The Upland Areas Canada

The great Northwestern Plateau of New Brunswick with a general level of about 1,000-1,500 feet above tide, is developed upon the folded calcareous or lime-containing slates of the Devonian period, and is part of an even larger region including much of the adjoining portions of Quebec and Maine. The area is deeply dissected by valleys tributary to both the St. John and Restigouche rivers.

The Central Highlands of New Brunswick consist of a dissected plateau having a skyline at above 2,000 feet A.T., surmounted by numerous monadnocks or relic mountains, the highest of which is Mount Carleton (2,700′). Numerous river valleys have deeply' trenched the plateau to a depth of 1,000 feet or more below the summit level. The underlying rock of this highland area is an immense granite mass or batholith which was intruded into the stratified rocks in Devonian times. Hardened and folded sedimentary rocks around the edges of the batholith also take part in the formation of the plateau.

The Central or York Plateau laps around the southern and eastern edges of the highland. Its elevation averages about 1,000 feet A.T. and it is developed in part on the Devonian granite batholith and in part on hard metamorphosed Paleozoic sedimentaries. The Saint John River cuts directly across it from west to east in a rather deep and narrow valley to debouch on the Central Lowlands.

The Southern Uplands of New Brunswick are made up of several widely separated areas. Largest and highest of these is the great upland ridge along the Bay of Fundy east of the St. John River, comprising the Caledonia Hills, the Kent Hills, etc., with a maximum elevation of about 1,400 feet A.T. In structure it is a long oval dome or arched ridge, with a core of PreCambrian volcanic and intrusive rocks, pitching toward the northeast where it is overlapped by a fringe of the Lower Carboniferous system containing oil shales. To the north, across the Kennebecasis valley, is the long low ridge of the Kingston Hills, also with a Precambrian core which is exposed toward the west but covered by Carboniferous limestones and sandstones toward the northeast. Another narrow longitudinal valley intervenes between the Kingston Ridge and the Belle Isle Ridge to the north. Here the hard Precambrian outcrops give rise to numerous rounded summits, among these Bull Moose Hill is about 800 feet A.T. West of the St. John River lies another rugged area formed partly upon similar hard ancient rocks and partly upon another immense granite batholith of Devonian age. Although much of this area is below 500 feet A.T., large areas are above 1,000 feet in elevation, Mt. Champlain in the Nerepis Hills being 1,462 feet A.T. and Mt. Pleasant, thirty miles further west, is 1,175 feet A.T.

The Cobequid Mountains in Nova Scotia, although appearing as a sharp ridge from both north and south, in reality form a plateau with a skyline at about 900 feet A.T., on top of which rest a few low rounded remnants from 100 to 200 feet higher. This upland, which is from 8 to 12 miles wide and eighty-five miles long, is underlain by a complex of igneous and altered sedimentary rocks ranging in age from Precambrian to Devonian.

The Pictou-Antigonish uplands extend completely across both counties--from eastern Colchester to Cape George. They also are developed upon hard old rocks-Precambrian and older Paleozoic, igneous and metamorphic--and in part upon hard sandstones of the Carboniferous system. The highest point, McNeil Mountain (1,010 feet A.T.), is a volcanic plug.

The North Mountain which separates the Bay of Fundy from the Annapolis Valley is an inclined sheet of lava or trap rock, dipping northwestward beneath the Bay in a dish-like fold. Seen from the south it presents a long, steep escarpment, the top of which has an elevation of 500700 feet A. T.

The Atlantic Upland comprises more than half the area of the Nova Scotia mainland. It also is an inclined surface rising northward at the rate of about 15 feet per mile to the brow of the South Mountain -- a northfacing escarpment (600-700 feet A. T.) overlooking the Annapolis Valley. The surface is extremely irregular, yet the skyline is flat except for a few residual hills or monadnocks a hundred feet above the general level. In the eastern part of the mainland the upland ends in an abrupt escarpment overlooking the valley of the St. Mary's River. The highest parts of this upland are developed upon enormous granite batholiths of Devonian age, while between them and the Atlantic Ocean the country is underlain by Precambrian rocks, -- the folded slates and quartzites (whin) of the Gold Bearing Measures. The latter, having been strongly folded, are exposed in long narrow alternate belts parallel with the main axis of the province. Drainage is immature in the interior but the valleys become deeper and better developed southward although the mouths of all the rivers are drowned.

On Cape Breton Island there are several upland ridges trending from southwest to northeast, all on hard Precambrian crystalline rocks. The Southeastern Upland rises gradually from the water's edge to an elevation of about 400 feet on the brow of the escarpment overlooking Salmon River. The East Bay Hills and Sporting Mountain are from 500 to 600 A. T. The North Mountains, Boisdale and Coxheath Hills are from 600 to 700 feet A. T. Further northward the Craignish Hills, Kelly Mountains and Mabou Highlands are all more than 1,000 feet high.

The Northern Tableland, much of which is now included in the Cape Breton National Park rises abruptly from the narrow coastal lowlands to an elevation of 1,200 feet A.T., and reaches 1,500-1,700 feet A.T. in the interior. Poor drainage characterizes much of the upland surface but the edges of the plateau are scarred by deep V-shaped valleys.

Maritime Provinces of Canada lie on the Atlantic seaboard

THE traditional Maritime Provinces of Canada lie on the Atlantic seaboard between 43° and 48° north latitude. An association of islands and peninsulas, possessed of an extremely long, sinuous and indented coastline, most of the area is within 30 miles of the sea while no part is more than 100 miles from salt water. The three provinces vary in size; New Brunswick, the largest and most northerly, has an area of 27,985 square miles; Nova Scotia, 21,068 square miles; and Prince Edward Island, 2,184 square miles. The total, 51,237 square miles, is less than 1.4% of the national area, although occupied by 9% of the Canadian people.

Historically, the outlook of the people of this area has been seaward; their trade with foreign countries rather than with central Canada. Among the first to enter Confederation, they have tended to adopt a sectional attitude which serves, at least, to bring them recognition as a group. In this they will in future be linked with Newfoundland. Thus in spite of the contrasts to be noted in both the physical and human aspects of geography, the Maritime Provinces deserve treatment as a region.

Land Forms, Relief and Structure

Although the Maritime Provinces exhibit no great amplitude of relief -- the highest point being only 2,700 feet above sea level -- they possess a great variety of land forms. In a much simplified and generalized fashion, the physiographic diagram attempts to portray the earth sculpture of the region. In spite of the absence of high mountains, it can be divided into definite areas of greater and lesser relief, or in other words, into highlands and lowlands. By comparison with a contoured map it is seen that, in general, the boundary between these natural divisions of the land surface is approximately along the five hundred-foot contour.

Diversity of land forms must be explained in terms of the underlying rock structure. Generalizing somewhat, the central Maritime region is an ancient basin of deposition, or geosyncline as it is sometimes called, between the very ancient "oldland" of the Canadian Shield in Quebec and the hard old rocks of southern Nova Scotia. Both are of Precambrian age, and in the great depression between were laid down the various systems of Paleozoic rocks, including the Carboniferous which outcrops so widely around the Gulf of St. Lawrence. At various times, this mass of rock has been folded so that the exposures now consist of long belts running from N.E. to Southwest in the same general direction as the mountains of the rest of eastern North America. The youngest formations of all are the Triassic rocks of the Bay of Fundy region. In addition to the folding, the beds of sedimentary rock were intruded by molten magma. The most widespread of these rocks are the granites of Devonian age which now form the Central Highlands of New Brunswick and the central axis of the peninsula of Nova Scotia.

The province of New Brunswick may be divided into four great physiographic regions; the Northwestern Plateau, the Central Highlands, the Central and Eastern Lowlands, and the Southern Uplands. In Nova Scotia, the upland areas include: the North Mountain, the Cobequid Mountains, the Uplands of Pictou and Antigonish, the extensive Atlantic Uplands, the various hilly regions of the southern part of Cape Breton Island and the great Cape Breton Plateau which comprises the highest land in the province. The lowlands include: the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, the Hants-Colchester or Central Lowland, the North Shore or Northumberland Coastal Lowlands (actually an eastward extension of the Central and Eastern Lowlands of New Brunswick), the Antigonish-Guysborough Lowland and the Cape Breton Lowlands. No part of Prince Edward Island is more than 500 feet above tide, hence it may be regarded as a single lowland region.

The coast of Labrador has a long history

The coast of Labrador has a long history having, apparently, been visited by the Norsemen in the tenth century. In 1534 parts of the coast were charted by Jacques Cartier who designated it "the land that God gave Cain". Almost from its discovery it was visited by fishermen each summer but permanent settlement was not attempted until after 1763. Since then, the isolated coastal settlements have been part of the colony of Newfoundland and, in 1927, the claim to the interior was confirmed also.

The Eskimo people inhabit the coast from Hamilton Inlet north to Cape Chidley, although it is probable that they once ranged farther south. Their chief occupations are sealing, fishing, caribou hunting and trapping arctic foxes.

The Indians are of two chief groups: the Naskaupi of the Barren Lands and the Montagnais of the forested south. Both tribes are of Algonquin origin. The Indians are nomadic hunters and trappers of the interior with no permanent encampments, but most of them pay an annual visit to some coastal settlement in order to trade.

The earliest white settlers in Labrador were fur traders. These were followed by fishermen who decided to remain overwinter in the north rather than to return to Newfoundland. These people became known as "Liveyeres" to distinguish them from the migratory fishermen. The chief economic enterprises of the settled white population are fishing and seal hunting with a winter sideline of fur trapping. There are also many who are mainly trappers, who have displaced the Indians from some of the best fur producing lands.

Moravian missionaries have ministered to the people of northern Labrador since 1752. Around their missions important villages such as Nain, Hopedale, Hebron and Makkovik have been built up. Nain has been called the capital of Eskimo Labrador. The village consists of a trim white mission house and church and a long line of grey Eskimo huts fronting the main street which follows the waterline.

