National Topographic System

The National Topographic System or NTS (French: Système national de référence cartographique) is the system used by Natural Resources Canada for providing general purpose topographic maps of the country. NTS maps are available in a variety of scales, the standard being 1/50,000 and 1/250,000 scales.[1] The maps provide details on landforms and terrain, lakes and rivers, forested areas, administrative zones, populated areas, roads and railways, as well as other man-made features.[2] These maps are currently used by all levels of government and industry for forest fire and flood control (as well as other environmental issues), depiction of crop areas, right-of-way, real estate planning, development of natural resources and highway planning.


NTS Zones and Map Series Numbers
NTS zones and map series. Legend:
  High Arctic zone
  Arctic zone
  Southern zone

The National Topographic System is split into three major "zones" defined by latitude spans. The "Southern zone" covers latitudes between 40°N and 68°N, the "Arctic zone" covers latitudes between 68°N and 80°N, and the "High Arctic zone" covers latitudes between 80°N and 88°N.

A map sheet is classified by a string containing a number identifying the 1:1,000,000 scale "map series" that contains the sheet (e.g., 30), a letter identifying a 1:250,000 scale "map area" (e.g., M), and finally a number identifying the 1:50,000 scale map sheet itself (e.g., 13, which when combined with the previous two examples gives 30M13, identifying a map sheet which includes the city of Vaughan, Ontario).

All map series span four degrees of latitude, but are split differently east-to-west depending on the zones they are located in. Map series in the Southern and Arctic zones span eight degrees of longitude, while those in the High Arctic zone span sixteen degrees of longitude. The NTS designates the southernmost set of map series, from 40 to 44 degrees north latitude, with numbers that end with the digit 0, using 10, 20, 30 and 40. The third row, ending with the digit 2, spans from 2, 12, 22, 32 and so on to 102 off the west coast, while the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rows extend furthest west, using 114, 115, 116 and 117.

In the Southern zone, map series are split into sixteen map areas, while in the Arctic and High Arctic zones, they are split into eight. All map areas are in turn split into sixteen map sheets.

Map areas in a series are assigned letters in a sinusoidal pattern starting in the southeastern part of the series. In the Southern zone, the letters run from A through P, while in the Arctic and High Arctic zones, they run from A through H.

Each map area in turn is split into sixteen map sheets, numbered from 1 through 16 in an identical sinusoidal pattern to the map areas.

Each of these 1:50,000 sheets, in turn, was at one time split into eight map sheets, lettered as lower-case a to h, starting at the southeast corner and ending in the northeast corner; these identified 1:25,000 scale maps that were produced from the 1960s to about 1975, then abandoned, and liquidated in the 1980s (along with the scattered coverage of the 1:500,000 and 1:125,000 scale).

Not all topographic paper maps produced by Natural Resources Canada strictly follow this rectangular grid pattern. Some maps also cover land in an area which would otherwise be covered by an adjacent map sheet, simply because the latter area does not contain enough land in Canada to warrant a separate printing.[3]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "National Topographic System Maps".
  3. ^ - See "Indexes in PDF format"

External links

Abbot Pass hut

The Abbot Pass hut is an alpine hut located at an altitude of 2925 metres (9,598 feet) in Abbot Pass in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. It is nestled between Mount Victoria and Mount Lefroy, straddling the continental divide, which, in this region, defines the boundary between Banff National Park in Alberta and Yoho National Park in British Columbia. While close to the border, the hut lies entirely in Banff National Park, and is the second-highest permanently habitable structure in Canada (after the Neil Colgan Hut). The hut is maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.It was closed temporarily in the summer of 2018 pending a geotechnical evaluation of the slope which underlies the structure, after a hiker noticed erosion on its eastern side.

Beaver Creek (Manitoba)

Beaver Creek may refer to one of nine rivers in Manitoba, Canada:

Beaver Creek, National Topographic System (NTS) map sheet 062J02

Beaver Creek, NTS map sheet 062I01

Beaver Creek, NTS map sheet 062K06

Beaver Creek, NTS map sheet 062I16

Beaver Creek, NTS map sheet 052M04

Beaver Creek, NTS map sheet 063F10

Beaver Creek, NTS map sheet 062P07

Beaver Creek, NTS map sheet 063C14

Beaver Creek, NTS map sheet 063C11There is also an unincorporated place on Lake Winnipeg and Manitoba Provincial Road 234 called Beaver Creek; it is near the mouth of the Beaver Creek with CGNDB Unique Identifier GABZL. Beaver Creek Provincial Park is also nearby.

British Columbia Coast

The British Columbia Coast or BC Coast is Canada's western continental coastline on the North Pacific Ocean. The usage is synonymous with the term West Coast of Canada.

In a sense excluding the urban Lower Mainland area adjacent to the Canada–United States border, which is considered "The Coast," the British Columbia Coast refers to one of British Columbia's three main regions, the others being the Lower Mainland and The Interior.

