The seaweed flora from James Bay, Canada is compared with three contiguous northeastern Canadian Arctic areas (Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and the Ellesmere-Baffin Islands area extending northward to the Arctic Ocean). A conspicuous reduction pattern was evident with 131 taxa recorded for the Ellesmere-Baffin Islands area, 106 for Hudson Strait, 81 from Hudson Bay, and 44 in James Bay. The Ellesmere-Baffin Islands area has a more rocky open coastal environment and higher salinities than James Bay, which is more highly sedimented and impacted by hydroelectric development and freshwater discharge. The Ellesmere-Baffin Islands area (∼32–30.5‰) has a higher mean number of shared taxa (90.0 ± 18.4 SE) than James Bay (37.6 ± 2.7 SE), while Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay have intermediate values of 78 ± 14.1 SE and 64 ± 9.2 SE, respectively. The combined flora from the four areas consists of 164 taxa, including 49 red, 65 brown, 1 chrysophyte, and 49 green algae. Fifty of these total taxa (31%) were only found in one area, with 25 occurring between Ellesmere Island and Baffin Island, 13 within the Strait proper, and 6 in both Hudson and James Bays. Strong habitat and salinity gradients, as well as the great distances between collection sites and the haphazard nature of collections may have contributed to these restrictive patterns. Cheney's (1977) floristic ratio documents that all four geographies (including their composite flora) have cold water floras. Four new distributional records are documented from James Bay: Chaetomorpha minima , Elachista fucicola , Phyllophora pseudoceranoides , and Spyridia filamentosa . The cryptogenic taxon Spyridia , which has unclear origins, is a warm-water disjunct in the northwestern Atlantic previously known only from one site in Nova Scotia and a few locations in southern Maine/New Hampshire but mostly south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A single introduced species ( Dumontia contorta from Europe) is recorded from James Bay and the Ellesmere-Baffin Islands area, while none are documented from the other areas.