Common menu bar links

St. Lawrence Lowlands

St. Lawrence Lowlands

Monarch Butterfly, Point Pelee National Park
Monarch Butterfly,
Point Pelee National Park

© Parks Canada


"At Arnall's Creek they found a flat marsh-grass quite free from forest trees which were then universal above the water's edge of Lake Ontario. Here they pitched their tents, the creek and lake forming two sides of a triangle for defence from wolves... Salmon would run in November, and the winter supply of fish secured from the creek...."

From an account of the first settlers where Toronto now stands


This natural region comprises three widely separated units linked by the unfolded sedimentary bedrock that underlies them. Although each unit shares a common geological origin, the geographical distances between them and the disparity in intensity of land use and population density produces a lack of uniformity with respect to flora and fauna and the impact of human activities on the land. The western and central units are among the most human-altered regions of Canada, containing about half the population of Canada; the eastern unit is largely unsettled.

The Niagara Escarpment, a line of cliffs and bluffs up to 300 metres high snaking across the entire western unit from Georgian Bay to the Niagara River, is the most prominent landform in a region of gentle unspectacular relief.

Flowerpot Island
Flowerpot Island
© Parks Canada

The Niagara River cuts through the escarpment at Niagara Falls, one of the most outstanding examples of a falls and gorge in Canada, and certainly the most photographed.

The story of the most recent glaciation is written heavily on the region. Large drumlin fields, boulder-studded moraines and thick deposits of glacial till (such as the Scarborough Bluffs near Toronto) dominate the topography of the region.

National Parks System Plan, 3rd Edition

PreviousTable of contentsNext