Canada Geography

The aim of this work is to analyze the historical formation of Canada’s territory and population and the spatial, political, social and economic organization of that country today, as well as its insertion in space and in global society.

Territorial formation

Historically, Canada was colonized by France and England, although it was conquered by an Italian – John Cabot – in the service of the English king Henry VII.

The colonization of the country was part of the European expansionism by America, differing from other areas of that continent only in the model of colonization.

Politically, Canada is a parliamentary monarchy, with the head of state being the chief monarch of the United Kingdom, as it belongs to the Commonwealth of Commonwealth . The territory is divided into ten provinces and three territories (far north).

Natural aspects of Canada

According to Proexchangerates, second largest country in surface – surpassed only by the Russian Federation -, Canada is the largest in America, surpassing the United States and Brazil.

Despite its extensive territory, Canada finds limits to the occupation of a large part of its national space due to climatic conditions (high latitudes). The central and northern regions of the country have, respectively, cold and polar temperate climates, making the practice of various agricultural activities impossible and also hampering human installation.

Climate and vegetation

Climatically, Canada can be regionalized into four areas defined by the climate generalities shown in the figure below:

  • the southern part (B), bordering the USA, presents a temperate climate, with a mesothermal characteristic, and vegetation of grasslands (herbaceous);
  • in the center-north (A), agricultural practice is difficult, as the climate is more rigorous, being temperate cold, with the influence of polar winds, especially the taiga or coniferous forest, which is of great importance for the timber and timber industries. paper and cellulose – one of the most developed in the world;
  • further north (C), the climate is polar, with a microthermal characteristic, and accompanied by the tundra;
  • the cold mountain climate (D)occurs in the areas of young folds in the western portion.

The extensive area of ​​dominance of the cold temperate climate allows one of the largest areas of temperate forest in the world, important for the national wood and paper and cellulose industry.


Geologically, the country has three main relief units: in the west, there are the rocky mountains (modern folds) of the Cenozoic; in the central region, there are the plains that are intensely used, in the south, by modern technified agriculture; in the east, there are the old Precambrian mountains, rich in minerals and with high hydroelectric potential (Labrador Plateau).


In relation to hydrography, we have the Mackenzie rivers , flowing into the Arctic slope and the São Lourenço , considered the economic-commercial link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes for Canada and the USA, by allowing foreign trade for its waters, in addition to to pass through important industrial centers, like Montreal, in the Canadian territory.

Canadian Economy

Canadian development is associated with several aspects, including the colonization model – settlement, the wealth of the territory and American investments. Canada’s high economic development has enabled it to be in the select group of the G7 – the seven most powerful economies in the world.

Historically, Canadian industrialization is recent, leveraged after the First World War , with the invasion of American companies in the southeast, seeking cheaper labor and expansion of the consumer market. The country is heavily dependent on US capital, markets and companies. A good example of this reality is the control of US companies in the agricultural area of ​​Prairie, in addition to its participation in NAFTA .

Most of the exports go to the neighbor, as well as imports. Darcy Ribeiro, a Brazilian anthropologist, who died in 1997, created the famous expression “ appendix of the USA ”, to show the degree of economic integration between these two countries. Trying to change this “monopoly” a little, Canada signed a participation in APEC. The country exports paper, aluminum, airplanes, wheat, minerals, fish, oil.

The industrial concentration is on the border with the USA, mainly in the southeastern region of Canada, where it forms with the Northeastern United States one of the largest industrial agglomerations of the planet, as well as one of the areas of greatest industrial pollution. This Canadian industrial concentration shows the strong economic dependence on the neighboring country.

Economic regions

From an economic point of view, Canada can be divided into five regions:

  • the Great North (A)is marked by low demographic densities and, due to the taiga (coniferous forest), by logging and pulp production (it is the world’s largest exporter);
  • the BC (B)has great potential hydroelectric due to the Rocky Mountains. The urban-industrial exponent is Vancouver, which connects the Pacific basin;
  • the Prairie (C)is the agricultural country barn – where wheat is the main product for export (UK and China), but the presence of fossil fuels is also important;
  • the Southeast or Great Lakes (D)is the economic “heart” of the country and the American urban-industrial continuity. The wealth is due to several factors, such as the beginning of colonization, mineral resources and the São Lourenço waterway. Urbanization is intense and spearheaded by the metropolises of Montreal and Toronto. Politically, the southeast is formed by the two most developed provinces: Ontario (of English origin) and Quebec (of French origin). Industrialization is diverse and the paper, airplane and metallurgy industries stand out.
  • the Atlantic Provinces (E)are characterized by fishing activity, benefited by the cold Labrador current.

Canadian population

Canada has just over 35 million inhabitants to occupy the second largest territory in the world, making it a sparsely populated country, with only 4 inhab./km 2 . For this reason, the country is considered sparsely populated and sparsely populated.

The natural situation makes it difficult to fully occupy the territory, making the north of the territory a large demographic void, while 90% of its population remains occupying a small strip of land in the southern portion of its territory, highlighting the provinces of Ontario and Quebec , in the east, and British Columbia in the west. Northern climatic rigor acts as a repulsive element for human occupation.

The border with the USA represents the main population concentration, mainly in the Great Lakes region and the São Lourenço valley, in the province of Ontario – cities like Toronto and Ottawa (national capital) and in the province of Quebec (occupied by the French) – cities like Montreal and Quebec. These provinces are home to more than 50% of the country’s residents and industrial production.

In the west, the province of British Columbia also has an important population and industrial concentration – a city like Vancouver . In the central portion of the territory, it is the province of Alberta with the exploitation of fossil fuels that stands out – cities like Edmonton and Calgary.

The country’s age structure has a majority of adults (64%), followed by young people (21%) and the elderly (15%), which represents an economic and social concern for the country, with the continuous increase in social spending on elderly population, while life expectancy exceeds 80 years, widening the top or apex of the age pyramid, while the base – youth population – is reduced due to the low vegetative growth, reducing the PEA, generating shortages of labor. constructions.

The immigration is seen as an important way to increase the economically active population (EAP) and social security contributions, but the intention of the Canadian authorities is always attract skilled immigrants, as happened in 2015 when the government launched the “Express Entry” ( Express Entry, which aims to help qualified immigrants to enter the country faster.

Whites of European origin are the majority of the population (96%). The country was colonized by the English and French, the descendants of the British being the most numerous (40% of the population). The French (27% of the population) are occupiers of the province of Quebec. This division makes Canada a bilingual nation: English and French as the official languages.

The French – Francophone – feed the separatist desire to form Free Quebec, but in a peaceful way, using plebiscites, as in the last one in 1995, which the non- by the independent State won by a small margin of votes. The Franco-British dichotomy, through Quebec’s pro-independence movement, stimulates other dissent in the country, such as the indigenous peoples who have claimed autonomy for reserves in the northern territories of the country, especially after large mineral reserves, such as oil in these regions.

The indigenous population corresponds to 2% of the national population, with the Inuit (called Eskimos ) and the Indians (55% of registered Indians live in specific areas of land, called reserves – more than 2,200 spread across the country, demarcated for use and benefit of indigenous people). Immigrants (eg, a group of Asians, Latin Americans and Europeans), who make up 31% of the population, complete the Canadian demographic picture.

Canada Geography