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GEO2010 Chapter 5 Notes.docx

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Western University
Geography 2010A/B
Suzanne Greaves

Chapter 5: Ontario Ontario Within Canada  Ontario has the largest population of Canada’s regions and has been the economic motor of the country  Number of factors related to economic restructuring, the loss of manufacturing jobs, rising unemployment rates and recent global economic crisis meant that in 2009 for the first time the province was classified as a “have-not” province and received equalization payments from federal governments  Ontario’s economy depend on tertiary / quaternary sector and less on secondary and primary  Gross Domestic Product (GDP): estimate of the total value of all materials, foodstuffs, goods, and services produced by a country or province in a particular year  Ontario was caught in a Canada-wide decline in manufacturing and forestry  Sudden and unexpected global economic collapse of 2008-9 put serious dent in Ontario’s economic performance  Days of an “open border” are gone making cross-border manufacturing more costly and less attractive for locating new plants in Ontario  Western provinces have outpaced economic and population growth of Ontario  “Buy America”: in an effort to stimulate US economy, for its economic stimulus package, priority is given to US iron, steel, and other manufacture goods for use in public works  Province’s strength remains its central location within Canada and North America, its large population / market, its natural resources, and its vibrant cities and universities  Dutch Disease: theory describing the apparent relationship within a country between its expanding energy resource sector and subsequent decline in the manufacturing sector  Historically, 4 natural resources – agriculture, forests, minerals, and water have spurred the province’s economic development and the processing of these products created a strong industrial base  Today, Ontario faces 3 challenges: energy, manufacturing sector, forest industry  Cultural and political role can be attributed largely to Ontario’s large and affluent population  Sends more representatives to the House of Commons than any other province  Net Interprovincial Migration: annual estimates of net migration by provinces and territories determined by the number of people arriving and leaving each province and territory as permanent residents Ontario’s Physical Geography  Three physiographic regions – Great Lakes-St Lawrence Lowlands, Canadian Shield, Hudson Bay Lowland  Three climatic zones – Artic, Subartic, Great Lakes-St Lawrence  Central location within Canada and its close proximity to the industrial heartland of the US have facilitated Ontario’s economic development  Northern Ontario has the characteristics of a resource hinterland, while southern Ontario is the epitome of an agricultural-industrial core o As a resource hinterland, northern Ontario is limited economically to the Canadian Shield almost entirely and its development is dependent on forest, tourism, and mining o Southern Ontario has Canada’s longest growing season, most favoured physical area in Canada o With long growing season, ample precipitation, and fertile soils, the southern Ontario’s lowland has the most productive agricultural lands in Canada Climate & Agriculture  Agriculture is an example of Ontario’s primary sector industries  Canada’s has very limited amounts of agricultural land o Less than 10% of Canada’s total area suitable is suitable for agriculture o Less than 7% of Canada’s land is on farms o Less than 5% of Canada’s land is improved  Critical limits to agricultural activity in Canada: terrain, permafrost, 1750 growing degree days, moisture deficit  Canada Land Inventory Capability For Agriculture Classification: o 7 soil classes, 1 through 7 o Class 1 has no limitations from the perspective of the soil o Class 7 has very severe limitations (sloping, wet, filled with rocks) o Collectively classes 1, 2, and 3 are the best agricultural land  Ontario has roughly its fair share of the best agricultural land in Canada o Not all provinces do (Newfoundland) and some have more (Saskatchewan) o However, Ontario has roughly ½ of Canada’s entire supply of class 1 land  Southern Ontario’s climate is dominated by its long, warm summer that extends from May to September  Winter takes hold for 3 – 4 months from mid-November to March  During the early spring and late fall, unsettled cloudy weather dominate with minimum temperatures falling below freezing point  Proximity to the Great Lakes affects the local weather by funneling air masses into this region and by increasing local precipitation from air masses absorbing moisture from the surface of the Great Lakes  Because of its mild climate and fertile soils, southern Ontario accounts for much of Canada’s agricultural output by value o Over half of the highest quality agricultural land in Canada o Abundant moisture and long, warm-to-hot summer p
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