Toronto Metropolitan Region

The Story

The Toronto region is home to about eight million people, and growing by one million people every decade. The businesses, industries, farms, and resources in the region produce nearly one-third of Canada's gross domestic product. The region is composed of a network of economically and functionally inter-related urban areas, a city of cities clustered around the City of Toronto, yet also an area with some of the best-quality agricultural land in Canada, thousands of hectares of forest, several unique landforms, and hundreds of fresh water lakes and rivers. The big picture shows how the region's metropolitan footprint borders three of the five Great Lakes. The dark green land cover in the northern quadrant of the map is the Canadian Shield, the largest area of exposed Precambrian Rock on earth. It is home to Algonquin Park, Canada's first provincial park, established in 1883. The map also highlights prominent landforms, such as the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine, both of which are now part of the regional Greenbelt, which protects about 1.8 million acres of land. The map includes dozens of separate municipalities, regional municipalities and counties, all of which make decisions about urban form, environmental protection, transportation, water and waste management, and other matters. Yet the big picture reminds us that these entities do not act in isolation. A decision in one municipality can affect its neighbours, or even the region as a whole. The Toronto metropolitan area is a functioning system, in which every part contributes to the whole. Please contact Marcy Burchfield at (mburchfieldATneptisDOTorg) or (416-972-9199 ext 24) if you need more information

How the "Big Picture" map was made

The map was created by stitching together 16 satellite images (using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper) and draping them over a digital and exaggerated model of the terrain. Unique characteristics of the landscape were highlighted by isolating and enhancing them in the imagery using thematic data such as natural heritage lands, urbanized areas, roads, hydrography, and bathymetry (water depth). To further achieve a 3D perspective, the flat plane of the map is tilted. The perspective is the view you would get if you were up nearly 300 kilometres in the air, hovering over Pennsylvania in the United States, looking north. Because of this unusual perspective, the scale varies across the map. For more details on how the map was created and how it can be used, please contact Marcy Burchfield (details above).

A copy of the poster is available for $20.00 (plus shipping and handling). Please contact publications (at) neptis (dot) org for more details.