Baker Lake

Baker Lake / Qamani’tuaq - ᖃᒪᓂᑦᑐᐊᖅ - 'Where the river widens'

Baker Lake is Nunavut's only inland community, situated on a large lake at the mouth of the Thelon Heritage River, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the exact geographic centre of Canada. The nearby Kazan Heritage River also feeds into the same body of water. Known as 'Qamani'tuaq' in Inuktitut, 'where the river widens' is an ancient non-coastal home location for eleven branches of the Inuit family. The tundra landscape with its rich plant life is also home to massive herds of caribou. Baker Lake is the Kivalliq community located nearest to the great Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary, an arctic wilderness refuge created especially for muskoxen, making this gifted hamlet an excellent place for northern ecotourism adventures!

Community Snapshot

Ethnic distribution
92% Inuit
Inuktitut, English, French

Longitude 96° 10’ W
Latitude 64° 20’ N
Elevation 18m


Baker Lake sits on the shore of a huge lake, surrounded in all directions by pristine tundra landscape.


Sunny summertime temperatures in Baker Lake average 15°C, occasionally rising to 20°C. Bug jackets are required in the tundra wetlands because of mosquitoes. Winter temperatures can feel very cold, as low as -50°C at times because of the extreme wind chill factor. Blizzards occur throughout the fall, winter and spring months.


baker-ferrisBaker Lake is home to eleven distinct Inuit groups:

  • Ahiarmiut/Ihalmiut — from the Ennadai Lake and Back River area
  • Akilinirmiut — from the Akiliniq Hills and the Thelon River area
  • Hanningajurmiut — from the Garry Lake area
  • Harvaqtuurmiut — from the Kazan River area
  • Hauniqturmiut — from Whale Cove, Sandy Point and Arviat area
  • Illuilirmiut — from the Adelaide Peninsula, Chantrey Inlet area
  • Kihlirnirmiut — from the Bathurst Inlet to Cambridge Bay area
  • Natsilingmiut — from the Taloyoak, Kugaaruk, Repulse Bay area
  • Paallirmiut — from the Baker Lake to Arviat area
  • Qaernermiut — from the Chesterfield Inlet to Whale Cove area
  • Utkuhiksalingmiut — from the Back River and Gjoa Haven area

Baker Lake was given its English name in 1761 by the British explorer William Christopher after his employer, Sir William Baker, the 11th Governor of the Hudson Bay Company (HBC). In 1916 a permanent HBC trading post was built here, followed by the arrival of Anglican missionaries in 1927. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were present from the earliest days of the HBC trading post, but only established a police station here in 1930. A small hospital was constructed in 1957, followed by the first school in 1958.

In 2010, Agnico-Eagle Mines began operation of the Meadowbank gold mine, located 86 kilometres (53 miles) north of Baker Lake. Construction of the mine employed 300 local Inuit workers from the Kivalliq region. The mining company helped build cellular telephone towers that connect the hamlet of Baker Lake to the Northwestel cell phone network. The arrival of hundreds of gold mine workers from across Canada has also greatly increased tourism in this region.

Activities & Wildlife

Outdoor enthusiasts who visit Baker Lake enjoy a range of activities that are very popular here, such as hiking, camping, canoeing, hunting, fishing, dog sledding and snowmobile riding. The flowering tundra wetlands, freshwaters and fertile valleys of the Kazan and Thelon Heritage Rivers support an abundance of wildlife including muskoxen, caribou, arctic hares, jackrabbits, arctic foxes, arctic wolves, wolverines, marmots ('siksiks'), geese and lake trout. A fishing derby is held in May. Local celebrations with traditional games and feasts take place in early May and at Christmas.

