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Geospatial Data: Environment & Natural Resources of Canada


Geological Map of Canada

Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), Natural Resources Canada, 1997

A digital version of the Geological Map of Canada 1860A, based on a scale of 1:5,000,000. The data contains information including bedrock formation, metamorphic grade, geological age and composition of bedrock units, major faults, impact structures, and spreading centres.

Format:  ArcInfo Export (.e00), Shapefiles, and Digital Map (.jpeg/.pdf)

Access: Download from GeoScan

More Info: Data Description (Brock University)


Surficial Materials of Canada

Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), Natural Resources Canada, 1995

Shows the distribution of surficial materials in Canada, on land and in extensive offshore areas, at a 1:5 000 000 scale.

Format: Digital Map (.jpeg/.pdf)

Access: Download from GeoScan


Canadian Permafrost Thickness

Geological Survey of Canada, 2002

A vector dataset that describes the depth to the base of permafrost across Canada (Geological Survey of Canada Project 870023) from geothermal and geophysical records.

Format: ESRI shapefiles

Access: Download from Open Government of Canada



Soil Landscapes of Canada (SLC)

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, various years since 1996 (recently updated in 2011)

A series of GIS coverages that show the major characteristics of soil and land for Canada. The SLCs are based on existing soil survey maps which have been recompiled at 1:1M scale. Each area (or polygon) on the map is described by a standard set of soil landscape attributes, such as surface form, slope, water table depth, permafrost and lakes. The latest version SLC v3.2 provides soil information for the major agricultural regions of Canada. The latest complete coverage of Canada (i.e. including areas outside the agricultural regions of the country) is SLC v2.2.

Format: ESRI Shapefiles, ArcInfo Export (.e00), dBase tables (.dbf).

Access: Download from AAFC CanSIS website


National Ecological Framework for Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1996

The dataset includes three hierarchical levels of Ecological units (EcoZones, EcoRegions, and EcoDistricts), which are nested within Soil Landscapes of Canada. Each ecological unit is characterized by distinctive regional ecological factors, such as plants, wildlife, climate, water, soil, landforms, and human activities. Format: ESRI shapefiles, ArcInfo Export (.e00)

Access: Download from AAFC CanSIS Website

More Info: Ecological framework concept


Detailed Soil Survey (DSS) Compilations

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2010

Data from these surveys comprise the most detailed soil inventory information in the National Soil Database (NSDB). Coverage includes much of the significant agricultural areas of Canada. The Data is available as a compress package for each individual province.

Format: ESRI Shapefiles, dBase tables (.dbf).

Access: Download from AAFC CanSIS Website



DMTI CanMap Water

DMTI Spatial Inc., 2003-2014

Vector datasets that contain both major and minor waterbodies across Canada based on NTDB 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale mapping. Waterbody names, hydrographic label points, and navigational hazards (i.e. rocks in water) are also included.

Format: ESRI Shapefiles

Access: Download by province from Scholars GeoPortal


National Hydro Network

Canadian Council on Geomatics (CCOG), 2004

The vector data describes Canada's inland surface waters, such as lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams, canals, islands, obstacles (e.g. waterfalls, rapids, rocks in water) and constructions (e.g. dams, wharves, dikes), as well as a linear drainage network and the toponymic information associated to hydrography.

Format: ESRI Shapefiles, GML (Geography Markup Language), geodatabase 

Access: Download from GeoGratis FTP Site 



National Climatic Data and Information Archive

Environment Canada

This site provides interactive mapping tools that allow browsing and downloading climate data (temperature, wind, precipitation, rainfall, snowfall etc.) for many Canadian cities in hourly, daily, monthly, and almanac (daily averages & extremes) intervals.  

Format: XML or as a CSV (comma delimited) file

Access: Environment Canada 


Gridded Climate Data for Canada 1950-2013

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

This dataset contains grids of daily maximum temperature, minimum temperature and precipitation for the Canadian landmass south of 60°N, 1950-2013. These grids were interpolated from daily Environment Canada climate station observations and have a resolution of 10km.

Format:  ASCII Text (CSV)

Access:  Requested from ADC



Canadian Wind Energy Atlas

Environment Canada, 2003

This site contains colour maps representing the average wind velocity and power for the whole country, as well as corresponding geophysical characteristics. The atlas presents results averaged over a 43-year period. The data covers all of Canada in 65 tiles with a resolution of 5km.

Format: MapInfo exchange format (.MIF and .MID), or RPN (proprietary binary fst format)

Access: Visit the download section for various data downloading.

Peatlands of Canada database

Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 4002, 2002

The database contains information on the nature and distribution of peatland in Canada.

Format: ArcInfo Export (.e00), ESRI shapefiles

Access: Download from GeoGratis FTP Site 



National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Database-Facility Data

Environment Canada, 1994-2008

NPRI facility data provides Information on pollutant releases, disposals and transfers for recycling reported by facilities, and their latitude and longitude coordinates. Downloadable formats include databases, spreadsheets and map layers. The data can be viewed in Google Earth with a KML file. Time series spatial data can be viewed in chronological order using a slider bar in the Google Earth viewer.

Format: KML, Excel spreadsheet, MS Access

Access:  Download from Environment Canada