List of regions of Canada

The list of regions of Canada is a summary of geographical areas on a hierarchy that ranges from national (groups of provinces and territories) at the top to local regions and sub-regions of provinces at the bottom. Administrative regions that rank below a province and above a municipality are also included if they have a comprehensive range of functions compared to the limited functions of specialized government agencies. Some provinces and groups of provinces are also quasi-administrative regions at the federal level for purposes such as representation in the Senate of Canada. However regional municipalities (or regional districts in British Columbia) are included with local municipalities in the article List of municipalities in Canada.

National regions

Although most of these regions have no official status or defined boundaries, the Provinces and territories are sometimes informally grouped into regions (listed here from west to east by province, followed by the three territories). Seats in the Senate are equally divided among four regions: Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, and the West, with special status for Newfoundland and Labrador, and Northern Canada ('the North'). These are the only national regions that have any official status. Regional representation on the Supreme Court of Canada is governed more by convention than by law. Quebec is the only region with a legally guaranteed quota of three judges on the bench. The other regions are usually represented by three judges from Ontario, two from Western Canada (typically but not formally one from British Columbia and one from the Prairie Provinces) and one from Atlantic Canada. The three territories do not have any separate representation on the supreme court. Statistics Canada uses the six-region model for the Geographical Regions of Canada.[1]

All provinces and territories Senate divisions Seven-region model[2] Six-region model[1] Five-region model[3] Four-region model Three-region model
British Columbia Western Canada (24 seats) British Columbia British Columbia West Coast Western Canada Western Canada
Alberta Alberta Prairies Prairies
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan and Manitoba
Ontario Ontario (24 seats) Ontario Ontario Central Canada Central Canada Eastern Canada
Quebec Quebec (24 seats) Quebec Quebec
New Brunswick The Maritimes (24 seats) Atlantic Canada Atlantic Atlantic Canada Atlantic Canada
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador (6 seats)
Yukon The North (Territories) (3 seats) Northern Canada Territories Northern Canada Northern Canada Northern Canada
Northwest Territories

Inter-provincial regions

An inter-provincial region includes more than one province or territory but doesn't usually include the entirety of each province or territory in the group. However, the geographic or cultural features that characterize this type of region can sometimes lead to the relevant provinces or territories being seen as regional groups like British Columbia-Yukon and Alberta-Northwest Territories.


  • French Canada, centred in Quebec but with scattered populations in Manitoba, Ontario, and the Maritime provinces
  • English Canada, sometimes known as the Rest of Canada, with Quebec usually excluded despite the presence of scattered English speaking populations in the southern part of the province
  • Inuit Nunangat, a large region of northern Canada populated mainly by the Inuit, the majority of whom do not claim either English or French as their first language[4]