The life of the southern Labrador people is probably best known from the work of Sir Wilfred Grenfell. Dr. Grenfell. an Englishman, began medical work in Labrador in 1892. Aided by funds from the United States and Canada, he established a hospital at St. Anthony and secured a small ship to carry medical services to the coastal settlements. The Grenfell mission (now carried on by the International Grenfell Association) has been of great benefit to these isolated people.

Most of the trade of Labrador has been in the hands of the Hudson's Bay Company since about 1830. It founded important villages such as Battle Harbour, Cartwright, Rigolet, Northwest River and Davis Inlet. In northern Labrador it has also operated in the mission villages. The company's neat white buildings with their red roofs stand out among the drab shacks which comprise the usual Labrador village while their well stocked shelves provide virtually all the necessities of life.

Only in some of the southern settlements have fishermen's co-operatives and a few independent traders offered any competition.

The Labrador dependency of Newfoundland

The Labrador dependency of Newfoundland comprises an area of 110,000 square miles. It stretches from the Strait of Belle Isle, latitude 51°20′N; to Cape Chidley, 60°20′N; a distance of 600 miles. It adjoins the province of Quebec along a boundary which in the south follows the 52nd parallel of latitude and in the west follows "the crest of the watershed of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean until it reaches Cape Chidley". Long in dispute this boundary was fixed by a decision of the Privy Council in March, 1927.


Labrador is part of the upraised Canadian Shield, underlain by hard, old Precambrian rocks. Its general form is that of a rough plateau, the summits of which represent the remnants of an ancient peneplain or surface of erosion. The plateau is tilted, presenting a bold escarpment toward the northeast along an old fault zone. It is highest in the north, where the Torngat Mountains have summits over 5,000 feet above sea level. The Mealy Mountains, south of the Hamilton River, attain heights of over 4,000 feet. The edge of the plateau is deeply cut by the valleys of rapid rivers draining into the Atlantic. The southwest part is known as the "plateau of the lakes" because here drainage has not been fully established and there are many lakes both large and small.

There is marked evidence of Pleistocene glaciation. The Torngat Mountains have many cirques, U-shaped valleys, sharp peaks and ridges cut by mountain glaciers. The seaward escarpment is indented by many ice scoured valleys now invaded by the sea to form fjords like those of Norway. While the eastern border shows the work of icescour, the inland area has many land forms produced by glacial deposition such as moraines, kames, eskers and outwash plains. There are large areas of till plains including many drumlins and in these areas there are few outcropping bedrock hills. The largest river is the Hamilton, which drains much of the Lake Plateau. Grand Falls, twice as high as Niagara, is a reserve of untamed power.

Climate and Life Zones

Generally speaking, the climate of Labrador is harsh, the yearly average temperature for the whole country being below freezing. The summer is short and cool, exposed coastal stations having July mean temperatures below 50°F. Winters are extremely cold, especially on the interior plateau.

Precipitation ranges from about 40 inches per year in the south, to 20 inches in the north, with heavy snowfall. For much of the plateau, summer is less than three months in length. Snow begins to fall in September and does not disappear until the following June. On some of the higher mountains, small patches of snow may remain all summer.

The coast of Labrador may be regarded as an extension of the fog zone of the Grand Banks although, toward the north, fogs are not so frequent as they are in the Strait of Belle Isle.

The northern part of Labrador has little vegetation and may be regarded as a southern extension of the Arctic tundra. In the south, particularly at the lower elevations, there are coniferous forests which eventually may be worth economic exploitation. Spruce and balsam fir are the important trees.

Most of the valuable fur-bearing animals of eastern North America are found in Labrador, including the beaver, muskrat, mink, otter, martin and fox. The arctic hare is found in the northern barrens while the varying hare inhabits the southern forests. Both woodland and barren land caribou formerly were found in fair abundance but are now rather scarce. The coastal waters are frequented by arctic marine animals including various seals, the walrus and polar bear. Whales also come from the north and are caught some distance from the coast. Coastal waters also abound in cod, haddock and herring. The evidence of all observers indicates that the larger animals are disappearing. This is especially true of the land inhabiting forms. Fish, however, continue to be plentiful.

The place names of Newfoundland are as distinctive and quaint as its scenery and settlements

The typical Newfoundland settlement pattern, however, is not its larger or newer towns but its string of fishing villages along the shore, many of them more than two centuries old. The usual site is at the head of some cove where more gently sloping land gives space for the houses and fish flakes or drying platforms. In some places, however, the settlements cling precariously to rocky cliffs. The villages are entirely planless yet a rough pattern of functional zones is often apparent.

The places of business, fishing rooms, stages and flakes are close along the water's edge separated from the houses by a narrow, winding and often rough and grassgrown road which, however, does not extend beyond the settlement. Somewhere along the uneven line of houses there may be a small church or school building. Adjoining each house is a small kitchen garden and perhaps a small weatherbeaten shack which protects the family cow from the winter weather. Farther back, if surface configuration and soil permit, there may be small fields of hay and patches of cabbage, turnips, carrots and potatoes. Such fields may not adjoin the village, however, but be located in a clearing a mile or so away in some spot where easily tilled soil has been discovered.

The place names of Newfoundland are as distinctive and quaint as its scenery and settlements. European origins are commemorated by English Bay, French Bay, Portugal Cove and Jersey Harbour. Early hardships are recalled by Famish Cove, Empty Basket and Bleak Point while success and satisfaction are reflected by Heart's Content, Safe Harbour and Little Paradise. Other unusual names include Main Topsail, Maggoty Cove, Noggin Cove, Blow-medown, Juniper Stump and Horse Chops.

Wabana Bell Island

Bell Island is a rock mesa or tableland, about six miles long and two and one half miles wide, rising from the waters of Conception Bay. It is surrounded by almost continuous cliffs from 100 to 200 feet in height. In general the surface of the island slopes gently toward the northeast being influenced by the dip of the rock strata.

Formerly the home of a few fishermen, Bell Island is now the location of one of the important iron mines in the world. Bell Island is a small rocky mesa in Conception Bay, on which three rich beds of iron ore outcrop. The pit heads are on the north side of the island but most of the Wabana ore production comes from the undersea workings.

Three workable seams, or beds, of iron ore outcrop near the northwestern shore. The pit heads are located here but the mine levels run far out under the water. Four slopes varying in length from one to two and one-half miles are in operation. Cable cars carry the ore across the island to the southeast side. Here, there are two piers at which vessels can moor in deep water, while the ore is loaded by endless bucket-convey-ors from the top of the cliff. During the winter the ore is stored in stockpiles. The mines are operated almost entirely by electricity which is transmitted to the island by two submarine cables from plants of the Newfoundland Light and Power Company.

The Urban Landscape

In general Wabana is older than the pulpmill towns and has more weatherbeaten appearance. It is a town of 2679 inhabitants, but its built-up areas are rather scattered and seem entirely without plan. The landscape may be said to be dominated by the mine buildings, and to some extent the houses of the workmen are grouped near them. This may, in part, be due to the fact that the mines were formerly operated by two separate companies. Scattered settlement also occurs along the roads leading toward the pier.

Corner Brook

Corner Brook, a town of 20,000, is the site of Bowater's Newfoundland Pulp and Paper Mill. The location at Corner Brook combines the advantages of several geographic factors. It is on deep water and also on the main line of the Newfoundland Railway, thus facilitating transportation of both raw material and finished product. When the bay is frozen over during the winter, paper is shipped to Port aux Basques which remains ice-free. The river furnishes power and transports pulpwood from the forests. Even the wood from the east coast areas is towed to Hampden in White Bay and loaded on trucks for a short portage to Sandy Lake, which is part of the Humber system. Wood from west coast points can be towed directly to the plant.

Corner Brook is the centre of a fairly densely populated district. To the west is the village of Curling while two miles to the east is the railway divisional point of Humbermouth. Including Deer Lake, the village at the power plant, and the scattered population along the Bay, the Humber District numbers 40,000 people and is the greatest concentration of settlements outside the Avalon Peninsula.

The Urban Landscape

Corner Brook lies on the south bank of Humber Arm at the point where it is entered by the small stream of the same name. The mill with its attendant paper sheds and woodpiles is located on the delta at the mouth of the little stream, while the railway passes along the foot of the slope to the south, while just above it runs the main road. The docks and railway station lie to the east. The town is built on the higher ground to the east of the stream. About an open square are located a hospital, an inn and a moving picture theatre. Between this and the main road to the south lies a row of shops, while to the east, in a shallow tributary valley are found most of the "company houses". They are neat two-story wooden buildings with small gardens. Still farther up the slope along the road leading to the "company farm" are a number of larger houses. Adjoining the town is the suburb of West Corner Brook. It contains a number of small shops, a theatre, and several streets of small houses. A woodworking factory, furniture factory and a small foundry complete the scene.

The Functions of the City St. John

Since the earliest days, St. John's has been primarily a port and a fishing station. It is the administrative centre of the island and the chief commercial depot. The manufacturing industries include fish packing, processing and bi-products, shipbuilding and repairing, cordage, cooperage, woodworking, clothing, beverages, food products and many other lines for local consumption.

Apart from the export of the products of the sea, and some paper during the winter, the trade of St. John's is mostly one of imports. These include flour, fruit, sugar, tea, meats, tobacco, coal, gasoline, machinery and textiles. The forest products and minerals, which constitute the bulk of the exports of the island, are shipped chiefly from other ports. This, of course, is because the city, located on the Avalon peninsula, is more or less isolated from the main body of the island. This was not a handicap in the days when all traffic moved by sea but it is so now, when interior mines and forests are being developed.

Grand Falls

Grand Falls is a "company town", begun in 1909 to house the employees of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. This concern, established by the Northcliffe interests of London, controls 7,442 square miles of pulpwood forests in Newfoundland. Grand Falls was selected as the site of the mill because of the power possibilities of the river which at this point provides a "head" of 125 feet. Other points in its favour are its accessibility to the main line of the Newfoundland Railway and to ocean shipping a few miles away at Botwood. Another power site is found at Bishop's Falls where a subsidiary pulp mill is located. The pulp is pumped to the paper mill at Grand Falls through a pipeline eleven miles in length.