The aerial distance from Victoria on the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Stewart, British Columbia on the Alaska border at the head of the Portland Canal is 965 kilometres (600 mi) in length. However, because of its many deep inlets and complicated island shorelines—and 40,000 islands of varying sizes, including Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii —the total length of the British Columbia Coast is over 25,725 kilometres (15,985 mi), making up about 10% of the Canadian coastline at 243,042 kilometres (151,019 mi). The coastline's geography, which is shared with Southeast Alaska and adjoining parts of northwest Washington, is most comparable to that of Norway and its heavily indented coastline of fjords, a landscape also found in southern Chile. The dominant landforms of the BC Coast are the Insular Mountains, comprising most of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii, and the Coast Mountains, which extend beyond into Alaska and the Yukon.

The British Columbia Coast is mostly part of the Pacific temperate rain forests ecoregion as defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. In the system used by Environment Canada, established by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), the area is defined as the Pacific Maritime Ecozone. In the geoclimatic zones system used by the British Columbia Ministry of Forests the bulk of the region comprises the Coastal Western Hemlock biogeoclimatic zone, although small areas flanking the Strait of Georgia at the coast's southern extremity are classed in the Coastal Douglas-fir zone.

Cedar Lake (Ontario)

Cedar Lake may refer to one of eighteen lakes of that name in Ontario, Canada:

Cedar Lake in Algoma District, National Topographic System (NTS) Map Sheet 041J10

In Frontenac County:

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 031C08

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 031C10

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 031C10

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 031C14

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 031F02

Cedar Lake in Haliburton County, NTS Map Sheet 031D15

Cedar Lake in Hastings County, NTS Map Sheet 031C13

Cedar Lake (Kenora District), NTS Map Sheet 052K03

Cedar Lake in Manitoulin District, NTS Map Sheet 041I03

Cedar Lake (Nipissing District), NTS Map Sheet 031L01

Cedar Lake in Rainy River District, NTS Map Sheet 052C13

Cedar Lake in Renfrew County, NTS Map Sheet 031F06

Cedar Lake in Sudbury District, NTS Map Sheet 041P02

In Thunder Bay District:

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 042E14

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 041N12

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 042C12

Cedar Lake, NTS Map Sheet 042D15There is also a lake named Cedar Lakes in Algoma District.

Christina River (Alberta)

The Christina River is located in the Wood Buffalo region of northerneastern Alberta, Canada. The Christina is a tributary of the Clearwater River and was named to honour Christine Gordon, who was the first white women to live permanently in the Fort McMurray area.

Deer River (Manitoba)

The Deer River is a river in Census division 23 in Northern Manitoba, Canada. It is in the Hudson Bay drainage basin and is a right tributary of the Dog River.

Dog River (Manitoba)

The Dog River is a river in Census division 23 in Northern Manitoba, Canada. It is in the Hudson Bay drainage basin and is a right tributary of the Churchill River.The Dog River begins at an unnamed lake and flows east, then turns north, heading roughly parallel to the Deer River, which it takes in as a right tributary, and reaches its mouth at the Churchill River, 45 kilometres (28 mi) upstream of that river's own mouth at Hudson Bay.

Elizabeth Parker hut

The Elizabeth Parker hut is an alpine hut located in Yoho National Park in British Columbia at an altitude of 2040 metres (6,700 ft) in a small subalpine meadow about 500 metres west of Lake O'Hara. It is surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the Canadian Rockies. The hut actually consists of two buildings, the main hut itself and the nearby Wiwaxy cabin. It is maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.

Fay hut

The Fay hut was an alpine hut located above Prospectors Valley in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia. Although the higher Neil Colgan hut superseded it as a base for climbs in the Valley of the Ten Peaks area, it still served as a convenient base for hikers and skiers doing day trips in the area, and as an overnight stop for mountaineers continuing on to the Neil Colgan hut. A new hut was built in 2005 to replace the original Fay hut, which was destroyed by a forest fire in 2003. The Fay hut was maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC).The new Fay Hut burned down in April 2009. It was unoccupied at the time. The last occupants left at 11 am on April 2. The next group came in on April 4 and found the building burned to the ground. The most likely cause was the ignition of the roof material caused by pyrolysis of the wooden components from leaking hot exhaust gases from the wood fireplace. The last occupants at the hut were using the fireplace and the fire occurred shortly after the last occupants had left the hut. The solid foam plastic insulation in the attic likely contributed to a hot fast fire dripped down in burning streams to the floors below. All that was left of the building was the metal from the roof, lying on the ground. The hut was not insured and was underutilized, so it is unlikely it will be rebuilt again.

Ibex Valley

The Ibex Valley (named for Ibex Mountain) is located approximately 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) west of the City of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. The valley, and surrounding area, is governed by five elected councilors from the Ibex Valley Hamlet. The population is rural with a mixture of farms and country residential.

