The Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Ottawa-Gatineau Area.

The Canada Land Inventory provides one of the most comperhensive digital map sources for resource planning ad management in Canada. The area covered by the CLI is indicated in the index map.For each of the map sheets areas land capability is mapped at 1:250'000 scale and usually at a 1:50'000 scale. This is an example for Mapsheet 31G, Ottawa and Gatineau covering part of Ontario and Québec. The index map on the right shows the areas mapped for Ungulates capability under the CLI. The left image shows an example of a number of overlays displayed on Google Earth

Each of the 1.250'000 scale maps has an extensive description of the lanscape ecosystem and capability perspectives. Below is an example for Ottawa-Gatineau map area.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE OTTAWA- GATINEAU AREA, 31G

Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION
2. CLIMATE
3. MAIN SOIL CHARACTERISTICS
4. AGRICULTURE
5. ECOLOGY
6. WATERFOWL CLASSIFICATION
7. FOREST ECOLOGY
ONTARIO
9. LOCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
10. GEOLOGY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY
11. CLIMATE
12. FOREST ECOLOGY
13. RECREATIONAL CAPABILITY
QUEBEC
15. LOCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
16. GEOLOGY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY
17. CLIMATE
18. FISH AND WILDLIFE
19. SETTLEMENT AND LAND USE
20. RECREATIONAL CAPABILITY


1. INTRODUCTION
The Ottawa map sheet includes part of south-western Quebec and part of what is referred to as Eastern Ontario. In Quebec, it covers a large part or all of the following counties: Gatineau, Hull, Papineau, Argenteuil, Two-Mountains. Vaudreuil, Soulanges, Beavharnois and Huntingdon. In Ontario, it covers parts of the counties of Carleton, Lanark, Grenville, Dundas and Stormont and all of the counties of Glengarry, Prescott and Russell.
Roads in the region are good to excellent and sufficient in number to provide easy access to both local and distant markets. Highways Nos. 2, 401, and 17 are common to both provinces and provide links between the two largest urban centres of the map area: Ottawa-Huh and Cornwall with Montreal and with Toronto. Other important high• ways of the map area are, in Quebec: Nos. 8, 11, and the Laurentian Autoroute, and in Ontario: Nos. 16, 31 and 43. The area is well served by rail and is crossed by the Transcanadian lines of the Canadian National and of the Canadian Pacific Railways. The St. Lawrence Seaway goes through the southeastern corner of the mop area.
The central part of the area is traversed from west to east by the Ottawa River, which separates the two provinces, and partly delineates the hills of the Precambrian Shield, called the Laurentians, from the level to undulating area of the St. Lawrence-Ottawa lowlands. The hills occur exclusively in Quebec on the north side of the river. The lowlands occupy the whole map area in Ontario and extend in Quebec along the eastern edge of the map.
The hilly area is covered by sugar maple as the dominant tree, with a variable proportion of beach, birch, basswood, balsam, fir, spruce and white pine, according to exposure and moisture conditions. Red oak is often dominant on the warmest, driest hilly sites. In the lowlands, the tree cover varies considerably and consists mainly of sugar maple on the well drained soils of medium texture, of red maple, elm and block ash on the moist fine texture soils and of white pine on the dry sandy locations. Red cedar (i. virg.) is often found on the shallow soils over limestone.
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2. CLIMATE
The climate is of the cool continental type, with usually adequate average precipitation during the growing season. Snow is abundant in the winter. The best climate is found in the south east portion of the map area, where it is a few degrees warmer than the north western portion. Over the entire area, the mean annual temperatures ranges from 390F. to 430 F., the average frost-free period from 120 to 145 days and the growing season, from 185 to 197 days. The average annual precipitation ranges from 30 inches to 40 inches, in the various sectors of the map, except in the north-east sector where it exceeds 43 inches
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3. MAIN SOIL CHARACTERISTICS
The hilly area varies in elevation from 500 to 1500 feet and is dissected by narrow valleys situated between 400 and 800 feet of elevation and orientated from south to north. The hills are made up mainly of stony soils of the Acid Brown Wooded group. The northern parts of the narrow volleys consist of Podzols formed on sandy and gravelly outwashes. The southern ports of these some valleys often consist of Humic Gleysols formed on fine texture deposits.
The lowland area lies between 100 and 400 feet of elevation and consists mainly of calcareous tills, marine clays, and alluvia sands generally over-lying the clays. Organic deposits are also found in the low-lying areas. The till soils are generally of loam to sandy loam texture, moderately to imperfectly drained and belong to the Brown Forest group. The clay soils are imperfectly to poorly drained and belong to the Humic Gleysols. The soils bordering the Ottawa River soils have a higher clay content and somewhat poorer structure than those around North Cower and Inkerman. The sandy soils of the lowlands belong mainly to the Podzol group and vary from excessively to imperfectly drained.
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4. AGRICULTURE
The land has been used mainly for forestry in the Uplands and for agriculture in the Lowlands. Dairying is the dominant agricultural endeavour and cereal grains, hay, posture and silage corn are the main crops grown. Tourism has played an important part in the development of the Laurentian area and it is foreseen that this role will become more and more important.
Capability classification by P. Lajoie and D. W. Hoffman, based on soil information contained in Quebec and Ontario Soil Survey Reports.

