Just north of the United States sits one of the largest countries in the world, Canada. It is a beautiful country that has many fascinating geographical features, including a portion of the Arctic. Its lands range from flat prairies to forests, lakes and mountains. Despite its size, the population of Canada is relatively small in comparison. This means that a majority of the country consists of wildlands.

Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachian Mountains are a series of highlands or mountains that run along the eastern portion of North America. They extend from Alabama to Canada's Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec. It is roughly 2,000 miles in length. Originally formed 500 million years ago, the Appalachians have suffered from considerable erosion. The Notre Dame and Megantic Mountains, Western Newfoundland Highlands, Eastern Newfoundland Atlantic Region and Atlantic Coast Plain are just a few of the highlands of the Appalachians.

Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Lowlands

The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowland region is an area of primarily flat lands with a group of hills. It is located near the Great Lakes in Southern Ontario, and the St. Lawrence river runs through Southern Quebec. It is the smallest area in Canada. It is an area that has fertile lands that are ideal for farming, and it is the second largest area for farms in Canada. The region also houses oil refineries, steel mills, food processing plants, and other industries. To make way for its farming and industrial use, much of the forests that once covered the area were cut down.

Canadian Shield

The Canadian Shield is made of Precambrian rock. This is rock that was formed over 500 million years ago. It is the largest exposed area of this type of rock on earth. The Canadian Shield is also the oldest portion of North American crustal plate. It is approximately 1.7 million square miles, extending across half of Canada and into Greenland and even parts of the United States. Past glacial activity has formed the Shield. It has created basins where there are now lakes and rivers. It is also heavily mined for its minerals and metals.

Canadian Interior Plains

The Interior Plains region of Canada encompasses the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon Territories, North West Territories, and B.C. It is situated between the Canadian Shield and the Western Cordillera. The Interior Plains is a relatively large, flat region, however it does have areas of low hills. The land is diverse and includes bogs, forests, grasslands, sand dunes, and wooded parkland. Lakes, such as Great Bear, and rivers also make up the Interior Plains.

Western Cordillera

The Western Cordillera is an area of mountainous ranges along the western Canada. The Cordillera runs primarily through British Columbia and Yukon. It is divided into three regions: the western, interior, and eastern systems. The Canadian Rockies and the Continental Divide, as well as Okanaga Valley, are all a part of the Western Cordillera. Its climate varies and ranges from extremely cold and rainy to dry like a desert.


Canada's volcanoes are located in Western Canada, in the British Columbia and Yukon regions. They are considered a part of the "Ring of Fire." This is a series of volcanoes along the Pacific Ocean. There are five volcanic belts and hundreds of potentially active volcanoes in Canada. These belts are the Anahim Belt along the west coast of British Columbia, the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt near the Southwest corner of British Columbia, the Stikine Volcanic Belt which runs into the Yukon, the Wells Gray-Clearwater Volcanic Field, and the Wrangell Volcanic Belt that runs into the Yukon from Alaska. The country's last eruption was roughly 150 years ago when the Lava Fork volcano erupted in Northwestern British Columbia. Remnants of volcanoes can be found in the Canadian Shield.

Canadian Arctic

The Canadian Arctic includes the most northern regions of the country. This is the northernmost portion of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, although Nunavut makes up most of the Canadian Arctic. The land here is primarily permafrost, however, at one time it was completely covered in thick ice. There are more than 36 mammals that make the Canadian Arctic their home. The animals that have adapted to the extreme climate, such as arctic foxes, caribou, and polar bears.