohibited the export of pemmican (a crucial food source) from the Red River Colony. This led to tensions and conflicts with the Métis and other Indigenous peoples who relied on pemmican for sustenance and trade.
  • Oregon Boundary Dispute: The HBC was involved in the Oregon boundary dispute between Britain and the United States over the ownership of the Oregon Country in the early 19th century. This territorial dispute raised tensions and the risk of conflict between the two nations.
  • Transition to Retail: As the fur trade declined, the HBC shifted its focus to retail operations, which brought it into competition with other retailers and businesses, both in Canada and internationally.

Merger with North West Company
In 1821, due to financial difficulties and ongoing conflicts, HBC merged with the North West Company (NWC), creating a dominant force in the fur trade and ending much of the rivalry.

The rivalry between the HBC and NWC was rooted in their competition for dominance in the fur trade in North America. Both companies were established in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, with the HBC having a significant presence in the Hudson Bay region, while the NWC operated primarily in the interior and western parts of North America. Conflicts between the two companies escalated as the fur trade expanded and resources became scarcer.

Factors Leading to the Merger
Several factors led to the decision for the HBC and NWC to merge:

  • Intense Rivalry: The competition between the HBC and NWC had grown increasingly hostile and inefficient. Fierce competition often resulted in violent clashes, strained relationships with Indigenous partners, and elevated operating costs.
  • Depletion of Fur Resources: Fur-bearing animals became scarce in many regions due to overhunting, which impacted the profitability of both companies. This necessitated a change in their business strategies.
  • Proliferation of Small Posts: Both companies had established numerous small trading posts close to each other, which resulted in duplication of efforts and resources. Merging would streamline operations and eliminate redundant posts.
  • Financial Difficulties: Both companies faced financial challenges due to diminishing profits, and they recognised that a merger could lead to cost savings and better financial stability.
  • Changing Economic Landscape: The Napoleonic Wars and shifts in the global economy also affected the fur trade, making a merger a strategic move for survival and growth.
  • Negotiations and Terms of the Merger: The idea of a merger was initially proposed in the early 19th century. In 1811, a preliminary agreement was reached to combine the two companies, but it faced resistance from key stakeholders. It was only after several years of negotiations and discussions that a final agreement was reached.

In 1821, the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company officially merged into a single entity named “Hudson’s Bay Company.” The amalgamation was a complex process, and the terms of the merger included:

  • Sharing of Stock: Shareholders of the NWC received compensation in the form of HBC shares, which allowed them to become part owners of the newly merged company.
  • Leadership and Personnel: The merged company retained some key personnel from the NWC, including some partners and traders who were familiar with the Western regions and had valuable first-hand experience.
  • Integration of Assets: The trading posts, forts, and assets of both companies were integrated, and efforts were made to rationalise and optimise the use of resources.

Impact of the Merger
The merger had significant consequences for the Hudson’s Bay Company and the fur trade:

  • Monopoly: The merger effectively eliminated competition, and the HBC established a virtual monopoly over the fur trade in much of North America, controlling vast territories and resources.
  • Expansion: With the merger, the HBC gained access to the extensive network of NWC trading posts in the western regions, significantly expanding its influence and operations.
  • Transition to Retail: As fur resources declined, the HBC shifted its focus towards other trading goods and retail operations, becoming one of the major retail businesses in Canada.
  • Influence on Western Canada: The merger played a crucial role in the exploration and development of the Canadian West as the HBC continued to expand its activities and establish new trading posts in the region.

Overall, the merger between the two companies marked a turning point in the history of the fur trade in North America. It shaped the future of the HBC and its role in the economic and territorial development of Canada.

Expansion and Territories
Throughout the 19th century, the merged HBC continued to expand its trading network and influence across western and northern Canada. It also played a significant role in exploring and mapping the region. Some key aspects of the HBC’s expansion and influence during this period are:

  • Exploration and Mapping: The HBC actively participated in exploration and mapping expeditions to expand its trading network and secure valuable resources. Many of the company’s employees, known as “voyageurs” and “trappers,” ventured into uncharted territories to establish new trading posts, survey lands, and map waterways. The HBC’s interest in exploration was driven by the need to find new fur-bearing regions and establish trading relations with Indigenous peoples.
  • Rupert’s Land and the Columbia Department: The HBC controlled vast territories, including Rupert’s Land (around Hudson Bay) and the Columbia Department (Pacific Northwest). The company operated numerous trading posts across these regions, allowing it to dominate the fur trade and extend its influence over Indigenous populations.
  • Indigenous Relationships: The HBC maintained complex relationships with various Indigenous groups throughout its territories. These relationships were essential for the success of the fur trade, and the company relied on Indigenous knowledge of the land, resources, and trading practices. Through these interactions, the HBC acquired valuable knowledge about the geography and resources of the region.
  • Red River Colony: The HBC played a pivotal role in establishing the Red River Colony, located in present-day Manitoba. The colony was founded in 1812 as a strategic agricultural settlement to support the company’s fur trade operations and provide a stable food supply. The settlement grew over the years and became an important centre of HBC’s activities.
  • York Factory Express: The HBC operated a highly efficient express system called the “York Factory Express,” which involved a network of canoes and horses transporting furs and goods between York Factory on Hudson Bay and Fort Vancouver in the Columbia Department. This express route helped the company improve communication and transportation across vast distances.
  • Oregon Trail and Columbia River: The HBC’s influence extended along the Oregon Trail, a major overland route used by American settlers to reach the Pacific Northwest. The company’s posts, including Fort Vancouver, were crucial in supplying goods and services to pioneers and travellers along the trail. The HBC also controlled access to the Columbia River, a vital waterway for transportation and trade.

