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Lecture 6

Geography 2010A/B Lecture 6: Ontario - Geo 2010

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Geography 2010A/B
Mark Moscicki

Week 6 (Ontario) – Geography 2010 Ontario – largest population of all regions • Economic engine of the country – 2009 it received equalization payments from the federal government for the first time ever • Ontario is larger than most countries – over 1 million square km o 7% of its population lives in northern Ontario • Niagara Escarpment contains the most variable topography in Southern Ontario ~ 12 000 years ago – created by erosion • Summers = hot and humid and winter = arctic air brings cold temperatures and cold winds o Southern Ontario has over half of the highest quality agricultural land (class 1) o Lots of trees and wood locks btween farms – mainly due to moist climate Historic Settlement • French founded first settlement in Ontario in 1749 – across river from Detroit = Petite Cote (which is now known as Windsor) – late 1700s, British Loyalists from the US settled in S. Ont o Etroit = narrow – strait = narrow body of water that connects two lakes o Tension between Britain and the US – resulted in Southern Ontario (war of 1812) o Influx of US settlers – Britain helped fend them off • Ontario (Iroquoian word means beautiful water) given to area in 1867 War of 1812 • Several battles took place between US forces and British forces in Upper Canada (Ontario) • Key objective of the US was to take over (annex) the region • Indigenous people led by Chief Tecumseh joined the British to fight the US forces (Battle of the Thames) The Great Lakes • Combined together, the 5 Great Lakes make up the largest body of fresh water in the world • Between each lake are connecting straits – management and care of lakes shared by US/CA • Great Lakes System: Chicago, T.O, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Milwaukee, Hamilton, Toledo, Windsor, Thunderbay (Biggest to Smallest) • 18 000 years ago a Laurentide ice sheet – as it melted it altered landscape and great lakes form – adds to why Ontario’s land is so fertile – used to be the bottom of the lake • Superior is largest and Erie is the smallest • Welland Canal opened in 1830 – ships can bypass Niagara falls • Great Lakes important to our economy – tourism, recreation, fishing, transportation along St Lawrence Seaway (connects great lakes with the atlantic ocean) Lake Effect Snow – caused by cold air moving over relatively warm water - snowbelts are found downwind of the lakes (in winter, the wind is often from the NORTHWEST) • London and Kitchener frequently receive lake effect snow from Lake Huron causing high annual snowfall • Windsor occasionally receives lake effect snow from Lake Michigan Lake Effect Clouds – all of southern Ontario frequently experiences lake effect clouds in WINTER • Both lake effect clouds and snow diminish when the lake freezes (no evaporation) occurs in FEB Tornados: can occur when a southwesterly wind brings warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico Concerns with Great Lakes 1. Health of the lakes: eutrophication (addition of phosphate to lakes, come from fertilizers and chemicals from agriculture) – water pollution from urban runoff 2. Toxic contamination: contaminated sediment – beach closures due to high bacteria count 3. Exotic Species: due to lack of natural predators – sea lamprey, goby Ontario’s Economy • Despite recent downturns – center of Canada’s economy remains anchored in Ontario due to: o Size of population o Median personal income is above national average o Greatest cluster of cities, universities and technological/research centers o Central location within North American with several high traffic border crossing to the US Regions of Ontario • Ontario is the most diverse province in Canada both in terms of physical geography • Each region is very different and is recognized by the provincial government • 5 Regions: 1. Northern: major forestry and mining industries – low population density(Sudbury, TB, SSM) 2. Eastern: industries related to federal government (Ottawa, Kingston, Cornwall) – many lakes, rivers, hills and waterfalls add to the scenery in this region – relatively high francophone population in the region due to proximity of Quebec 3. Central: major industries related to tourism and recreation (Barrie, Peterborough, Orillia) – large portion of this region is nicknamed “cottage country” (Muskoka) 4. GH: industries = finance, insurance, health care, education (Toronto, Hamilton, St Catherines) and is highly urbanized, attracts many immigrants/has a dense/diverse pop 5. Southwestern: manufacturing and agrilculture industries (Kitchener, London, Windsor) – much in common with US Midwest – several auto assembly plants and feeder factories – southernmost portion is culturally influenced by the close proximity of Detroit Forestry in Northern Ontario • Demand for lumber is gradually diminishing due to technology lowering the demand for paper: o The internet is replacing newspapers and magazines o Billing accounting and banking transactions are using less paper • Softwood lumber is the main export – majority of land in Northern Ontario is crown land (owned by the provincial government) o Scattered pulp and paper mills are located in small towns throughout the region • Provincial government signs contracts with logging companies where strict regulations are in place (AAC) – annual allowable cut **LOGGING COMPANIES MUST REPLANT TREES** • Major challenge in the forestry industry = maintain balance between cutting and regeneration Mining in Northern Ontario • Canadian Shield contains gold, nickel, silver and copper – metallic mineral production in Ontario leads that of all other provinces and territories Human Geography in Northern Ontario – an aging population, net emigration (lots of younger people), very few immigrants, small but increasing indigenous population • Rocky terrain makes it difficult to traverse and discourages settlement • Vast majority of population is located along two corridors o Northern branch of trans Canada highway and the Canadian National railroad line o Southern branch of the trans-can highway and the Canadian pacific railroad line Agriculture in Southern Ontario • Most suitable due to temperature moderated by Great Lakes, moderate and consistent precipitation and fertile soil – Cropland is dominant in SW Ontario whereas livestock = eastern • Tomatoes and grapes: vineyards and greenhouses are common in extreme SW Ontario • Corn: m
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