GG 250- Geography of Canada
Canada’s Regions: Concepts and Themes
Regional Geography concerned with three things:
• Detailed description of region
• The interpretation of distribution patterns (patterns associated with
one or more selected characteristics which define the region)
• The relationships among the characteristics that are within the
Essentially two basic approaches in Regional Geo.
• First is the Regional approach
• Other is Topical approach.
A. Regional Concepts
What is a Region?
• an area of the earth’s surface differentiated by one or more
features which provide it with internal unity and distinguish it from
Regions are therefore human constructs. They provide us with meaningful
framework. A framework we can use to apply to similar features or similar
parts of the world. Regions are sufficiently unified:
We are aware of their distinctive characteristics.
We are also aware of their spatial dissent.
You can define a region at different geographical scales…
Three types of regions:
• Mega regions (large sized, and applied at the global scale) eg. A
• Meso regions (medium sized, are applied at the national scale) eg.
Parts of countries like great lakes.
• Micro regions (small sized, applied at the local scale) eg. Could be
part of a region or city like GTA.
There are many numerous criteria that can be used to set up the
boundaries, most common are:
• Define a region according to physio-graphical boundaries. Eg Rocky
• You can define a region on political boundaries. Eg, borders of a
• Define a region by perception. Eg. Cottage country, which may not
mean the same thing to you as others.
B. Common Characteristics of a Region
• There are Four:
o All regions have a location. (occupy a certain part of earths
o All regions have area. (it does not matter how wide or narrow
all cover a certain part)
o All regions have boundaries. (they all have limits) o All regions occupy a position within a hierarchy. (We can have
regions within regions)
All regions have three basic components:
1. A core: The highest concentration of the distinguishing feature (language
spoken for eg).
2. The domain (semi peripheral): The intensity of the distinguishing feature
is less intense than the core.
3. The Peripheral: Not a clear limit of distinguishing feature.
Four types of Regions:
• Formal regions: Also known as a uniform region.
o Defined as an area differentiated by the essential
homogeneity of the distinguishing feature. (Distinguishing
feature is entirely absent, or entirely present. Eg. Only French
speaking individuals nothing else in the region)
o Most formal regions are defined on human characteristics.
Boundaries of this formal region very rarely coincide with
natural regions. In terms of boundaries they tend to be very
stable for long periods of time.
• Functional Regions:
o Defined as an area differentiated by linkages (intensive
interactions/flows) among its heterogeneous yet
interdependent features which contribute to the activity within
o Usually applied as a spatial system as there are connections
and interactions. This region will have a core area. City region
is probably the best example of a functional region, such as
o Boundaries can be stable but at the same time they can be
dynamic. There is no guarantee for long term stability
• Imposed region: o An area differentiated by arbitrary administrative or
jurisdictional boundaries (i.e. legal entities such as
municipalities, countries, and provinces.)
o A concrete example is the Mega City of Toronto.
o In the beginning imposed regions are not formal or functional.
But over time it may evolve into a functional or formal region.
• Vernacular Region:
o An area differentiated by the subjective perceptions of its
o In order for these insiders to distinguish their place as a
vernacular region, they must have a sense of place. Sense of
place meaning an emotional attachment, such as shared
cultural experience, or shared historical experiences. Lastly it
can arise from economic experiences.
o An example of Vernacular, Acadia (in maritime provinces) it
does not have formal boundaries. Another example is
Northern Ontario, or cottage country.
o Although this is based on perception.
o There are no concrete boundaries. They are fluid likewise they
are also conteste and socially constructed. 30/03/2011 17:44:00
Core Periphery model: (also known as centre periphery model, centre
margin model, heartland hinterland model, metropolis inter-model)
• A model of the economic system’s spatial structure in which
peripheral areas are defined with respect to their dependence of a
dominating developed core.
• We can use this to interpret, define and in some cases use it to
shape the different landscapes that make up Canada.
• The model will usually contrast a dual spatial structure.
Two parts of this model are as follows:
o You have a dominant industrial core. Usually going to be in an
o A dependent resource periphery. Usually associated with a
• Usually the core area determines the direction and rate of
• It has economic, demographic and political power which comes
from the core.
• Market access is easier in the core than in the peripheral.
• In terms of economic Core is distinguished by concentration and
innovation, diversity and profit.
• The periphery is categorized by dependency, and instead of
diversity you have specialization.
