Geography of canada
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GEOGRAPHY OF CANADA. Social Studies 10 Chapter 3 & 8 Canadian Geography & Economy. CANADA: A REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY What regions are evident?. Physical Regions. Economic Regions. Climate. Political Regions. Five Themes of C anada’s G eography. Location: relative and absolute

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Geography of canada


Social Studies 10

Chapter 3 & 8

Canadian Geography & Economy

Canada a regional geography what regions are evident

CANADA: A REGIONAL GEOGRAPHYWhat regions are evident?

Physical regions

Physical Regions

Economic regions

Economic Regions



Political regions

Political Regions

Five themes of c anada s g eography

Five Themes of Canada’s Geography

  • Location: relative and absolute

  • Place: human and physical

  • Human and Environment Interactions: adaptation, modification, dependence

  • Movement: migration and transportation

  • Regions: consistent, focused, aligned, linked

Theme 1 location

Theme 1: Location

  • Two Types of Location

  • Absolute

  • Relative

  • Where is It?

  • Why is It There?

Absolute location

Absolute Location

  • A specific place on the Earth’s surface

  • Uses a grid system

  • Latitude and longitude

  • A global address

British columbia

British Columbia

Absolute Location

  • BC

    54° N Latitude

    125° W longitude

  • Vancouver

    49° 25' N Latitude

    123° 10' W Longitude

Relative location

Relative Location

  • Where a place is in relation to another place

  • Uses directional words to describe

  • Cardinal and intermediate directions

British columbia1

British Columbia

  • British Columbia is bordered by Yukon in the north, Washington and Idaho tothe south, and Alberta on the west.

  • The Pacific Ocean forms British Columbia's west coast.

  • British Columbia is one of the western provinces

Theme 2 place physical characteristics

Theme 2: PlacePhysical Characteristics

  • Land Features

  • Mountains, plains, and plateaus

  • Climate

  • Bodies of Water

British columbia physical characteristics

British Columbia: Physical Characteristics

Photos above: Steve Pierce

Theme 2 place human characteristics

Theme 2: PlaceHuman Characteristics

  • People

  • Culture

  • Language

  • Religion

  • Buildings and Landmarks

  • Cities

British columbia human characteristics

British Columbia: Human Characteristics

National Geographic Magazine

Top right:

Theme 3 human environment interaction

Theme 3: Human Environment Interaction

How People Interact With Their Environment

People . . .

