Canadian Provinces And Territories

Canada has a great abundance of freshwater.
Canada has a great abundance of freshwater.

Canada is the largest country in the world with an area of 3.85 million square miles. A significant portion of the land area is covered by forests, tundra, and freshwater lakes. The country has the most numerous lakes in the world with some estimates putting the number at over 2 million. These lakes occupy about 9% of the total land area of the country.


The territory of Nunavut is located in the north of the country. Nunavut is the largest of all Canadian provinces and territories with a land area of 747537 square miles and fresh water cover an area of 60647.7 square miles. The land area and fresh water bodies cover a total of about 808185.2 square miles, which is equivalent to the size of Western Europe or 21% of the whole land cover of Canada. However, Nunavut is also the least populated territory in Canada with a population of about 35,000 people spread within its expansive borders hence translating to a population density of 0.005 persons per square mile. The territory is home to many lakes with the largest of them being the Nettilling Lake which covers 2,140 square miles.


Quebec is has the largest land area out of all provinces, not including territories. The province has a total land area covering 595,391 square miles which is about 15% of the total area of the country. Quebec also has many lakes which occupy about 12% of the total area. These lakes number over half a million as well as over 4,500 rivers. These lakes vary in size with the largest of them being Lake Mistassini.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories is a territory or administrative area in Canada located in the northwestern area of the country. Also known as the NWT, the Northwest Territories has a land area covering 527078.8 square miles and fresh water covering an area of 68312 square miles. Total area of both fresh water and land cover about 595391 square miles and is the third largest administrative area in the country. The majority of the territory has an extreme climate due to its proximity to the North Pole. The Northwest Territories also has biggest Lake Great Bear Lake covering an area of 12,096 square miles. Northwest Territories is home to Canada’s deepest lake, Great Slave Lake with a maximum depth of 2,014 feet.


Ontario is the second biggest province in Canada after Quebec and is the fourth largest administrative area with a total area of 415,598 square miles. Ontario is the most populous of the provinces and territories with its total population being 40% of the country’s population. The province has 17.8% of the total national freshwater lakes and is home to the biggest lake in Canada, Lake Superior. Lake Superior which is located at the US-Canadian border is also the biggest freshwater lake globally by surface area and is the third largest by volume behind Lake Baikal in the Siberian and Lake Tanganyika in Tanzanian.

Canadian Provinces And Territories By Land And Freshwater Area

RankCanadian Province/TerritoryTotal area (land + freshwater, in km²)Land (km²)Freshwater (km²)% of total area of Canada
3Northwest Territories1,346,1061,183,085163,02113.5
5British Columbia944,735925,18619,5499.5
10Newfoundland and Labrador405,212373,87231,3404.1
11New Brunswick72,90871,4501,4580.7
12Nova Scotia55,28453,3381,9460.6
13Prince Edward Island5,6605,66000.1

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