Applying to Canada
In Canada you can find a very distinct core and periphery at the national
level. The National core is known as central Canada, which is Ontario and
Quebec. Central Canada is very densely populated and highly urbanized.
Both Ontario and Quebec are associated with diverse economic activities.
Central Canada is associated with political and economic power.
Periphery Both western and eastern Canada are considered to be provincial
peripheries. Northern Canada is considered both a resource and political
periphery. Northern Canada does not have its own internal core. In the
periphery the population is very thin and less organized. In the periphery
there is specialized economic activity that is usually related to natural
resources. Associated with political and economic dependence.
Geographic Regions of Canada.
Ontario, Quebec, B.C, Western Canada (also known as western interior and
prairie provinces), Atlantic Canada (also known as eastern Canada and
Maritime provinces), Territorial North
Regional Tensions (Fault Lines)
1. English vs French Canadians
a. Cultural distinctions
b. Language Rights
2. Centralists vs Decentralists
3. New vs. Old Canadians
• founding People (Charter Groups)
• Other Immigrants
4. Aboriginal vs. Non-Aboriginal Canadians • Resource Claims
• Redress and restitution
These can lead to…
• Regional Autonomy, Self Determination, Cultural Integrity, Social
These fault lines can be attributed to three things:
• Different historical experiences
• Attributed to uneven development and wealth
• Variations in environmental endowments, that exist among some
regions. 30/03/2011 17:44:00
Physical Geography Definitions:
Solar Energy: the intensity of solar radiation at different latitudes.
Continental Polar: located over land in the north. This is dry and cold air.
Continental Tropical: Hot Dry air. Located over northern Mexico southern US
Maritime Polar: Find it over the Atlantic and over the Pacific. Over Atlantic
the air is cool and wet. Over Pacific the air is mild and wet.
Maritime Tropical: Warm Moist Air.
* If we look at directional air flow over Canada for the most part it goes east
Ocean currents bring warm water to cool regions, but the also move cool
water to warm regions.
In our case we have four ocean currents that effect temperatures in coastal
areas. They are:
• The Alaska Current- contains relatively cool water and flows more
less from south to north.
• California Current- It brings warm water. Flows south to North.
• Labrador current • Gulf Stream
*the temperature range will increase, and precipitation decreases as you
move further away from the ocean.
*Large inland bodies of water moderate temperature as well. During the
summer the great lakes will make the air cooler. During the winter the Great
lakes will make the air slightly warmer. The great lakes can act as a heat
bank during the winter.
Climatic Zones of Canada. Fig 2.6
In Canada there are seven major climatic zones.
• Pacific- characterized as warm and wet. In this regard it
experiences warm summers and very mild winters. There is very
heavy precipitation which usually occurs in the winter maximum. It
has no months where the temperature goes below freezing. There
are no water droughts or deficits.
• Cordillera- For the most part it is cool and dry. Usually there will be
cool temperatures occurring at similar latitudes. Compared to the
rest of Canada it can be best classified as moderate. There are just
a few months where the temperature goes below freezing.
• Prairies- It can be described as cool and dry. Overall precipitation is
low. Much of the precipitation is received in the summer. There are
several months where the temperature goes below freezing. There
is summer water deficits.
• Great Lakes St. Lawrence Region- Moderate temperatures and
moderate precipitation. Usually experience warm summer and cold
winters. Fairly uniform precipitation. There tends to be 3 to 3 and a
half months during the year where the temperature goes below
freezing. There are times when there is water deficits.
• Atlantic Climatic Zone- cool/mild. Wet. In the Atlantic Zone you
have cool summers and cool winters. Uniform precipitation. There
tends to be a Fall maximum with precipitation. 3 and a half months
where temperature goes below freezing. Has no water deficit. • Sub Arctic- Cool summers and Cool winters. Precipitation is very
low. Maximum is usually achieved during the summer months.
There are at least 6 months where the temperature is below
freezing. There is a water deficit. The eastern half of the sub arctic,
is relatively wet.
• The Arctic- It is cold and dry, it has both cold winters and cold
summers. Precipitation varies. There are at least 6 months where
the temperature drops below zero. Water deficit is practically year
Climate determines the type of vegetation. Vegetation itself determines the
organic content of the soil.
Soil- is a structured composite of minerals, and organic material, both of
which are on top of the bedrock.
