What Are the Functional Regions of Canada?

The country of Canada is divided into five functional regions: the Atlantic Provinces, Central Canada, the Prairie Provinces, the West Coast and the Northern Territories. The National Capital of Canada, located in Ottawa, is also designated as a region, though it is not a separate government entity. Each of the Canadian regions consists of several smaller provinces and territories, as well.

The Atlantic Provinces on the eastern side of Canada are mainly coastal and boast many natural fishing and farming resources. These include Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Central Canada, located just to the west of the Atlantic Provinces, only has two provinces: Ontario and Quebec. Despite this, nearly half the Canadian population lives within this region. It is home to the National Capital of Canada, as well.

Continuing to the west are the Prairie Provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. These lands consist of dry, fertile farmland and are rich in energy resources. Above them are the Northern Territories, which are quite large; nearly one-third of Canada’s land mass, but are very poorly populated. The territories here are the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavot.

The West Coast is a mountainous region, and it consists only of British Columbia. British Columbia is a large region with a great deal of forestry, wood production and export. The location along the coast provides strong shipping and trade opportunities, with Vancouver as the largest port city in the region.