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Geography of Yukon

The Yukon is divided by three of Canada’s seven physiographic regions. The vast majority of the territory is within the Western Cordillera region, while small, northern portions belong to the Canadian Arctic and Interior Plains. Geographically the bulk of the Yukon is a subarctic plateau interspersed by mountains. The major exception is the Arctic Coastal Plain, a narrower eastward continuation of the same region in Alaska, which slopes down to the Beaufort Sea from the British Mountains inland.


Yukon River

At 3,185 km (1,149 km of which lie in Canada), the Yukon River is among the longest rivers in the country (see also Longest Rivers in Canada). Its headwaters are in the northwest corner of British Columbia, at the province’s border with the Yukon. It flows north and northwest across the Yukon into Alaska, then west to Norton Sound on the Bering Sea. Within the large central plateau of the Yukon, ringed by the Mackenzie Mountains to the east and the St. Elias range to the southwest, the Yukon River and its tributaries form the region’s dominant drainage basin.


Longest Rivers in Canada

Canada’s rivers have played a vital role in the country’s history and cultural heritage. As transportation routes for Indigenous people and early settlers, they connected the country before railways and other modes of transportation. They have also been a source of water, food and recreation for thousands of years. Below is a list of Canada’s 10 longest rivers. The list is ordered by the river’s total length, not just the portions within Canadian borders. Similarly, the length cited is the length of the river’s main stem and does not include tributaries.



Châteauguay, QC, incorporated as a city in 1912, population 50,815 (2021 census), 47,906 (2016 census). In 1975, Châteauguay merged with the town of Châteauguay-Centre (incorporated 1960) to create the present entity. The city is located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Rivière Châteauguay, about 25 km southwest of Montreal.


Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum, Canada's national museum of military history, was opened in 2005 on the south bank of the Ottawa River. The museum, originally begun in 1880 as an informal collection of military artifacts, was moved in 1967 to an archives building on Sussex Drive with most of the collection stored off-site. In 2001, the Federal Government announced the decision to fund the construction of a state-of-the art new building to be situated in the LeBreton Flats area of downtown Ottawa. Designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects in a joint venture with Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects, the Museum opened in May 2005. Appropriately, its opening coincided with the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe and also the 125th anniversary of the museum itself.


Acadian Heritage

This collection explores the rich heritage of the Acadians through articles and exhibits, as well as quizzes on arts and culture, history and politics, historical figures, and places associated with the Acadian people.


Reserves in British Columbia

As of 2019, there were 1,583 reserves in British Columbia associated with 203 Indigenous Nations (see also First Nations in British Columbia). Unlike many other parts the country, where reserves resulted from treaties made between the federal government and Indigenous Nations, most reserves in BC were created without such negotiations. Only two general locations in BC are covered by historic treaties: parts of Vancouver Island are covered by the Douglas Treaties, and the northeast corner of the province by Treaty 8. In BC as with other parts of the country, reserves are bound by the terms of the Indian Act. However, given the number of Indigenous Nations without a treaty in BC, the province has implemented a modern treaty negotiation process. Several BC Indigenous communities have used this process or other means to negotiate self-governing agreements. These agreements place decision-making authority over land management in the hands of Indigenous governments.


Canadian Music Hall of Fame

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established in 1978 by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). It honours individuals or groups that have made an outstanding contribution to the international recognition of Canadian artists and music. For many years, a sole inductee was presented annually at the Juno Awards. Since 2019, multiple inductees have also been presented annually at a separate ceremony at the National Music Centre in Calgary.



Edmonton, Alberta, incorporated as a city in 1904, population 1,010,899 (2021 census), 933,088 (2016 census). Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, and is located on the North Saskatchewan River, near the geographical centre of the province. Commonly known as the "Gateway to the North," it is strategically situated on an economic divide between the highly-productive farmlands of central Alberta and a vast, resource-rich northern hinterland.



Barrie, Ontario, incorporated as a city in 1959, population 147,829 (2021 census), 141,434 (2016 census). Barrie is located at the head of Kempenfelt Bay, on the western edge of Lake Simcoe. Located within Simcoe County, Barrie shares borders with the municipalities of Oro-Medonte, Springwater, Essa and Innisfil. Throughout history, the Barrie area has been home to different Indigenous groups, namely the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabeg peoples. The land is covered by Treaties 16 and 18.