In Canada there are five major soil zones
• Cryosolic- this type of soil is very poorly drained. The soil itself is
very thin or absent.
• Podzolic- This particular type is poorly drained, it is grey in colour.
• Luvisolic- Very well drained, it is unique in colour as it is grey and
• Chemozemic- very well drained, usually black in colour but
• Mountain Complex- Various types of soil.
In Canada we have three basic vegetation types:
• Forests (trees)- two basic types; coniferous (soft wood), Deciduous
• Xerophytic plants- moss, lichen,
In Canada we have 10 natural vegetation zones:
• Bearing rock and sterol gravel in North of Canada.
• Tundra- treeless plains, and xerophytic plants • Tundra Boreal Transition zone- ribbons and islands of stunted
coniferous trees. The ribbons and islands are located on an area full
• Boreal zone- essentially coniferous trees
• Coastal Rainforest- characterized by coniferous trees. The
coniferous trees are massive.
• Montane Forest- combination of vegetation, usually includes
coniferous trees, and grasslands.
• Parkland- there are scattered patches of coniferous trees.
• Grassland zone- different types of grass.
• Mixed forest Vegetation- Mix between boreal and broadleaf.
Combination of coniferous and deciduous.
• Broadleaf Forest- Primarily encounter deciduous trees. Sometimes
referred to as the Carolinian forest.
There are two types of glaciation that occur.
• Alpine- occurred up north in arctic, and the rocky mountains.
All of Canada has experienced glaciations
In Canada’s history there have been four changes:
What did it do to the landscape?
• The ice sheets scraped and scowered the Canadian soil.
• They carried and deposited the rocks from the Canadian shield to
the south of the country. The deposits were in the form of (Till)
which means unsorted glacial deposits.
• Moraines- ridges of glacial deposits.
• Till Plain- Land is usually flat and sometimes gently rolling.
• Drumlins- oval shaped hills.
Permafrost- Permanently frozen soil. Estimated at covering 67 percent of
Canada. There are four major types:
• Continuous- found primarily in the arctic. • Discontinuous- found mainly in the subarctic. 30 to 80 % is frozen
• Speratic permafrost
• Alpine Permafrost
Major Drainage Basins:
Hudson Bay Basin (Largest)
Arctic Basin- major river is mackenzie
Pacific Basin- major river is the Frasier. 30/03/2011 17:44:00
Week Three, Tuesday
Canada’s Historical Geography
Migration (settlement and colonization)
• First People (aboriginals)
• Second people (French and British)
• Third People (Other Europeans)
• The very first Canadians arrived about 30, 000 years ago. These
people are referred to as old world hunters. They came from
Asia/Russia, across the bearing strait, which at that point
functioned as a land bridge.
• They came into North America, via Alaska.
• Around a 1000 years later these people of old world hunters
migrated southwards, through an ice free corridor. Possibly down
the coastal line of British Columbia.
• They migrated with the seasons in order to keep a source of food.
Paleo Indian Culture
• About 11, 500 years ago this culture were descendents of the old
• What makes the two groups different is what they hunted. The old
world hunters targeted the Mammoth and Mastodon, the Paleo
Indians hunted buffalo, and caribou.
Indian Culture • About 9000 years ago.
• Some of these Indians were descendents of Paleo Indians.
• Semi nomadic, meaning they were land hunters, and also farmers.
Paleo Eskimo Culture
• Aprox 5000 years ago
• This group also entered across the land bridge.
• They came in 3 successive migratory waves. Today’s Inuit
population, its members are descendents of the Paleo Eskimo
• This group was primarily Marine hunters. Wale/Walrus/Seal
Canada’s Aboriginal people make up three cultural groups.
• Indians, that inhabit southern Plaines, and eastern woodlands
• Métis, mixed ancestry of Indian and European background.
• Inuit, people of the northern ocean, and inhabit the tundra area in
the sub arctic.
*each of these cultural groups has diverse tribes, related to that each of the
three groups has diverse languages. Each of the three also has a diverse
culture areas. (A culture area is a region which is based on some common
characteristics.) People who share culture areas share the same
• Natural environments
• How the culture operates (Hierarchy)
• Type of housing
• Common transportation pattern
• Hunting techniques • You will find a common set of tools for farming/hunting
• Clothing or costume
In Canada we have Seven of these Culture areas:
• Eastern Woodlands
o Occupied by two major groups; Iroquois, Algonquin’s
• Eastern Subarctic
o Occupied by the Algonquin’s
• Western Subarctic
o Occupied by Athapaskans
o Occupied by Algonquin’s, Athapaskans, Sioux
o Occupied by Athapaskans, Kootenain, Interior Salish
• North West Coast
o Diverse range of Natives occupying area
o Occupied by Inuit.
