In which part of Canada do most Canadians live?

The majority of Canadians choose to live close to the border with the United States. New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia are the provinces bordering the US. Trade and climate are two factors that explain the choice of many Canadians to live close to the US-Canada border. The United States and Canada share the longest border in the world and are the largest trading partners globally. There are no tariffs on many goods shipped between the US and Canada in accordance with the Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement. Large volumes of goods are transported across the border annually. Trade supports millions of jobs in both countries, and Canada is the major export market for many US states (36 out of 50 states). On its part, Canada is the largest energy supplier to the US, providing 18 percent of natural gas imports and 20 percent of oil imports. Canada is the major electricity supplier – mostly renewable and clean hydroelectric power – to California, the Pacific Northwest, Upper Midwest, New York, and New England. US nuclear power plants use Canadian uranium as well. Moreover, the United States and Canada have one of the largest investment relationships in the world. US companies invest mainly in Canada’s petroleum, mining and smelting industries, chemicals, and the manufacturing of transportation equipment and machinery. Commercial transactions and export/import naturally take place close to the border, which is where most Canadians live.

Climate is another reason why many Canadians choose to live close to the border. The south-western coast of Canada enjoys a relatively mild climate, and in the southern provinces, temperatures often surpass 30 °C during the summer months. While the south-eastern and western regions experience high rainfall, the Prairies receive little precipitation. Foehn winds (chinook winds) bring spring-like conditions for a short period of time, but winters can be very cold in the western regions. Mean temperatures are around -17 °C in the western portion and -11 °C westward.

Southern Ontario is the most southernmost and the most densely populated region of Canada. Southern and Northern Ontario vary greatly. Southern Ontario has different culture and climate and a larger population than its northern counterpart. The region can be divided into smaller sub-regions such as Eastern Ontario, Golden Horseshoe, Southwestern Ontario, and Central Ontario. It is home to 12.1 million or over 92 percent of Ontario’s population and about 35 percent of Canada’s population. The region’s well-used transportation routes (air, land, and water), moderate climate, arable land, and proximity to populated areas in Midwestern and Northeastern United States explain why many Canadians choose to settle in Southern Ontario. It has a large manufacturing sector, and some parts of the region are heavily entwined with cities in Michigan and New York in terms of people and industry. The focus areas are Detroit-Windsor, Sarnia, and the Niagara Region. Many people live and work on the opposite side of the border. Areas with heavy trade traffic include western Pennsylvania, parts of northern Ohio, Quebec, and Montreal.