Caption: Between May and September, Fort Garry is used as a living museum, with re-enactors recreating life in the 1850s.
Attribution: By Robert Linsdell from St. Andrews, Canada – Lower Fort Garry, St. Andrews (420191), CC BY 2.0,

  • Lower Fort Garry: Lower Fort Garry[7] is a historic site located on the western bank of the Red River in Manitoba, Canada. It holds significant historical and cultural importance as the oldest stone fur trade post still standing in North America. The fort was established by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1830 as a replacement for the original Fort Garry, which was made of wood and had deteriorated over time. It served as a crucial trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company, facilitating trade between the company and Indigenous peoples in the region.

It was a central hub for fur trade activities and was key in establishing relationships with various Indigenous nations, including the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), Cree, and Métis. The fort’s location on the Red River allowed it to serve as a vital point of contact between Indigenous peoples, European traders, and settlers. Indigenous traders brought furs and other resources to the fort, exchanging them for European goods. The interactions at Lower Fort Garry contributed to cultural exchange, shaping the lives of both the Indigenous peoples and the European traders and employees. Today, Lower Fort Garry is a designated national historic site and a popular tourist destination. It has been preserved and restored to showcase its historical significance and provide visitors with an insight into the fur trade era and the interactions between the HBC and Indigenous peoples. Guided tours and interactive exhibits at the site offer visitors a chance to explore the fort’s history, view authentic artefacts, and learn about the experiences of Indigenous peoples and European traders during the fur trade era.

  • Transition to Retail: As the fur trade declined in the mid-19th century, the HBC shifted its focus to retail operations. It established department stores in various regions, becoming a major retail player in Canada. The company’s retail stores continue to operate under the Hudson’s Bay brand to this day.
  • Impact on Indigenous Communities: The HBC’s presence and activities had profound impacts on Indigenous communities. While the fur trade provided opportunities for trade and alliances, it also disrupted traditional ways of life, leading to social, economic, and cultural changes for Indigenous peoples.

The HBC’s vast land holdings and influence in Western Canada played a role in the discussions surrounding the Canadian Confederation in the mid-19th century. The transfer of HBC’s territories to the Dominion of Canada in 1870 was a significant event that contributed to the formation of modern-day Canada.

Overall, the merged Hudson’s Bay Company played a crucial role in the exploration, mapping, and development of western and northern Canada throughout the 19th century. Its activities left a lasting impact on the region’s history, economy, and Indigenous communities.

Forts and Trading Posts
HBC’s trading posts became vital centres of economic activity and contact with Indigenous communities. Many of these posts developed into settlements and cities, contributing to the development of Canada. Over time, many of these trading posts evolved into settlements and even cities, contributing significantly to the growth and expansion of the country. Here are some notable examples:

  • Winnipeg (Red River Colony): The Red River Colony, founded by the HBC in 1812 at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, grew into the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It served as an important agricultural settlement to support the HBC’s fur trade operations. The city’s strategic location and fertile land attracted settlers and traders, contributing to its growth as a vital economic and cultural centre in the Canadian West.
  • Edmonton: The HBC established a trading post called Fort Edmonton along the North Saskatchewan River in 1795. This post eventually developed into the city of Edmonton, Alberta. Today, Edmonton is a major economic hub and one of Canada’s largest cities, known for contributing to the oil and gas industry and other sectors.
  • Vancouver: Fort Vancouver, established by the HBC on the banks of the Columbia River in present-day Washington State, played a significant role in the Pacific Northwest fur trade. Although not within Canadian territory, the HBC’s presence and influence in the area contributed to the development of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is now a major Canadian port city and a centre of trade and commerce on the west coast.
  • Victoria: Fort Victoria, established by the HBC on Vancouver Island in 1843, grew into the city of Victoria, British Columbia. Victoria became the capital of the Colony of Vancouver Island and later the capital of British Columbia. Today, it remains an important city and a popular tourist destination in Canada.
  • Calgary: The HBC established Fort Brisebois in the area that would become Calgary, Alberta, in 1875. The fort’s establishment marked the beginnings of the city’s development, which later grew into a thriving centre for agriculture, ranching, and oil and gas industries.
  • Prince Albert: Fort Carlton and Fort Victoria, established by the HBC in the Saskatchewan River region, contributed to the development of the city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Today, Prince Albert is an important cultural, educational, and economic centre in the province.
  • The Pas: Fort Paskoyac, an HBC post established on the Saskatchewan River, became the foundation for the community of The Pas, Manitoba. The Pas is known for its historical importance as a fur trade post and its continued significance as a transportation and trading hub.
  • Churchill: The HBC established a fur trade post at Churchill, Manitoba, on the western shore of Hudson Bay. The town of Churchill developed around this post and later became known for its seaport and rail connections.

