Four corners (Canada)

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A map highlighting the corners of the four Canadian provinces and territories which theoretically meet.
NASA map showing Kasba Lake and the four corners
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. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2015-02-20. 
  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" (PDF). 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.