Think You Know Canadian Geography?


By: Kate Kershner

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Canada is a vast and beautiful country. How much do you really know about its people and its landscape? Test your knowledge with this Canadian geography quiz!

In terms of area, where does Canada rank among sovereign states?

Apart from Russia, Canada is the world's second-largest nation. (Antarctica is technically bigger than Canada, too.)


How much of North America does Canada encompass?

Canada makes up about 2/5ths of the area of North America. But don't be fooled; there aren't a lot of people in all that vast space.


How many islands does Canada include?

Canada's coasts are loaded with islands. The Arctic region is largely made up of islands.


What's one famous island in Canada?

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are both provinces. Newfoundland is an island -- and it's part of the Newfoundland and Labrador province.


Canada's southernmost point is the same latitude as what?

The latitude of Middle Island in Lake Erie is the same as Northern California, and is more southern than numerous U.S. states.


What is NOT a Canadian province?

Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut are technically territories. Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan are all provinces.


The Maritime Provinces include what?

New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are sometimes called the "Maritime Provinces." The Atlantic Provinces consist of the Maritime Provinces, plus Newfoundland and Labrador.


What is NOT included in the Prairie Provinces?

Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan make up the Prairie Provinces. All three -- plus British Columbia -- encompass the Western Provinces.


Canada consists of how many geographical regions?

There are six major geographical regions in Canada. And don't you worry, you're about to learn about all of them.


The Canadian Shield is the biggest geographic region. How much of the country does it occupy?

The Canadian shield covers about half of Canada's area, and is centered around Hudson's Bay.


What is a defining feature of the Canadian Shield?

The Canadian Shield consists of Precambrian igneous rock, and a lot of it is some of the oldest rock on Earth. While they used to form huge peaks, today they've been eroded down.


What large lake is in the Canadian Prairie region?

Lake Winnepeg is in Manitoba, and is the largest lake in southern Canada. Just don't confuse it for Lake Winnipegosis -- a smaller (but cooler-named) lake right next to it.


A flat plain makes up the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence lowlands. What caused it?

While dinosaurs are mysterious, they don't mysteriously cause plains to form. A flood of ocean water caused the flat plain to form.


What North American formation lends its name to another Canadian geographical region?

The Appalachian Mountains extend all the way from Alabama into Canada. This region contains rocky formations and rounded hills -- not unlike the U.S. Appalachian region.


What is a cordillera?

The Western Cordillera region of Canada includes the Canadian Rockies, but extends to the Pacific Ocean.


Which mountains in Canada are older -- the Appalachian or the Rockies?

The Appalachians are older -- they are not as high and angular, meaning they've been eroded more. The peaks of the Rockies are quite tall and sharp.


The Western Cordillera also consists of what mountain range?

While all three of those ranges are in the Pacific Mountain system, it's the Coast Mountains that are part of the Western Cordillera.


Is Canada part of the Pacific Ring of Fire?

It is dangerous! The Pacific Ring of Fire is a system of volcanoes and earthquakes occur. The area skirts around the basin of the Pacific Ocean, and you bet Canada is a part of it.


How big is the Arctic Archipelago?

Yup, it's a pretty big area of Canada. Predictably, it's mostly covered in ice and snow.


So just to refresh our memories . . . what's an archipelago, again?

Hey, no shame if you couldn't remember. The Arctic Archipelago consists of thousands of islands.


Canada has how much of the world's accessible fresh water?

That's right, Canada has 1/7 of the world's fresh water. It's mostly in the numerous lakes and wetlands that cover the nation.


What is Canada's longest river?

The Mackenzie River flows over 2,600 miles. From the Arctic, the Mackenzie drains into Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories.


What is the tundra?

OK, it is a type of truck too. But more than that, the tundra is a vast area that can't support much tree, plant or animal life.


What do you find in tundra areas?

Permafrost is just that -- permanently frosted ground. The permafrost of the tundra stays frozen year-round.


What DOES grow in the tundra?

Hey, don't mock some lichens and moss. They can support all sorts of little animals and insects that help keep the food chain thriving.


Canada is second only to Russia for what distinctive geographic feature?

If there was an objective way to measure "general snow and cold," Canada would probably be in competition. But it comes in second for the most boreal forest area.


Cool! Boreal forests! Er, what's a boreal forest?

A boreal forest is also called taiga, from the Russian name. In Canada, the taiga produces lumber and products, but it's also pretty hard to have access to the northernmost parts.


What other kinds of forests exist in Canada?

That's right! Canada doesn't just have coniferous and broad-leaf forests. It also has temperate rainforests in the British Columbia region.


What's the largest lake enclosed in Canada?

The Northwest Territories lake has many rivers flowing into it, including the Whitefish and the Big Spruce. Great Slave Lake is the second-largest.


How much of the world's population does Canada have?

It's a lotta land -- and geography -- for not many people. But Canada's vast area might just be more valuable because it is so sparsely populated.


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