Until 1497 North America’s sole inhabitants were the Aboriginals. The
aboriginal population rapidly declined after original contact with the French.
Reasons for declines include, war, diseases, hunting areas being lost. Second People (French & British)
First Permanent European settlers were fur traders, loggers, farmers, and
fishermen that came from France. In 1608 the French established New
France which was set upon St. Lawrence River. This settlement began with
fur trading posts. The first Post set up in 1608 corresponds with Quebec
City. We see the end of large scale French immigration 1759 because British
and French get into War and British win. British Colonization began after
1776 (U.S declares independence from Britain) as British leave U.S and
come to Canada. The Major destination for them was Nova Scotia, Ontario,
and Quebec. Biggest set of immigration between 1790-1860.
• By 1867 Canada had a majority English speaking population. 60 %
Third People (Other Europeans)
In 1870 Government of Canada buys land in the Prairies from the Hudson
Bay Company (HBC). This land was being disputed by the Americans. The
government promised free land to anyone who wanted to settle in the
Prairies. That offer was originally made to people who were living in Eastern
Canada (Ontario). Despite the offer, people did not flock to the prairie
provinces. Back in late 1800’s the Prairies were considered to be too cold,
dry, and too remote. Canadian Government then liberalizes Canadian
immigration policy, and gives same offer to Americans and Britain’s. Same
thing happens as not many ppl take up the offer.
• Between 1870 & 1914 there were waves of immigrants coming from
Northern Europe, likewise waves coming from Central Europe, and
waves coming from Eastern Europe.
• WW 1 Happens in 1914 and immigration is cut off. The result of
that is in the Prairie provinces there was ethnic stability.
In 1867 Southern Canada consists of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick. • 1870 Manitoba Joins, Northwest territories as well.
1871 British Columbia.
• 1873 Prince Edward Island Joins.
• The extent of Canada now includes the Arctic Islands,
• Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario, all have increase in size.
• We see the creation of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Yukon territory.
1927 (between WW1 & 2)
• Northern border of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec is now extended into
the Canadian shield.
• Border Between Quebec and Labrador is established.
• 1949 Newfoundland joins Canada.
• In 1999 Nunavut is formed
* Northwest Territories is the biggest loser of Land throughout the
* The external boundary of Canada was already set before 1867. These were
set by treaties between Britain and United States.
* Faultlines represent sources of regional tension.
* All four of the fault lines have specific geographic outlines (involve certain
parts of country)
*all four have the potential to destabilize Canada.
Aboriginal/Non Aboriginal (involves the First and Second PPL) • Began with the arrival of the British invasion
Indians are divided into 3 category:
• Status Indians (registered Indian)
• Non Status Indian (not registered)
• Treaty Indian (status Indian, who belongs to a band who signed a
treaty with the crown)
• A set of treaties set aside land as a form of reserves, and also set
aside money in the form of yearly payments for those who signed
• Both the crown and the Band have completely different views of the
o Crown (Federal Government)- by signing the treaties,
aboriginal people gave up their title (ownership) of the land
and the government can do what ever it wanted with the
land. According to the government the aboriginals have
limited rights as land users NOT land owners.
o Band (Aboriginals)- according to them the treaties guaranteed
the shared ownership and guaranteed shared use of the land
and its resources.
*some treaties were partly fulfilled but most were not. Very few honoured
what the natives beieved. Now we have two types of Treaties, historic
treaties, and modern treaties:
• Historic- anything to do before 1975,
• Modern- anything since 1975. 30/03/2011 17:44:00
• All based on limited land ownership by the aboriginal peoples
• None of the historical treaties made were perfect. There were many
guarantees that the government could not hold true.
• Many were involved with the southern provinces
• This is where much of the resource extraction took place.
• In order to not make the same mistakes as in the past with historic
treaties, they made modern treaties comprehensive land claim
• They are comprehensive because they are for land use, ownership,
and resource development rights.
• These allow the aboriginal communities to become self sufficient.
2 People English/French Canadians
Dating back to 1759 the year in which new France came into play.
