Hall Beach

Population: 655 (2006)

"The place that is along the coast," Sanirajak or Hall Beach was created in 1957 when the Cold War triggered the establishment of a chain of Distant Early Warning (DEW) radar sites. The DEW line was centred along the 70th parallel to monitor Canadian air space in the far north. Now Fox-MAIN, the Hall Beach radar station, uses the more advanced North Warning Radar System that has replaced the archaic DEW line technology. The outdated twin 120- foot tall antennas now serve as landmarks for aircraft and hunters.

In the early 1960s, many Inuit families abandoned camp life and moved to the community to take advantage of government housing programs, health care and opportunities for work and education. In 1953, no one lived in the area on a permanent basis. By 1960, there were 300 qallunaat (white people) living on the site and about 260 Inuit were beginning to settle in the area. Now, Hall Beach counts around 650 residents.

Hall Beach is famous not for caribou but for the sea

mammals that live in Foxe Basin. Strong currents maintain areas of thin ice and open water throughout the year. Seal, walrus and beluga are common in the region.

In August 2002, hunters from Hall Beach and Igloolik joined forces to harvest a 15-metre bowhead whale in northern Foxe Basin. Bowhead whales used to swim in nearby waters thousands of years ago and formed the basis for Thule culture. The Thule people used whalebone and stone for their houses. However, a cooling trend in the early 1600s dramatically affected the Thule way of life, because whales no longer migrated as far into the Arctic.

The soggy tundra dotted with ponds and lakes is the nesting habitat for a variety for a variety of migratory birds such as loons, ducks, geese and other waterfowl that return to the Arctic each spring.

hall beach