Arts & Culture

Baker Lake is home to talented carvers, printmakers, jewellers and seamstresses producing artworks and handicrafts that include wall hangings, basalt sculptures, stone cut prints, specialized tools and caribou skin clothing. The Jessie Ooonark Arts and Crafts Centre is an art studio and sales outlet for local carving, printmaking, sewing and jewellery. The Pangnakit facility produces handmade clothing, footwear and tools. The Inuit Heritage Centre records oral histories recited by elders, teaches traditional culture and way of life to Inuit youth and also showcases a large collection of art and historical artifacts, including special displays on loan from other museums.

Inuit Heritage Centre

Ph: (867) 793-2598

Pangnaktit Facility

Contact: Jacob Ikinilik
Ph: (867) 793-2406

Jessie Oonark Arts and Crafts Centre

Ph: (867) 793-2428
Fax: (867) 793-2429


Inuujaarvik Territorial Park

Inuujaarvik Territorial Park is a pleasant campground area that provides a pretty place to stay when visiting this region. Located close to Baker Lake, it is an ideal location for canoeists wishing to explore the nearby Thelon and Kazan Heritage Rivers.

Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary

The Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary is an enormous arctic oasis that straddles the border of Nunavut with the Northwest Territories of Canada. It is the largest wildlife refuge on the North American continent, with 52,000 square kilometres (20,077 square miles) of protected lands for muskoxen, caribou, geese and grizzly bears.

Visitor information

Vera Akumalik Visitors Centre

Ph: (867) 793-2456
Fax: (867) 793-2175
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Offices of the Hamlet of Baker Lake

Ph: (867) 793-2874
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Arctic Fuel Services

Kenny Hachey

PO Box 350, Baker Lake, X0C 0A0



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Multi-faceted, diversified company with our head office located in Baker Lake, Nunavut. Over sixty full and part-time staff. Visit our website at We provide vehicle and housing rentals.
Arctic Kingdom Expeditions
Arctic Kingdom Expeditions

Graham Dickson

PO Box 6117, Iqaluit, X0A 0H0

416.322.7066 | 1.888.737.6818


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More info ˅˄
We are Nunavut Specialists! Arctic Kingdom is fiercely dedicated to creating authentic and awe-inspiring Arctic travel experiences. Through our Wildlife Safaris, Quick Getaways, Backcountry Trips and Expedition Cruises, we ensure your Arctic experience in the world’s most captivating place is second-to-none. For shorter visits, we now offer day trips in Iqaluit; stop by our new Tour Iqaluit Office in the Hotel Arctic lobby to book snowmobile, boat, hike, ATV, and Iqaluit town tours, or to create a private tour or customized Getaway package made just for you.
Iglu Hotel
Iglu Hotel

Leo Flynn

PO Box 179, Baker Lake, X0C 0A0

(867) 793-2801 | 1-888-866-6784

(867) 793-2711

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The Iglu Hotel is located near the geographical center of Canada just off the shores of panoramic Baker Lake. The 23 guest rooms feature telephone, complimentary wireless internet, cable, in room coffee, and private bath. Located on site are: dining room, conference room and banquet facilities, and guest lounge. Construction and tour rates are available. VISA and Mastercard accepted.
Nunamiut Lodge
Nunamiut Lodge

J. Michael Hughson

PO Box 369, Baker Lake, X0C 0A0



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Welcome to the Nunamiut Lodge Hotel in Baker Lake!  “100% Inuit Owned.”  At the Nunamiut Lodge Hotel, enjoy our northern hospitality in a warm and comfortable setting.  We provide a wide range of amenities, an unbeatable service, excellent dining, comfortable rooms, all at an unmatched quality.  Conference room and banquet facilities, copier, fax, gift shop are available. Quality customer service oriented to small groups. 
Nunavut Parks and Special Places
Nunavut Parks and Special Places

P.O. Box 1000, Station 1340, Iqaluit, X0A 0H0



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Tabagari, Taylor & Johnson

Max Johnson

70 Algonquin Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R2G 2H3


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More info ˅˄
TTJ Tourism provides community-based tourism consultancy services. We additionally offer individualized marketing and sales strategies, and work with companies, hamlets, regional organizations and government to develop and implement tourism strategies.
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