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Regions of Canada Betsy Arntzen Canadian Studies K-12 Outreach Coordinator Canadian-American Center . University of Maine www.umaine.edu/teachingcanada Canada From Sea to Sea to Sea: Pacific, Arctic, Atlantic oceans Canada and the United States share the longest undefended border in the world Population: Canada's population of 30 million is about 10 percent of the US population. Canadians have family ties to people in every country in the world; people from every country in the world are now Canadians Canada is a confederation of 10 provinces and 3 federal territories Parliamentary form of government Sizes: Prince Edward Island (same size as Delaware) Quebec (twice the size of Texas). Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world. The majority of Canadians reside within 200 miles of the border. Why? Landform Regions Atlantic or Appalachian St. Lawrence Lowlands Canadian Shield Prairies or Interior Plains Cordillera North Atlantic or Appalachian • Contains four provinces: Nova Scotia (Halifax), Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown), Newfoundland & Labrador (St. John’s), and New Brunswick (Fredericton). • Named for the ancient mountain range, which has low rugged hills and plateaus, with a deeply indented coastline. Its scenery attracts tourists; tourism is a large part of this region’s economy. • Large ocean areas off the coast, such as the Grand Banks, were once thought to contain an inexhaustible supply of fish. Europeans have fished off the coast for over 400 years. These fishing grounds are now considered protected and are managed. Atlantic or Appalachian First Nations were the first inhabitants for thousands of years. Europeans from France and Great Britain first came to fish (1500s), and later settled (1600s). Today, people of many cultures and ethnic backgrounds live here. New Brunswick is Canada’s only bi-lingual province. About 1/3 of New Brunswickers live and work in a French-speaking area. Resources: fish, forests, minerals, oil Economic Activities: fishing, mining, some industries Atlantic or Appalachian • Agriculture flourishes in the valleys – Saint John River Valley (New Brunswick) and Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia), and in the gently rolling fertile landscape of Prince Edward Island. Harvesting forest products and producing pulp and paper is another industry • Natural gas and oil from this region is sold to and piped into New England and other states for use as fuel. St. Lawrence Lowlands Resources: farmland, minerals Economic Activities: service industries, manufacturing, farming, mining. This region contains the southern part of Quebec (Capital: Quebec City) and the southern part of Ontario (Capital: Toronto), and the Great Lakes. The country’s capital – Ottawa – is in this region The Great Lakes are valuable resources for both fresh water and as an important waterway for shipping goods from the continent’s interior to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Canada and the U.S. share management of the Great Lakes. St. Lawrence Lowlands The majority (70%) of Canada’s manufactured goods are produced in this region. The majority of people in this region work in service or manufacturing industries such as the automobile industry. Toronto and the surrounding cities and towns are comprised of more than 100 ethnic groups. This region has prime agricultural land on the Niagara Peninsula where grapes, peaches, pears and other fruit are grown. Maple syrup is also produced in this region. Dairy farming is another industry. St. Lawrence Lowlands The area around Montreal is a financial, service and industrial center, producing fabric, clothes, food, paper, metal, chemical and wood products. Montreal is the center of a transportation network including Canada’s aeronautics and space industry. Over 30% of Canadians live in Ontario which is the province with the most French speaking residents other than Quebec. Over 75% of Canadians who live in Quebec speak French; this province preserves and promotes French language and culture. Canadian Shield This region is wrapped around a large inland sea – Hudson Bay – and is an area of rocks, rivers and lakes with a thin layer of topsoil supporting a spruce and pine forest. This region covers almost 50% of Canada and is home to 10% of the population. The lowest areas of this region are along the shoreline of the Hudson Bay. The highest elevations are in Labrador and Baffin Island. Another area, called the Laurentides, is located north of Montreal. This area of lakes and hills are known for 4-season recreation. Canadian Shield The resources of the Canadian Shield have helped provinces develop industries such as forestry, energy and mining. Quebec is Canada’s main producer of pulp and paper, and with abundant fresh water, it is Canada’s largest producer of hydroelectricity. The