The Urban Landscape

The focal point is the mill, with its nearby wood piles, paper sheds and power house. This industrial section occupies a terrace to the north of the river gorge. On the slopes behind it, the town is built. The plan has been adapted to the site, the roads curve around the hills in response to the contours, while the highest land has been left in woods. To the east is the civic centre containing the post office, a small hotel and several shops while, at intervals, to the west stand four imposing churches. Other prominent buildings are the centrally located staff house, and the hospital located at the extreme west. There is no very marked zonation of residences, some fairly large houses are found near the staff house and also at the base of the wooded ridge, smaller workmen's homes are located near the mill and also some distance away to the north. A terrace, to the northeast of the civic centre, is mainly occupied by houses of an intermediate type. Most of the houses are built of wood, but there are buildings of stone, brick and concrete. The town has its own water and electric system. The whole urban area occupies about one-half square mile of land.

Towns and Cities of Newfoundland

The ancient fishing economy gave rise to many small seaside villages in addition to the single seaport town of St. John's. The establishment of the mining and pulp and paper industries, within the first part of the 20th century, has brought about the growth of a number of fair sized towns in various parts of the island. The urban geography of these places is thus an important phase of the geographic study of the island.

St. John's

St. John's, the capital and most populous settlement in the island, is located on the east coast of the Avalon peninsula. Its name commemorates the discovery of the island by John Cabot on St. John's Day 1497, although his landfall was at Cape Bonavista many miles to the north. The excellence of its sheltered harbour made it a favoured fishing station as early as 1502 although there was no permanent settlement before 1583.

The Harbour and City Site

St. John's harbour is a small enclosed bay about 1 ¼ miles in length, from southwest to northeast, and ½ mile in width but with a depth of more than 15 fathoms. It is connected with the sea by way of the "Narrows", a channel about half a mile in length and about 200 yards in width, between steep rocky slopes 500 feet high. A heavy chain was stretched across this entrance to protect the harbour from attack during the wars with the French. It is an almost perfect haven for all small ships but too constricted for large modern liners. The water's edge is almost completely covered by wharves and quays, while at the head of the harbour is the Newfoundland Drydock, established in 1926 and capable of caring for vessels up to 570 feet in length. The southeast side of the harbour is closely rimmed by the precipitous slopes of the Southside Hills, leaving only a narrow shelf at the bottom for wharves and warehouses.

To the northwest, the land slopes more gently to a low ridge about 300 feet high, about a mile from the shore. To the north a low saddle, not over 125 feet in elevation, gives access to another valley in which lies Quidi Vidi Lake. This body of water empties into a narrow rocky inlet, Quidi Vidi Harbour, which lies north of Signal Hill. The older part of the city, and present business centre, lies along the northwestern shore of the harbour while the residential areas climb the hill to the north and northwest and extend along the lowland stretching southwestward from the head of the harbour.

The Urban Landscape

St. John's has been cited as a city entirely without plan. It "just grew", and its growth has been almost entirely controlled by the topography of its site. Originating as a fishing station, the first buildings were located along the waterfront. Wharves were essential and each merchant built his own with a warehouse above it. In this way the main street, Water Street, developed and it is still the chief business section of the city. In the early days all buildings were of wood but a series of disastrous fires in 1816, 1846 and 1892 practically wiped out all the old buildings. City by-laws now require brick or stone construction in the business area. Apart from this, there are a few scattered public buildings of fireproof materials, but the residential sections are built entirely of wood.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral, with its attendant group of convents, colleges and parish hall, occupies a prominent site on the central part of the ridge. Somewhat lower down the slope stands the Anglican Cathedral, a fine example of Gothic architecture, while near it are the spires of other Protestant churches. Toward the eastern end of the city are the Colonial Building (Legislature), Government House, the Newfoundland Hotel, the Penitentiary and the General Hospital.

The terminus of the Newfoundland Railway lies to the southwest, adjacent to the dockyard at the upper end of the harbour. Here, also, are coal docks, lumber yards and the gas works.

Within the city are two parks, Bannerman's Park, adjoining the Colonial Building in the east, and Victoria Park in the southwest. Two miles outside the city, to the southwest, is Bowring Park, an area of 50 acres, well laid-out to provide all sorts of recreational facilities.

About a mile beyond the city, to the north and overlooking Quidi Vidi Lake, was located the American military camp during the war. Known as Fort Pepperel, it was completely planned and built along modern lines and contrasts strongly with the crowded and unplanned condition of St. John's itself. The airport is located about five miles to the north of the city on the road to Torbay.

Newfoundland The Tourist Traffic

Newfoundland naturally expects that its 43,000 square miles of untamed wilderness will provide great attraction for tourists. Before the war tourist travel was chiefly confined to cruise passengers arriving at St. John's and Corner Brook and a few anglers who visited west coast streams.

About one fifth of the area of the island is occupied by lakes and there are countless streams containing brook trout, sea trout and salmon. Tuna fishing and even the taking of cod under the guidance of expert fishermen provide thrills for the sportsman.

For the hunter, the forests and barrens contain moose and caribou, while partridge, wild ducks, geese and other game birds are plentiful.

Even plain sightseeing among the picturesque coastal settlements and in the rugged interior has its attractions. At all events, the tourist trade has been of great value to scenic parts of the Canadian Provinces, and equal possibilities are present in Newfoundland.

Newfoundland Mining

Many mineral occurrences have been found in the old rocks of Newfoundland. Silver, gold, nickel, chromium, antimony, asbestos and vanadium have all been reported but not in deposits capable of exploitation. Coal of good quality is reported near St. Georges Bay but the rock structure is unfavourable to mining. Nevertheless mining has become one of Newfoundland's three major industries. Two main developments, the Wabana iron mine on Bell Island and the copper-zinc-lead mine at Buchans, account for 95% of the output. The remainder is made up of limestone and fluorspar with small quantities of sand and gravel, brick clay, talc, quartzite and structural sandstone.


Bell Island, about six miles long and two miles wide, lies in Conception Bay, a few miles northwest of St. John's. It is a tabular mesa of Ordovician sandstone and shale whose strata dip gently to the northwest beneath the waters of the bay. Interbedded and outcropping on the island are three beds of red hematite. The ore is of good quality but rather high in silica and phosphorus. The hematite was identified in 1892 and the first cargo was shipped in 1895.

Because of the fluctuating market for iron ore, the town of Wabana has not been as prosperous as the pulp mill towns.

Copper, Lead and Zinc

Ore outcrops containing copper, lead and zinc were discovered near Red Indian Lake in 1907, but it was not until 1925 that an economic process of concentrating the ore was discovered. The mill went into operation in 1927 with a capacity of about 500 tons per day, which has since been increased. The concentrates are sent by rail to Botwood and shipped to the United States, Belgium, France, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Newfoundland Herring, Salmon, Lobsters, Forestry


The chief centre of the herring fishery is Bay of Islands on the west coast, where large pickling and canning plants are located.


Salmon are caught in May, June and July and are mainly marketed as frozen fish.


Lobsters are caught on the south and west coasts and in Notre Dame Bay. They are exported alive from the south and west coasts but in Notre Dame Bay and Fortune Bay several canneries are located. Some exporters have successfully operated an "airlift" of live lobsters to the United States.


The hair seals of the North Atlantic annually migrate between the Arctic seas and the Grand Banks. In February the young are born on the floating ice fields off the coast of Newfoundland. For six or seven weeks they remain on the ice before taking to the water for the northward migration. At this time the young seal or "whitecoat" weighs about 50 pounds and has a two-inch layer of fat under its skin. The skin which is made into leather and the oil obtained from the fat are valuable commercial products.

The seal hunt is one of the most colourful and dangerous occupations of the Newfoundland seaman. It takes place during March and April. Formerly sailing vessels were employed but of late years specially constructed steamships have been used in the industry.

Sealing was almost a Newfoundland monopoly although in some years vessels from Nova Scotia and from Norway joined in the hunt.


Forestry has become an important source of income in Newfoundland, especially since the development of the pulp and paper industry to make use of the small coniferous trees which clothe nearly half of the island.

Economic Geography of Newfoundland

Newfoundland has three chief sources of income which are directly based upon the utilization of natural resources, namely: the fisheries, the forests and the mines. The soil, which is a fourth great natural resource in the other provinces of Canada, does not contribute greatly to the wealth of Newfoundland for agriculture remains in an undeveloped condition.

The Fisheries

Ever since its discovery, Newfoundland has been dependent upon its fisheries for the major portion of its wealth. The shallow waters of the Grand Banks simply team with fish and the ports of Newfoundland are closer than those of any other land. The cod is the most important fish, but other species including salmon, herring, halibut, turbot and lobsters add to the commercial catch while caplin and squid are taken for bait. Whaling and sealing are additional industries.


The codfishery of Newfoundland is divided into three branches: the inshore, the "Bank" or deep sea, and the Labrador fishery.

The shore fishery is carried on from all the small coves and harbours which indent the island. Normally it accounts for about three-fourths of the entire catch.

Inshore fishing is usually carried on within six miles of the shore by means of dories or small boats powered by 3 to 4 H. P. motors. The fish are caught by hand lines, trawl lines, "bulltows" or codnets. Larger boats, 25 to 28 feet long with 8 to 10 H.P. motors are used to operate cod traps. These are large square nets, set on the shoals near the headlands, capable of taking 60,000 pounds of fish at a single haul. The fish are split and cured on shore. The "flake", or rough platform upon which the fish are dried, is a familiar sight in every cove.

