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Article

Crow

The crow family (Corvidae) is a large family of birds that includes jackdaws, choughs, jays, magpies and nutcrackers as well as crows and ravens.

Article

Wild Berries in Canada

Over 200 species of small, fleshy, wild fruits occur in Canada. Most people consider them all “berries” but, technically, they are classed in different categories. These categories include drupes (e.g. cherries, elderberries), pomes (e.g. saskatoon berries), true berries (e.g. gooseberries, blueberries) and aggregate fruits (e.g. raspberries, strawberries). In this article “berry” is used in its less technical sense. The following are favourite Canadian wild berries.

Article

Toronto Feature: Hurricane Hazel

Hurricane Hazel was one of the most devastating and unpredictable tropical storms of the 20th century. It was first identified on 5 October 1954, in the Caribbean, where it smashed into Haiti and then battered the Carolinas. The storm struck Toronto on 15 October with winds of 124 km/h and record rainfall.

Article

Aluminum in Canada

Aluminum is a lightweight, strong and flexible metal that resists corrosion and is 100 per cent recyclable. It is a common material in vehicles, buildings, consumer goods, packaging, power transmission and electronics. Canada’s aluminum industry began at the turn of the 20th century and grew quickly during both World Wars. Today, Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer and second largest exporter of aluminum. The country nevertheless accounts for less than 5 per cent of global production. Aside from one smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia, all Canadian plants are in the province of Quebec.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

Scorpion

A scorpion is a carnivorous and venomous arthropod of the class Arachnida, order Scorpiones. Known from fossils 425-450 million years old, scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial animals.

Article

Dam

A dam is a structure built across a waterway to control or stop the flow of water. This is called impounding the flow of water. Dams can be built by animals, such as beavers, or constructed by humans. In some cases, they are even formed by natural geological forces.

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Toronto's Record Snowstorm

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 25, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

As a storm raged outside, the constantly ringing phones went unanswered at Environment Canada’s Toronto offices last Thursday. Like many other workplaces in the city, it was shut down - by the worst series of blizzards ever to strike Toronto.

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Natural Environment

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on June 2, 2003. Partner content is not updated.

THIS IS MY medicine cabinet," says Karl Schibli, his ice-blue eyes widening with the excitement of someone about to let a neophyte in on what he already knows. The object of Schibli's focused attention is a red Coleman picnic cooler on a shelf in his barn near Waterford, Ont.

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Saguenay Floods Kill 10

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 5, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

One soggy day late last April, Art Poirier found himself among thousands of people stacking sandbags against rising floodwaters from southern Manitoba's ancient and implacable nemesis, the Red River. Poirier flicked a cigarette butt into the brand new lake around his home.

Article

Boreal Zone

The boreal zone is Canada’s largest vegetation zone, making up 55 per cent of the country’s land mass. It extends from Yukon and northern British Columbia in the west to Newfoundland and Labrador in the east. While much of the region is covered by forest, it also includes lakes, rivers, wetlands and naturally treeless areas. The boreal zone is home to diverse wildlife, and is crucial to maintaining biological diversity, storing carbon, purifying air and water, and regulating the climate. With more than 2.5 million Canadians living in the boreal zone, the forest also provides these rural communities with jobs and economic stability.

Article

Wetlands

Wetlands cover about 14 per cent of the land area of Canada, and are the natural habitat of over 600 species of plants, animals and insects. In addition to providing a home for these plants and animals, wetlands are an essential part of the environment because they prevent flooding, filter toxins, store groundwater and limit erosion. The most common wetland habitats are swamps, marshes, and bogs.

Article

Caribou

Caribou are members of the deer family. They may be further categorized based on where they live and how they behave. Caribou in Canada are generally categorized into three types: peary, barren-ground and woodland. Taken together, caribou are found in most Canadian provinces and territories, with the exception of the Maritimes.

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Red River Flood

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 12, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

The flood of the century, they have been calling it in Manitoba, an awesome demonstration of nature’s raw might.

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Avalanche in Quebec

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 11, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

It was just past 1:30 a.m. on New Year's Day, and most of the residents of the isolated northern Quebec community of Kangiqsualujjuaq were celebrating in a school gym. People exchanged hugs and warm wishes as they listened to the draw for a $1,000 door prize. Then disaster struck.