10 amazing facts about Canada’s geography

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From its majestic mountains and green forests to its bustling cities, this beautiful land we’ve chosen to live in is vast and full of amazing features. Here are 10 geographical features that make it unique and all the more awe-inspiring:

  1. Canada has the longest coastline in the world

    At 243,000 km along the shores of 52,455 islands, Canada boasts of the longest coastline in the world. If you want to have an idea of how long this is, it is estimated that at a pace of about 20 km a day, it would take a person 33 years to finish strolling Canada’s shorelines!

  2. There are millions of lakes in Canada

    Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. At last count, there may be as many as two million, with 563 of them larger than 100 square kilometres. Among its largest lakes are Lake Huron in Ontario, Great Bear Lake in the Northwestern Territories, and Lake Superior also in Ontario. There are large lakes in Manitoba as well. You will find Lake Winnipegosis, Lake Manitoba, and Lake Winnipeg here. Lake Winnipeg is Canada’s fifth and the world’s 11th largest lake.

  3. The world’s oldest known rocks can be found here

    The Canadian Shield forms a U-shape extending from Lake Superior in the south to the Arctic islands in the north and from the western part of Canada eastward to Greenland. It is where some of the oldest rocks on earth can be found. An example is a 4.28 billion-year-old rock that was discovered by geologists in 2001. It was found in an area of exposed bedrock on the eastern shore of the Hudson Bay in northern Quebec.

  4. We have a version of the Dead Sea

    The Dead Sea in the Middle East is known the world over for water so buoyant you can’t sink. This is attributed to its high salt content. It makes the water denser than fresh water. You don’t have to travel that far to experience this phenomenon. Canada has Little Manitou Lake in Saskatchewan. Fed by underground springs, the 13.3 square km lake has mineral salt concentrations of 180,000 mg per litre making it extremely buoyant.

  5. Regina is the geographical centre of North America

    Regina, the capital of the prairie province of Saskatchewan, is the closest to the center of the continent at a latitude of 50°27’ N and a longitude of 104°37’ W. Meanwhile, the longitudinal centre of Canada is in the town of Tache, Manitoba, around 30 minutes away from Winnipeg. The Centre of Canada Park in Tache is where you can have your picture taken near a sign declaring it to be the “Centre of Canada.”


    A view of Mount Logan from Diablo Lake

    A view of Mount Logan from Diablo Lake by Ron Clausen. CC-BY-SA

  7. Six Canadian cities have more than 1 million residents

    These cities are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa. According to Statistics Canada, Toronto tops the list, followed by Montreal and Vancouver. Canada continues to be among the top countries with the lowest population density currently estimated at 3.9 people per square kilometre. The country had an estimated total population of around 40.5 million in October 2023. It grew to 41 million in the first quarter of 2024. The rapid growth is attributed to international migration.

  8. Largest and smallest provinces and territories

    Quebec is the country’s largest province with a total land area of 1.5 million sq. km. Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island is the smallest at 5,660 sq. km. Among the territories, Nunavut is the largest, taking up one-fifth of Canada’s total land area (2 million sq.km). Despite having all this space, it is home to only about 38,000 people because of its harsh climate and remoteness.

  9. Largest source of freshwater in the world

    With its millions of lakes and rivers, it’s not really surprising that Canada has earned this title. For instance, the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence is one of the largest and deepest estuaries in the world. Its water comes from the Great Lakes (or the Laurentian Great Lakes), a series of interconnected freshwater lakes in the upper mid-east region of North America. It mixes with salt oceanic water as it widens into a large estuary (a water passage where the tide meets a river current) near Ile d’Orléans.

  10. You’ll find the largest island within an island here

    Canada has a little known island within an island in the Arctic measuring about four acres. Part of why it is mostly unknown is that it is inaccessible being 75 miles inland from Victoria Island (between Nunavut and the Northwestern Territories), the eighth largest island in the world.

  11. Tallest mountain peak

    Mount Logan in Yukon is Canada’s tallest mountain. It is 5,995 metres high (19,551 ft) and can be found in Kluane National Park and Reserve. The mountain is named after Canadian geologist William Edmond Logan. He is a founding member of the Geological Survey of Canada.

Sources: 10 surprising facts about Canada’s geography, Aaron Kylie, Canadian Geographic; 10 interesting facts about the geography of Canada, Manminder Kaur, Geomatics Canada; Great Lakes, P.g. Sly, The Canadian Encyclopedia; The largest and smallest Canadian provinces/territories by area, World Atlas; and Canada at a glance 2018 – Population, Statistics Canada. Retrieved on January 18, 2019.

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