minerals in the shield have resulted in Canada’s being a world leader in producing minerals such as gold, silver, nickel, zinc, copper, and iron. Canada’s largest mining towns are Sudbury and Timmins (ON), Val d’Or (QC), and Flin Flon and Thompson (MB) This region was made famous in the paintings by the artists known as The Group of Seven. Prairies or Interior Plains This region contains the central section of Northwest Territories (Capital: Yellowknife), the southern quarter of Manitoba (Capital: Winnipeg), the southern half of Saskatchewan (Capital: Regina), and all of Alberta (Capital: Edmonton) This region covers about 20% of Canada’s land mass. There are three sub-regions: Lowland (up to 800’), Plain (up to 1800’), and Plateau (up to 3000’). Most of this regions’ population lives in the Lowland, where the longer growing season is favorable to farming. Prairies or Interior Plains This is one of the richest, most productive grain producing regions in the world with long, flat fertile fields of grain crops. Another characteristic of this region is its large concentrations of dinosaur fossils – one of the world’s largest concentrations. Manitoba is known as the land with 100,000 lakes and produces hydroelectricity The sedimentary rocks underlying the Interior Plain region have significant deposits of natural gas and oil, and the Province of Alberta is Canada’s leading producer of petroleum oil. Cordillera • Spanish word for parallel ridges or mountain ranges • Coastal plain rich soil (3%) • Forested area (60%) This region contains British Columbia (Capital: Victoria), most of Yukon Territory (Capital: Whitehorse), and some of Northwest Territories (Capital: Yellowknife). This region extends from a humid rainforest climate in the south to an area with an icecap in the north. The region is bordered on the west side by the Pacific Ocean, a deeply indented coastline and many islands. The border on the east side are the Rocky Mountains. The entire region is primarily Pacific Forest consisting of alder-hemlock, spruce, pine, and douglas fir. Cordillera The varied terrain includes mountains, highlands, alpine tundra, salt marshes, rugged coastline, and rocky inlets. Mountain ranges are interspersed by rivers, valleys, and plateaus This area contains Canada’s highest and youngest mountains. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan (19,685’) Vancouver Island has the most moderate climate of Canada’s regions. It receives a high amount of rain giving it a temperate rain forest climate. Although it does not contain the diversity of species of a tropical rain forest, it does have the oldest and tallest trees in Canada Cordillera This region is the site of arguably the longest continuous human occupation in what is now Canada, and was the most densely populated area of Canada at the time of European contact. The cultural groups occupying the coast and islands of the Cordillera include the Tsimshian, Salish, Kwakwaka'wakw, Haida, Nuu'chah'nulth, Heiltsuk, and Nisga'a. The largest city in this region is Vancouver, an Asian-influenced city of 3 million. The population includes First Nations people, and thousands of Chinese and other Asians. North This region contains most of the territory Nunavut. The majority of residents are Inuit, and the territory is Inuit governed. People speak Inuktituk, English, and French. The territorial capital is Iqaluit, with 6000 residents; it is located on the southern tip of Baffin Island. Nunavut is a mainland with many islands - Baffin Island and Ellesmere Island are the largest. The islands, inlets, and big stretches of water in the Arctic Ocean link together and form the Northwest Passage - the route to Asia sought by so many explorers. North Most communities have electricity, stores, and other services. There are about 26 communities. Each is served by airplane. Most people travel by plane, boat, and skidoo. Some residents of Nunavut live the nomadic life, and travel by dogsled and kayak , but this is not as common as it was a generation ago. The periods of daylight and darkness range from 1 month of 24hour daylight and no months of 24-hour darkness, to 2.5 months of 24-hour daylight and 3 months of 24-hour darkness. North There are about 1,700 kinds of plants in the arctic and these include: low shrubs, mosses, and grasses, 400 varieties of flowers, and lichen. There are many species of animals including: lemmings, voles, caribou, arctic hares and squirrels, arctic foxes, wolves, and polar bears, various species of birds, insects, several kinds of fish, and sea mammals. North The industry includes Tourism: people come to fish, hike, camp, hunt, to see the wildlife; Mining: copper, lead, silver, zinc, iron, gold and diamonds, oil and gas; Fishing: whitefish and Arctic char; Factories: packaging the fish and meat; Sale of Inuit arts and crafts. The territorial government is also an employer.