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Population Characteristics, Population Centers

capital of Alberta, railroad hub, urban zone, commercial city, West Edmonton Mall

The largest urban centers of Canada are found mostly in the southern parts of Ontario and Quebec. They are ranked according to the population of their Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). A CMA is a geographic area that contains the main labor market of an urban zone—that is, the area from which at least 25 percent of the residents commute to work at jobs in the core built-up area. As of 2001 the largest CMAs in Canada were as follows. Toronto, Ontario (4,881,400), is the country’s leading financial and manufacturing center and one of the most ethnically varied cities in the world; its local government provides services in some 70 languages. Montreal, Quebec (3,511,800), a major manufacturing and commercial center, is the world’s largest French-speaking city outside France. Vancouver, British Columbia (2,078,800), is a scenic, rapidly growing commercial, transportation, and forest-products manufacturing center. Ottawa, Ontario, the hub of the Ottawa-Hull metropolitan area (1,106,900), is the national capital and an emerging center of high-technology research. Edmonton, Alberta (956,800), a petroleum and farming center, is the capital of Alberta and site of the West Edmonton Mall, one of the world’s largest indoor malls. Calgary, Alberta (971,500), is the headquarters of Canada’s petroleum industry and an important farm trade center. Quebec City (693,100), founded in 1608, is the capital of Quebec province, with a well-preserved center that has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Winnipeg, Manitoba (684,800), is a major wheat market and railroad hub. Hamilton, Ontario (680,600), is the principal center of Canadian steel production. London, Ontario (426,300), is an industrial and commercial city. Kitchener, Ontario (431,700), is a manufacturing center that forms the hub of Canada’s so-called technology triangle, an economic region comprising the cities of Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener, and Waterloo. St. Catharines, Ontario, in the St. Catharines-Niagara metropolitan area (393,100), is a center of agricultural and industrial production. Halifax, Nova Scotia (359,200), is a seaport and the economic center of the Atlantic region.

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