Taloyoak | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Taloyoak, Nunavut, incorporated as a hamlet in 1981, population 934 (2021 census), 1,029 (2016 census). The Hamlet of Taloyoak (“large caribou hunting blind” in Inuktitut), formerly known as Spence Bay, is located in a narrow inlet on the west side of the Boothia Peninsula and is the northernmost community on Canada’s mainland.


Taloyoak can trace its history of human habitation back thousands of years with the Thule people and, later, the Inuit.

The people of Taloyoak assisted the John Ross expedition of 1831, which attempted to locate the magnetic North Pole. A few years later, between 1848 and 1860, British explorers searching for the lost John Franklin expedition also made contact with the Inuit community of the area.

The Taloyoak community was founded in 1948, when the Hudson's Bay Company built a trading post, but was not incorporated as a hamlet until 1981. During the 1950s, several schools and churches were established.

Culture and Community

Today, the community remains closely tied to the land, with much of the local economy based on hunting and trapping. Residents of the community, Inuit and non-Inuit alike, also hold positions with the local or territorial governments and operate small businesses.

Taloyoak is known for its rich culture of handmade packing dolls, beautiful rock formations, and wildlife, such as polar bears, muskox, caribou, migratory birds, and beluga whales.

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