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Land and Resources, Extent

Davis Strait, Cape Spear, Baffin Bay, southernmost point, Arctic Ocean

Canada occupies nearly all of North America north of latitude 49° north and east of longitude 141° west. It has an area of 9,970,610 sq km (3,849,674 sq mi), of which 7.6 percent or 755,180 sq km (291,577 sq mi) is covered by fresh water such as rivers and lakes, including part of the Great Lakes. It is bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean; on the northeast by Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, which separate it from Greenland; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean; on the south by the United States; and on the west by the Pacific Ocean and Alaska. Cape Columbia, a promontory of Ellesmere Island, is the country’s northernmost point; the southernmost point, 4,600 km (2,900 mi) away, is Middle Island in Lake Erie. The easternmost and westernmost limits, which are separated by 5,500 km (3,400 mi), are respectively Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the greater part of the border with Alaska.

Long distances and a challenging physical environment make transportation and communication across the country very difficult. This reality has made it a challenge for Canadians to maintain a sense of nationhood.

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