As the 2nd largest country in the world with an area of 9,984,670 sq. km (3,855,100 sq mi), Canada includes a wide variety of land regions, vast maritime terrains, thousands of islands, more lakes and inland waters than any other country, and the longest coastline on the planet. In essence, as observed on the physical map above, Canada is a smorgasbord of landforms, of which the significant ones are: the Appalachian Mountains, St. Lawrence River, Canadian Shield, Canadian Arctic Archipelago; Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, Great Plains, Lake Winnipeg, Columbia, Fraser, Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers; Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Rocky Mountains, Canadian Cordillera and the dozens of volcanoes along the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Appalachian Mountains: The Appalachians extend from the New England States in the U.S. up through parts of the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Quebec. In Canada, they are mostly rolling hills.
Canadian Arctic Archipelago: The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is located north of the Canadian mainland on the fringes of the Arctic Ocean. This group of some 36,000 islands is mostly part of the territory of Nunavut Baffin, Ellesmere and Victoria Islands are the largest of the group respectively. The climate here features long, cold winters and short, cool summers. The terrain consists of tundra except in mountainous regions of the east.
Canadian Shield: As observed on the map, the Canadian Shield, covering the eastern half of Canada’s landmass is an ancient bedrock base of gneiss and granite covered by a shallow layer of soil. Large areas of coniferous (evergreen) forests and hundreds of rivers and lakes spread across this mostly flat region. It’s scattered low-lying mountains include the Laurentian and Torngat ranges.
Canadian Cordillera: The Canadian Cordillera extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The Cordilleras are part of a huge mountain system extending from the Andes of South America to the tip of Alaska. The Canadian Cordillera includes ranges of the Rocky Mountains, the Coast Range and varied coastal mountain ranges and their many active volcanoes.
Great Slave Lake: It is the 2nd largest lake in the Northwest territories of Canada behind Great Bear Lake. It’s the deepest lake in North America at 614m (2,015 ft), and the 9th largest lake in the world.
Great Bear Lake: It is the largest lake entirely within Canada; the 3rd largest in North America and the 7th largest in the world. The lake has a surface area of 31,153 sq.km, (12,028 sq. miles) with a maximum depth of 446 m (1463 ft).
Both lakes have been marked on the map above and are located to the north of the country and are glacial in origin.
Great Plains: The Great Plains slope east from the Rockies and extend to the edge of the Appalachians. The land is generally smooth with large treeless areas and sloping shallow river valleys. They extend across parts of Alberia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan, and vast parts of North Central U.S.
Mount Logan: Also marked on the map above by a yellow upright triangle is Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada. It is located in southwestern Yukon to the northwest of Canada. It has an elevation of 5,959 m (19,551 ft).
Canada, the second-largest country in the world by total area, spans 9.98 million km2 (3.85 million mi2). To the south, it shares the longest bi-national land border globally with the United States, extending approximately 8,891 km (5,525 mi). On the east, the Atlantic Ocean provides an expansive maritime boundary. In the west, the Pacific Ocean shapes its coastline, while to the north, the Arctic Ocean defines the country's arctic boundary.
Canada consists of a variety of geographical regions that differ in terms of topography, climate, and vegetation. These regions include the Atlantic Provinces, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands, the Canadian Shield, the Boreal Plains, the Prairies, the Cordillera, and the Arctic and Hudson Bay Lowlands.
The Atlantic Provinces region, which encompasses Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, has a rugged coastline dotted with numerous bays, coves, and islands. The Appalachian mountain range also passes through this region, ending in Newfoundland.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands, home to the most populated areas in Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, contain fertile soil ideal for agriculture, aided by the moderating effects of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. These bodies of water also provide significant transportation routes and sources of hydroelectric power.
The Canadian Shield: Encompassing over half of Canada, the Canadian Shield is an expansive region characterized by ancient bedrock and is rich in minerals and forests. Its physical geography includes numerous lakes and rivers carved out by glaciation, including part of the mighty Mackenzie River system, the longest river in Canada.
Prairie Provinces: To the west of the Canadian Shield, the Boreal Plains and the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) exist. The Boreal Plains are a transition zone characterized by flatlands, plateaus, and lowlands, while the Prairies comprise fertile, flat grasslands, used extensively for agriculture.
The Cordillera region extends along the western side of Canada, including British Columbia, part of Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory. The Rocky Mountains, part of this region, run parallel to the Pacific Coast and include Canada's highest peak, Mount Logan, in the Yukon Territory.
The Arctic and Hudson Bay Lowlands, found in the northern reaches of Canada, comprise mainly of tundra and permafrost, making it a difficult region for human habitation. However, it is a critical habitat for Arctic wildlife.
Canada also boasts some of the world's largest freshwater bodies. The Great Lakes, which Canada shares with the United States, constitute the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area. Lake Superior, the largest of these, spans an area of approximately 82,100 square kilometers (31,700 square miles).
The country's major rivers include the St. Lawrence River, which connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, the Mackenzie River, which is the country's longest river, and the Yukon River, comprise its historical importance during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Canada also has a vast number of islands. Baffin Island, the largest, located in Nunavut in the northeastern part of the country, is the fifth-largest island in the world. The Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) and Vancouver Island, off British Columbia's coast, have a legacy of Indigenous history alongside significant ecosystems.
Canada is the largest country in North America. Canada is bordered by non-contiguous US state of Alaska in the northwest and by 12 other US states in the south. The border of Canada with the US is the longest bi-national land border in the world. Canada is also bounded by the Arctic Ocean to the north, by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Canada also shares maritime borders with the island of Greenland in the northeast and the French island regions of Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the southeast.
Canada Bordering Countries: The United States Of America.
Regional Maps: Map of North America
|45 25 N, 75 42 W|
|Total Area||9,984,670.00 km2|
|Land Area||9,093,507.00 km2|
|Water Area||891,163.00 km2|
|Currency||Canadian dollars (CAD)|
|GDP Per Capita||$46,194.73|
This page was last updated on July 10, 2023