In Canada, there are diverse and reliable sources of energy: oil, natural gas, hydroelectricity, coal, nuclear (uranium), solar, wind, tidal and biomass. Canada is the fifth largest energy producer in the world, after Russia, China, United States and Saudi Arabia, and the eighth largest consumer of energy. Energy consumption sustains economic growth and our standard of living. Canadians are the fourth largest users of energy per person in the world. The energy sector in 2007 contributed 5.6% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and $90 billion in exports.

Given our vast energy resources Canada has both renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Renewable energy is generated from natural resources that are renewable (naturally replenished), for example, hydroelectricity. Non-renewable energy is generated from finite resources that will eventually deplete or become too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve, for example, crude oil.

List of Topics:

Non-renewable Resources

Coal Resources

Canada has about 1% of the world’s coal resources. Ninety-seven per cent of Canada’s coal is found in the Western Provinces, although it is also found in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. There are coal resources in Northern Canada, but they are not well explored. Coal is used to generate electricity (thermal or steam coal) and to make steel (metallurgical or coking coal, used to produce the coke that, in turn, serves as a heat source and reducing agent in the steel manufacturing process). Depicted on the map are the major coal deposits in Canada, categorized by rank, and the locations of major coal fields and coal mines, major coal transportation routes and major coal-powered electrical generating stations. View more details on GeoGratis.


Crude Oil and Natural Gas Resources

Canada has significant proven reserves of crude oil (178 billion barrels), second only to those of Saudi Arabia. Canadian natural gas reserves were 58 trillion cubic feet as of year-end 2006. These resources are found in the country’s seven major sedimentary basins. The primary petroleum-producing sedimentary basin is the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), which extends from the Canadian Shield to the Rocky Mountains through Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. There are also producing basins in southern Ontario, offshore Newfoundland, and the Scotian Shelf. Potential reserves are also found in Northern Canada, where an estimated 30 per cent of Canada’s conventional oil resources are located. The map shows the major petroleum-producing fields (or pools) of conventional natural gas, crude oil and the oil sands, as well as the extensive pipeline network. View more details on GeoGratis.


Uranium Resources

Uranium is a common element throughout the Earth’s crust, soils, and oceans. Uranium resources are naturally occurring deposits that may have a sufficient concentration of uranium to support mining operations. Canada has about 8% of the world’s unmined uranium resources, but accounts for some 25% of the global primary uranium production. Canada’s uranium mines are located in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, which has ore grades as high as 21% uranium metal, an order of magnitude larger than any other deposits in the world. The nuclear industry provides about 15% of Canada’s electrical power (50% of Ontario’s). The map shows districts with potential for uranium development, small occurrences of uranium, locations of uranium mines and facilities, and locations of nuclear facilities that generate electrical power. View more details on GeoGratis.


Oil and Gas Fields, Pipelines and Processing Plants, 1970, Eastern Canada

Contained within the 4th Edition (1974) of the Atlas of Canada is a collection of graphics and two maps. The first map shows the location of oil and gas fields, pipelines and processing plants for Eastern Canada. The capacity and location of oil refineries and gas processing plants are also denoted. The second map shows distribution and production of coal for 1970. The location and types of coal deposits are denoted as well as coal mine locations and type of operation. Graphs for coal producing areas are superimposed on the second map and collectively represent the value and weight of more than 99% of the coal produced in Canada for 1970. These maps are accompanied by a set of graphs providing coal production by type and province, total estimated reserves and value of all mineral production for 1970. View more details on GeoGratis.


Oil and Gas Fields, Pipelines and Processing Plants, 1970, Western Canada

Contained within the 4th Edition (1974) of the Atlas of Canada is a set of two maps and two groups of graphs. The first map shows the location of oil and gas fields, pipelines and processing plants for Western Canada. The capacity and location of oil refineries and gas processing plants are also denoted. The second map shows locations of crude oil, petroleum oil and natural gas pipelines as well as areas of sedimentary rocks in which oil and gas had been recently found prior to the publication date of the 1974 National Atlas. One set of graphs indicates proved marketable reserves and production of natural gas for 1971. The other set of graphs indicates the value of fossil fuel production for 1970. View more details on GeoGratis.