The Labrador fishery is carried on from June to October along the coast of Labrador. The migratory fishermen fall into two classes: the "stationers" who establish temporary quarters on shore, and the "floaters" who operate from their schooners and follow the fish from place to place. The permanent inhabitants of Labrador are known as "liveyers" (live-heres) to distinguish them from the summer fishermen. The Bank fisheries are those prosecuted on the Grand Banks and other fishing grounds on the Continental Shelf which lies to the south of Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces. In company with those from the latter areas, as well as from the United States and some western European countries, Newfoundland sends a fleet of schooners and trawlers to the Banks.

Newfoundland History of Settlement

The discovery of Newfoundland is credited to Sir John Cabot who landed near Cape Bonavista in June 1497. On his return to England he reported the existence of great quantities of fish in the waters surrounding the new island. Within a few years fishermen from all the western European countries were making annual trips to Newfoundland. Although no permanent settlements were made, the temporary summer stations of these men are perpetuated in such names as English Harbour, Frenchman's Arm, Spaniard Bay, Portuguese Cove, Biscay Bay, Port aux Basques and Harbour Breton. Because of its harbour, St. John's very early became the principal fishing port.

For many years no country laid claim to territorial sovereignty but, gradually, the English became most numerous and on August 5, 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert took possession of the island in the name of the English crown. In the year 1600, there were about 10,000 fishermen and 200 ships from England engaged in the Newfoundland fisheries and the total catch was worth about $500,000. In 1610, the first permanent colony was established at Cupids in Conception Bay, by John Guy, a merchant from Bristol. Later this colony was governed by Captain John Mason. Other early attempts at settlement on the Avalon peninsula were the efforts of Sir William Vaughan at Trepassey ( 1617), Lord Falkland's colony at Renews and Sir George Calvert's (afterwards Lord Baltimore) establishment at Ferryland ( 1621). In 1622, many of Sir William Alexander's colonists, en route to Nova Scotia, joined the fishermen at St. John's. By 1629, there were about 350 English families resident between Cape Race and Bonavista. In 1638, the whole colony was given to Sir David Kirke who brought out a hundred colonists to Ferryland. By 1650, the colony contained a population of about 2,000. There were no further official attempts at colonization, in fact, permanent settlement was definitely discouraged because it was felt to be prejudicial to the interests of the fishing fleet from the homeland. This policy, known to historians as "the Old Colonial System", remained in vogue until the 19th century.

In 1662, French fishermen settled at Placentia, on the west side of the Avalon peninsula, where there was an excellent harbour. Here they built forts, maintained garrisons and, by times, waged war on the English colonists. The treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, gave the whole island to Britain and most of the French colonists were removed to Cape Breton. The French, however, retained the fishing rights on the northeastern and western shores, and by the treaty of Paris in 1763, they were given the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. The French rights to the fisheries were terminated in 1904, in return for territory in Africa, but the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon still belong to France. The general effect of the French treaty rights was to discourage settlement in those parts of the island.

In spite of the early beginnings of colonization the growth of population was very slow and three hundred years after the discovery the island contained less than 25,000 people. The early colonists were mostly from the southwestern parts of England but during the eighteenth century a number of people from the south of Ireland were brought over. The number of Irish immigrants increased greatly during the next century when because of overcrowding and crop failure huge numbers left Ireland for the New World. There were also a few from other parts of the British Isles. Since the early part of the nineteenth century the population of Newfoundland has increased tenfold, but many people born on the island have emigrated to new homes in Canada and the United States.

Newfoundland Climate, Vesetation and Soils


Newfoundland has a humid climate with short, cool summers and cold, snowy winters. Because of its position on the eastern side of North America, it comes under the influence of continental air masses and experiences a great range between winter and summer temperatures. Although it lies in the same latitude, its climate is much less equable than that of Vancouver Island. The average July temperatures range from 50°F. to 63°F. but only a very small part of the island has mean July temperatures above 60°F. January mean temperatures range from 10°F. to 26°F. While the winters of the south coast are relatively mild, they are much more severe on the west coast and especially toward the north where they are affected by the cold polar continental air masses. The advent of spring is retarded and summer temperatures, especially on the northeastern coasts, are kept low by the ice laden Labrador current. The frost-free season is relatively short, the average length, in those sections which are considered to have agricultural possibilities, ranging from 108 to 140 days.

The island has abundant precipitation, having the equivalent of 30 to 55 inches of rainfall per annum. In general the amount is least in the northwest and greatest in the southeast, but everywhere there is a fairly uniform distribution from month to month. Snowfall is heavy with only a portion of the south coast receiving less than 80 inches per annum while a belt of heavy snowfall (120 inches per annum) covers the interior and the northeast coast.

The weather of Newfoundland is exceedingly variable being affected by the cyclonic storms which, every few days, leave the continent by way of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They are more frequent during the winter months often being accompanied by very high winds. Ice storms, or freezing rain, occur when warm air masses from the Atlantic sweep over the frozen land.

The coasts of Newfoundland are foggy, although no more so than the southern coast of Nova Scotia. St. John's has an average of 37 foggy days per year, but the Grand Banks, to the east of the island, are known as one of the foggiest areas in the world. June and July are the foggiest months while there is much less "thick weather" in the winter season. Fogs are caused by the warm moist air from the south mixing with the air which has been chilled by the Labrador current.

Closely related to the climate are the ice conditions of the sea surrounding the island. Early in December sea ice begins to form in the shallow bays of the northern peninsula. It gradually spreads southward during the winter reaching its greatest extent in March when only the south coast is open. Normally ships can reach St. John's through a narrow coastal passage which, however, may be closed when the ice pack is driven on shore by a southeasterly wind. The Strait of Belle Isle is closed to navigation from December until June.

Besides the local ice, there is Arctic ice which drifts southward from Davis Strait. It also reaches its maximum extent in March covering the Grand Banks to latitude 45°. During the spring and summer, icebergs are also observed. They originate from land ice in the far north and usually require about two years to reach the Grand Banks. Because of their great bulk which is mostly underwater, they are very dangerous to navigation. They melt rapidly when they reach the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.


Newfoundland lies within the Boreal Forest region, its short cool damp summers and long cold winters being unsuitable for the growth of most deciduous trees. There is, however, considerable variation in the vegetative pattern. Only two fifths of the area is covered with productive forest while one half is composed of barren lands, bogs and lakes. The chief forest areas lie within the drainage basins of the large rivers, the Humber, the Exploits, the Gander and the Terra Nova. Good timber is also found along the rivers which drain into White Bay and St. Georges Bay.

Elevation and drainage are the principal factors affecting vegetation. The best forest growth is found on well drained slopes which support mixed stands of balsam fir (Abies balsamea), white spruce (Picea glauca), black spruce (P. mariana), white birch (Betula papyrifera) and even some white pine (Pinus strobus). On the forest floor are found pigeon-berry (Cornus canadensis), snake-berry (Clintonia borealis), blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) and feather moss (Hypnum sp.). This plant association characterizes most of the productive forest.

The St. Georges district in the southwest may be considered a small subregion in which the forest is somewhat akin to that of the Acadian region. Here the lower well drained slopes carry more hardwoods including red maple (Acer rubrum) and yellow birch (Betula lutea) as well as white spruce and balsam fir. The undercover may contain trillium (Trillium sp.), violet (Viola sp.) and wood-fern (Aspidium sp.).

In the poorly drained swamp forests of the valley bottoms, black spruce is the dominant tree with an undergrowth of labrador tea (Ledum sp.) and sheep laurel. At higher elevations also black spruce is the dominant tree, giving way on the plateau summits at about 1,200 feet to open barrens of reindeer moss (Cladonia) and lichens, with sometimes small stunted black spruce. Sphagnum bogs may be found in both upland and lowland locations.


Several factors tend to make the soils of Newfoundland a poor base for agriculture except in favoured localities. They are podzols. The humid climate and the coniferous forest cover produce highly leached, acid conditions while the hard old granite rocks have, at best, only a limited supply of the elements needed for plant growth. Only a few small areas have been examined by soil surveyors as yet, but from their reports it is evident that the best chances for agricultural development lie in the coastal plains and the alluvial bottoms of the larger valleys where the soils are deep and less severely weathered. Among the locations which may be mentioned are the upper Humber Valley, the Codroy Valley, the northwest coast, St. Mary's Bay and Grand Falls.

The Grand Banks Newfoundland

Newfoundland is surrounded by shallow seas covering the great submerged continental shelf of eastern North America. The 100 fathoms contour is usually considered to mark the shoulder of the slope which leads to the ocean depths. Across this shelf there are a number of deep valleys, particularly the one which lies between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and leads toward the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. It is apparent that the island is only the more elevated undrowned portion of a great eastern continuation of the mainland of North America. The "Banks" are the more elevated portions of this submerged plateau; the most noted of these, the "Grand Banks", lying southeast of Newfoundland, have an area as great as that of the island itself.

The shallow waters of the Banks are located in the area where the warm Gulf stream is met by the cold Labrador current. The continuous mixing which takes place creates conditions of temperature, salinity and nutrient supply which are most favourable to the development of the small floating plants upon which the food supply of the fish population ultimately depends. Consequently the Banks, have, since their discovery, continued to be one of the greatest fishing grounds in the world.

Physiographic Divisions

Although the island might for the sake of simplicity be regarded as a plateau sloping gently in a northeasterly direction it is divided naturally into three physiographic units; the Western Uplands, the Central Plateau and the Avalon Peninsula.

The Western Uplands

The Long Range Plateau includes the northern peninsula of Newfoundland which extends unbroken from Bonne Bay to the Strait of Belle Isle, together with the more isolated highland masses extending southward from Bonne Bay to St. Georges Bay. It is separated from the rest of the island by a down-faulted lowland, marked by St. Georges Bay, Grand Lake and White Bay. The summits of the Long Range are found along the western margin of the Upland, below which a steep escarpment falls to a narrow coastal plain along the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Gros Morne, 2,651 feet above sea level, overlooking Bonne Bay and the isolated Lewis Hills, 2,763 feet, are the highest points on the island. A steep scarp marks the eastern border of the plateau, especially along White Bay where rocky cliffs 300 to 500 feet high overlook the sea. The Anguille Mountains, flat topped uplands whose highest point is 1,759 feet above sea level, overlook St. Georges Bay from the Southeast. On the east of these hills lies the Codroy Valley, bordered by steep escarpments. It merges northward with the coastal plain of St. Georges Bay.