• In 1774 the Quebec act was created. (This act did two things:
o IT insured linguistic and religious rights.
o Extended Quebec’s Territory towards the North
• In 1791 the Constitutional act was passed. o Quebec was split into two parts. (Upper Canada(Mainly
English speaking) Lower Canada, (French Speaking))
• 1841 Union Act
o Reunited Upper and Lower Canada
Population of Canada after confederation
• Divided into French and Canadians, English speaking population
grew, and French Declined.
• Outside of Quebec there were many conflicts over language and
• The Federal Governments reaction led French Canadians to believe
they were being ignored.
• Around confederation, French speaking population had the idea of
• Federal government gets upset and cuts power over Quebec’s
• Federal Government tries to unilaterally recognize Quebec as a
Old vs New Canadians
• Faultline begins in the late 1800’s
• Western interior and prairie provinces become more populated. Biculturalism vs. multiculturalism
• Large scale migration, from Britain and America helped to
counterbalance the French speaking population.
• The old Canadians expected the new Canadians would integrate and
o Integration: economically integrate, getting a job and buying
a house etc
o Assimilation: over time the new Canadians would take on the
identity of the old Canadians, Language culture, religion, etc
• Until 1967 Canada’s immigration policy was Eurocentric. Since then
Immigration has opened up to anyone from anywhere. Now Canada
is a multicultural society.
• Newly arrived immigrants. How do they become Canadian?
o Canadian Citizenship?
o Or Through Assimilation?
o Or Both.
Centralist vs. Decentralist
• Involves a struggle between the core(the centralist), the peripheral
• You can interpret this economically
o Centralist: first to central Canada
o Decentralist: the rest of Canada
• You can also interpret from a political perspective
o Centralist: Federal government
o Decentralist: Provinces and Territories. Economically
• Main issue economic competition
o National Policy ended up helping just Ontario and Quebec.
• After National Policy was in place all the natural resources, when
exported, were controlled by cooperation’s that were in the core.
• Has to do with the division of powers(what’s more important,
National Interest or provincial interest)
• Centralist want a very strong National Government to promote the
• Decentralist want a strong provincial Government and want the
provincial government to expand or diversify regional economies.
• Political stance takes the alienation of the western provinces.
• It involves as well the national energy program, this program was
around for 1980 to 84.
National Energy program
Ottawa wanted the oil cooperation’s to give money. They took the money
and used it for exploration purposes in the Atlantic and Arctic Provinces.
• Social programs that are federally funded and provincially
• Some provinces financially relied on Ottawa.
• Trade was east, west. From province to province.
• Trade went to North, South.
• The bigger the province the more representatives they have
• Ontario and Quebec, have largest population and therefore have
the most say with national policies.
• BC and Alberta are experiencing growth. 30/03/2011 17:44:00 Demographic Trends
• Population size (Canada, Provinces/Territories)
o WE have seen a steady increase in the national Population.
The steady increase is between 1867 and 1951. From 51
onwards we have seen a very rapid increase in the
o According to info from stats Can, the population has doubled
every 40 years.
o Our population increase is attributed to natural increase
(births). Population growth is also attributed to immigration.
o Territorial expansion: as new land was added to Canada, our
population increased. Since 1867 two provinces, Ontario and
Quebec have been the two most populous provinces. The
third ranking province has always been part of the periphery.
For the third ranking province we have seen an increasing
• Population density
o To calculate density: take number of ppl living in area divided
by total land area. Canada: Population / square km= low
population density. (3ppl/Km square)
o Lowest population density is found in Territorial North.
o Highest density occurs within Ontario
o Majority of Canada’s population is clustered between Canada,
US Border. Clustered in small pockets.
o There is a very densely populated Urban Core that
corresponds with Central Canada. (Ontario & Quebec account
for 62 % of Canada’s population)
o Core area referred to as Ecumene (portion of earth that is
settled or inhabited.
o Around the urban core we have an area of rural periphery.
