The Appalachian Region


The Pacific Coast
The Cordillera
The Prairies
The Canadian Shield
The Great Lakes
The Appalachian Region
The Arctic
Geography and identity



The Atlantic provinces are an extension of the Appalachians, an ancient mountain range. Much of the region has low, rugged hills and plateaus and a deeply indented coastline. Agriculture flourishes in the fertile valleys, such as the Saint John River Valley in New Brunswick, and the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland are the smallest Canadian provinces, and were the first to be settled by Europeans. Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has a gently rolling landscape with a rich, red soil. This fertile island is Canada's smallest province, making up a mere 0.1 percent of Canada's land mass.




The Grand Banks were once known as the "fish fields" of Newfoundland and are the reason why Europeans first came to Canada in the 1550s. This shallow continental shelf extends 400 kilometres off the east coast, where the mixing of ocean currents has created one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Once thought to contain a virtually inexhaustible supply of fish, the Banks are now considered a vulnerable resource that must be managed wisely.








The combined influence of continental air masses with air currents off the ocean give this region one of the most rugged and most variable climates anywhere in the country. In winter, mean temperatures can vary markedly as Arctic air is replaced by maritime air from passing storms. Snowfall in winter is relatively heavy, and fog is common in spring and early summer. The warmest month is July, when mean temperatures are in the 16 to 18C range, except near coastal areas where August is often warmer.

Click here for Nova Scotia climate graph / Prince Edward Island climate / Newfoundland climate graph / New Brunswick climate graph