Curriculum Guideline

The Geography of Canada

Effective Date:
Course Code
GEOG 1180
The Geography of Canada
Geography and the Environment
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs/week, or Hybrid Format: 2 hrs/week in class with 2 hrs/week online
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following: lecture, labs, field work, DVDs/videos and animations, individual and/or team projects, small group discussion, and map and air photo analysis. Where the course is offered in a hybrid format, students will complete over 50% of the course material online and outside of the classroom in a self-directed manner.

Course Description
What it means to be Canadian and/or live in a place called Canada is not always entirely clear and may depend on where, when, and who you ask. GEOG 1180 explores Canada’s identities, regions, and natural and cultural landscapes. Using the concepts and methods of regional geography, this course examines Canada both as a world region and as a country with distinct regions. A central focus is comparing and contrasting Canada’s regions when it comes to key geographic issues. Topics may include the colonial present, place-based identities and regionalism, resource mega-developments, physiography and biogeography, climate change, fisheries collapse, immigration and multiculturalism, urban Indigeneities, reconciliation movements, demographic changes, and/or urbanization and urban change.
Course Content
  1. Introduction
  • Images of Canada from within and without
  • Approaches to the geography of Canada
  • Regions and regional geography
  • Geographical scale
  • Core-Periphery Model
  • Mapping Canada
  • Canada’s physical geographies
    • Location
    • Landforms
    • Climate
    • Hydrology
    • Vegetation
    • Biodiversity
  • Colonialism and resettlement
    • Indigenous geographies
    • European exploration
    • Settler colonialism and dispossession
    • Historical geographies of slavery
    • Early Asian immigration
    • Constructing national identities
  • Population and social geographies
    • Demographic analysis
    • Population distribution
    • Immigration
    • Urbanization
    • Multiculturalism
  • Economic geographies
    • Colonial economies
    • Resource development
    • Manufacturing
    • Tertiary and quaternary industries
    • Treaties and consultation
    • Economic globalization
  • Regions of Canada
    • Nationalism and regionalism
    • Regional analysis and comparison
    • Ontario
    • Quebec
    • Atlantic Canada
    • Western Canada
    • British Columbia
    • The North
  • Review and conclusions
    • Regionalism and nationalism
    • Canada in global context
    Learning Outcomes

    At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

    1. Synthesize the concepts and techniques of regional geography.
    2. Communicate effectively orally, graphically, in writing, and using quantitative methods.
    3. Create, interpret, analyze, and utilize maps.
    4. Evaluate and make informed decisions about contemporary Canadian issues using the methodologies, concepts, and techniques of regional geography.
    Means of Assessment

    Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific criteria during the first week of classes.

    An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be: Journal 20%, Map exercises 20%, Project 15%, Mid-term exam 20%, Final exam 25%

    Textbook Materials

    Texts will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically: 
    An instructor’s Course Reader may be required. 
    Bone, R.M. (2018). The Regional Geography of Canada. Don Mills: Oxford University Press. 
    Canadian Geographic Atlas of Canada: The Story of A Country Through Maps, Photographs, History and Culture (2014). Canadian Geographic. Toronto: Collins.

    Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada (2018). Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

    McGillivray, B. (2010). Canada: A Nation of Regions. Don Mills: Oxford University Press. 
    Stanford, Q. E. (2009). The Canadian Oxford World Atlas. Don Mills: Oxford University Press.



    Cod Comeback? (2012). Films Media Group and the Public Broadcasting Service. 

    Dando, S., and Ingles, P.J. (Executive producers); Kinew, W. (presenter) (2012). 8th Fire. Entertainment One Films Canada and CBC Canada. 

    Fowles, M. and Loften, A. (2016). Welcome to Canada. National Film Board of Canada.

    Hubert, N., & McGee, D. (2008). An Untidy Package. National Film Board of Canada. 

    Isacsson, M., Zannis, M., Salzman, G., & Haig, D. (2009). Power. Cineflix Inc. 

    Krishna, L., Viccari, B., & Barrett, A. (2009). The M-Word. Third Element Productions.

    Lewis, A., Cuarón, A., Glover, D., MacFarlane, S., Barnes, J., Hossain, A., & Klein, N. (2016). This Changes Everything. The Message Productions, LLC. 

    Longul, W. Nishida, A., Shibasaski, T. and Tamamoto, Y. (2013) Arctic Circle: Episode Two, Battle for the Pole. National Film Board of Canada.

    Moreine, M. (2014). Welcome to Canada. National Film Board of Canada.

    Nakagawa, A. M., & Thompson, B. (2005). Between: Living in the Hyphen. National Film Board of Canada.

    Radford, T., Reed, P., & Raymont, P. (2008). Tar Sands: Canada for Sale. White Pine Pictures. 

    Radford, T., Thompson, N., Suzuki, D., Schindler, D. W., Cameron, J., & Paulette, F. (2011). Tipping Point: the Age of the Oil Sands. Clearwater Documentary, Inc.

    Raineault, L., Sher, J., & MacDonald, A.-M. (2009). The Battle for the Arctic. Arctic Passage Productions.

    Sangra, B. (2019). Because We Are Girls. National Film Board of Canada.

    Simonsen, B. (2011). Stories From Our Land 1.5. National Film Board of Canada

    St. John, M. & O'Connor, J. (2016). Colonization Road. Decolonization Road Productions Inc. 

    Tom, P. (2017). Baggage. National Film Board of Canada.