The HBC’s trading posts facilitated economic activity, trade, and contact with Indigenous communities. These posts acted as hubs for exchanging goods, culture, and ideas, fostering interactions between Indigenous peoples, European settlers, and other traders. Many of these posts evolved into vibrant settlements and cities that continue to play essential roles in the economic and social fabric of Canada today.

The Transition from the Fur Trade
In the late 19th century, the fur trade declined, and HBC shifted its focus to other business ventures, such as agriculture, transportation, and retail. As a result, the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) had to adapt its business model and diversify into other ventures to sustain its operations and remain profitable. Here are some of the key areas the HBC shifted its focus to during this period:

  • Agriculture: With the decline of the fur trade, the HBC recognised the potential of agricultural development in its vast land holdings. The company encouraged settlement and the cultivation of farmlands in regions like the Red River Colony (now Manitoba) and the Prairies. They provided land grants and agricultural tools to settlers to promote agricultural activities and self-sufficiency.
  • Transportation: The HBC’s experience in navigating the vast territories of Canada allowed it to play a crucial role in transportation. The company invested in developing and maintaining transportation infrastructure, including roads, railways, and steamships. These efforts helped improve connectivity and facilitate the movement of goods and people across the country.
  • Retail: As the fur trade diminished, the HBC gradually transitioned into a retail business. It began selling a broader range of goods, including clothing, household items, and general merchandise, to cater to the needs of settlers, traders, and Indigenous communities. HBC’s iconic department stores became important retail destinations in various regions across Canada.
  • Real Estate: The HBC leveraged its extensive land holdings to venture into real estate. It sold or leased lands for agricultural, residential, and commercial purposes, generating additional revenue and contributing to the growth of settlements and cities.
  • Resource Extraction: The HBC explored and engaged in resource extraction industries, including timber, minerals, and fish. The company operated sawmills and logging operations, and it played a significant role in the lumber industry in British Columbia.
  • Tourism: The HBC recognised the potential of tourism, especially in regions with scenic beauty and historical significance. Some of its former trading posts and forts, such as Fort Garry (Winnipeg) and Lower Fort Garry, were preserved and opened to the public as historical sites and tourist attractions.
  • Banking and Finance: The HBC also established a banking division known as the Hudson’s Bay Company Banking Department, which issued currency and operated as a bank from the mid-19th century until the early 20th century, allowing the company to diversify its operations further and generate additional income.

Through these diversification efforts, the HBC successfully navigated the decline of the fur trade and remained a significant player in the Canadian economy. The company’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances and expand into new industries contributed to its longevity and enduring presence in Canadian history. Today, the Hudson’s Bay Company continues to operate as a major retail business with its iconic department stores across Canada.

Caption: Currency issued by the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1820.
Attribution: By Hudsons_Bay_Company_currency_to_fur_traders_1820_Fort_York.jpg: john Antoni derivative work: Kürschner – This file was derived from: Hudsons Bay Company currency to fur traders 1820 Fort York.jpg:, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Rupert’s Land and Trading Posts[8]
The royal charter from King Charles II granted the company a monopoly over the region drained by all rivers and streams flowing into Hudson Bay in northern parts of present-day Canada. The area was named “Rupert’s Land[9] after Prince Rupert,[10] the first governor of the company appointed by the King.

This drainage basin of Hudson Bay spans 3,861,400 square kilometres (1,490,900 sq mi),[11] comprising over one-third of the area of modern-day Canada, and stretches into the present-day north-central United States. The specific boundaries remained unknown at the time. Rupert’s Land would eventually become Canada’s largest land “purchase” in the 19th century.[12]

The Trading Posts
The HBC established six posts between 1668 and 1717. Rupert House[13] (1668, southeast), Moose Factory[14] (1673, south), and Fort Albany[15], Ontario (1679, west) were erected on James Bay; three other posts were established on the western shore of Hudson Bay proper: New Severn (1685),[16] York Factory (1684) and Fort Churchill (1717). Inland posts were not built until 1774. After 1774, York Factory became the main post because of its convenient access to the vast interior waterway-systems of the Saskatchewan and Red rivers.

Originally called “factories” because the “factor”, i.e., a person acting as a mercantile agent, did business from there, these posts operated in the manner of the Dutch fur-trading operations in New Netherland. By adopting the Standard of Trade in the 18th century, the HBC ensured consistent pricing throughout Rupert’s Land.

A means of exchange arose based on the “Made Beaver” (MB); a prime pelt, worn for a year and ready for processing: “…the prices of all trade goods were set in values of Made Beaver (MB) with other animal pelts, such as squirrel, otter and moose quoted in their MB (made beaver) equivalents. For example, two otter pelts might equal one MB”.[17]

Caption: Canada, prior to receiving Rupert’s Land and North-Western Territory
Attribution: By No machine-readable author provided. Golbez assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY 2.5,

Transfer of Rupert’s Land: Deed of Surrender
In 1869, HBC sold Rupert’s Land to the Dominion of Canada. The transfer, known as the “Deed of Surrender,” led to the creation of the Northwest Territories and, later, the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and parts of British Columbia.