  • Adapt to Their Environment

  • Modify Their Environment

  • Depend on Their Environment

British columbia human environment interaction

British Columbia: Human Environment Interaction

Theme 4 movement

Theme 4: Movement

The Mobility of

  • People

  • Goods

  • Ideas

    How Places are linked to one another and the world

British columbia movement

British Columbia: Movement

Theme 5 regions

Theme 5: Regions

What Places Have in Common

  • Political Regions

  • Landform Regions

  • Agricultural Regions

  • Cultural Regions

British columbia regions

British Columbia: Regions

Steve Pierce

Canada territorial template over satellite p hoto c omposite

Canada: Territorial template over Satellite Photo Composite

Divisions and places

Divisions and Places

Placing the Canadian map

Political divisions: provinces and territories

Fundamentals of physical g eography

Fundamentals of Physical Geography

  • Geology-process, structure, time

  • Topography-relief, slope

  • Soils-texture, pH, organic matter

  • Vegetation-water, arboreal, ecotone

  • Climate-air mass, current, precipitation, temperature, system

Underlying geology

Underlying Geology

  • Pink: Precambrian granites

  • Green: younger sediments

  • Yellow: faulted and meta-morphasizedsediments

  • Blue: older sediments

Glacial legacy

Glacial Legacy

  • Wisconsin-last ice age, maximum 18,000 yrs. BP

  • Southern limits-Wisconsin and Ohio Valley

  • Recedes-15,000-7,000 yrs. BP

  • Covers virtually all of Canada and northern US

  • Ice free corridor from Alaska through Yukon into northern BC

Remnant glacial l andscapes

Remnant Glacial Landscapes

  • Ice margin

  • End moraine

  • Glacial lakes

  • Spillways

  • Kettle lakes

  • Eskers

  • Drumlins

  • Till plain

  • Erratic

Glacial till and erratic

Glacial Till and Erratic

E sker


Drumlin and d rumlin f ield

Drumlin and Drumlin Field

Glacial lake louise and paternoster lakes

Glacial lake Louise and Paternoster Lakes

Http www youtube com watch v iyqlskqfeo4

St lawrence lowlands

St. Lawrence Lowlands

  • Less than 2% of landmass; smallest region

  • Windsor to Quebec City

  • Sedimentary geology with glacial deposits

  • Moderate climate

  • Fertile soils

  • Long growing season

  • Close to the US

  • Canadian HEARTLAND

French canadian long lot farms and niagara falls

French Canadian ‘long lot’ farms and Niagara Falls

The great lakes and ottawa

The Great Lakes and Ottawa

Toronto climate

Toronto Climate

Canadian shield

Canadian Shield

  • 50% of Canada’s landmass; largest region

  • Almost entirely contained in Canada

  • Geological core underlies North America

  • Precambrian rocks more than 3 billion yrs.

  • Exposed granite and shallow soils

  • Glaciation evident

  • Mixed Boreal forest

  • Northern continental climate

Canadian shield vistas

Canadian shield vistas

Ste agathe climate

Ste. AgatheClimate

Appalachian uplands

Appalachian Uplands

  • Over 2% of landmass

  • Northern part of Appalachians

  • Rounded uplands and plateaux

  • Numerous islands along drowned shoreline

  • Narrow river valleys

  • Rocky, shallow soils

  • Mixed forests

  • Cool maritime climate

  • Short summer wet, winter

Interior farms and forests coastal s ettlements

Interior Farms and Forests, Coastal Settlements

Fredericton nb

Fredericton, NB

Hudson bay lowlands

Hudson Bay Lowlands

  • Over 3.5% landmass

  • Muskeg or wet peat lands

  • Many lakes

  • Low ridges of sand and gravel

  • Poorly drained

  • Level

  • Northern climate

  • Maritime influence

  • Short, warm summer

  • Long, cold winter

Moosonee climate g raph and hudson bay lowland vista

MoosoneeClimate Graph and Hudson Bay Lowland Vista

Interior plains

Interior Plains

  • About 20% land mass

  • Geologic base of sedimentary rock

  • Shaped by glaciation and re-directed drainage

  • Incised river valleys

  • Slopes up from east to west with rich soils

  • Hudson’s Bay watershed

  • Oil and gas deposits

  • Continental climate

  • Moderate to low precipitation

Plains agriculture and regina climate g raph

Plains Agriculture and Regina Climate Graph



  • Region of intra-regional differences

  • About 16% of land mass

  • Formed 40-80 million years ago from collision of North American and Pacific Plates

  • Rockies up thrust sediments

  • Coastal mountains volcanic: ‘ring of fire’

  • Glaciers remain in Alpine areas

  • Fertile valleys and deltas

  • Coniferous

  • Multiple micro-climates

Mountains and valleys

Mountains and Valleys

Banff and victoria climate g raphs

Banff and Victoria Climate Graphs

Arctic lowlands

Arctic Lowlands

  • About 13% land mass

  • Coastal plains and lowlands

  • Islands and drowned shorelines

  • Sedimentary

  • Permafrost

  • Frost action is the main geomorphic process

  • Polar desert with very low precipitation

  • Extreme arctic climate conditions

Iqaluit climate g raph and arctic lowlands gista

Iqaluit Climate Graph and Arctic Lowlands Gista

Innuitian mountains

Innuitian Mountains

  • About 12% land mass

  • Plateaux and mountains

  • Extreme glaciation and extensive weathering of sedimentary rock

  • Extensive coastal drowning and fjiords

  • Islands

  • Uplifting and isostatic rebound

  • Extreme cold

  • Pack ice and ice flows

  • Glacier calving

Arctic mountain s cenery and resolute c limate g raph

Arctic Mountain Scenery and Resolute Climate Graph

Drainage well drained s outh poorly d rained n orth

Drainage: Well Drained South; Poorly Drained North



  • Continental and maritime influences

  • Prevailing winds

  • Jet stream

  • Mountain effects

  • Air masses

  • Freezing point

  • Seasonal variability

  • Precipitation

  • Cloud cover

  • Evaporation

Lacsapoopa climate factors

LACSAPOOPA- Climate Factors

L- Latitude: North or South from Equator.

