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The Geography of Canada

Course Code: GEOG 1180
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Hybrid
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer, Winter
course overview

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
  2. Canada’s physical geographies
    • Location
    • Landforms
    • Climate
    • Hydrology
    • Vegetation
    • Biodiversity
  3. Colonialism and resettlement
    • Indigenous geographies
    • European exploration
    • Settler colonialism and dispossession
    • Historical geographies of slavery
    • Early Asian immigration
    • Constructing national identities
  4. Population and social geographies
    • Demographic analysis
    • Population distribution
    • Immigration
    • Urbanization
    • Multiculturalism
  5. Economic geographies
    • Colonial economies
    • Resource development
    • Manufacturing
    • Tertiary and quaternary industries
    • Treaties and consultation
    • Economic globalization
  6. Regions of Canada
    • Nationalism and regionalism
    • Regional analysis and comparison
    • Ontario
    • Quebec
    • Atlantic Canada
    • Western Canada
    • British Columbia
    • The North
  7. Review and conclusions
    • Regionalism and nationalism
    • Canada in global context

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.

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%

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.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.