Canada’s rivers are some of the most impressive in the world. They are long, wide, and deep, and they flow through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Canada’s rivers are also important for transportation, power generation, and recreation.
Canada has a vast and complex river system that covers over 8.9 million square kilometers, or about 80% of the country’s land area. This system is made up of thousands of rivers and streams, which can be classified into three main groups:
- Continental rivers: These rivers flow from the Rocky Mountains to the Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean. They are the largest and most important rivers in Canada, and they include the Mackenzie, Yukon, and Nelson rivers.
- Coastal rivers: These rivers flow from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic Ocean. They are smaller than continental rivers, but they are still important for transportation and power generation. Some of the most famous coastal rivers in Canada include the Fraser, Saint Lawrence, and Ottawa rivers.
- Arctic rivers: These rivers flow from the mountains to the Arctic Ocean. They are the coldest and most remote rivers in Canada, and they are home to a variety of unique plants and animals. Some of the most famous Arctic rivers in Canada include the Coppermine and Kazan rivers.
Longest Rivers in Canada
|Saint Lawrence River
There are 42 designated Canadian Heritage Rivers. The Mackenzie River is the longest river in the Canada River Map at 4,241 km long and feeding more than 50,000 lakes. The Skeena River is the second largest river. It runs 610 kilometers from its beginning to its rich estuary near Prince Rupert on the Pacific coast and is Canada’s second-largest wild salmon fishery. The shortest river in Canada, and the second shortest in the world, is the Powell River in B.C. only 500 meters long.
Mackenzie River: The longest river in Canada, the Mackenzie River flows for 4,241 kilometers (2,635 miles) from Great Slave Lake to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean. The river is home to a diverse array of fish and wildlife, and it plays an important role in the traditional cultures of Indigenous peoples in the Northwest Territories.
Yukon River: The Yukon River flows for 3,185 kilometers (1,979 miles) from the Llewellyn Glacier in Canada’s Yukon Territory to the Bering Sea in Alaska. The river is a popular destination for fishing, rafting, and kayaking. It is also home to several First Nations communities.
Saint Lawrence River: The Saint Lawrence River flows for 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles) from Lake Ontario to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The river is a major commercial shipping route and a popular tourist destination. It is also home to several large cities, including Montreal and Quebec City.
Nelson River: The Nelson River flows for 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) from Lake Winnipeg to Hudson Bay. The river is a major source of hydroelectric power and is home to several large dams. It is also a popular destination for fishing and canoeing.
Slave River: The Slave River flows for 1,453 kilometers (903 miles) from Great Slave Lake to the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories. The river is a major transportation route for Indigenous peoples in the region. It is also home to a number of fishing and hunting camps.