A- Altitude: 1.5 degrees Celsius /100 meters.

C- Clouds: Types and cover.

S- Seasons: 4, 2, 1.

A- Aspect: North or South facing.

P- Prevailing Winds: Westerlies, Easterlies, Trades.

O- Ocean Proximity: Maritime versus Continental.

O- Ocean Currents: Prevailing currents

P- Pressure Systems: Highs & Lows.

A- Albedo: Snow, water, ground and reflection.

Where are the people population distribution

Where are the people? Population Distribution

  • In cities near the USA

  • 80% in cities over 100,000

  • 80% within 100km of the US border

  • ‘main street Canada’: Windsor to Quebec City

  • Agricultural western interior

  • Coastal and river valley settlement in Atlantic region

  • Resource points in the Shield and the North

  • Western cordillera valleys and the BC coast

Canada cmas and population change 1996 2001

Canada CMAs and Population Change, 1996-2001

Canada s urban and agricultural settlement archipelago

Canada’s Urban and Agricultural settlement Archipelago

  • Pattern set over 100 years ago

  • Islands of population and settlement amid a vast, inhospitable and often empty land

  • Contrast between heartland and hinterland

  • Regional centers

  • Hugging the border

  • The empty north

The people place region relationship

The People, Place, Region Relationship

  • Canada has always had urban centers where most people lived and worked

  • Urban centers were surrounded by a rural sphere to constitute the heartland

  • Beyond the rural lands, towns and villages, a sparsely populated resource extraction periphery or hinterland extended to the farthest reaches of the country

  • With transportation advances people moved to the commuting suburbs of cities

Three popular canadian explanations and one not so popular bilateral explanation

Three Popular Canadian Explanations and One Not So Popular Bilateral Explanation

Canada as a storehouse of raw m aterials old and new explanations

Canada as a Storehouse of Raw Materials: Old and New explanations

Fisheries then and now historic grand banks pacific salmon catch and p rospects

Fisheries, then and now: Historic Grand Banks; Pacific Salmon catch and Prospects

Fur trade l egacy

Fur Trade Legacy

Renewable forestry

Renewable Forestry

Agricultural potential

Agricultural Potential

Agricultural production

Agricultural Production

Minerals and mining

Minerals and Mining

Mining potential

Mining Potential

Geography of canada


Metropolitan heartland

Metropolitan Heartland

  • “Main Street Canada”

  • Red area is continuous urban ribbon

  • Green area is adjacent commuter shed and integrated use region

  • Toronto and Montreal metropolitan cores linked to other growth centers along the spine

Bc lower m ainland and c algary edmonton c orridor

BC Lower Mainland and Calgary-Edmonton Corridor

Financial services

Financial Services

Cn and cp railway s ystems

CN and CP Railway Systems

Airports and airport a uthorities

Airports and Airport Authorities

Ethnic diversity

Ethnic Diversity

Ethnic minorities in cities

Ethnic “Minorities” in Cities

  • Toronto: Canada’s cosmopolitan leader

  • Allophones in Montreal

  • Asian populations expand in most cities

  • Black populations in most Canadian cities but predominate in east

  • Aboriginal populations growing in all urban centers

Canada s regional c haracter socio economic r egions s haped b y

Canada’s Regional Character: Socio-Economic Regions Shaped By

Shape affected by:

