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Canada - Geography

Canada is immense. It stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, encompassing several different time zones. Its climate ranges from temperate in the south to arctic in the north. All of western Europe could fit easily inside this vast territory. It took centuries of explorations - often conducted by military men - to establish precise maps, from the first sketches of sixteenth century explorers to the great aerial surveys produced by the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The environment has remained practically unchanged for some 3,500 years. From the Atlantic to the western extremities of the Great Lakes, vast forests cover the southern part of the country. Then hundreds of kilometres of prairie stretch ahead, ending only at the Rocky Mountains. The Pacific slope of these mountains is more temperate, with dense forests running along the west coast as far as Alaska. North of the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes and the Prairies, the vegetation slowly becomes boreal, shifting into tundra as one nears the Arctic Ocean. The inhabitable area is limited, at least insofar as agriculture is concerned, to the southernmost parts of the country. Settlement was concentrated there because the subarctic taiga and tundra could not support larger populations.

Region Province/Territory Capital City
Atlantic region
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • St. John’s
  • Charlottetown
  • Halifax
  • Fredericton
Central Canada
  • Quebec City
  • Toronto
Prairie Provinces
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • Alberta
  • Winnipeg
  • Regina
  • Edmonton
West Coast
  • British Columbia
  • Victoria
  • Nunavut
  • Northwest Territories
  • Yukon Territory
  • Iqaluit
  • Yellowknife
  • Whitehorse

Map of Canada

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