List of regions of Canada

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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[edit]

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[edit]

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 has scattered populations in Manitoba, Ontario, and the Maritime provinces.
  • English Canada, sometimes known as the Rest of Canada when considering topics of language. Quebec is 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] It includes the territory of Nunavut, the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, the NunatuKavut and Nunatsiavut regions of northern Labrador, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

Primary and secondary geographic[edit]

  • Canadian 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] Some islands are administratively split between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
  • 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.
  • Hudson Bay Lowland, a large wetland that extends from northern Manitoba across the far north of Ontario into northwestern Quebec.
  • Acadia, a largely historical region that links parts of the Maritimes and parts of eastern Quebec.
  • Quebec City–Windsor Corridor that links southern Ontario with southern Quebec.
    • St. Lawrence Lowlands, a low lying valley area within the Corridor region. It extends from Quebec City to Brockville, Ontario, and is often linked with the core area of Southern Ontario into a larger combined region that is similar in geographic extent to the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.
  • Ottawa Valley that links eastern Ontario with western Quebec.
  • Palliser's Triangle that links the main agricultural regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. It is roughly co-terminus with the grasslands of the Canadian Prairies.
    • Cypress Hills that links the hilly areas of southern Alberta with their counterparts in southern Saskatchewan. The Cypress Hills are also part of Palliser's Triangle.
  • Mackenzie River Valley which includes the Peace River Country of northern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia and the Mackenzie-Slave-Athabaska river system in the Northwest Territories. They combine into a single large valley region that occupies much of the combined inter-provincial region. Some mountainous areas of British Columbia and Yukon are technically part of the watershed but are not generally considered part of the valley region.
  • Canadian Rockies which link most of British Columbia and Yukon Territory into a single mountainous 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. It is also part of the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor and the Ottawa Valley.

Provincial regions[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  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.