Regions of Canada
Region: “an area of the earth’s surface defined by its
distinctive human and/or natural characteristics”
(Bone). Can be one of those or a combination. Usually
use 1 characteristic
- physical or cultural i.e. grasslands or French
- Formal or functional
Formal based on uniformity, presence or
absence of one or more characteristics of
what IS there. Grassland would be know for
abundance of grasslands.
Functional- based on interacting, all parts
of the region interacting with each other. i.e.
regional airline. Outlying points share
something with the center, like London free
press, which gets distributed around the
- Boundaries – transition zones
- Borders of regions are transition zones
and not dark lines. On maps we draw a
single line but that is not what it looks
like on the ground
Regions can be listed by size or other
factors like where it is contained. Saying
southwestern Ontario can be based on the
fact that it is sedimentary bedrock
- Human constructs – infinite number
- Regions are human constructs. They are
artificial to serve a purpose to humans.
All regions have 5 characteristics that can be common between
regions: special extent, location, formal or functional, hierarchy and
Regions of Canada: 1. Ontario
3. British Columbia – also known as western mountains
4. Western Canada – Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba,
also prairie provinces.
5. Atlantic Canada – In the east, New Brunswick, Nova
Scotia and PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador
6. Territorial North- Yukon, Northwest territories, Nunavut
Ontario and Quebec are defined as central Canada.
Why regionalize and why these regions?
1. Manageable sections
2. Identifiable physical features- balanced by geographic
size i.e. prairies are identifiable by the plain in their
south, northern part we called Canadian Shield. Atlantic
Canada, older mountains than west coast and it is an
upland area and that is the commonality between them.
3. Breakdown is on a provincial basis – statistics Federal
and provincial government can easily provide
information on specific areas.
4. Commonly used by media and scholars—an established
scheme which includes manageable sections that have
identifiable physical features and is easy for statistics.
Functional Regional Framework
- Core/periphery, heartland/hinterland model
- Suggests how the core and periphery
interacts with each other
- Exists at different scales
o e.g. global core(central Europe) and
periphery (everything else), regional
Canada (southern Ontario and
quebec) and periphery is everything
else, local – London is core and hinterland is the farm land
Where in Canada?
- Traditionally, Southern Ontario and
Southern Quebec- drive of the economy is
- 300 mile wide band between Windsor and
Quebec City – i.e. “Main Street “
Canada**QUIZ 1 based on book that talks
about that stretch – aka Windsor – Quebec
city Axis, a wide band that goes from one to
Canada is changing, while core hasn’t changed but there are two
challengers (economically) a) Vancouver and surrounding area,
because of its location b) combination of Calgary and Edmonton that
have intertwined industries around oil.
There might be multiple cores in the future but not as of now.
Definition of Core/Periphery or Heartland/Hinterland
- Manufacturing /industry - primary sector of economy:
fishing, hunting trapping.
- Geographically, relatively small - geog., relatively large
- relatively urban CMA over 100 000 - relatively rural
residents, over 30 CMA’sin Canada
- diverse economy: most sectors are represented - resource
used to be called recession proof
- receives raw materials from periphery: - purchases finished
not a closed loop anymore from core
- decision-making/corp. headquarters - receives decisions
- factors of production - receives factors of
production - densely populated - sparsely populated
- Traditionally, away from core: - Regional disparity increases
- Average income decreases
- Unemployment increases
- Since 1980s, these “regularities” have started to change
- Friedmans’s model -3 categories: upward transitional,
downward transitional and resource frontier (raw material).
They are not core but they are growing
More than one core/heartland in Canada?
- yes and no
- Vancouver ?
- Edmonton/Calgary ?
- Regional heartlands ?
They are strong regional cores but not on Canadian scales.
How did Canada’s heartland get to be the heartland?
- Staples Thesis – Harold Innis – one possible
- Early settlement from first inhabitants in
- Created by Harold innis
-how did Canada’s core become the core? **Need to be able to explain
- staple product – a natural resource that can be exploited relatively quickly and cheaply for profit - 1800s making
money was by selling fish to neighbors
- east to west progression as Canada’s staple products
changed over time
1. fish (East) first stapled product-wet and dry fishery
(shipped back to Europe) wet fishery used salt to keep it
2. furs (East slowly moving west as resources
exploited) trappers lived a solitary lives, kept moving to
more populated areas of animals.
3. timber (East slowly moving west as resources
- ship building in Canada and in Britain