The Central Plateau

The western edge of the central plateau is a more or less continuous escarpment overlooking the downfaulted lowlands which extend from the Codroy Valley to White Bay. Composed of more resistant rocks, this part of the plateau has summits over 2,000 feet, constituting the Southern Long Range. East of the valley of the Exploits River the Annieopsquotch Mountains also have summits about 2,000 feet in elevation. The general level of the plateau, however, is about 1,000 feet, with a barren rocky surface marked by innumerable lakes and bogs. The southern margin of the plateau is steep and fairly regular, suggesting that it also is a fault zone. From the south and west the surface slopes gently toward the northeast where it dips below sea level. In Bonavista Bay and Notre Dame Bay particularly, there are a great number of islands and indentations corresponding to the irregularities of the old peneplain surface.

Avalon Peninsula

Almost separated from the main body of the island by Trinity Bay and Placentia Bay, the Avalon Peninsula is essentially part of the same plateau. Its outline is very irregular with deep bays separating the peninsulas. The surface is generally between 500 and 1,000 feet in elevation and very rocky and barren.

Newfoundland Physiographic Development

Newfoundland was affected by three different mountain-building periods: the Taconic at the end of the Ordovician period, the Acadian foldings in Devonian time and the Appalachian folding and faulting during Permian time after the Iast of coal measures had been laid down.

The surface is a series of even-topped plateaus which are interpreted as old erosion surfaces similar to those found in the Maritime Provinces. Here, also, they are found to rise toward the north indicating that there has been a deformation of the earth's crust since these surfaces were cut. There seem to be three of these old erosion levels or peneplains as they are often called. The highest and oldest is represented by the flat top of the Long Range at about 2,200 feet, the second is seen in the higher valleys at about 1,300 feet and on the residual hills or monadhocks, to the east of the range. The lowest and youngest of these erosion levels is the most widespread and comprises the most of the plateau-like surface of the island ranging from 500 to 1,000 feet in elevation.


As in the neighbouring mainland, the surface of Newfoundland is covered by unconsolidated deposits of variable depth and great complexity. There seem to have been at least two periods of glaciation and may well have been more because the country has been very incompletely examined. There is some controversy among geologists as to whether the great continental ice caps extended far enough to cover the island or whether it had its own local glaciers. The ice-carved valleys, the numerous lakes in rock-basins on the plateau and the rounded shapes of the residual rock hills all point to the existence of an ice age in fairly recent time.There have also been recent changes in sea level. This is particularly evident along the much indented northeast coast. This is similar to the southern coasts of Maine and Nova Scotia and is to be explained in much the same way, as the result of the recent drowning of river valleys which had become entrenched during the uplift of the old erosion surface. Some overdeepening may also be present due to the work of the glaciers. There is also evidence of recent uplift of the land in the presence of raised marina beaches in various parts of the island.


Newfoundland possesses many rivers, but being a very irregularly shaped island, few of them are very long. Since the plateau of Newfoundland is tilted toward the northeast, most of the important rivers flow in that direction. Those draining to the south coast are short and rapid.The largest river is the Exploits, 200 miles long, draining an area of about 4,000 square miles in the central part of the island. In its drainage basin are a number of lakes; Red Indian Lake, 37 miles in length, is the largest. Exploits River empties into the Exploits Bay, a long arm of Notre Dame Bay. Farther east, Gander River, 100 miles long, and Terra Nova River, 70 miles in length, drain large areas. Gander Lake, drained by the river of the same name, is about 33 miles long. In the western part of the island, the largest river is the Humber, 80 miles in length. In its drainage basin are Grand Lake, about 56 miles long and 200 square miles in area, and Deer Lake which is about 15 miles long. There are many smaller river systems. These streams are important as sources of power, and as means of transporting pulpwood from the interior. In addition, they contain salmon and trout which are popular with visiting anglers.


The coastline of Newfoundland is estimated to be 6,000 miles long, very long indeed for its area of 43,000 square miles. From the map it is very noticeable that there are three distinct types of coastline:

I. Rectilinear coasts such as those along both sides of the Northern Peninsula and along the western part of the south shore. Such straight lines are probably related to major fault zones of the earth's crust. Good harbours are rather few.

2. The very much indented northeast facing coast from White Bay to Bonavista Bay. This coast is bordered by a great number of small islands. Between them and the mainland, and among the islands themselves, is a veritable maze of waterways to which Newfoundlanders have applied a number of curious geographic names such as "tickle", "run", "reach", "arm" and "sound".

3. The embayments of Eastern Newfoundland. The eastern part of the island is composed of a number of peninsulas between which are very large open bays such as Trinity Bay, Conception Bay, St. Mary's Bay, Placentia Bay and Fortune Bay. The shape of this coast suggests its origin in the drowning of a very old mountain range. For the most part, the shores are steep and rocky but there are a few good pouchshaped harbours, among them St. John's, the chief port of the island.
The coast is geographically the most important part of Newfoundland. Most of the people are settled along the bays and inlets and the interior of the country is practically empty.

Newfoundland and the Coast of Labrador

NEWFOUNDLAND, the newest and most easterly province of Canada, was actually the first to be discovered and settled. For several decades it ranked as one of the Dominions of the British Commonwealth but in 1934, because of economic difficulties, it reverted to the status of a British Colony. In 1949, Newfoundland became the tenth province in the Canadian Confederation. The Province consists of two main geographic units, the island of Newfoundland, itself, and the dependent mainland territory of Labrador, comprising a total area of about 153,000 square miles ( Fig. 23 ). We shall deal with these two sections separately.

Newfoundland Position and Area

Newfoundland is a large island, having an area of 42,734 square miles and located between 46°36′ and 51°39′ north latitude and between 52° 37′ and 59°24′ west longitude. It is separated from the Island of Cape Breton by Cabot Strait, about 60 miles in width, and from Labrador by the Strait of Belle Isle which is about 12 miles wide at its narrowest part. The island forms the eastern rim of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and is normally the first landfall of navigators from Europe to North America.

Structure and Relief

In general, the landforms of Newfoundland have much in common with those of the Maritime Provinces. Though rather rugged, the country possesses no areas of great relief except the Long Range parallel to the western coasts. Here the summits reach an elevation of more than 2,600 feet. As in Nova Scotia the major physiographic features are determined by a series of very old, worn-down fold-ridges with axes trending from northeast to southwest. Newfoundland is therefore to be regarded as a part of the Appalachian physiographic province of North America.


In common with Nova Scotia, also, Newfoundland is underlain by very old rocks. Rocks of Precambrian age are found in the Long Range and in the southeast corner of the island including the Avalon peninsula. In the west they are predominantly granites, schists and gneisses while in the east are great thicknesses of slates, quartzites, sandstones and conglomerates and a variety of volcanic rocks. The central part of the island is underlain by Paleozoic rocks which are for the most part of Ordovician age. Toward the north these are commonly sedimentary sandstones, shales and limestones, while toward the south these are wide-spread areas of such igneous rocks as granite and diorite. In the St. George's Bay and White Bay depressions, rocks of Carboniferous age are preserved. These also are sandstones, shales and limestones containing coal, gypsum and oil shale.

Canadian Regions

Remarkably little can be said about the whole area which would apply with equal validity to all of its parts. Geographers, therefore, have given much time and thought to the development of systems of regions. We have already in this introductory section presented regional divisions of the country on the bases of land form, climate, vegetation and soil. We have also glanced at the development of the political map of the country.

Climate, vegetation and soil are closely related. Any study of animal distribution would show a fairly similar pattern. If we superimposed this map upon one of land form regions we would get a fairly usable map of natural regions of Canada. Usable, that is, if we had no human populations with their different cultures, histories, political organizations and economic developments. Using these latter criteria we could delimit a whole series of human regions of which we have presented only the political divisions.

It is fairly obvious that population distribution has some correlation with natural regions and that political boundaries, whether following natural features such as mountains and rivers, or laid out as astronomical lines, have some relationship to population clusters. It is also fairly obvious that geographical regions of any size cannot be delimited on the basis of homogeneity alone. Instead we must admit that relationships are often a more powerful regional cement than similarities. There is even a certain regional "impress of the central authority", although it must be admitted that provincial differentiation is often weak enough.

The separate treatment is given to each of the following:

Newfoundland and its mainland dependency, Labrador.

The Maritime Provinces.


Southern Ontario.

Northern Ontario.

The Prairie Provinces.

British Columbia.

The Canadian Northland.

These do not coincide with any of the regional patterns of land form, climate, vegetation and soils which have been observed. They are not regions which might be readily agreed upon from inspection of the map of population distribution. They are not even political divisions. They are admittedly regions of convenience and their boundaries are arbitrary. Yet they are realities, known, understood and accepted by most Canadians without question.

Within each of these regions we shall try to integrate location and area, land forms, climate, vegetation, soils, population, settlement patterns and economic activities. We want to know how many people live "where, why and what of it". For example, Montreal and Toronto together contain one-sixth of Canada's population. They are even more important in their respective regions, in each case forming a functional core or nucleus. Cities are the products of their regions but they also tend to dominate them. It is with such relationships that regional geography is most vitally concerned.