Primary, secondary, and local geographic

  • Arctic Archipelago, a large group of Canadian islands in the Arctic Ocean that lies partly in Nunavut, partly in the Northwest Territories, and one, Herschel Island, that is part of Yukon.[5][6][7]
    • Arctic Cordillera, a very long, broken chain of mountain ranges extending along the northeastern flank of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from Ellesmere Island to the northernmost part of the Labrador Peninsula in northern Labrador and northern Quebec
  • Canadian Cordillera which links most of British Columbia and Yukon with some smaller adjacent areas of Alberta and the Northwest Territories to form a single region of mountains and plateaus
    • Taiga Cordillera that includes much of Northern Yukon Territory and an adjacent area of the Northwest Territories
    • Boreal Cordillera that links northwestern British Columbia with Southern Yukon
    • Pacific Maritime Cordillera that includes the west coast of British Columbia and the southwest corner of Yukon
    • Montane Cordillera that includes the central and southern interior of British Columbia and the Rocky Mountains that extend partly into Alberta
  • Interior Plains of western Canada, which extend from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Canada-US border east of the Canadian Cordillera and west of the Canadian Shield
    • Southern Arctic Plains that includes the arctic coast of Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and an adjacent part of Nunavut
    • Taiga Plains that include parts of northeastern Yukon, the Northwest Territories, northeastern British Columbia, and northwestern Alberta
    • Boreal Plains, which links parts of northern British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan with part of Central Manitoba and a small part of the Northwest Territories
      • Peace River Country, a valley area of parkland and boreal plain that links parts of northern British Columbia and northern Alberta as a part of the larger Boreal Plains region
    • Aspen Parkland, a long but relatively narrow transitional region in the Prairie Provinces that separates the boreal forests of the north from the prairie grasslands further south
    • Palliser's Triangle that links the main agricultural regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and includes the grasslands of the Canadian Prairies
      • Cypress Hills that links the hilly areas of southern Alberta with their counterparts in southern Saskatchewan
  • Canadian Shield, a vast region centered around Hudson Bay that includes parts of every province except British Columbia and the Maritimes, and every territory except Yukon
    • Northern Arctic Shield, includes the Boothia and Melville Peninsulas of Nunavut and the northwestern tip of Quebec.
    • Southern Arctic Shield, parts of the Canadian Shield separated by Hudson Bay and located mostly in Nunavut and the most northerly region of Quebec
    • Taiga Shield, parts of the Canadian Shield located west of Hudson Bay from the Northwest Territories to the far northern fringe of the Prairie Provinces, and east of Hudson Bay and James Bay from Quebec to Labrador
    • Boreal Shield, located mostly south of Hudson Bay and James Bay from northeastern Alberta to southeastern Labrador
    • Southern Boreal Shield, a transitional region in Central Ontario and the west-central part of Quebec that separates the boreal forests of the north from the mostly mixed-leaf forests further south
  • Hudson Bay Lowland, a large wetland that extends from northeastern Manitoba across the far north of Ontario into northwestern Quebec
  • Quebec City–Windsor Corridor that links Southern Ontario with Southern Quebec
  • St. Lawrence Lowlands, a low lying valley also known as the Mixedwood Plains extending from Quebec City to Windsor Ontario, which is similar but not identical to the Corridor in geographic extent
  • Ottawa Valley that links Eastern Ontario with western Quebec, the southern part of which overlaps the Corridor and the Mixedwood Plains
  • Appalachian Mountains, an old, partly eroded system of mountain ranges, hills, and plateaus that extends into southeastern Canada from the eastern United States
    • Acadia, a largely historical region that links parts of the Maritimes and parts of eastern Quebec within the Appalachian region


  • National Capital Region, a federal administrative region that straddles the Ottawa River on the Ontario-Quebec border and includes the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau

Provincial regions

The provinces and territories are nearly all sub-divided into regions for a variety of official and unofficial purposes. The geographic regions are largely unofficial and therefore somewhat open to interpretation. In some cases, the primary regions are separated by identifiable transition zones, particularly in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. The largest provinces can be divided into a number of primary geographic regions of comparatively large size (e.g. southern Ontario), and subdivided into a greater number of smaller secondary regions (e.g. southwestern Ontario). In geographically diverse provinces, the secondary regions can be further subdivided into numerous local regions and even sub-regions. British Columbia has a much greater number of local regions and sub-regions than the other provinces and territories due to its mountainous terrain where almost every populated lake, sound, and river valley, and every populated cape and cluster of small islands can claim a distinct geographical identity. At the other extreme, Prince Edward Island is not divided into any widely recognized geographic regions or sub-regions because of its very small size and lack of large rivers or rugged terrain. New Brunswick's small size renders it dividable into local geographic regions only. Yukon also has only local scale regions despite its larger size.

In Alberta and Quebec, several primary geographic regions can be identified. However, their smaller secondary regions are administrative or demographic and are not considered subdivisions of the larger regions because their borders do not harmonize between tiers in either province. In Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, the regions are not mainly geographic in nature, but have been officially defined by their respective governments for supra-municipal administrative purposes. Most of these jurisdictions are smaller in land area than the primary geographic regions in other provinces, so they have been listed here as equivalent to secondary regions.


Primary, secondary, and local geographic regions

Quasi-administrative or demographic regions)

These regions are not officially considered subdivisions of the larger primary natural regions.

