Regional Geography Of Canada History Essay
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Atlantic Provinces: The criteria chosen for the Atlantic Provinces is based on economic factors. The economy is based on primary resource production, such as fishing and mining. Incomes are low in the Atlantic Provinces, and there is a dependence on financial aid from the government. Politically, this region encompasses New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the island of Newfoundland. This area does not have the population or urbanization to dominate in the Canadian or world market. This entire area is a hinterland, lacking a large urban base.
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Lowlands: This area, defined by its landforms, is bounded by the United States to the south and the Canadian Shield to the north. This area is known as the heartland of Canada. The majority of the Canadian cities are located in this region. Although the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Lowlands is the smallest region out of the six discussed in this course, this region encompasses the core of Canada, including much of the populace. The climate here is rich and supports a good growing season. Much of the manufacturing in the country is done in this area, and resources come in from other regions, the core of the heartland-hinterland concept.
Canadian Shield: This is the largest region of the six discussed in this course. The Shield covers fifty percent of Canada's mainland. The criteria chosen for this region is that of a landform, and in particular the exposed rock that covers the landscape. Many Canadians know some of this area as cottage or lake country. Economically, this area contributes to Canada's heartland with its primary resource base.
Western Interior: This region was also selected based on landform. Bounded by the Rocky Mountains to the west and the Canadian Shield to the east, this area encompasses the three provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba, commonly known as the Prairie Provinces. This region has a delineation line between the northern-forested region and the grassland region of the south.
Since this area does cover the three Prairie Provinces in their entirety, it makes sense that this region's criterion is also based on politics. Some of the other regions encompass more than one province, or portions of a province. However, the provinces in themselves are quite different, particularly in the division of each between grassland and forested land, and the uses of each area are quite different. This region is all hinterland, supplying the core with agriculture from the south and resource based primary industry to the north.
British Columbia: This area is primarily a landform region made up of mountains and valleys. The clear line of the Rocky Mountains to the east separates this region from the Western Interior. Differing from other regions, British Columbia's landform is quite varied throughout the province. From the mountains and valleys in the middle of the province, to the arid desert in the south, to the coastal mountains in the west, this province has a wide variance in landform.
British Columbia could also be defined based on economic factors. British Columbia has a large resource base of fishing, mining and forestry that supplies the core. Since British Columbia has more access to the Asian market due to its proximity, it also is able to supply that market directly without having to go through the heartland of Canada in Ontario and Quebec.
The North: This is the only political region amongst the six regions discussed in this course. The division here is the region north of 60 degrees north latitude, including Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory. The North has incredible diversity of landform and economics. Part of the Yukon area is very mountainous and parts of the eastern portions of the north share similarities with the Canadian Shield.
2.) A.) Ontario
3.) Define the following in one or two paragraphs each:
A.) Core and periphery:
Core and periphery is a definition of Canada's geographic structure, also known as heartland and hinterland. The basis of this geographic structure is that a core has physical qualities that make it desirable as well as having access to foreign investment and an active market. The periphery supports the core, sending resources to the core in order for growth to occur.
Most of the populace resides in the core, either being a metropolis type of area or a well-integrated system of connected cities. The periphery is very different, and is dependent on the core, and lacks the political power and population of the core. This concept of core and periphery can be utilized in various scales, that from a downtown core of a small town and its periphery, to the industrial core (heartland) of Canada located in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Lowlands region and the remainder of Canada being the periphery or hinterland.
The core and the periphery survive in an interdependent type of relationship. The economy of the core depends on the resources of the periphery and the periphery depends on the core economically as well.
As all communities once began, living in remote areas was the way of life. Slowly, villages, towns and cities began to form, some eventually becoming the metropolises of today. Most Canadians live in urban communities, or areas of more than 1000 people. We can see today that surrounding our urban centres are rural areas that are fast losing their farm status and becoming more and more urban.
This move from rural to more centralized areas is known as urbanization. In the history of Canada, primary based industry began in the rural areas. As the industrial base has changed towards the tertiary or service industry, the urbanization of Canada has increased. With industrialization and movements in economic factors, more of the populace is able to live in urban areas. There are more services in the urban areas, and everything becomes easier to access, or more centralized. The urban areas have more of these tertiary industries to support a larger population versus the rural areas that have been increasingly unable to support an economic base of industry.
Similar to core and periphery above, regionalism can be defined at varying degrees of scale. In some respects Nationalism reflects the thoughts, and culture of an entire nation; and regionalism speaks of smaller regions based within a nation. The regionalism of the Atlantic Provinces, for instance is a construct of sentiments or feelings shared by those in that region, summating into somewhat of a collective.
Canada's growth and development has been one of regions, the early settlement of the Maritime Provinces and the establishment of Quebec and Ontario being three examples of distinct regions within the nation. The regions of the British Columbia, The North and the Western Interior all share in some common thinking, and are different enough to the neighbouring region to show their differences.
D.) Canadian Ecumene:
The Canadian Ecumene is the area in Canada is where people live or habitate, the part of the land that is utilized. The largest Ecumene is located in the Windsor-Montreal corridor, encompassing a large portion of Canada's population. The majority of the population of Canada lives in a narrow belt of land next to the US border. Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are all located essentially next to the United States. Much of Canada is considered to be difficult to live in due to the lack of availability of agriculture, and would be considered nonecumene, or uninhabitable.
Canada's Ecumene could be thought of as a group of islands, separated by long sections where there is very little habitation. These islands are located in a strip of land next to the United States. Much of the north is difficult to live, due to the poor climate and lack of agriculture and so most of the populace lives in the south in an area with roads, railways and good access to agriculture.
E.) Tertiary Industries:
The slow growth in the urbanized world is a movement towards the tertiary industries, also commonly referred to as the service industry. In the history of Canada, we have observed a slow change from a primary based economy to one based on the tertiary industry. Early in the history of Canada, more than half of the labour was involved in the primary resource sector, but as industrialization took over, more and more of the labour force is involved in the tertiary service industry.
In Canada's youth, before the invention of many machines, people made up a large portion of the labour force; they were mainly involved in the primary industries. Now, with the ways of production and resource development going to that of the machine, more and more of the population is involved in these tertiary or service-based industries, much of the services to support the primary and secondary resource bases.
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