The Cordilleran Region, Pacific Coast

The animal life of the northern part of British Columbia is much like that of the Boreal region already described while that of the Dry Belt resembles that of the Prairies. However, there are a considerable number of alpine species recorded while quite a number of species common to the Pacific Northwest but not found east of Rocky Mountains. Among the alpine mammals are the Rocky Mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis), mountain goat (Oreamnos montanus), mountain caribou (Rangifer montanus), the hoary marmot (Monax caligata), and the grizzly bear (Ursus horribilis). In the very dry parts of the Okanagan there is a desert fauna including a pocket gopher (Thomomys fuscus), pocket mouse (Perognathus lordi), western white-tailed jack rabbit (Lepus townsendii), sage grouse (Centrocerus urophasianus), western lark sparrow (Chondestes grammecus strigatus), poor-will (Phalaenoptilis nuttalli), rock wren (Salpincles obsoletus) and rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus).

Pacific Coast

The Pacific coast with its mild humid climate and luxuriant forests is inhabited by still another group of animals. Here are the Sitka deer (Odocoileus columbianus sitkensis), the elk (Cervus c. roosevelti), the black bear and several types of grizzly bear, the northwest wolf (Canis occidentalis gigas), the northwest skunk (Mephitis occidentalis) and the Pacific raccoon (Procyon psora). Some birds of the coastal forest are: Sitka grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus), red-breasted sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber), Oregon junco (Junco oreganus), lutescent warbler (Vermivora celata), varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius) and the russet-backed thrush (Hylocichla ustulata).

Marine mammals include the spotted harbour seal (Phoca richardii), northern sea lion (Eumatopias jubata) and various whales. Most notable among the fish are the salmon, including sockeye (Onocorhynchus nerka), spring or chinook(O, tachawytscha), coho (O. kisutch), pink (O. gorbuscha), chum (O. keta), and steelhead (Salmo gairdneri). The spring salmon sometimes attains a weight of 100 pounds but the others usually run from five to fifteen pounds.

Entering the west coast rivers to spawn they were caught in large numbers to form the chief food of the coast-dwelling Indians. The white man has made them the basis of the most valuable commercial fishery in Canada.

The Canadian Prairie is easily recognized as a separate faunal region

The Canadian Prairie is easily recognized as a separate faunal region, one which, of course extends some distance south of the international boundary. By zoologists it is labelled the Transition Zone as is also the grassland of the interior of British Columbia. The original grassland was inhabited by large grazing mammals, by many small burrowing species and by large and small carnivores which preyed upon them. There were also a great number of birds which preferred open country instead of forest, including those attracted to the edges of the "sloughs".

The buffalo or American bison (Bison bison), a great shaggy horned beast, though slightly smaller than the wood buffalo, covered the plains in huge herds, numbering millions. They furnished meat and hides to the Indian, who, after he had acquired the horse and the rifle from the white man, was able to make a comfortable living. The coming of the railway and the white hunter who killed for the hides alone, soon reduced them to a pitiful remnant. They are now increasing in National Park areas but their former range is now put to other uses and they will never again be a real geographic factor. Their total influence as such is rather hard to estimate for besides their usefulness to man, they must have exercised considerable influence upon the ecology of the grassland itself. It has been suggested that the borders of the prairie were considerably extended by grazing.

The prong-horned antelope (Antilocapra americana) and the elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) were also found in great numbers and have suffered almost the same fate as the buffalo. Other prairie mammals include the northern gopher (Thomomys talmoides), the pocket gopher (Geomyx bursarius), badger (Taxidea americana), coyote (Canis latrans) and the jack rabbit (Lepus townsendii).

Among the breeding birds of the prairie may be mentioned the upland plover (Bartramia longicanda), prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido ), sharp-tailed grouse (Pediocetes phasianellus) cowbird (Molothrus alter), Brewer's blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalis), western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus), Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni), gopher hawk (Buteo regalis), California gull (Larus californicus), Franklin's gull (Larus pipixcan) , mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), black duck (Anas rubripes) and pintail (Dafila acuta). The sloughs of the Prairie region and the lakes to the north make ideal habitats for waterfowl hence they are more numerous in western Canada than in the east.

Southeastern Canada as a faunal region

As a faunal region, southeastern Canada may be said to include, a strip from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic including the southern parts of Ontario and Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. It includes those portions of the Alleghenian and Carolinian life zones which have been mapped in Canada, as well as the southern portion of the Canadian life zone. It is the region most altered by the hand of man, both in effect upon habitat and, more directly, upon the animals themselves.

Many of the animals of the northern forest are occasionally found in this transition zone. The moose is found in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec, so also is the black bear and wolf. The large mammal which characterizes the region, however, is undoubtedly the white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). It is not an inhabitant of the dense coniferous forest but rather of the cutover areas, forest borders and partially cleared areas. Deer are not so plentiful in Southern Ontario as they were during the period of early settlement when they fed on the second growth of the settlers clearings and formed an important source of meat. There are still many, however, in the swamps and wooded areas. They thrive in the "Near North" or border area of the Shield. Algonquin Park, which is a protected area, has a very high density of deer population. Nova Scotia, with an area of 20,000 square miles, has one of the greatest deer populations of the whole region. An annual kill of 30,000 is estimated to be only 20% of the total population. Here it is quite evident that deer and moose come into competition for food and the moose are losing ground in spite of their slightly higher reach for browse. In Algonquin Park a browse line is quite evident on white cedar and it is impossible to find a white cedar seedling in the southern part of the park. There are no cedars in Nova Scotia where studies in the Chignecto and Liscomb Game Sanctuaries have established that the important food plants are birches, red maple, mountain maple (Acer spicatum), poplars, withe-rod (Viburnum cassinoides), hazel, red-berried elder (Sambucus pubens), wild cherry and balsam fir.

The cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus) was probably not indigenous but since its appearance has spread throughout Southern Ontario. The European hare or jack rabbit (Lepus europaeus) has likewise spread over the same area since its introduction in 1912. Small rodents worth mention are the muskrat, black squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and woodchuck (Marmota monax). The latter tends to take possession of old pastures, especially on sandy and gravelly soils, and may even invade cultivated fields where its burrows and spoil heaps are an unmitigated nuisance. Field mice and other small rodents also abound. The skunk (Mephitis mephitis), raccoon (Procyon lotor), red fox, bobcat (Lynx rufus), mink and weasel are found in various parts of the region.

Among the upland game birds are ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) and bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), the prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) on Manitoulin Island, and the introduced pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). The sea coast, the Great Lakes and many smaller lakes are frequented by gulls among which the herring gull (Larus argentatus) and ring-billed gull (L. delawarensis) are the most common. Among the many other birds which might be mentioned are the cardinal (Richmondena cardinalis), catbird (Dumtella carolinensis), robin (Turdus migratorius), whip-poor-will (Antrastomus vociferus), bobolink (Dolichonyx orizivorus), meadowlark (Sturnella magma), redwinged blackbird (Agilaeus phoenicius) and mourning dove (Zenaidura macrouna). Two introduced nuisances are the English sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

The waters of Eastern Canada contain many species of fish, some of them valued by both anglers and commercial fishermen. The king of them all, probably, is the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) which formerly entered all rivers draining to the Atlantic, including the streams flowing into Lake Ontario. Its range is now greatly restricted. A landlocked form, the ouananiche is found in some Quebec lakes. All the species mentioned in the Boreal zone are found here and some others including the sturgeon (Acipenser rubicundus), the muskellunge (Esox obriensis), the small-mouthed black bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis).

The Boreal Life Zone is often subdivided into Hudsonian and Canadian belts

The Boreal Life Zone is often subdivided into Hudsonian and Canadian belts which are nearly coextensive with Subarctic and Boreal forest regions which have already been discussed. Zoologic associations, however, are fairly constant throughout this vast area. There are some species, however, with a more restricted or even local habitat.

The moose (Alces americana) ranges north to the limit of trees and is found all the way from Yukon to Nova Scotia, but is not found in Newfoundland. Primarily a browser, its food is obtained from shrubs and low growing trees to a height of about seven feet. In summer they feed extensively upon aquatic vegetation in lakes, ponds and the stillwaters of northern streams. In winter they band together in "yards" where coniferous growth is plentiful. The woodland caribou (Rangilet caribou) was also originally found throughout these zones but is now found rather sparingly through the northern portion of the range. The wood buffalo (Bison bison athabascae) was formerly found as far north as Great Slave Lake but is now confined to the Wood Buffalo Park. Here also are large numbers of plains buffalo (Bison bison). The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is also found in the park.

The black bear (Ursus americanus), the timber wolf (Canis lupus), the coyote (Canis latrans), the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), the common fox (Vulpes fulva), are among the larger carnivorous animals. Smaller ones include the northern skunk (Mephitis hudsonica), the otter (Lutra canadensis), the marten (Martes americana), the fisher (Martes pennanti), the mink (Mustela vison) and various weasels (Mustela spp.)

The rodent population includes the porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), the red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus), the western chipmunk (Eutamias minimus) and the meadow mouse (Microtus pennsylvanicus). Two larger rodents of aquatic habitat characterize this zone almost as well as the moose and black bear: the beaver (Castor canadensis) and the muskrat (Ondatra zibethica). Badly depleted in many parts of its range, the beaver is now staging a comeback under present trapping regulations. The effect of the beaver upon the landscape is considerable; creating ponds, bogs and meadows throughout the northern forest, he maintains the habitat of his choice. The snowshoe rabbit or varying hare (Lepus americanus) in its various forms is found throughout the Boreal Forest. It is an important source of food for some of the valuable carnivorous furbearing animals and is also eaten by the Indians. The population of these animals shows great fluctuation during an approximate ten-year cycle, with a consequently similar effect upon the numbers of lynx and other furbearers which prey upon them.

Many species of fish inhabit the lakes throughout the glaciated Canadian Shield. Among them are several species of whitefish (Coregonus), pike (Esox lucius), yellow pickerel (Stizostedion vitreum), lake trout (Cristivomer namaycush) and tullibee (Leucichthys lucidus).

This is also the breeding ground of dozens of species of birds. Characteristic of the northern or Hudsonian zone are the fox sparrow (Passerella iliaca) and the pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator); the Canadian zone may be represented by the brownheaded chickadee (Penthestes hudsonicus), hermit thrush (Hylacichla guttata), Canada jay (Perisoreus canadensis) and the three-toed woodpecker (Picoides trydactylis). Around the lakes are found such fisheaters as the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and the kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon).

