Mixedwood Plains 2

Mixed Wood Plains
By Marissa Yott


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The Mixed Wood Plains, also known as the St Laurence Lowlands, is located on the coasts of lake Ontario and lake Erie, and travels up the St Lawrence River into Quebec. It is one of the most fertile areas in Canada, and has the most dense population of any other area in Canada.

Landforms –
The Mixed Wood plains were formed by glacial activity. The great lakes are essentially large indents carved by glaciers; after the Ice Age, when the glaciers melted the lakes were much larger, holding all the glacier melt-water, until it drained into the Atlantic Ocean. All of the glacial deposits that had settled to the bottom of the glacial lakes then became the rich, fertile soil of the Mixed Wood Plains, in which much of Canada’s crops are grown. The Niagara Escarpment was formed by differential erosion, by underground streams eroding different layers of rock, mostly limestone, leaving the trademark cliffs that form the Niagara Escarpment.

Rocks + Minerals
Mainly sedimentary rock formed by subtropical seas. Underneath which is the Canadian Shield made up of igneous rock.


Climograph for Toronto, ON
The mixed would plains have a moderate climate, with a defined summer and winter. Depending on air masses from the Northern Territories and from the Southern States, the properties of the seasons can be extremely varied, from a harsh, dry winter to a groggy cool summer to a mild, wet winter to a dry, drought-like summer.

Vegetation + Soil
Due to the rich glacial deposits, the amount of vegetation is very great and varied. For this reason, there is a large amount of agriculture that is based in southern Ontario, with crops such as tobacco, soybeans, corn, wheat, tomatoes etc. Natural vegetation includes maple trees, walnut, oak, spruce, hemlock, sassafras and tobacco plants. Due to the seasons, there is a healthy mix of both deciduous and coniferous trees.

Facts + Trivia
  • The Mixed Wood Plains are home to more people than any other Ecozone in Canada
  • This area is well suited for farming, and living in general. Water is close, land is fertile resources are plentiful
  • The Mixed Wood Plains attract tourists from all over the world due to the cultural flexibility of Canada


1 What is differential erosion?
Erosion caused by water moving through rock of different densities, causing layers above to collapse.
2 How was the bed of sedimentary rock formed?
By massive subtropical seas.
3 Why is so much farming done in the Mixed Wood Plains?
Due to the formation of the Mixed Wood Plains by sediment from lakes, the soil is filled with minerals that only decayed organisms can provide. Also, the close proximity of the Mixed Wood Plains to the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River makes irrigation simple.