  • Heartland/Hinterlands relations

  • Confluence of political, cultural and social dynamics=regional identity

  • Proximity of the US

Meshing p hysiography and human g eography to comprehend canada s regions

Meshing Physiography and Human Geography to comprehend Canada’s Regions

Canada s regions m ap

Canada’s Regions Map

  • North and south distinguished

  • Settlement and urbanization acknowledged

  • Cultures recognized

  • Political divisions sustained

  • Traditional aggregates

Placing canada into temporal and geographical c ontext

Placing Canada into Temporal and Geographical Context

  • 1000s of years of indigenous human presence

  • European contact over centuries: late 15th to 19th

  • European re-settlement by force, treaty, depopulation (disease)

  • Historical geography matters socially, politically and ecologically

  • Map shows Canada at Confederation

Canada in global c ontext globalization i ndex

Canada in Global Context (Globalization Index)

Current geographical issues

Current “Geographical” Issues

  • Native land claims: British Columbia, the North, creation of Nunavut

  • Environmental crises: energy, climate change, forest degradation

  • Borders: US, Arctic

  • Federal/Provincial: the national/regional power balancing act, fiscal control

  • City growth and expansion: newcomers, transportation, crime, planning

Key words and concepts

Key words and Concepts

Geography Basics

  • Adaptation

  • Human and environment interaction

  • Location

  • Place

  • Province

  • Region

  • Territorial template

  • Territory

Physical Geography

  • Air mass

  • Alpine

  • Appalachian

  • Archipelago

  • Arctic Lowlands

  • Boreal

  • Canadian Shield

  • Continental climate

  • Cordilleran

  • Drainage system

  • Drumlin

  • Drowned shoreline

  • End moraine

Geography of canada

Physical Geography (cont.)

  • Erratic

  • Esker

  • Fjiord

  • Glacial lake

  • Glaciation

  • Glacier calving

  • Hudson Bay Lowlands

  • Ice free corridor

  • Incised valley

  • Innuitian

  • Interior Plains

  • Isostatic rebound

  • Jetstream

  • Kettle lake

  • Maritime climate

  • Micro-climate

  • Muskeg

  • Pack ice

  • Paternoster lakes

  • Peatlands

  • Permafrost

  • Physiographic region

  • Plant hardiness zone

  • Polar desert

  • Precambrian

Geography of canada

Physical Geography (cont.)

  • Relief

  • ‘Ring of Fire’

  • Sedimentary

  • Spillway

  • St. Lawrence Lowlands

  • Topography

  • Till plain

  • Wisconsin glaciation

    Human Geography

  • Aboriginal

  • Agri-food

  • Airport authority

  • Allophone

  • Borderland relationship

  • Borders

  • CMA

  • CN and CP

  • Commuter shed

  • Climate change

  • Corridor

  • Confederation

  • Cultural identity

  • European contact

  • Energy crisis

  • Ethnic diversity

  • Ethnic minority

  • Federal/Provincial issues

Geography of canada

Human Geography (cont.)

  • Forest heritage

  • Fur trade

  • Global linkages

  • Global relationships

  • Globalization Index

  • Grand Banks

  • Heartland/Hinterland

  • Indigenous

  • ‘Main Street Canada’

  • Metropolitan core

  • Mineral lease

  • Native land claims

  • Oil pipeline

  • Physical disunity

  • Population density

  • Resource extraction periphery

  • Resource points

  • Rural sphere

  • Staples development

  • Suburban area

  • Urban center



  • Adams, Michael, Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada, and the Myth of Converging Values. Toronto: penguin, 2003.

  • Bone, Robert M. The Regional Geography of Canada. Don Mills: Oxford, 2005.

  • Lemon, James T. Liberal Dreams and Nature’s Limit: Great Cities of North America Since 1600. Toronto: Oxford, 1996.

  • Lipset, Seymour M. Continental Divide: The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada. New York: Routledge, 1990.

  • McCann, L. D., ed., A Geography of Canada: Heartland and Hinterland. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall, 1982 (several later editions).

  • Warkentin, John, Canada: A Regional Geography. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall, 1997.

  • Many maps and images may be obtained at the following websites as well as through search engines:


  • Any comprehensive atlas of Canada is an asset

  • See also, Historical Atlas of Canada. 3 volumes. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

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