York Factory was established in 1684 by the Hudson Bay Company as a trading post and quickly grew in importance evolving into the administrative centre for the dozens of trading posts that were developed throughout western Canada over the next 200 years.
In 1810 the Hudson Bay Company formed a new Department called the Northern Department which handled the fur and other trade issues, but also began to handle the immigration which was coming into Rupert's Land.
At its' height, York Factory could boast over 50 buildings all occupied by workers, administrators and traders.
When the Northwest was handed over to Canada in 1870 and with the building of the railway across Canada, the need and importance of York Factory disappeared and it devolved into the role of just another trading post.
Today it is a Parks Canada National Historic site and in conjunction with the visitors centre in Churchill offers a complete and exciting picture into the history and heritage of the fur trading industry and the Hudson Bay Company.