The Regional Geography of Canada. 2nd ed.


555 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-19-541651-1
DDC 917.1




Reviewed by J.H. Galloway

J.H. Galloway is a professor of geography at the University of Toronto.


Though intended for university students, this book could also serve well
as a succinct introduction to Canada for immigrants, journalists,
businesspeople, and others whose careers bring them from their homelands
to work here for a few years. It is well-written, informative, and
thoughtfully illustrated, and it provides abundant references for
further reading. It is a pleasure to come across an author who has made
such excellent use of maps.

The book has all the hallmarks of a traditional regional geography: an
introductory chapter deals with the physical geography of the country,
another covers the historical geography in rather a quick way. Bone then
divides the country into regions, and the greater part of the book is a
discussion of these regions, emphasizing their distinct
“personalities.” Bone has a lively writing style. He presents
statistical information in clear, well-designed tables, and topics of
particular interest or importance are set aside from the text in
“vignettes” (e.g., “British North America Act, 1867,” “The
Rise of Aboriginal Power,” and “Beaufort Sea”).

Unfortunately, Bone does not seem to like describing cities. He points
out that Canada is an urban country, and dutifully lists the populations
of the cities in several tables, but there is surprisingly little
discussion of them. According to the index, Toronto is mentioned on 12
pages, but actual discussion of the city is limited to barely two pages,
which include a photo of the business district at night. Montreal gets
two pages of attention but no photo. Quebec City rates half a page.
Saskatoon, where the author lives, is not mentioned in the index, but
does rate a picture (the caption comments about the importance of its
agricultural biotechnology industry). Perhaps in the next edition, Bone
could give the places in which most Canadians live a bit more attention.


Bone, Robert M., “The Regional Geography of Canada. 2nd ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,