British Columbia

Primary, secondary, and local geographic regions and subregions


Primary and secondary geographic regions

New Brunswick

Local geographic regions

Newfoundland and Labrador

Primary, secondary, and local geographic regions

Northwest Territories

Primary and secondary geographic regions

Administrative regions

Administrative regions of Northwest Territories.[8]

Nova Scotia

Primary, secondary, and local geographic regions


Primary and secondary geographic regions

Administrative regions


Primary, secondary, and local geographic/quasi-administrative regions

Most geographic regions in Ontario defined by grouping counties and other administrative units

Prince Edward Island

Not subdivided into geographical regions or sub-regions


Primary and secondary geographic regions

Administrative regions


Primary and secondary geographic regions


Primary, secondary, and local geographic regions

See also


  1. ^ a b Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) 2016 - Introduction". Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  2. ^ Used, for example, by EKOS Research polling, Harris-Decima polling.
  3. ^ Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Discover Canada (PDF) | (HTML). Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Maps of Inuit Nunaat (Inuit Regions of Canada)". 2009-06-10. Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  5. ^ Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago Parnassia kotzebuei
  6. ^ Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago Astragalus eucosmus
  7. ^ Arctic Archipelago
  8. ^ "About MCAA – Regions". Government of the Northwest Territories – Municipal and Community Affairs. Archived from the original on 24 August 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
Alberta's Rockies

Alberta's Rockies comprises the Canadian Rockies in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is a region on the southwestern part of the province, along the British Columbia border. It covers all but the south of Census Division 15.

The main industry in this region is tourism.

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, is the region of Canada comprising the four provinces located on the Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec: the three Maritime provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island – and the easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The population of the four Atlantic provinces in 2016 was about 2,300,000 on half a million km2. The provinces combined had an approximate GDP of $121.888 billion in 2011.

Canadian Prairies

The Canadian Prairies is a region geographically located in Western Canada. The area includes the Canadian portion of the Great Plains and the Prairie provinces, namely Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. These provinces are partially covered by grasslands, plains, and lowlands, mostly in the southern regions. Known to a lesser extent, is the northern-most section of the Canadian prairies which is marked by forests and more variable topology. To define the region in a physiographic sense, to strictly include areas only covered by prairie land, the corresponding region is known as the Interior Plains. Geographically, the Canadian prairies extend to northeastern British Columbia, however this province is not included in a political manner.The prairies in Canada are a temperate grassland and shrubland biome within the prairie ecoregion of Canada that consists of northern mixed grasslands in Alberta, Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, as well as northern short grasslands in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan. Also, the northern tall grasslands in southern Manitoba, and Aspen parkland which covers central Alberta, central Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba. The Prairie starts from north of Edmonton and it covers the three provinces in a southward-slanting line east to the Manitoba-Minnesota border. The prairie is the most dominant land cover in Alberta and the least in Manitoba since it has the Boreal Forest covering a large area of land mass. Alberta has the most land classified as Prairie, while Manitoba has the least, as the Boreal Forest begins at a lower latitude in Manitoba than in Alberta.

Central Alberta

Central Alberta is a region located in the Canadian province of Alberta.

Central Alberta is the most densely populated rural area in the province. Agriculture and energy make up an important part of the economy.

Central Canada

Central Canada (sometimes the Central provinces) is a region consisting of Canada's two largest and most populous provinces: Ontario and Quebec. Geographically, they are not at the centre of the country but instead toward the east. Due to their high populations, Ontario and Quebec have traditionally held a significant amount of political power in Canada, leading to some amount of resentment from other regions of the country. Before Confederation, the term "Canada" specifically referred to Central Canada. Today, the term "Central Canada" is less often used than the names of the individual provinces. This has led to a sense of Western alienation.

Eastern Canada

Eastern Canada (also the Eastern provinces) is generally considered to be the region of Canada east of Manitoba, consisting of the following provinces:

Newfoundland and Labrador

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia


Prince Edward Island

QuebecOntario and Quebec define Central Canada, while the other provinces constitute Atlantic Canada. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are also known as the Maritime Provinces.