Milton, Ontario, incorporated as a town in 1857, population 132,979 (2021 census), 110,128 (2016 census). One of four municipalities in Halton Region, Milton’s odd shape means it shares a border with six communities. Milton’s modern borders were created in 1974, from Nassagaweya Township, the Town of Milton, and parts of Esquesing, Trafalgar, and Nelson townships.

Throughout history, the Milton area has been home to different Indigenous groups, namely the Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabeg, including the Mississauga. The land is within treaties 3 ¾, 14, and 19 (see Upper Canada Land Surrenders).



Guelph, Ontario, incorporated as a city in 1879, population 143,740 (2021 census), 131,794 (2016 census). The City of Guelph, the seat of Wellington County, is located on the Speed River in south central Ontario, 96 km west of Toronto and 28 km east of Kitchener-Waterloo. This industrial and educational centre is set in the heart of a highly productive agricultural region.


Mackenzie River

The Mackenzie River’s main stem is 1,738 km long, making it one of the longest rivers in Canada. The Mackenzie River system, which includes tributaries such as the Liard River, is 4,241 km. The Mackenzie River runs northwest through the Northwest Territories, from Great Slave Lake to the Beaufort Sea. Its total drainage basin — 1.8 million km2 — is the largest of any river in Canada and its mean discharge of 9,700 m3/s is second only to that of the St. Lawrence. The river's peak discharge occurs in June, but its flow is generally uniform because of the flat topography east of the river and the many large lakes in the system. The break-up of ice begins at the Liard River in late April, early May. The river is free of ice by early June and stays open until November.


Fraser River Gold Rush

In 1858, around 30,000 gold seekers flooded the banks of the Fraser River from Hope to just north of Lillooet in British Columbia’s first significant gold rush. Although it dissipated by the mid-1860s, the Fraser River Gold Rush had a significant impact on the area’s Indigenous peoples and resulted in the Fraser Canyon War. Fears that the massive influx of American miners would lead the United States to annex the non-sovereign British territory known as New Caledonia also resulted in the founding of British Columbia as a colony on 2 August 1858 (see The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Founding of British Columbia). By the mid-1860s, the Fraser Rush collapsed, and British Columbia sank into a recession.


National Parks of Canada

Canada’s national parks are protected areas established under federal legislation to preserve Canada’s natural heritage. They are administered by Parks Canada, a government agency that evolved from the world’s first national parks service, the Dominion Parks Branch, established in 1911. The National Parks System Plan, developed in 1970, divided Canada into 39 natural regions and set the goal of representing each region with at least one national park. Canada now has 48 national parks and national park reserves in 30 of these regions. In total, the parks cover more than 340,000 km2, which is over 3 per cent of Canada’s landmass. They protect important land and marine habitats, geographical features and sites of cultural significance. National parks also benefit local economies and the tourism industry in Canada.

(This is the full-length entry about National Parks of Canada. For a plain-language summary, please see National Parks of Canada (Plain-Language Summary).)


Continental Divides in Canada

A continental divide is a ridge or natural boundary of elevated terrain that separates the drainage basins of a continent. Each drainage basin contributes its water to river systems, which in turn flow into distinct larger bodies of water, such as oceans. The main continental divide in Canada follows the ridge of the Rocky Mountains.


Clement Ligoure

Clement Courtenay Ligoure, physician (born 13 October 1887 in Trinidad; died 23 May 1922 Port of Spain, Trinidad). Dr. Ligoure was Halifax’s first Black doctor and an unsung hero of the Halifax Explosion, as he treated hundreds of patients free of charge in his home medical office. Dr. Ligoure was also instrumental in the formation of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canada’s first and only all-Black battalion (see Black Canadians; Caribbean Canadians).


Coats Island

Coats Island, Nunavut, 5,498 km2, is one of several islands that guard the northern entrance to Hudson Bay. Known originally as Cary Swan Nest, a name still applied to its southeast point, it received its modern name from William Coats, a sea captain who made many voyages into the bay for the Hudson's Bay Company between 1727 and 1751.