The “Deed of Surrender,” also known as the “Deed of Surrender and Transfer,” refers to a crucial event in the history of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) that took place on 19th November 1869. It marked the transfer of the vast territories and assets of the HBC to the Dominion of Canada, effectively ending the company’s control over Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory.

For many years, the HBC held a monopoly over a vast territory in North America known as Rupert’s Land, which encompassed much of present-day Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and parts of the Northwest Territories. Additionally, the company also controlled the Columbia Department, which covered the Pacific Northwest region.

However, by the mid-19th century, political pressure was mounting for the British government to transfer control of these territories to the newly formed Dominion of Canada. The British government was concerned about its ability to govern and protect these vast territories, and there were growing fears of possible American expansionism into the region.

The Transfer
In 1869, recognising the changing geopolitical landscape, the HBC agreed to transfer its territorial rights to the Dominion of Canada. Negotiations between the British government, the Canadian government, and the HBC took place in London, resulting in the signing of the “Deed of Surrender” on November 19, 1869.

Key Terms of the Deed of Surrender

  • Transfer of Land: The Deed of Surrender granted the Dominion of Canada control over Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory.
  • Financial Terms: In exchange for the transfer of the territories, the Dominion of Canada paid the HBC £300,000 in compensation (about £20 million in today’s currency). This financial settlement aimed to address and recompense the HBC’s claims and interests in the region.
  • Land Rights for HBC: The Deed of Surrender allowed the HBC to retain its trading posts, a small parcel of land around each post (approximately 10 acres), and certain land holdings in the Red River Settlement (now Manitoba). These land rights ensured the HBC’s continued presence in the region.
  • Protection of Indigenous Rights: The agreement stipulated that the Dominion of Canada would respect the rights of Indigenous peoples residing in the transferred territories and would uphold any treaties previously made by the HBC with Indigenous groups.

Impact and Legacy
The transfer through the “Deed of Surrender” was a significant event that contributed to the expansion of the Dominion of Canada and the creation of the Canadian West. In 1870, just a few months after the transfer, the North-West Territories were established as a formal territory of Canada. The transfer also laid the groundwork for the eventual creation of the provinces of Manitoba (1870), British Columbia (1871), and Alberta and Saskatchewan (both in 1905).

The “Deed of Surrender” marked the end of the HBC’s territorial control and fur trading monopoly, but the company continued its retail operations, evolving into the department store chain that we know today as the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). The transfer of the territories was crucial in shaping Canada’s history and territorial expansion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Legacy and Retail
Today, the Hudson’s Bay Company continues as a retail business, operating department stores and retail outlets across Canada and other countries. It is one of the oldest and most iconic retail companies in North America, with a rich history that dates back to its fur trading origins in the 17th century.

Retail Operations
HBC operates a network of department stores under the corporate “Hudson’s Bay” brand in Canada. These stores offer a wide range of products, including fashion apparel, accessories, beauty products, home goods, and more. The Hudson’s Bay stores have a strong presence in major cities and towns nationwide, making them one of Canada’s leading retail chains.

Expansion into Other Countries
In addition to Canada, the Hudson’s Bay Company expanded its retail operations into other countries. One significant expansion took place in the United States, where HBC acquired the department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue in 2013. Saks Fifth Avenue is a renowned luxury retailer with stores in major US cities. Through this acquisition, HBC solidified its presence in the high-end retail market in the United States.

Other Brands and Ventures
In addition to Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue, HBC owns and operates other retail brands. Some of these brands include Lord & Taylor (US), Galeria Kaufhof (Germany), and Galeria Inno (Belgium). HBC’s international presence has allowed the company to diversify its offerings and cater to various markets.

Online Retail
Like many retailers, HBC has also embraced the growth of e-commerce and expanded its online retail operations. Customers can shop through the Hudson’s Bay website, which offers a wide range of products and provides convenient online shopping options.

Challenges and Transformations:
Like other traditional retail chains, HBC has faced challenges in recent years due to changing consumer behaviours and increased competition from online retailers. The COVID-19 pandemic also significantly impacted retail operations, prompting HBC and other retailers to adapt their strategies to the evolving retail landscape.

To navigate these challenges and transform its business, HBC has focused on digital transformation, improving its online shopping experience, and optimising its store operations. The company has also explored strategic partnerships and collaborations to enhance its offerings and attract new customers.

Overall, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s evolution from a fur trading enterprise to a leading retail chain demonstrates its ability to adapt to changing times and remain a significant player in the retail industry. With its long-standing legacy and iconic presence in Canada and other countries, HBC continues to be an important part of the retail landscape in the 21st century.