• Population distribution
o Seen growth in the population among Ontario, B.C and
o Four population Zones:
1. Densely populated (60 % of Canada’s population) 2. Moderately populated (Southern Canada) 12 Million
Residents 39 % of Canada’s population
3. Sparsely Populated (1 % of total population)
4. Isolated Settlements (Less than 1% of Total Pop)
o 75 % of our biggest cities are found in the First zone.
o Most urbanized are :
Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec
o Least Urbanized are:
Atlantic Canada, Prince Edward Island is least Urbanized
province in the entire Country.
o Top levels of Urban system
CMA- Census metropolitan Areas
City must have population of 100, 000 residents
CA- Census Agglomeration
Population between 10,000 and 100, 000
UA- Urban Areas
Population between 1000 and 10, 000
o Urban system in Canada is more less lined in an east west
direction. Very narrow North South extent.
o National Urban system: 2 major components
also has a periphery of widely dispersed cities
o Since 1976 the rankings of the Top ten urban cities have been
o Two Trends: WE have seen over time, there has been a decline of
cities in the east of Canada, and a corresponding rise of
cities in western cities in terms of Ranking in
Dominance of Urban system by Toronto. Toronto always
Number two but now Number one.
• Population Change
o 3 Determinants of population change is Deaths/Mortality
Rate, and Birth Rate. As well Migration/ Mobility
These three determinants come up with the
Population change:- Natural Increase + Net
Population Change:- (Births-Deaths) +
• has always been positive in Canada. There has always been more
births than deaths.
• Until 1971 our natural population increase because Canadians were
• Crude birth Rate (simple measure of fertility)- the number of live
births per 100 people.
o 3 Trends-
between 1871 and 1940 (pre WW2) birth rates were
1946 – 1966 very high birthrates
since 1966- baby bust.
• Birth rates are considered average in Ontario and Canada
• Below average in the rest of the country.
• Death rates are considered average in Ontario and Quebec as well
• Below Average in the Territorial North
o Below average in Alberta, and Newfoundland. Net Migration-
• Immigration has generally been greater than Emigration.
• IN Canada’s history there are three notable exceptions:
1. 1871-1901 Canadians looking for jobs in U.S
2. 1931- 1941 The Great Depression.
3. 41-45 WW2 made no immigration to Canada.
• Since 71 Canada’s immigration has shifted from Europe to Asia.
• Within Canada the main destinations are:
o Ontario, and B.C
o Since 71 immigrants have moved to cities where prior they
were in rural areas.
* As things stand today Canada’s population growth depends on
Immigration. About 70 % is due to Immigration. If for some reason the
Federal Population cut off immigration, every woman in Canada would have
to have a child. 30/03/2011 17:44:00
Southern Ontario (Industrial Core)
• Automotive industry
Northern Ontario (Resource Periphery)
• Southern Ontario
• Northern Ontario
• In terms of Area we have about 8 % of Canada’s farm land.
• We rank #4. • However not all farm land is of the same quality. If we look at only
the high class land, we realize that Ontario has 52 % of the best
• The best land and soils are in Southern Ontario, the best way to
express it is to say the best soils are west of the Niagara
• According to Provincial ministry of agriculture there are aprox 200
types of crops grown in Ontario.
• Compared to Western Canada farms in Ontario are smaller. Farming
operations in Ontario are more diverse, and also more intensive (we
can produce more out of less land)
• Within the province we have two important cash crops soybeans,
and grain corn. 62% of grain corn is grown in Ontario for whole
country. Both of these crops are grown in Southwestern Ontario,
but soybeans planting has grown to other parts of the province.
• Ontario is a major producer of fruits, Tobacco, Vegetables.
• Ontario ranks number 1 in terms of sheep and lamb are kept in
Canada. Also number 1 in terms of poultry.
• In Ontario, we have dairy farmers. More specifically, the Woodstock
London Area, Bruce Peninsula, and Eastern Ontario.
• Ontario ranks number 1 when it comes to farm income.
• A lot of our best farm land is being lost to suburban development.
• In Canada we are number 1. Ontario puts out about half of
Canada’s manufacturing output. 80 percent of the manufacturing
• About 50% of Canada’s manufacturing Jobs are in Southern
• Transportation Equipment and Petrochemicals are found in the
Southwest of Ontario but more less in the southern part of that
• Within Ontario there are two major manufacturing industries,
Automotive and High Tech.
• Half of the high tech clusters are in Ontario. There are 5:
o London -bio technology(Human bio technology as well)
o Waterloo –Software development, Robotics, internet apps o Guelph- Agrifood, also biotechnology
o GTA- new media(meaning special effects)
o Ottawa- Telecommunications (Networking)
• Ontario’s manufacturing strength comes from the automotive
• Automotive industry here generates aprox 81 billion in sales.
