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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

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

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
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
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
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
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
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
  • 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
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
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
  • 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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.