Martin’s Miscellany

Henry Hudson
In 1611, Henry Hudson discovered the bay during his search for the Northwest Passage. When he pushed his crew to continue their search for the passage after spending a harsh winter on the shores of the bay, the crew mutinied and set him adrift in a small boat on the bay. He was never heard from again.[18]

Two Elks, Two Black Beavers and the English King
Under the charter establishing Hudson’s Bay Company, the company was required to give two elk skins and two black beaver pelts to the English king, then Charles II, or his heirs, whenever the monarch visited Rupert’s Land. The exact text from the 1670 Charter reads: “Yielding and paying yearly to us and our heirs and successors for the same two Elks and two Black beavers whensoever and as often as We, our heirs and successors shall happen to enter into the said Countries, Territories and Regions hereby granted.”[19]

Métis Employees
The HBC employed many Métis individuals as voyageurs, trappers, and guides. Métis employees were essential in facilitating trade and exploration in the Canadian West due to their knowledge of the land and language skills.

Indigenous Marriage Alliances
Some HBC employees formed intercultural marriages with Indigenous women to strengthen trade alliances with Indigenous nations and ensure peaceful relations. These marriages contributed to developing a unique Métis culture in Western Canada.

Arctic Exploration
The HBC played a role in Arctic exploration. In 1833, HBC Chief Factor John Rae surveyed the Arctic coast, discovering the final link in the Northwest Passage and mapping thousands of miles of previously uncharted territory.

Fort Langley
Fort Langley, established by the HBC in 1827 in British Columbia, became a significant centre for trade and served as the location for the signing of the “Proclamation of British Columbia” in 1858 when the colony of British Columbia was established.

HBC Archives
The company maintains an extensive historical archive called the “HBC Archives.” This collection contains a wealth of documents, maps, artwork, and artefacts that provide valuable insights into the history of Canada and the fur trade.

­HBC Fur Brigades
The HBC organised fur brigades to transport furs and goods between trading posts. These brigades comprised canoe teams and horse-drawn carts, essential for ensuring a steady flow of goods across vast distances.

Inuit Trade
The HBC established trade relations with Inuit communities in the Arctic. They traded European goods for furs, ivory, and other resources from the region, contributing to the exchange of cultures and goods.

HBC Wagon Trails
The company established wagon trails to connect various trading posts, making it easier to transport goods and supplies. One notable trail was the “Carleton Trail,” which connected the Red River Settlement to Fort Edmonton.

Legacy of Indigenous Art
The HBC played a role in preserving and promoting Indigenous art and culture. Its support for Indigenous artisans and craftsmen helped keep traditional artistic practices and contributed to continuing Indigenous art forms.

Settlement of Western Canada
The HBC’s territorial holdings and trading posts were instrumental in the settlement and development of Western Canada, providing the foundation for the expansion of European settlement and the Canadian Confederation.

Chief Factors and Employees
The Hudson’s Bay Company employees were known as “servants.” Those in charge of each trading post were called “chief factors.” The company had a hierarchical structure with factors, traders, and labourers. In addition to “chief factors,” the HBC had “chief traders” who played important roles in managing and overseeing trade operations. They were responsible for establishing trade relations with Indigenous communities and negotiating fur deals.

Influence on Indigenous Peoples
The Hudson’s Bay Company had significant interactions with Indigenous peoples in the regions where it operated. The company established relationships with various Indigenous nations, some of which were based on trade partnerships and alliances.

Cree Syllabics
The Hudson’s Bay Company played a role in developing Cree syllabics, a writing system devised by James Evans, an HBC missionary, to facilitate Cree language literacy.

Payment in Kind
During the spring and summer, First Nations traders, who did most of the trapping itself, travelled by canoe and were received at the fort to sell their pelts. In exchange, they typically received metal tools and hunting gear, often imported by the company from Germany, the centre of inexpensive manufacturing in that era. Alcohol became another payment mechanism. Native addiction to alcohol became another inducement to fur trading, with their lack of European cultural history of being inured to it and which may be related, as some claim, to a lack of a form of biological resistance to extreme drunkenness that could be exploited.[20]

York Factory Express
HBC operated an express service called the “York Factory Express,” an annual brigade of canoes carrying furs from the Columbia Department (modern-day British Columbia) to Hudson Bay. This express service was essential for the quick and efficient transportation of furs.

The Hudson’s Bay Company is famously associated with its point blankets, commonly known as Hudson’s Bay blankets. These blankets became an iconic company symbol and were highly valued by Indigenous peoples for their warmth and utility.

While those iconic blankets are well-known, the HBC also traded and produced blankets in Coast Salish designs, reflecting the preferences of Indigenous customers along the Pacific Northwest coast.

Rupert’s Land Act
The sale of Rupert’s Land to Canada in 1869 required the passing of the Rupert’s Land Act by the British Parliament, granting Canada legal ownership over the acquired territories.

undefinedIconic Logo
Citation: HBC’s coat of arms logo (used from 2009 to 2013).
Attribution: By Extracted from, Fair use,

The Hudson’s Bay Company is recognised by its distinctive logo, which features four coloured stripes (green, red, yellow, and indigo) arranged in a pattern. This multi-stripe design, known as the “Hudson’s Bay Point,” became a recognisable symbol in Canadian culture.

