REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY OF CANADA Social Studies 9/10 Chapter Notes CANADA: A REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY What regions are evident? 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 Canada: territorial template over satellite photo composite Divisions and Places Placing the Canadian map Political divisions: provinces and territories 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 Pink: precambrian granites Green: younger sediments Yellow: faulted and meta-morphized sediments Blue: older sediments Glacial legacy Wisconsin-last ice age, maximum 18,000 yrs. BP Southern limitsWisconsin 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 landscapes Ice margin End moraine Glacial lakes Spillways Kettle lakes Eskers Drumlins Till plain Erratic Glacial till and erratic esker Drumlin and drumlin field Glacial lake Louise and Paternoster Lakes 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 The Great Lakes and Ottawa Toronto climate 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 Ste. Agathe climate 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 settlements Fredericton, NB 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 graph and Hudson Bay Lowland vista 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 graph Cordillera 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 Banff and Victoria climate graphs 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 graph and Arctic Lowlands vista 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 scenery and resolute climate graph Drainage: Well drained south; poorly drained north Climate Continental and maritime influences Prevailing winds Jet stream Mountain effects Air masses Freezing point Seasonal variability Precipitation Cloud cover Evaporation 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’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 Resource extraction periphery Rural sphere Suburban area Urban center 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 Canada as a storehouse of raw materials: old and new explanations Fisheries, then and now: Historic Grand Banks; Pacific Salmon catch and prospects Fur trade legacy Renewable forestry Agricultural potential Agricultural production Minerals and Mining Mining potential Oil 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 mainland and calgaryedmonton corridor Financial services CN and CP railway systems Airports and airport authorities Ethnic diversity 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 character: socioeconomic regions shaped by Shape affected by: Topography Heartland/Hinterlands relations Cultural identity Historical patterns Political boundaries Confluence of political, cultural and social dynamics=regional identity Proximity of the US Language Meshing physiography and human geography to comprehend Canada’s Regions 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 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 context (globalization index) Global Relationships Global Linkages Bordering Canadian participation in globalization 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 Physical Geography Geography Basics Air mass Alpine Appalachian Adaptation Archipelago Human and environment interaction Arctic Lowlands Boreal Location Canadian Shield Place Continental climate Province Cordilleran Region Drainage system Territorial template Drumlin Territory 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 Physical disunity Global relationships Population density Globalization Index Resource extraction periphery Grand Banks Resource points Heartland/Hinterland Rural sphere Indigenous Staples development ‘Main Street Canada’ Suburban area Metropolitan core Urban center Mineral lease Native land claims Oil pipeline References 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: www.canadainfolink.ca/geog.htm http://atlas.nrcan.gc/site/english/index.html Any comprehensive atlas of Canada is an asset See also, Historical Atlas of Canada. 3 volumes. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.