Four corners (Canada)

The four corners of Canadian political subdivisions hypothetically meet at a point near 60°N 102°W. These are the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Georgian Triangle

The Georgian Triangle is the name of a geographic region in Southern Ontario containing the counties surrounding Georgian Bay, mostly Nottawasaga Bay, in particular. The main urban centres in the region are Collingwood, Owen Sound, and situated on Lake Simcoe Barrie. Recreation and tourism are important parts of this area's economy, with cottages being one of the primary real estates along the coastline.

The area overlaps two other regions in Southern Ontario: Southwestern Ontario in the western half and Central Ontario in the eastern half. Historically, it once formed the western part of "cottage country" in Ontario, however, most properties are now lived in year-round. Cottage country is now more associated with areas further north, namely Muskoka, Parry Sound and Haliburton, although cottages are still common in the northern part of the Bruce Peninsula at the west end of the triangle.

Index of Canada-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to Canada.

Northern Alberta

Northern Alberta is a region located in the Canadian province of Alberta.

Its primary industry is oil and gas, with large heavy oil reserves being exploited at the Athabasca oil sands and Wabasca area in the east of the region. Mostly natural gas is extracted in Peace region and Chinchaga-Rainbow areas in the west, and forestry and logging are also developed in the boreal forests of this region. As of 2011, the region had a population of approximately 386,000.

Northern Alberta encompasses census divisions 16, 17, 18, and 19.

Peace River Country

The Peace River Country (or Peace Country; French: Région de la Rivière-de-la-paix) is an aspen parkland region centring on the Peace River in Canada. It extends from northwestern Alberta to the Rocky Mountains in northeastern British Columbia, where a certain portion of the region is also referred to as the Peace River Block.

Provinces and territories of Canada

The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national governments within the geographical areas of Canada under the authority of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North America—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada (which upon Confederation was divided into Ontario and Quebec)—were united to form a federated colony, becoming a sovereign nation in the next century. Over its history, Canada's international borders have changed several times, and the country has grown from the original four provinces to the current ten provinces and three territories. Together, the provinces and territories make up the world's second-largest country by area.

Several of the provinces were former British colonies, and Quebec was originally a French colony, while others were added as Canada grew. The three territories govern the rest of the area of the former British North America.

The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly called the British North America Act, 1867), whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada. The powers flowing from the Constitution Act are divided between the Government of Canada (the federal government) and the provincial governments to exercise exclusively. A change to the division of powers between the federal government and the provinces requires a constitutional amendment, whereas a similar change affecting the territories can be performed unilaterally by the Parliament of Canada or government.

In modern Canadian constitutional theory, the provinces are considered to be sovereign within certain areas based on the divisions of responsibility between the provincial and federal government within the Constitution Act 1867, and each province thus has its own representative of the Canadian "Crown", the lieutenant governor. The territories are not sovereign, but instead their authorities and responsibilities come directly from the federal level, and as a result, have a commissioner instead of a lieutenant governor.

The Maritimes

The Maritimes, also called the Maritime provinces (French: Provinces maritimes) or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (PEI). The Maritimes had a population of 1,813,606 in 2016. Together with Canada's easternmost province, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Maritime provinces make up the region of Atlantic Canada.

Located along the Atlantic coast, various aquatic sub-basins are located in the Maritimes, such as the Gulf of Maine and Gulf of St. Lawrence. The region is located northeast of New England, southeast of Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula, and southwest of the island of Newfoundland. The notion of a Maritime Union has been proposed at various times in Canada's history; the first discussions in 1864 at the Charlottetown Conference contributed to Canadian Confederation which instead formed the larger Dominion of Canada. The Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy people are indigenous to the Maritimes, while Acadian and British settlements date to the 17th century.

Western Canada

Western Canada, also referred to as the Western provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region of Canada that includes the four provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. British Columbia is culturally, economically, geographically, and politically distinct from the other parts of Western Canada and is often referred to as the "west coast" or "Pacific Canada", while Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are grouped together as the Prairie Provinces and most commonly known as "The Prairies".

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