Energy and Minerals

Contained within the 5th Edition (1978 to 1995) of the National Atlas of Canada is a map that shows the energy data in oil and gas fields and related infrastructure, and electricity generating stations and transmission lines; mineral data shown are mines and processing facilities. Selected railways also included. Tables identify all data on map. View more details on GeoGratis.


Renewable Resources

Hydropower Resources

Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by hydropower, which usually requires the potential energy of water stored behind a dam to drive a water turbine and generator. The map shows 632 large dams and 6 major dams. Major dams are defined as being greater than 150 metres in height and large dams as between 10 to 15 metres and 150 metres. Also, mapped are 479 hydroelectric generating stations. A generating station (power plant) is an industrial facility built and operated to generate electricity. Hydroelectric power is generated from a plant in which the turbine generators are driven by falling or flowing water. View more details on GeoGratis.


Generating Stations, 2007 - Technology

A generating station is an industrial facility built and operated to generate electricity. The map shows the 916 generating stations (power plants) operating in 2007. There were 479 hydroelectric stations, 375 thermal plants (combustion, internal combustion and steam), 7 nuclear plants, 54 wind turbines and 1 tidal power plant. View more details on GeoGratis.


Electricity Generation and Transmission

Contained within the 5th Edition (1978 to 1995) of the National Atlas of Canada is a map that shows the generating stations (by size, type and status) and transmission lines (by voltage category). A table lists all stations giving name, operator and other data. View more details on GeoGratis.



Pipeline Infrastructure (2006)

There are approximately 100 000 kilometres of transmission pipelines in Canada, 80 000 are natural gas pipelines and 23 000 crude oil pipelines. The map shows three types of pipelines: transmission trunk lines, gathering system field lines and distribution lines. Gathering pipelines move crude oil and natural gas from wells to processing facilities. After processing, feeder lines carry the hydrocarbons to the major, long distance transmission lines. Transmission lines deliver product to small-diameter distribution pipelines, as well as industrial users, local distributors, refineries or connection pipelines to the United States. View more details on GeoGratis.


Aerodromes and Airports (2006)

The air transportation infrastructure consists of airports, aerodromes and the civilian Air Navigation System (ANS). There are approximately 1775 aerodromes in Canada. Aerodromes are facilities where aircraft can take-off and land. On the map, they are categorized into three types of aerodromes: land airports and aerodromes (for rotary-wing or fixed-wing aircraft); water bases (for float planes); and heliports (for helicopters). View more details on GeoGratis.


Marine Transportation Infrastructure - Ports (2006)

Canada is a maritime nation with access to three oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic), and shared access to the longest inland waterway system in the world, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system of waterways. The map shows approximately 590 major ports, the Seaway (including major locks) and vessel traffic service zones. The Canada Marine Act governs Canada’s port and harbour systems. The ports, comprising the National Port System, have been classified into three major types: Canada Port Authorities (CPAs), regional/local ports and remote ports. The largest ports are the 19 CPAs and 1 harbour commission (Oshawa), recognized by the Federal government as vital to domestic and international trade. The Canada Shipping Act provides for regulations which govern vessel traffic in the 11 vessel service traffic zones. View more details on GeoGratis.


Rail Network, 2006

In 2006 there were 48 068 kilometres of railways, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. The two largest Class 1 carriers, Canadian National Railway Company (CN) which owns or leases 22 686 kilometres of railways and Canadian Pacific Rail Company (CPR) which owns or leases 12 812 kilometres. The regional and shortline railways combined, own or lease a total of 11 734 kilometres. View more details on GeoGratis.


Road Network, 2006

The 1.1 million kilometres of roads shown on the map form a national road network that connects people and goods from one community to another in Canada and to the rest of the continent. On the map, roads are classified based on the population of the communities the roads connect; combined, the communities on the map represent 78% of the total population in 2001. Principal road corridors connect major cities with a population greater than 49 999 and major ports of entry into and out of the country. Secondary road corridors connect medium-sized populated places (of between 10 000 and 49 999) to the principal road corridor. Major roads connect the smaller-sized populated places (of between 1000 and 9999) to the principal and secondary road corridors. Minor roads connect populated places with a population less than 1000 to the principal and secondary road corridors, and to major roads. Minor roads also include roads connecting Indian Reserves. Local roads include all other roads not directly connected to the network by the population between two populated places. Winter roads serve remote and northern communities in the winter or when weather conditions permit travel. View more details on GeoGratis.