Arctic Canada

It is somewhat remarkable to find the far north inhabited by large grazing animals. The muskox (Ovibos moschatus), one of the hardiest animals known, formerly ranged the Arctic from the tree line to the north part of Ellesmere Island. It was estimated that less than 500 remained on the mainland and perhaps 12,000 on the islands. The Barren Ground caribou (Rangifer arcticus) is the most important game mammal of the mainland tundra area. The caribou of the northern islands are smaller and apparently intergrade with the polar caribou (R. pearyi) found on Ellesmere Island. The Dominion Government has introduced the reindeer (Rangifer rangifer) into the western mainland area. Carnivorous animals of the region include the polar bear (Thalarctos maritimus), the arctic wolf (Canistundrarum), the white fox (Alopex lagopus) and the arctic weasel (Mustela arctica). The arctic hare (Lepus arcticus), the brown lemming (Lemmus trimucronatus),' the white lemming (Decrostonyx groenlandicus), Parry ground squirrel (Citellus parryii) and various meadow mice (Microtus sp.) also inhabit the Barren Ground. Sea life is important in the Arctic Archipelago, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), the white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) and the narwhal (Monodon monoceras) were the subject of a short-lived whaling industry and are still taken by the Eskimos. The ringed seal (Phoca hispida), harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) and the bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) are the most common seals, while the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) ranges north to Barrow Strait and Lancaster Sound. The most common food fish along the Arctic coast and islands is the Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). Whitefish (Coregonus), lake trout (Cristivomer namaycush), grayling (Thymallus signifer) and pike (Esox lucius) are found in the mainland lakes.

While not by any means including all the birds to be seen in the Arctic the following are typical. Willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) and rock ptarmigan (L. rupestris) and the only feathered game available in winter. Eider ducks (Somateria spp.) nest throughout the tundra region. The Lapland longspur (Calcarius lapponicus), snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) and the redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni and A. linaria) are representative Arctic sparrows. Common birds of prey are the snowy owl (Nyctea nyctea) and the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus).

Faunal Distribution Canada

The presence, characteristics and distribution of animal populations constitute an important phase of systematic geography which is largely ignored by many regional geographers. In competition with advancing and increasing human populations wild life has had to give way, many species being exterminated or forced into the more inaccessible places where the scattered bands eke out a precarious existence. This is more especially true of the larger mammals, the grazing species of the plains such as buffalo and the antelope, and the larger carnivorous such as the bears and wolves. Bird life too has suffered through the destruction of their breeding and feeding grounds as well as through indiscriminate hunting. It is true, of course, that the destruction of one type of habitat cannot be accomplished without the creation of another. While the original bird life of southern Ontario departed with its primeval forests, an association of different species has taken its place. We now see clouds of starlings instead of passenger pigeons. Pigeons thrive in cities. The same principle applies to mammals; in the unbroken forest one sees very few woodchucks, but in old pastures they become plentiful.

Animal life is more, however, than a mobile feature of the landscape. It may be the basis of human occupance. Hunting and fishing provided and still do provide the means of existence for primitive peoples. The plains Indian was a hunter of the buffalo; the Barren Ground Eskimo gets his living from the Barren Ground caribou and from fishing. The primitive way of life has given way to a curious hybrid civilization in the case of the forest dwelling Indian who has, for three centuries, been trapping furs for sale to the white man, but the basis of his existence is still the natural wild life.

A third phase of animal relations is the status of the predator. There are few animals in Canada from which man himself is in any danger and then only under special circumstances. But with the disappearance of natural prey, predators have developed a liking for domestic animals. Hawks and foxes take the farmers' chickens, wolves and coyotes pull down sheep and calves, to mention a few examples. Another type of predatory relationship is seen when rabbits destroy young fruit trees or when deer invade vegetable gardens.

Animals are subject to climatic influence, more particularly perhaps to temperature, and life zones have been drawn up on that basis. Water supply is important. The need for shelter and food relations, whether direct or through the medium of a food chain, imply a strong dependence upon vegetation. Although animals may run, swim or fly about, indeed they may migrate and vanish completely from a region for certain seasonal periods, yet for the most part faunal regions are nearly equivalent to vegetation regions.

The Brown Podzolic Soil Zone Canada

Brown Podzolic soils are to be regarded as a transition between true Podzols and the Grey Brown Podzolic soils. They are found on the southern fringe of the Canadian Shield in Ontario and Quebec and, in the latter province, on a considerable portion of the Appalachian uplands as well. For the most part cool moist climates and forests of mixed conifers and deciduous trees are found. The Brown Podzolic soil profile is much like that of the Podzol except that it does not have a pronounced A2 leached horizon.

Such soils are not highly valued for agriculture but considerable acreages are farmed, often successfully. Some land now in farms will revert to forest but a mixed type of agriculture may be expected to maintain itself in the Eastern Townships, in the pockets of clay soils in the Nipissing lowlands, and in other such areas.

The Grey Brown Podzolic Soil Zone

This is one of the smaller soil zones of Canada, being a northern outlier of the broad belt of temperate, forested lands of northeastern United States. The northern boundary of this zone in Southern Ontario is sharply demarcated by the geological boundary of the Canadian Shield although the hardwood forests are not so confined.

As in the western plains, the parent materials are almost all glacial and derived from calcareous sedimentary rocks with an admixture of crystalline rock from the Shield. With a great wealth of land forms, drainage conditions vary and several different soil profiles will be found associated on the same parent material. In all cases with free drainage, however, the normal soil profile is that of the Grey Brown Podzolic soil. Apart from the forest litter and mould of the virgin soil, the profile is well differentiated into A 1, A 2 and B horizons. The A 1, or surface soil, is greyish brown in colour, slightly acid, and has a fair content of organic matter well incorporated in it. The A 2, or leached horizon, is usually pale brown or brownish yellow in colour and not white or very light grey as in the podzol. The B, or horizon of accumulation is brown in colour, usually sharply differentiated, containing more clay than the A horizons and having a small blocky or nut-like structure. All the lime is leached from both A and B horizons but it is nearly always found in the upper part of the parent material; there seems, however, to be little accumulation as in the case of the grassland and Grey Wooded soils. Most profiles are of only moderate depth with few much more than 36 inches.

The normal soils of this zone are of moderate fertility and under a wisely conducted mixed type of farming maintain their productivity. Some of the associated intrazonal soils are even more productive, once artificial drainage has been established. For the most part, the soils of this zone have been cleared and very little land is left in forest. In some places there are pressing problems of soil erosion and water control which are beginning to receive attention. Though not by any means the largest area of agricultural land ill Canada, it will continue to be one of the most important because of the variety of products which may be produced.

Soils of Northern Canada

The soils of the north have not yet been studied very fully but various observations have been made in the Mackenzie valley. As might be expected, the presence of permafrost in most locations inhibits the development of a mature soil profile although not always bringing about the formation of peat on the surface. On the great Pleistocene terraces, there is sufficient drainage to induce a considerable degree of podzolization.

The High Lime Soil Zone Canada

The High Lime soils are found in the vicinity of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba in an area where climate and vegetation indicate the development of Grey Wooded soils. Highly calcareous parent material derived from Paleozoic limestones has inhibited the development of normal profiles. The dark surface soils may be highly alkaline and contain traces of unleached calcium carbonate. The profiles are quite shallow. Many areas are very stony and thus unsuitable for farming.

The Soils of the Cordilleran Region

It is quite impossible to depict, on a small scale map, the complicated and imperfectly known soils pattern of this region. We have already noted the occurrence of Brown, Dark Brown, Black and Grey Wooded soils. There are also cool, moist mountain areas where true podzols have developed. Large areas, however, are so steep and rocky that normal soil development is impossible. Where it is, the mountain sides display soil zones, arranged vertically, in which there is a regular sequence from Brown soils in the valleys to mountain podzols and alpine tundra at the top.

Soils of the Pacific Coast

The coastal margin of the Cordilleran region has specific climatic and vegetational characteristics and it also has soils which are quite different from those of the interior. With high humidity and a coniferous forest, its soils are subject to podzolic leaching but are classified as Brown Podzolic, rather than as Podzols. In the area with an almost Mediterranean type of summer dry climate, the subsoils have a reddish tinge indicating a relationship with the soils of California.

Soil Zones of Eastern Canada

The soils of eastern Canada have all been developed under a humid climate and forest vegetation and are classified as Podzols, Brown Podzolic and Grey Brown Podzolic soils.

The Eastern Podzol Zone

This is a large zone, the exact size and boundaries of which are yet undefined, although pedologists are quite familiar with the soils of its southern portion in the Maritime Provinces, Newfoundland, Quebec and Ontario. A division is usually made between the podzols of the Maritimes and Southern Quebec and those of the Canadian Shield. This is not only because of the difference in rock material but because the southeastern zone receives more rainfall and its soils are weathered more deeply and more completely than those of the northern region. In both areas, however, the soils are acid and infertile. Only a small area has been cleared for agriculture, except on Prince Edward Island which is the most completely occupied and cultivated province in Canada.

Soil Zones of Western Canada

The Brown Soil Zone

Brown soils and the associated characteristic short-grass vegetation have developed under the most arid climatic conditions in Canada. They are found in the southwestern part of Saskatchewan, the southeastern part of Alberta and in some of the valleys of the southern interior of British Columbia. In general, Brown soils have the shallowest profiles of the grassland soils. The brown top soil may be quite light in colour and it grades into a whitish calcareous horizon at a depth of one to two feet. Other salts may be present as well.

The Dark Brown Soil Zone

The Dark Brown soils are found in a wide crescent extending through the three Prairie Provinces and also in the intermountain areas of British Columbia. The top soil is dark brown in colour and somewhat deeper than that of the Brown soil while the lime accumulation lies at a greater depth and is less concentrated. These are the fertile soils of the "Wheat Belt".

