Canadian Geographic
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INSIDE: Six natural regions Go now!

Canada is a mosaic of natural regions, or ecozones, distinguished by their iconic features: the rain forest of the Pacific Coast, the flat-to-rolling horizon of the prairie, the evergreen wilderness of the Canadian Shield, and the polar barrens of the Arctic.


Six natural regions

The Great Lakes — St. Lawrence Basin stretches from the western edge of Lake Superior to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The southern portion, described here, is called the Mixedwood Plains. Canada’s smallest ecozone, occupying 9 percent of the country, it consists of two sectors: Ontario’s southward protruding peninsula, bounded by lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron, and the long, narrow plains along the St. Lawrence in Quebec. The Thousand Islands are the point of division between the sectors. Well favored with navigable waterways, fertile soils, and a relatively mild climate, the Mixedwood Plains ecozone was the portal through which European explorers and settlers passed to enter the heart of Canada. Today, this region supports Canada’s largest urban concentration, as well as a preponderant portion of its industrial and agricultural base.

On the next page:

Ecozones


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Quiz :

What is the overall surface area of the five great lakes combined?

246,000 km²
104,000 km²
6,000 km²