Ownership and Modern Operations
Over the years, the ownership of HBC changed hands multiple times (see below). In 2008, it was purchased by NRDC Equity Partners, and later in 2020, the company was acquired by a group of investors led by Richard Baker.

HBC Foundation
The Hudson’s Bay Company has a charitable arm called the “HBC Foundation,” which supports various causes and community initiatives.

These lesser-known facts highlight the diverse and multifaceted impact of the Hudson’s Bay Company throughout its history. From its interactions with Indigenous communities to its exploration efforts and role in Canadian nation-building, the HBC remains an integral part of Canada’s cultural and historical heritage.

Canada’s Ownership History
The ownership of Canada shifted between different European powers during its colonial history. Canada, as we know it today, was primarily contested between France and Britain. A brief overview of how Britain gained control of Canada from the French helps put matters in perspective:

  • French Exploration and Settlement: The French were among the first European powers to explore and establish colonies in what is now Canada. In the early 16th century, French explorers, including Jacques Cartier, explored the Atlantic coastline and claimed territories in North America for France.
  • New France: In the 17th century, France established the colony of New France, which included regions such as Quebec, Acadia (present-day Maritime provinces), and parts of present-day Ontario. The French focused on fur trading, establishing fur trade networks, and building alliances with Indigenous nations.
  • Anglo-French Rivalries: The 18th century saw intense competition and conflicts between Britain and France over colonial territories, trade routes, and maritime dominance. These conflicts were part of a broader series of wars known as the Anglo-French Wars.
  • Treaty of Utrecht (1713): The Treaty of Utrecht marked a significant turning point in the colonial power struggles between Britain and France. As a result of the War of the Spanish Succession, France ceded several territories in North America, including Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and the Hudson Bay region, to Britain.
  • Seven Years’ War (1756-1763): The Seven Years’ War was a global conflict involving major European powers, including Britain and France. In North America, it was known as the French and Indian War. This war was fought over territorial claims and control of the fur trade.
  • Treaty of Paris (1763): The Treaty of Paris[21], signed in 1763, ended the Seven Years’ War. As part of this treaty, France ceded almost all of its North American territories to Britain, except for some islands in the Caribbean and fishing rights off Newfoundland.
  • Canada under British Control: After the Treaty of Paris, Britain gained control of all of New France, including Quebec, and renamed it the Province of Quebec. The British established their colonial administration in these territories and governed the regions under British law and institutions.
  • Royal Proclamation of 1763: To address concerns over Indigenous land rights and settlement in the newly acquired territories, Britain issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This proclamation established guidelines for the governance of British North America and recognised the rights of Indigenous peoples to their lands.

The transfer of Canada from French to British control significantly shaped the course of Canadian history. British governance, along with the arrival of British settlers and Loyalists from the American colonies, brought about cultural, political, and economic changes that continue to influence Canada’s development to this day.

The Hudson’s Bay Company: Corporate History[22]
After incorporation by the English royal charter in 1670, the company was granted a commercial monopoly over the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin, known as Rupert’s Land. The HBC functioned as the de facto government in Rupert’s Land for nearly 200 years until the HBC relinquished control of the land to Canada in 1869 as part of the Deed of Surrender,[23] authorised by the Rupert’s Land Act 1868. At its peak, the company controlled the fur trade throughout much of the English- and later British-controlled North America.

By the mid-19th century, the company evolved into a mercantile business selling a wide variety of products, from furs to fine homeware, in a small number of sales shops (as opposed to trading posts) across Canada.[24] These shops were the first step towards the department stores the company owns today.[25]

In 2006, an American businessman, Jerry Zucker, now deceased, bought HBC for US$1.1 billion. In 2008, HBC was acquired by NRDC Equity Partners (NRDC), which also owned the upmarket American department store Lord & Taylor.[26] From 2008 to 2012, the HBC was run through a holding company of NRDC, Hudson’s Bay Trading Company, which was dissolved in early 2012.[27]

HBC’s Canadian headquarters are located in Toronto[28], and its US headquarters are in New York.[29] The company spun off most of its European operations by August 2019, and its remaining stores there, in the Netherlands, were sold by the end of 2019.

Until March 2020, the company was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “HBC.TO” until Richard Baker and a group of shareholders took the company private.[30] HBC was the majority owner of eCommerce companies Saks[31] and Saks Off 5th[32], both established as separate operating companies in 2021.[33]

HBC wholly owns SFA, the entity that operates Saks Fifth Avenue’s physical locations; [34] O5, the operating company for Saks Off 5th stores;[35] The Bay, an eCommerce marketplace and Hudson’s Bay, the operating company for Hudson’s Bay’s brick-and-mortar stores.[36]

HBC owned or controlled approximately 3.7 million square metres (40 million square feet) of gross leasable real estate[37] through its real estate and investment arm, HBC Properties and Investments, established in October 2020.[38]

Closing Words
The Hudson’s Bay Company’s long and storied history, from its role in the fur trade to its impact on the development of Canada, has left a lasting legacy in both Canadian and global history. Today, it remains a prominent retail business, maintaining its position as an iconic brand and cultural symbol in Canada. Its legacy as one of the oldest commercial enterprises in the world and its impact on the history and economy of Canada make it a significant historical entity.