• In the 1990’s the automotive industry experienced a positive
growth rate. However there was a reversal. Between 2000 and
2004 the growth rate declined. Now since 2004 the growth rate has
• Ontario is the 3 largest automobile producer in North America. 1 is
Michigan, 2 Ohio.
• Automotive industry in the province began in 1904. (ford opens its
first assembly plant in Windsor.
• General Motors set up its first plant in Oshawa, in 1918. Chrysler
followed in 1925 in Windsor.
• In the 80’s the American auto producers were joined by Japanese
• All of the automobile assembly centre’s are close to the market. All
of the assembly plants are more less located along or very close to
the 401. There are three major clusters however:
o In Windsor
• Majority of analysts are saying that the geography of the
automotive industry is going to stay pretty much the same as it is
today. This is because the American and the Canadian production
systems are very highly integrated (applies to big three). Besides
this another reason for no change is the American auto producers
are still investing in upgrading the production facilities in Ontario.
Also because the size of the consumer base we have we will not see
a change in the geography. Northern Ontario.
The population is small and actually declining. It is also very dispersed.
• The regional economy remains specialized, and relatively stagnant.
The economy is also highly dependent on mining, forestry and now
dependent on tourism.
• Both forestry and mining developed as a response to foreign
• Mining- Ontario is leading mining province in the country. Looking
at mineral production we are the third largest contributor. Like
farming we rank number one in terms of dollar value for mining
production. Mining involves two activities: the actual extraction,
and the exploration. The actual mining exploration generates 500
• On a global scale Ontario is number one producer of Nickel. Within
Canada, we are number one producer of Gold (almost half). Also
number one in copper and silver. Additionally there is Zinc. The
mineral wealth lies within the Canadian shield.
• As railways moved to the North so did mining activities. Blasting of
the rocks for railways, sometimes resulted in accidental discoveries.
• Within Northeastern Ontario, there are three most common
minerals mined, gold, silver, nickel. Copper, Cobalt, zinc is also
important in northeastern Ontario
• In Northwestern Ontario, you find Gold, silver, nickel, copper. But
here you find platinum and iron.
• Minerals are not renewable, so many mining towns have a relatively
o Within Ontario we have a diversity of minerals. This diversity
has been responsible for the abandonment of towns. How do
we maintain this diversity?
The answer is high tech. There is a lot of research and
development taking place. This R& D is based on
mining. • Diversity is keeping it alive, High tech is part of the answer. In the
mining industry there has been a lot of modernization. This
modernization has decreased jobs as there is automation doing the
• 64 % of the province is covered in Forest. Forest cover 90 % of
Northern Ontario. Ontario ranks 3. Despite having less forest cover
Ontario has the highest percentage of productive forest.
• Forestry represents 15 billion dollars. The Pulp and paper industry
is the most dominant in Ontario, as it accounts for 25 % of all
• In Northwestern Ontario, major forest industry is Pulp and Paper
mills. In Northeastern it is lumber operations.
• Ontario is among the most urbanized provinces. Aprox 85 % of
Ontario’s residents live in the Urban setting.
• The biggest cities in Canada are found in Ontario.
• * The urban system we have today did not happen accidently. A
colonial settlement plan of 1792 had four elements:
o There was suppose to be a linear scattering of forts along lake
o There was also suppose to be a string of rural settlements
(towns and villages)
o The colonial capital was suppose to be London not Toronto.
o All these places were to be connected to a network of Pioneer
• In 1793 the capital was moved from London, to Toronto. London
was considered to be too remote. Toronto was more accessible, and
Toronto had a very good Harbour.
In 1881 the urban system had four elements:
• 1. The Golden horseshoe.
• 2. The grand river valley (Brantford, KW, Guelph.)
• 3. Extreme Southwest (London to Windsor)
• 4. Ottawa Valley. (Ottawa and Kingston) *If you look at the urban system today you can trace it back to 1881.
Urban growth would not have happened in the Golden horseshoe without
Northern Ontario Cont’d
• In the cities of Northern Ontario, they are located along the
southern border of the Canadian Shield.
• Those cities would not be there if it had not been for the railways.
• North bay, is considered central Ontario. Thunder bay and Sault St.
Marie, are important for Northwest. North Bay, and Sudbury for the
Northeast. 30/03/2011 17:44:00
Quebec Within Canada
• Considered the nucleus of French culture in North America.