The Black Soil Zone

The Black soils are found under a prairie vegetation of tall grasses and flowering plants interspersed here and there by small groves of aspen and other trees, often termed a "Park" landscape. The surface soil is deep, granular and black with a high content of organic matter. The whole profile is usually deeper than in the other grassland soils although there are marginal areas of "shallow black" soils.

The Grey Wooded Soils

Grey Wooded soils are found in a very large area of the Prairie Provinces and the interior of British Columbia. They have developed in a cooler and slightly more moist climate than that of the grasslands. In keeping with the forest vegetation these soils have grey-leached A horizons but the subsoil contains a zone of lime accumulation similar to that of the grasslands. This is apparently an adjustment in response to the influences of a climate which is alternately wet and dry. The natural fertility of these soils is lower than that of the dark coloured grassland soils. A mixed type of agriculture is therefore necessary. Because of surface conifiguration and the occurrence of swamps and bogs, only a small part of this area is potentially arable.

Canada Soils

The soil is the medium in which plants grow. It consists of mineral matter derived from the underlying rocks and organic matter mainly derived from the vegetative cover. The soil is not everywhere the same, its characteristics vary in both vertical and horizontal directions. Almost everyone is aware that soils have different colours and that there is a great difference between sand and clay, but few people are fully aware of the geographical distribution and significance of these differences. This is not surprising since it is only within recent years that soil scientists themselves have begun to study these matters intensively. As the results of their work unfold they are being adopted by geographers and used to amplify geographical description and provide further explanation of geographical problems.

The Soil Profile

All soil description is based upon observation of the soil profile which is the face of a vertical exposure from the surface down to the unaltered parent material. Such a face is seen to be composed of zones or horizons having different colours as well as other physical characteristics.

1. An accumulation of organic debris upon the surface, in various stages of decay. This is particularly noticeable in forest areas and usually absent in grassland. Soil scientists designate it as the A0 horizon.
2. A dark coloured horizon usually containing a relatively high amount of organic matter. This is known as the A 1 and is well developed in grassland soils.
3. A light coloured, leached horizon, well developed under forest vegetation but obscure or lacking in grassland. It is designated A 2.
4. The B horizon in which the material leached from the upper horizons is deposited. It is usually some shade of brown in colour and is somewhat more compact than the A horizon.
5. The C horizon or parent material. Because of minor differences soil descriptions often record other horizontal subdivisions such as A 3, B 1, B 2, etc.

Soil Geography

Pedogeography or soil geography in its modern sense began with the observations of Dokuchaev, a Russian scientist who was sent out by the Imperial government in the 1870's to classify land for new settlement. He was impressed by the great regional differences in soil qualities throughout the empire. The great grasslands or steppes of southern Russia were underlain by chernozem, rich black soil which when cultivated yielded good crops of wheat. The forests of the north, on the other hand, grew upon grey soil, podzol, which had little natural fertility and required a great deal of careful attention in order to produce rye and potatoes while wheat could not be grown successfully. Dokuchaev found that black soils were formed on many types of bedrock or parent material and that the same rocks might be found under the podzols. It was clear to him that soils were to be correlated with vegetation and climate rather than with bed rock. It was true, of course, that the mineral matter or skeleton of the soil was derived from the bed rock but, provided that enough time has elapsed, all soils formed under the same climatic influences eventually came to be much alike in colour, organic matter content, chemical reaction and natural fertility. This geographic theory of soil distributions was accepted and elaborated by a number of pupils and co-workers of Dokuchaev and has eventually become familiar to soils men and geographers the world over.

The Niagara Forest Region, The Acadian Forest Region

Much of what is written above concerning the composition and appearance of the vegetation of the larger Great Lakes region applies also to the much smaller strip along the northern shore of Lake Erie which Halliday calls the Niagara section of the deciduous forest region of North America. There are differences, however. Except for the pines of the sand plains there are few evergreens while, on the other hand, there are additional species of deciduous trees. Among the latter are chestnut (Castanea dentata), tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), magnolia (Magnolia acuminata), Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioica), mockernut hickory (Carya alba), black walnut (Juglans nigra), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and sassafras (Sassafras variifolium) as well as others. The chestnuts, here as in the eastern states, were practically wiped out by the chestnut blight. In actuality the southern hardwoods form but a small portion of the standing forest which resembles its northern neighbour very closely. The area is also, of course, the habitat of many small plants not found farther north.

The Acadian Forest Region

The Acadian Forest is the result of an adjustment of the forest to the slightly cooler and considerably more moist climate of the Maritime Provinces. In general appearance and composition, however, there is strong resemblance to the forests of the Great Lakes--St. Lawrence region. Hemlock, white pine and red pine that characterize that region are well represented here, as are also the characteristic hardwoods, beech, sugar maple and yellow birch. Here also are found white spruce, balsam fir and aspen, reminiscent of the boreal forest. The dominant and characteristic tree, however, is red spruce (Picea rubra) which is found throughout this region and, apparently, to no great extent anywhere else. This forest was early and most completely exploited. White pine especially was in demand for masts and spars. The old original stands are said to have contained trees six feet in diameter and more than 200 feet high. Lumbering followed, for much of the forest was within easy reach of the long indented coastline. Very large areas were burned over. Nevertheless, except for Prince Edward Island, most of the Acadian Forest remains, and will remain to produce lumber and pulpwood for the future.

The shrubs and herbaceous plants of this region show nearly as many affinities with the boreal region as with the St. Lawrence region. Areas of acid, sandy soils, especially, have rhodora (Rhodora canadensis), blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), lambkill (Kalmia angustifolia), wintergreen (Pyrola sp.) and mayflower (Epigaea repens). The mayflower is the floral emblem of Nova Scotia. Bracken, sweetfern and raspberry are also common.An important segment of this vegetation region is its sea coast margin, particularly along the Bay of Fundy and its headwaters where the tidal range is great, many salt tolerant plants are found which do not have extensive distribution elsewhere. Characteristic of this "salt marsh" are fox grass (Spartina juncea), black grass (Juncus gerardii), and marsh greens (Plantago juncoides). The latter, as its name implies, is commonly eaten in the same manner as spinach.

The Great Lakes--St. Lawrence Forest Region

This forest formation extends from Lake of the Woods to Baie de Chaleur and is, essentially, a transition between the boreal coniferous forest and the deciduous forest of eastern North America. The dominant conifers are white pine (Pinus strobus), red pine (P. resinosa), hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and white cedar (Thuja occidentalis); others, apparently invaders from the north, are jack pine, tamarack, balsam fir and white spruce. The dominant hardwood deciduous trees are: sugar maple (Acer saccharum), beech (Fagus grandifolia), yellow birch (Betula lutea), red oak (Quercus borealis), bur oak (Q. macrocarpa) and white oak (Q. alba) on upland soils; with red maple (A. rubrum), silver maple (A. saccharinum), white elm (Ulmus americana), white ash (Fraxinus americana) and black ash (F. nigra) on the low ground. This forest region has probably more species and a greater number of associations than any other in Canada. It is especially noted for the excellent pine timber and deals which for approximately a century were shipped from the St. Lawrence in great quantities.

The vegetation also includes many smaller plants, shrubs and herbaceous forms of the forest floor and the cleared lands. It is not possible to name them all but mention may be made of ground hemlock (Taxus canadensis), juniper (Juniperus communis), hazel (Corylus rostrata), witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), sumach (Rhus typhina), poison ivy (R. toxicodendron), service berry (Amelanchier canadensis), wild grape (Vitis vulpina), hawthorn (Crataegus canadensis and many others), raspberry (Rubus idaeus ), blackberry (Rubus canadensis), thimbleberry (R. occidentalis) and honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica). While these may be found sparingly as rather slender stunted forms in the high forest, they show their best growth in cleared, uncultivated lands. Hawthorns have taken over many thousands of acres of pasture in southern Quebec and southern Ontario and large areas are occupied by almost impenetrable tangles of raspberries and brambles. The herbaceous flora of the deciduous forest floor is much richer than that of the boreal region. A few of the common species are mayapple (Podophyllure peltatum), herb Robert (Geranium Robertianum), Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), lily of the valley (Maianthemum canadense), baneberry (Actaea pachypoda), white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) , enchanter's nighshade (Corcaea lutetiana), sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis), blue wood aster (Aster cordifolius), Ontario aster (A. ontarionis), calico aster (A. lateriflorus), Canada fleabane (Erigeron canadensis) and Canada golden rod (Solidago canadensis). There are many species of aster and goldenrod, almost unnoticed in the forest, which take over large areas of unimproved, low pasture land. On drier sites there is sometimes an almost complete coverage of mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and blueweed (Echium vulgare). As a matter of fact, in most of settled Ontario and Quebec the natural vegetation of the roadsides, fence rows and old fields is more characteristic geographically than the once dominant, but now vanished, forest. Not many geographers, however, are qualified botanists. Nor is a once-over by a taxonomist sufficient. The scene changes from season to season, almost from week to week, from early spring with its faint green, through the succession of summer flowers to the colourful autumn. This is especially emphasized by Macoun and Malte in the following passage:

"Very characteristic of the zone is the autumnal colouring of the leaves of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. This autumnal colouring lasts a comparatively long time, from about the first week in September to the second week in October, dependent upon the dryness of the season. During that period the most splendid display of colours is exhibited, especially in the open mixed woods where underbrush is well developed. Every shade of yellow, golden bronze, red and scarlet is mixed in a gorgeous symphony of colours generally most marvellously modulated by the somber dark green or bluish green of the conifers which are dotted among the deciduous trees. No such wealth of colour is ever met with in any other country." 1

Add to this the lush green of the pastures, the blue of alfalfa in bloom, the changing tints of the ripening fields of wheat, oats and corn as well as the complete mosaic of other crops and it is little wonder that this region has developed a healthy school of landscape painting.