The Hudson’s Bay Company stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of a company that has endured over centuries. From its humble beginnings as a fur trading enterprise, the HBC evolved into a dominant force that shaped Canada’s exploration, settlement, and economic development. Its interactions with Indigenous peoples, marked by trade partnerships and cultural exchange, highlight the intricate and complex relationships that have shaped the country’s history.

As the fur trade declined, the HBC adeptly shifted its focus to new ventures, becoming a retail powerhouse that continues to thrive in modern times. The iconic Hudson’s Bay department stores, with their vibrant multicoloured stripes, have become synonymous with Canadian heritage and culture, evoking a sense of nostalgia and national pride.

Moreover, the HBC’s historical journey is intertwined with pivotal events, such as the transfer of Rupert’s Land to Canada, which significantly influenced the expansion and formation of the nation. The company’s involvement in Arctic exploration, its role in the development of Cree syllabics, and the establishment of key trading posts like Lower Fort Garry, all bear witness to its enduring impact on various aspects of Canadian life.

While acknowledging the HBC’s historical accomplishments, it is essential to recognise the complexities of its legacy, particularly concerning its interactions with Indigenous communities. The fur trade brought both opportunities and challenges, profoundly affecting the social fabric of Indigenous cultures and contributing to the tragic consequences of disease and population decline.

Reflecting on the Hudson’s Bay Company’s legacy, engaging in meaningful conversations about reconciliation and ongoing efforts to recognise and address historical injustices, are crucially important. The HBC’s journey serves as a reminder that the past continues to shape the present and that understanding our shared history is essential for building a more inclusive and respectful future.

The Hudson’s Bay Company’s multifaceted history is a tapestry of triumphs and challenges, accomplishments and complexities. Its ability to adapt and endure has made it an enduring symbol of Canada’s past and present, while its influence on the nation’s development cements its status as a significant historical entity both in Canada and globally. As we celebrate its heritage, let us also remember the narratives of all those who contributed to this historical journey, ensuring that we embrace a holistic understanding of Canada’s past and work towards a more equitable and compassionate future.

Caption: Hudson’s Bay Montreal Downtown. Originally the flagship store for Morgan’s, the department store chain was acquired by HBC in 1960.
Attribution: By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0,

