Four corners (Canada)

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A map highlighting the corners of the four Canadian provinces and territories which theoretically meet.
The obelisk as seen from the Manitoba (southeast) side, with a survey tower in the territories.
The disk on top of the obelisk
What the borders would look like if the four corners do not meet at a quadripoint.

The four corners of Canadian political subdivisions hypothetically meet at a point near 60°N 102°W.[1] These are the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the territories of the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut.[1]


The four corners are located between Kasba Lake to the north and Hasbala Lake to the south at a place which, according to the Canadian Tourism Development Corporation is "extremely remote and inaccessible".[2][3] It is located by an area of marginal taiga forest, the only place in Nunavut which is not Arctic tundra or ice cap.[2] It is in remote northern wilderness, hundreds of kilometres from any road or railway. The site can be accessed from nearby Kasba Lake Airport/Water Aerodrome. Alternatively, it is possible to fly from Points North Landing near Wollaston Lake to Hasbala Lake.[3]

The intersection of the boundaries of Manitoba and Saskatchewan with NWT is marked by a metre-high aluminium obelisk inscribed to say it was erected in 1962.[3] At that time Nunavut was part of the Northwest Territories. On the top there is a disc warning of five years imprisonment for removing or destroying the monument.[3] About 8,000 other such monuments are used to mark borders around Canada.[4]

The establishment of Nunavut in 1999 led to the creation of Canada's only "four corners" at this same place.[2] In the legal definition of Nunavut, its border is specified as "Commencing at the intersection of 60°00'N latitude with 102°00'W longitude, being the intersection of the Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan borders".[5][6] However, the pre-existing boundary of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as surveyed, does not fall precisely on the meridian of 102°W,[7] and the obelisk was placed at 59°59′57.98511″N 102°00′27.24027″W / 59.9994403083°N 102.0075667417°W / 59.9994403083; -102.0075667417 (Four corners)Coordinates: 59°59′57.98511″N 102°00′27.24027″W / 59.9994403083°N 102.0075667417°W / 59.9994403083; -102.0075667417 (Four corners) (NAD83),[8] about 400 metres (1,300 ft) away. Therefore the laws are not perfectly clear about whether or not the Nunavut–NWT boundary, which has not been completely surveyed,[9] is to meet the others in a quadripoint. Surveys began in 2011.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hill, Tony L. (2002). Canadian politics, riding by riding : an in-depth analysis of Canada's 301 federal electoral districts. Minneapolis: Prospect Park Press. p. 448. ISBN 978-0972343602. 
  2. ^ a b c "Nunavut". Welcome to Canada. Canadian Tourism Development Corporation. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Butler, Brian J. "Manitoba - Northwest Territories - Nunavut - Saskatchewan Multi-point". The Corner Corner. BJB Software. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ "International Boundary Commission: keeping the line (Page 2)". Canadian Geographic. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Nunavut Act SCHEDULE I (Section 3) WESTERN BOUNDARY OF NUNAVUT". Canadian Legal Information Institute. 1993. Retrieved January 13, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Nunavut Act SCHEDULE I (Section 3) WESTERN BOUNDARY OF NUNAVUT". Government of Canada Justice Law Website. 1993. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Laying the Groundwork for Property Rights and Development". Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Station Unique Number 674002". Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved July 31, 2012. (registration required)
  9. ^ "Trans-boundary Mineral Claims and Leases". The Plan: Proposed Regulatory Changes and Map Selection in Nunavut. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. October 1, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  10. ^ "N.W.T.-Nunavut boundary being surveyed". CBC News. June 23, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  11. ^ "NWT-Nunavut border under the microscope". APTN National News. June 28, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 

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