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Famous Winnipeggers and Things

The Hudson's Bay Company

Hudson's Bay Company, or HBC, is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and is one of the oldest in the world.

It was once the de facto government in parts of North America before European-based colonies and nation states existed. It was at one time the largest landowner in the world, with Rupert's Land being a large part of North America. From its longtime headquarters at York Factory on Hudson Bay, it controlled the fur trade throughout much of British-controlled North America for several centuries, undertaking early exploration. Its traders and trappers forged early relationships with many groups of First Nations/Native Americans and its network of trading posts formed the nucleus for later official authority in many areas of western Canada and the United States.

In the late 19th century, its vast territory became the largest component in the newly formed Dominion of Canada, in which the company was the largest private landowner. With the decline of the fur trade, the company evolved into mercantile business selling vital goods to settlers in the Canadian West. Today the company is best known for its department stores throughout Canada.

The Hudson's Bay Company Archives are located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They also classify the Bay in downtown Winnipeg as the flagship store.