The Ibex Valley is bounded by Ibex Mountain to the south; Mount Arkell and Mount Ingram to the west; Mount Sumanik and Mount Williams to the east.

Level Mountain

Level Mountain is a massive complex volcano in the Northern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. It is located 50 km (31 mi) north-northwest of Telegraph Creek and 60 km (37 mi) west of Dease Lake on the Nahlin Plateau. With a maximum elevation of 2,166 m (7,106 ft), it is the third highest of five large complexes in an extensive north-south trending volcanic zone. Much of the mountain is gently-sloping; when measured from its base, Level Mountain is about 1,100 m (3,600 ft) tall, slightly taller than its neighbour to the northwest, Heart Peaks. The lower broader half of Level Mountain consists of a shield-like edifice while its upper half has a more steep, jagged profile. Its large summit is dominated by the Level Mountain Range, a small mountain range with prominent peaks cut by deep valleys. These valleys serve as a radial drainage for several small streams that flow from the volcano. Meszah Peak is the only named peak in the Level Mountain Range.

The mountain began forming about 15 million years ago, with volcanism continuing up until geologically recent times. There have been four stages of activity throughout the long volcanic history of Level Mountain. The first stage commenced 14.9 million years ago with the eruption of voluminous lava flows; these lavas created a large shield volcano. The second stage began 7.1 million years ago to form a structurally complicated stratovolcano located centrally atop the shield. A series of lava domes were established during the third stage, which began 4.5 million years ago. This was followed by the fourth and final stage with the eruption of lava flows and small volcanic cones in the last 2.5 million years. A wide range of rock types were produced throughout these stages, of which alkali basalts and ankaramites are the most voluminous. They were deposited by different types of volcanic eruptions characterized by fluid lava flows and explosivity.

Level Mountain can be ecologically divided into three sections: an alpine climate at its summit, an Abies lasiocarpa forest on its flanks and a Picea glauca forest at its base. An extensive wild animal community once thrived in the area of Level Mountain. This included a wide range of animal species with caribou being the most abundant. Humans had arrived at Level Mountain by the early 1900s, followed by geological studies of the mountain in the 1920s. This remote area of Cassiar Land District has a relatively dry environment compared to the Coast Mountains in the west.

Metro Music

Metro Music is the debut album by Canadian new wave band Martha and the Muffins. It was released in 1980 on the record label Dindisc. The album contains the single "Echo Beach", which became an international hit single for the band.

The cover image design by Peter Saville is a map of Toronto, the band's hometown, and is based on a map from the National Topographic System of Canada.The entire Metro Music album also formed the first part of Martha and the Muffins' 1987 compilation Far Away in Time.

Mount Burke (British Columbia)

Mount Burke, 1,270 m (4,167 ft), is a mountain located in northeast Coquitlam, British Columbia, north of Port Coquitlam on the ridge system leading to Coquitlam Mountain. Most of the mountain is part of Pinecone Burke Provincial Park. Mount Burke is found in Coquitlam near Minnekehada Park.

It is accessed via Coast Meridian Road and Quarry Road.


Piloting (on water) or pilotage (in the air, also British English) is navigating, using fixed points of reference on the sea or on land, usually with reference to a nautical chart or aeronautical chart to obtain a fix of the position of the vessel or aircraft with respect to a desired course or location. Horizontal fixes of position from known reference points may be obtained by sight or by radar. Vertical position may be obtained by depth sounder to determine depth of the water body below a vessel or by altimeter to determine an aircraft's altitude, from which its distance above the ground can be deduced. Piloting a vessel is usually practiced close to shore or on inland waterways. Pilotage of an aircraft is practiced under visual meteorological conditions for flight.

Land navigation is a related discipline, using a topographic map, especially when applied over trackless terrain. Divers use related techniques for underwater navigation.

Stanley Mitchell hut

The Stanley Mitchell hut is an alpine hut located at an altitude of 2,060 metres (6,759 ft) in the Little Yoho Valley in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. It sits in a small meadow not far from the base of a mountain called The President. It serves as a base for hiking, scrambling, ski-touring and climbing the nearby mountains. The hut is maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.

Topographic map

In modern mapping, a topographic map is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines, but historically using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and man-made features. A topographic survey is typically published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map. A contour line is a line connecting places of equal elevation.

Natural Resources Canada provides this description of topographic maps:These maps depict in detail ground relief (landforms and terrain), drainage (lakes and rivers), forest cover, administrative areas, populated areas, transportation routes and facilities (including roads and railways), and other man-made features.

Other authors define topographic maps by contrasting them with another type of map; they are distinguished from smaller-scale "chorographic maps" that cover large regions, "planimetric maps" that do not show elevations, and "thematic maps" that focus on specific topics.However, in the vernacular and day to day world, the representation of relief (contours) is popularly held to define the genre, such that even small-scale maps showing relief are commonly (and erroneously, in the technical sense) called "topographic".The study or discipline of topography is a much broader field of study, which takes into account all natural and man-made features of terrain.

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