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Canada Geography

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Canada's Quick Facts

Land Area 9,093,507 km2
Water Area 891,163 km2
Total Area 9,984,670 km2
Population 35,362,905
Population Density 3.54 / km2
Government Type Federal Parliamentary Democracy (Parliament Of Canada) Under A Constitutional Monarchy; A Commonwealth Realm
GDP (PPP) $1.67 Trillion
GDP Per Capita $46,200
Currency Dollar (CAD)
Largest Cities
  • Toronto (6,196,731)
  • Montréal (4,220,566)
  • Vancouver (2,581,079)
  • Calgary (1,547,484)
  • Edmonton (1,461,182)
  • Ottawa-Gatineau (1,393,086)
  • Québec (826,109)
  • Winnipeg (816,593)
  • Hamilton (766,688)
  • Kitchener-Cambrigde-Waterloo (562,466)

As the second largest country in the world, 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, Canada is a smorgasbord of landforms.

Significant landforms include 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're mostly rolling hills.

Canadian Arctic Archipelago:
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, respectfully. 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:
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. Its scattered low-lying mountains include the Laurentian and Torngat ranges.

Canada Cordillera:
Canada 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 mountains ranges and their many active volcanoes.

Great Slave Lake:
Great Slave Lake

is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada behind Great Bear Lake. It's the deepest lake in North America at 614 m (2,015 ft), and the ninth-largest lake in the world.

Great Bear Lake:
Great Bear Lake

is the largest lake entirely within Canada; the third largest in North America, and the seventh 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 (1,463 ft).

Great Plains:
The Great Plains

slope east from the Rockies and extend to the edge of the Canadian Shield and the western edges of the Appalachians. The land is generally smooth with large treeless areas and sloping shallow river valleys. They extend across parts of Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan, and vast parts of the north central U.S.

Lake Winnipeg:
Lake Winnipeg is located in southern Manitoba near the city of Winnipeg. It's 428 km (266 mi) long and has an area of 24,390 sq km (9,417 sq mi). This very shallow lake is fed by dozens of rivers, including the Red, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg. It's drained by the Nelson River which flows northeast to Hudson Bay.

The Rockies:
The Rocky Mountains, about 3,000 miles in length, extend from the U.S. State of New Mexico up through the western United States and on into the northernmost reaches of Canada's British Columbia. Across Canada and the U.S., the Rockies include over one hundred individual mountain ranges.

The highest point in the Rockies is Mt. Elbert, located 10 miles southwest of Leadville, Colorado. It stands at 14,433 ft (4,399 meters).

Major rivers of North America

Columbia River:
The Columbia River, (1,152 miles) (1,857 km) in length, is a wide, fast-flowing river rising in the Canadian Rockies of southeast British Columbia. It flows rapidly south through the State of Washington, then forming the natural border between Washington and Oregon.

Fraser River:
The Fraser River of British Columbia rises in the Canadian Rockies near Yellowhead Pass, then flows in a variety of directions (generally south), finally turning west to empty into the Strait of Georgia, just south of Vancouver. It's (850 miles) (1,368 km) in length.

MacKenzie River:
The MacKenzie River is the longest river in Canada and dissects the Northwest Territories. It flows generally northwest into Mackenzie Bay and the Beaufort Sea. This historic river was discovered by Sir Alexander MacKenzie, and along its path are thick, green forests and dozens of major lakes. It's (1,200 miles) (1,800 km) in length.

St. Lawrence River:
The St. Lawrence River, 744 mi (1,197 km) in length, flows southwest to northeast. It drains the Great Lakes and connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean.

Yukon River:
The Yukon River rises in the southwestern edge of the Yukon Territory, flowing northwest across the border into Alaska. This massive river continues southwest across central Alaska, ending at the Bering Sea. Even at a length of (1,265 miles) (2.035 km), most of it is navigable, however, it remains frozen from October through mid-June.

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