The North

Canada's north is a vast area, the three territories alone, Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories, encompass approximately 40% of the total area of Canada. The northern regions of the provinces, which are north of the limit of isolated permafrost, also include the seven provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Combined the territories and the northern portions of these provinces represent, just less than two-thirds of Canada's landmass. The presence of permafrost is just one of many ways of demarcating the northern region of Canada, as it provides a natural boundary between northern and southern Canada.

It is an area of varying contrasts, from the taiga (boreal) forests of the subarctic region, to the tundra, permafrost and barren landscape of snow and ice of the Arctic. Most of the population live in isolated communities, scattered across the region with the majority of the population living in the territorial capitals. According to the 2006 Census of Population, 50% of the population in the three territories claim Aboriginal ancestry.

List of Topics:

Reference

Northern Canada

The vast Canadian geography north of approximately 50° latitude is depicted on the map Northern Canada / Nord du Canada. This bilingual map is the latest in the Atlas of Canada's series of reference maps. The four million scale provides a detailed regional base of the north. An inset of the Labrador coast shows the cultural connection of Nunatsiavut to the Inuit of Nunavut. The map shows the populated places in the three territories, the northern areas of the provinces, and adjacent areas of Russia, Alaska, and Greenland. Major roads and railways are mapped along with a selection of airports and seaplane bases. Major ports are identified by showing cargo and/or ferry movements throughout the north. The map also has an economic focus with the addition of energy, mineral and metal resource extraction sites (mines, natural gas and crude oil fields) and major pipelines. Important to any understanding of the north is the physical geography. The map shows the relief, bathymetry, major glaciers, ice fields, a selection of mountain peaks, tree line, the limits of permanent polar sea ice, and just over 2900 named hydrographic and physical features. Also shown are national parks and other federal protected areas. The surveyed locations of the Magnetic North Pole are mapped from 1831 to 2011. Every effort has been made to ensure that the data is current to the period 2007 to 2011.
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North Circumpolar Region (2008)

Contained within the Atlas of Canada's Reference Map Series, 1961 to 2010, is a map which has a detailed coverage of all parts of the world north of approximately 50 degrees latitude except for the Russian Federation side of the map which shows areas north of 60 degrees latitude. The map uses the Azimuthal Equidistant projection. All national boundaries are shown along with Canadian provincial and territorial boundaries and Canada's 200 nautical mile offshore Exclusive Economic Zone. National capital cities are displayed along with other cities, towns, villages and hamlets; all have been updated to 2008. Some seasonally populated places are also shown. A number of significant northern features can be found such as the minimum permanent polar sea ice extent for 1972 to 2007, tree line, undersea relief and undersea feature names, land relief, historical surveyed locations of the Magnetic North Pole from 1831 to 2007 and updated glaciers, ice fields and coastal ice shelves. The undersea relief is the most up-to-date from the 2008 International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean on top of which bathymetric tints are shown. A related product is the round Circumpolar International Polar Year (2008) map. It is identical to this map except that it only shows map detail north of 55 degrees latitude.
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International Map of the World 1:1,000,000, Canadian Sector, 1956 to 1987:

Macmillan River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Redstone River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Slave River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Lockhart River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Dubawnt River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Maguse River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Sutton River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Rivière Kovic

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Soper River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Peel River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Great Bear River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Thelon River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Quoich River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Koukdjuak River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Davis Strait

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Firth River

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Horton River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Victoria Strait

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Murchison River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Rowley River

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Thomsen River

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Viscount Melville Sound

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Lancaster Sound

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Eclipse Sound

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Ballantyne Strait

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Belcher Channel

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Jones Sound

The International Map of the World (IMW) series provided uniform coverage of the World at the scale of 1:1,000,000 according to United Nations specifications.
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Robeson Channel

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Baie d'Ungava Ungava Bay

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Torngat Mountains Monts Torngat

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Baie James James Bay

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Physical Geography

Borderlands - Arctic Physiographic Regions

This map shows the location of the Arctic physiographic regions which include the Innuitian Region, the Arctic Lowlands and the Arctic Coastal Plains.
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Break-up of Sea Ice

The typical retreat of the sea ice cover from the late winter to late summer is shown on this map. Sea ice is any form of ice that is found at sea and has originated from the freezing of seawater. Melting of sea ice begins in spring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and East Newfoundland, retreating northward towards the Labrador coast. In June openings appear in Baffin Bay and the Beaufort Sea, while clearing is already underway in Hudson Bay. Break-up continues throughout the summer months, reaching a minimum extent around mid-September. The map shows the typical retreat of the sea ice cover from late winter (mid-March) to late summer (mid-September) on a bi-weekly basis. The dates shown in the legend of the map indicate the extent of the sea ice cover at those dates.
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Freeze-up of Sea Ice

