Canada Cultural Landscape
Canada is the world's second largest country, and it is the largest country in the Western Hemisphere. It comprises of the entire North American continent north of the United States, with the exclusion of Alaska, Greenland, and the tiny French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. Its most easterly point is Cape Spear, Newfoundland and its western limit is Mount St. Elias in the Yukon Territory, near the Alaskan border. The southernmost point is Middle Island, in Lake Erie and the northern tip is Cape Columbia, on Ellesmere Island.
Canada has an abundance of mineral, forest, and waterpower resources. The mining industry has been a major force in Canada's economic development in the past and is still the main force in the advance and economic activity and permanent settlement into the northlands. The principal minerals are petroleum, nickel, copper, zinc, iron ore, natural gas, asbestos, molybdenum, sulfur, gold, and platinum; in addition extensive beds of coal, potash, uranium, gypsum, silver, and magnesium are found.
Fresh water covers an estimated 8% of Canada. The many rivers and lakes supply ample fresh water to meet the nation's needs for its communities and for irrigation, agriculture, industries, transportation, and hydroelectric power generation. Canada has four principal drainage basins: the Atlantic Basin which drains to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, the Hudson Bay Basin which drains northward into Hudson Bay via the Churchill, Nelson and Saskatchewan rivers, the Arctic Basin which is drained by the Mackenzie River and the Pacific Basin which drains into the Pacific Ocean via the Fraser, Yukon and Columbia rivers.
Most of Canada's people live in the southern part of the country, in an elongated, discontinuous belt of settlement parallel to the U.S.-Canadian border. The most populated provinces are Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
During the last couple years, the Canadian economy has been transformed from on based primarily on agricultural production and the export of agricultural products and raw materials to one based primarily on its manufacturing and service sectors, as well as a mining sector of continuing importance. Canada's economy reflects a high-tech industrial society and resembles the United States, with whom it has close economic ties. This is one reason why a large percentage of the population, live by the U.S.- Canadian border. Another reason is because a large number of the manufacturing plants are located in the southern section of Canada.
Canada is rich in natural resources. It is a world leader in value of mineral exports and produces and exports many of the mineral needed for modern industrial economies. Its soils are intensively utilized and make Canada one of the world's largest exporters of agricultural products. Forests cover much of the land, and Canada is the world's largest exporter of newsprint and a leading supplier of lumber, pulp, paper, and wood products.