 Sources and Further Reading


End Notes and Explanations

  1. Source: Compiled from research using information at the sources stated throughout the text, together with information provided by machine-generated artificial intelligence at: [chat] and
  2. Explanation: Proselytism is the policy of attempting to convert people’s religious or political beliefs. Carrying out attempts to instil beliefs can be called proselytisation. Religious proselytisation was called ‘the marketing of religious messages by Sally Ann Sledge. Proselytism is illegal in some countries. Source:
  3. Source and Acknowledgement:
  4. Source:
  5. Explanation: Among the past and present groups formed by royal charter are the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (13th century), the British East India Company (1600), the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (since merged into Standard Chartered), the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), the British South Africa Company, and some of the former British colonies on the North American mainland, City livery companies, the Bank of England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Source:
  6. Explanation: The Numbered Treaties (or Post-Confederation Treaties) are a series of 11 treaties signed between the First Nations, one of three groups of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and the reigning monarch of Canada (Victoria, Edward VII or George V) from 1871 to 1921. These agreements were created to allow the Government of Canada to pursue settlement and resource extraction in the affected regions, which include modern-day Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. These treaties expanded the Dominion of Canada with large tracts of land in exchange for promises made to the indigenous people of the area. These terms were dependent on individual negotiations, and so specific terms differed with each treaty. These treaties came in two waves—Numbers 1 through 7 from 1871 to 1877 and Numbers 8 through 11 from 1899 to 1921. In the first wave, the treaties were key in advancing European settlement across the Prairie regions as well as the development of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In the second wave, resource extraction was the main motive for government officials. Today, these agreements are upheld by the Government of Canada, administered by Canadian Aboriginal law and overseen by the Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations. They are often criticised and are a leading issue within the fight for First Nation rights. The Constitution Act, 1982 gave protection of First Nations and treaty rights under Section 35. It states: “Aboriginal and treaty rights are hereby recognised and affirmed.” This phrase was never fully defined. As a result, First Nations must attest their rights in court as in the case of R v Sparrow. Source:
  7. Explanation: Lower Fort Garry is also notable for being the site where the Selkirk Treaty, also known as the Peguis Treaty, was signed in 1817. The treaty was an agreement between the Hudson’s Bay Company and Chief Peguis of the Ojibwe, representing the Indigenous peoples of the region. The treaty solidified peaceful relations and established boundaries for land use and settlement. The treaty was significant in acknowledging Indigenous land rights and recognising the presence and contributions of Indigenous peoples in the region. It laid the groundwork for future treaties between the Canadian government and Indigenous nations.
  8. Source:
  9. Source: “Royal Charter of the Hudson’s Bay Company”. HBC Heritage. Hudson’s Bay Company. 2015 [1670]. […] the said Land be from henceforth reckoned and reputed as one of our Plantations or Colonies in America, called Rupert’s Land. Cited at:
  10. Source: “Canada Drainage Basins”. The National Atlas of Canada, 5th edition. Natural Resources Canada. 1985. Cited at:
  11. Source: Taylor, Isaac (1898). “Rupert’s land”. Names and Their Histories: A Handbook of Historical Geography and Topographical Nomenclature (2nd ed.). London: Rivingtons. p. 240. Rupert’s Land, an immense territory on Rupert’s River, south-west of Hudson’s Bay, was discovered in 1668 by Captain Zacharias Gillam, and named after Prince Rupert, the first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, constituted in 1670 by Charles II, who granted Rupert’s Land to Prince Rupert and other noblemen. Cited at:
  12. Source: “Rupert’s Land”. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Cited at:
  13. Source: Ernest Voorhis (24 April 2016). “Historic Forts and Trading Posts of the French Regime and of the English Fur Trading Companies”. Government of Canada (orig.). Cited at:
  14. Ibid. Cited at:
  15. Source: Ernest Voorhis (1930). “Historic Forts of the French Regime and of the English Trading Companies”. Government of CanadaCited at:
  16. Source: David J. Christianson (1980). New Severn or Nieu Savanne: The Identification of an Early Hudson Bay Fur Trade Post (PDF) (Master’s thesis). McMaster University. pp. 16, 28. Cited at:
  17. Source: “HBC Heritage | The Standard of Trade”. Cited at:
  18. Source:
  19. Source:
  20. Source:
  21. Explanation: The Treaty of Paris, also known as the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement, after Great Britain and Prussia‘s victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years’ War. The signing of the treaty formally ended the conflict between France and Great Britain over control of North America (the Seven Years’ War, known as the French and Indian War in the United States), and marked the beginning of an era of British dominance outside Europe. Great Britain and France each returned much of the territory that they had captured during the war, but Great Britain gained much of France’s possessions in North America. Additionally, Great Britain agreed to protect Roman Catholicism in the New World. The treaty did not involve Prussia and Austria as they signed a separate agreement, the Treaty of Hubertusburg, five days later. Cited at:
  22. Source:
  23. Sources: [1] “The Royal Charter of the Hudson’s Bay Company”. HBC Heritage, and [2] “Our History: Business: Fur Trade: The Deed of Surrender”. HBC Heritage. Cited at:
  24. Sources: [1] “Our History: Overview”. HBC Heritage, and [2] “Our History: Timelines: Early Stores”.  HBC Heritage. Cited at:
  25. Source: “Hudson’s Bay Company History”. Funding Universe. Cited at:
  26. Source: Kevin Bell (1 September 2012). “NRDC Buys Hudson’s Bay, Says Lord & Taylor to Expand (Update2)”. Bloomberg. Cited at:
  27. Source: Hollie Shaw (23 January 2012). “Hudson’s Bay Co. completes purchase of Lord & Taylor: report”. Financial Post. Cited at:
  28. Source: Cara Lombardo; Suzanne Kapner (16 March 2022). “Sycamore and Hudson’s Bay Prepare Kohl’s Bids”. WSJ. Cited at:
  29. Source: “Hudson’s Bay consolidates offices at Brookfield Place”. The Real Deal. 24 September 2014. Cited at:
  30. Source: Barbara Shecter (27 February 2020). “Baker’s HBC privatization bid approved after plenty of ‘noise and aggravation’”. Financial Post. Cited at:
  31. Source: Marc Bain (5 March 2021). “Saks is turning its back on department stores”. Quartz. Cited at:
  32. Source: Evan Clark (21 June 2021). “Saks Off 5th Splits E-commerce and Retail”. WWD. Cited at:
  33. Sources: [1] Evan Clark (21 June 2021). “Saks Off 5th Splits E-commerce and Retail”. WWD, and [2] Adam Jackson (21 June 2021). “Saks Off 5th Will Become $1 Billion Standalone Online Business”. Bloomberg. Both are cited at:
  34. Source: Lauren Thomas (5 March 2021). “Saks Fifth Avenue owner spins e-commerce site into separate business”. CNBC. Cited at:
  35. Source: Daphne Howland (22 June 2021). “With $200M from private equity, Saks Off 5th online will go it alone”. RetailDive. Cited at:
  36. Sources: [1] Daphne Howland (22 June 2021). “With $200M from private equity, Saks Off 5th online will go it alone”. RetailDive, and [2] “Hudson’s Bay splitting stores from online marketplace to create two businesses”. CTV News. 12 August 2021. Both are cited at:
  37. Source: “HBC Introduces Development Division To Optimize Real Estate”. 21 October 2020. Cited at:
  38. Sources: [1] Craig Patterson (20 October 2020). “Hudson’s Bay Company Announces Division to Redevelop Real Estate Assets”. Retail Insider, and [2] Chan, Kenneth (21 October 2020). “Hudson’s Bay launches new real estate division to redevelop its stores”. Daily Hive. Both are cited at:

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