Typical advance of sea ice over from late summer to late winter is shown on this map. Sea ice is any form of ice that is found at sea and has originated from the freezing of seawater. Formation of sea ice begins in mid-September in the Canadian Arctic and advances southward through the onset of winter. Sea ice begins to form in the St. Lawrence estuary around the first of January, and advances from coastal inlets into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Sea ice in Canada normally reaches a maximum extent at the beginning of March. The map shows the typical advance of the sea ice cover from late summer (mid-September) to late winter (mid-March). The dates shown in the legend of the map indicate the extent of the sea ice cover at those dates.
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Late Summer Sea Ice Conditions

Typical sea ice types are shown here at the end of the summer melt season, as well as how often sea ice has been present at any location on September 10 over the last 30 years . Based on the observations of sea ice extent and types over the last 30 years, this map shows how frequently sea ice has been present and what is the most likely predominant ice type and where. Sea ice is any form of ice that is found at sea and has originated from the freezing of seawater. The ice type gives an indication of the thickness of sea ice such as new ice, grey ice, grey-white ice, first year ice, and old ice. Ice represents a danger for navigation. Information on sea ice is essential in estimating transportation costs, and what type of vessel is appropriate. This map shows the typical sea ice types at the end of the summer melt season (September 10) as well as frequency of sea ice on that date. The frequency of sea ice indicates how often sea ice has been present on September 10 over the last 30 years.
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Late Winter Sea Ice Conditions

Typical sea ice types are shown here near the end of the winter season. Also shown is how often sea ice has been present at any location on the 26th February over the last 30 years. Based on the observations of sea ice extents and ice types over the last 30 years, this map shows how frequently sea ice has been present and what is the most likely predominant ice type and where. Sea ice is any form of ice that is found at sea and has originated from the freezing of seawater. The ice type gives an indication of the thickness of sea ice such as new ice, grey ice, grey-white ice, first year ice, and old ice. Ice represents a danger for navigation. Information on sea ice is essential in estimating transportation costs, and what type of vessel is appropriate. The map shows the typical sea ice types near the end of the winter season (February 26) and as well as frequency of sea ice on that date. The frequency of sea ice indicates how often sea ice has been present on February 26 over the last 30 years.
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Permafrost

Contained within the 5th Edition (1978 to 1995) of the National Atlas of Canada has a large that shows the extent of permafrost and abundance of ground ice; mapping units are based on physiographic regions. Point data on map give permafrost temperature and thickness for specific sites. The second, smaller, map shows the mean annual ground temperatures. Graphs show four shallow temperature profiles (to 25 metres depth), and four deep temperature profiles (to several hundred metres depth).
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Glaciers

Contained within the 5th Edition (1978 to 1995) of the National Atlas of Canada is a map that shows glaciers, iceberg sources and iceberg drift patterns for Canada and Greenland; names major glaciers and icecaps.
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Bathy-Orography - Northern Canada

Contained within the 3rd Edition (1957) of the Atlas of Canada is a map that shows the depths (bathymetry) of the waters in and around Northern Canada, together with the relief (orography) of the land. The bathymetric information was supplied by the Canadian Hydrographic Service; the orographic information by the Topographical Survey; and the names of the principal physical features by the Geographical Branch, Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. There are also four profiles along meridians and parallels. All isolines and elevations are in feet.
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Protected Areas

Protected areas are composed of land, freshwater and marine areas set aside through legislation to protect representative examples of Canada’s ecosystems. They are created and managed by the federal, provincial and territorial governments. A small but increasing number is also administered by Aboriginal governments and communities. Some protected areas are jointly managed by two or more administrations. While this map focuses on public and aboriginal protected areas, an increasing number of private lands are conserved by non-government organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Federal, provincial or territorial and Aboriginal protected areas are grouped separately on this map to show their distribution throughout Canada in 2007. This map shows only the 1385 protected areas which are 10 square kilometres or larger.
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History

Exploration of the Arctic, 1587 to 1941

Contained within the 4th Edition (1974) of the Atlas of Canada is a set of two maps. The first map shows exploration routes of the Arctic between 1587 and 1941 for American, British, Canadian, Danish, German and Norwegian explorers. A 1:7 500 000 scale supplementary map detailing the exploration of Nares Strait accompanies it. The second map shows routes of exploratory survey expeditions between the years 1758 and 1905. The year in which the survey was completed is also noted on the map.
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Northern Settlements

Contained within the 4th Edition (1974) of the Atlas of Canada is a map that shows the chronology of selected facilities in settlements north of the 60th parallel. Selected facilities denoted include trading posts, missions, RCMP posts, post offices, weather stations and Distant Early Warning stations. Time periods in which the facilities were established as well as the operational status of these facilities as of 1965 is indicated.
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