• Quebec accounts for 17% of Canada’s total Area. Without water it
represents 15 %.
• Quebec is considered to be the third largest region in Canada. It is
the largest province within Canada.
According the 2001 census the population was approx 7.2 million.
This accounts for 24 percent of Canada’s total pop.
o Trend with the population: Since 1861 Quebec’s percentage
of total national population has been progressively declining.
• In 2001 Quebec’s pop density was estimated as 5.4 ppl per square
• Like Ontario Quebec also has population and size to define two
regions that make up the province. Like in Ontario they have
Northern Quebec and Southern Quebec. Southern defined by
population. Northern defined by size.
• Southern Quebec accounts for 90% of Quebec’s population. Of that
90 % much of this population is in the St Lawrence Valley.
Southern Quebec is also considered the urban industrial core of the
• In Quebec we have 4 physiographic regions that cover the province.
o Hudson Bay lowlands- very small percentage of Quebec
o Canadian Shield- covers middle of province, has become
Quebec’s resource periphery.
o St. Lawrence Lowlands- southern part of province, they
represent the cultural heartland of the province and the
economic aspect as well.
Appalachian Uplands- One area of this is the Eastern
Townships, which has now become the agricultural periphery
of the province. Second area is the Gas bay Peninsula which
is considered a resource periphery.
• Terrain: o Northern Quebec is a rugged and hilly landscape.
o Southern Quebec is considered to be relatively flat.
(agricultural activity takes place in South East part of
• Climate o Three climatic zones that correspond with the province:
Arctic- lies along the shore of Hudson bay.
Sub arctic- Covers the Hudson bay lowlands, also the
Great Lakes St. Lawrence
o Quebec can be subject to severe weather. There are various
floods, once in a while.
• Quebec’s historical Geography consists of three periods:
o New France (1608-1760)
o British Colony (1760-1867)
• New France- corresponds with Quebec beginnings.
o Established when a fur trading post set up on what is now
o The fur trading post was established along the St. Lawrence
river. The St Lawrence had two major advantages: Provided
farmable land, as well as hinterland access.
o The St. Lawrence allowed for the penetration of the Canadian
o New France was established under a Feudal System. Which
means it was an agricultural society. The settlers who came
as the serfs paid the state owners in the form of taxes as
• British Colony- migration beyond New France
o British ruled Quebec for 107 years. The Faultline between
English and French speaking Canadians, can be traced back
the British colony period.
o Under British administration, Quebec was still a strong
o After Senioural system was abolished, farmers migrate away
from feudal land. They went in a couple directions: Some to the east, more specifically the Appalachian
uplands called the eastern townships. Those that went
here bought land from the British.
Others went Northwards, generally into the Canadian
shield, specifically the clay belt.
The last direction was some of them going South. Called
the New England States. Unlike those who went North
and East, these people ended up working in factories.
Western migration didn’t start until after confederation.
o There was not enough land to feed the people. At this time
Quebec had a very high birth rate.
• Confederation- Development of a cultural heartland.
o Confederation helped to expand Quebec’s territory.
o Since confederation, Quebec’s political strength has also
o Before 1945 Quebec’s society was best described as
“traditional”. (meaning the population was largely rural,
likewise the population was very stationary and insular, lastly
it was church dominated.)
o After 1945 that society underwent a transformation. (Two
processes that changed the traditional society. It was
changed by industrialization, it was also changed by
o The focus of people’s lives changed. Before 1945 the focal
point were three things:
Revolved around the farm
Around the family.
Around the parish.
o After WW2 the focal point changed:
Revolved around the factory/office.
Also changed to the suburb.
• Just as in Ontario economic development and industrial growth,
they were attributed to the national policy. • IN addition to the national policy, Quebec’s economic and industrial
growth are attributed to “mega projects” which are associated with
• In terms of current situation, Quebec is a leading economic entity
within Canada. We can describe this economy as relatively strong
and relatively diversified. Very similar to Ontario, however there is
a difference. Quebec’s economic growth has actually been slowing
down. Eg. Quebec accounted for 21 % of Canada’s GDP. This
means that compared to other provinces they are the second most
power economic province.
• Today Quebec’s economy relies on Foreign trade. (The United
Economic Structure (according to GDP)
• Primary (natural resources)- accounts for 2%
• Secondary- accounts for 27