The Relevancy of the Heartland - Hinterland Distinction in Canada's Ec

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The Relevancy of the Heartland - Hinterland Distinction in Canada's Economic Geography

Until the early 20th century, Canada was primarily an agricultural nation. Since then it has become one of the most highly industrialized countries in the world as a direct result of the development of the ‘heartland'. To a large extent the manufacturing industries present in the heartland are supplied with raw materials produced by the agricultural, mining, forestry, and fishing sectors of the Canadian economy, a region known as the ‘hinterland'. The ‘ heartland-hinterland' concept in Canada describes patterns of economic power, namely, where economic power and control resides within the nation. Thus, the heartland-hinterland concept distinguishes raw-material and staple-producing hinterlands from the capital service industrial heartland and reveals the metropolis or dominating city of the system. At a national scale, the Canadian metropolis is Toronto, and the region with the most influence is the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands. But while immense influence radiates outward from the metropolis located in the heartland, the relationship between hinterland and heartland is one of intimate mutual dependency. In modern Canadian economics, neither region can exist without each other, and the well-being of one directly affects the other. These two regions show remarkable contrasts, yet they are to a large extent interdependent on each other, clearly suggesting that the heartland-hinterland distinction is quite relevant in terms of Canada's economic geography.

Upon discussing the importance of the heartland-hinterland in Canada, it is necessary to discuss what each term refers to. According to McCann the heartland is an area "… which possesses favourable physical qualities and grant food accessibility to markets; they display a diversified profile of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary industries; they are characterized by a highly urbanized and concentrated...
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