Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Something I did not know, but should have

I knew, as a Canadian, that our population is extraordinarily concentrated in a few small urban areas. This belies the idea that Canada is a large country -- the Canadian people are in fact quite small in number, and aren't even particularly well-dispersed.

But I didn't realize how concentrated Ontario's population actually is. If, on a map, you drew a line of latitude from Ottawa west to Georgian Bay, all the land in Ontario south of that point would consist of only 15% of the land, but over 95% of the population -- more than 11 million of Ontario's 12.5 million people. This also implies that this line and the shores of Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario would encompass fully one-third of Canada's population.

Yeesh. A beautiful country, and we're barely living in it.

5 comments:

Jer said...


Yeesh. A beautiful country, and we're barely living in it


Is this a complaint?

I'd think it was a good thing that most of the land was being left alone, instead of people building hideous McMansions on it like we get around here...

john said...

Is this a complaint?

Honestly, I don't know. I don't want to see Canada paved, either, but I personally feel like I've missed out by not seeing more of my home province, much less the rest of the country.

Raphael Alexander said...

John, the worst part of it is that we're all stuffed in these cities where the jobs are, and every weekend we have to drive farther to farther to get past urban sprawl. I wish we would come up with a plan for deurbanization.

Let's take all the IT 905ers and make them work via satellite link in the remote barrens of Northern Ontario to spread out the crowd.

adam said...

I don't think that would even be de-urbanization in my book. It would just be re-urbanization. Urbanization II: This time, we'll get it right!

It is a little odd to see this lamenting of empty country, what with the recent posts on leaving land alone as being the best thing for it. I do think that distributing proper urban centres over more of the country would be better than endless sprawl. Assuming, of course, we came up with sensible transport solutions.

john said...

It is a little odd to see this lamenting of empty country, what with the recent posts on leaving land alone as being the best thing for it.

Yeah, what can I say. I'm weird. The enviro part of me wants the land left alone. The part of me that was raised in the standard North American frontier myth sees boundless open spaces and thinks, "boy... a farm/mall would go real nice with that virgin forest..."