5. ECOLOGY
The predominant forest cover of the area of conifers in the northern stet. The dominant deciduous species are sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and beach (Fagus grandifolis) with red maple (Acer rubrum), yellow birch (Betula lures), and white elm (Ulmus americana). Among the conifers, hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), white pine (Pinus strobus), white spruce (Picea glsuca), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea) are common.
The remaining forest cover of the intensively farmed lowlands is varied and consists primarily of sugar maple on the medium-textured, well-drained soils, red maple. elm, and black ash (Fraxinus nigra) on the moist, fine-textured soils, and white pine on the dry, sandy soils. Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is common on the shallow soils over limestone.
Most of the high quality wetlands in the map area are located along the Ottawa, St. Lawrence, and Rideau rivers. Emergent vegetation in these marshes includes sedges (Carer spp.), pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), arrowheads (Sagittaria spp.), wildrice (Zizania aquatical, river bulrush (Scir pus fluviatilis), burreed (Sparganium sp.), and cattail (Typha latifolia). Submergents include white and yellow waterlilies (Nymphaea spp. and Nuphar spp.), watershield (Brasenia schreberi), pondweeds (Potamogeton spp.), eelgrass (Vallisneria americana), watermilfoils (Myriophyllum spp.), and smartweeds (Polygonum spp.).
Waterfowl habitat in the interior of the lowland region is generally poor. Most of the dabbling duck nesting places are situated near the tributaries of the Nation and Raisin rivers. Some sections of these tributaries are good for the production of waterfowl. Lakes and shallow ponds are rare in the lowlands, although several organic depressions are present; waterfowl utilize such sites to a limited degree. The largest of the organic sites are the Mer Bleue and Alfred Bog, both of which are raised sphagnum bogs.
Marshes in the Gatineau uplands are of poor quality except for the scattered beaver ponds and small shallow lakes. The dominant emergent vegetation in these upland marshes is cattail, bulrush, and sedge. Submergent vegetation consists mainly of white and yellow waterlilies, pondweeds, and watershield. Many lakes also have borders of sweet gale (Myrica gale).
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6. WATERFOWL CLASSIFICATION
Most of the land north of the Ottawa River is Class 7 for waterfowl and has adverse topography as the main limitation. Deep lakes and steep-banked rivers are Class 6 and are limited by topography, stony soils, and depth. Certain shallow lakes end the better-drained bogs are in Class 4 or 5 and are mainly limited by fertility.
Both the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers are heavily used migration routes as well as nesting sites. Open water is therefore rated Class 3M; the numerous shallow bays and islands vary from Class 1 to 3 and in many cases S is added to indicate migration stops.
Streams are mainly rated Class 5T. Class 4 includes the better-developed marshes in the southern part of the Rideau system and a scattering of inland ponds and depressions. Hunting in the inland region is limited to some field shooting and jump shooting along streams and depressions, which include borrow pits.
Waterfowl hunting is intensive on both the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers. Beaver ponds and shallow lakes in the southern section are also heavily hunted for waterfowl, whereas north of the Ottawa River, moose and deer hunting predominates.
Capability Classificetion by G. Arsenault and B. Johnson, Canadian Wildlife Service.
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7. FOREST ECOLOGY
In the Upper St. Lawrence Section, the main forest types are black willow near rivers and streams; silver maple-red maple, elm-ash-bur oak, swamp white oak-walnut, and elm-ash on silty clay deposits; eastern white pine-red pine on sand bars and sandy terraces; maple-white elm and Laurentian maple-basswood-white ash on deep tills; maple-red oak and eastern white pine-red pine on the upper part of hills. Tracrs al blaclr ribr, and eastern white pine, on lithosols have not been mapped. Silver maple-red maple tracts contain silver maple, red maple, hybrids of species, and sometimes elm. They are generally found on recent alluvium where periodical inundation may occur. The soil profile is vague and can sometimes be classified with Gleyed Regosols. The humus is a well-developed hydromull. The texture varies from sandy loam to clay loam. Drainage is also variable, not only because of changes in structure and texture, but also because of the inegular duration of the inundation. Silver maple grows well on these site types, even under unfavorable moisture conditions. The average annual growth can reach 105 cubic feet per acre on soils with a sandy clay loam texture and moderately good to impeifect drainage. These soils are rated Classes 3 and 4. Soils that contarn more clay and have poorerdrainage only allow a growth of 65 cubic feet per acre annually. The silver maple stands on alluvial soils are rated Classes 2 and 3, and are limited by inundation.
In elm-ash-bur oak site types, white elm end Mack ash are the main species. Bur oak, swamp white oak, butternut, and red ash occur to a lesser extent, and are sometimes associated with shagbark hickory and slippery elm. Allthough they are rare today, these stands occupied most of the Ottawa River valley and small pelts of its tributary valleys before the land was cleared.
The deposits supporting this vegetation type are clayed or loamy. Humic Gleysols or Gleyed Melanic Brunisols with a hydromull surface horizon have developed. Drainage varies from good to imperfect. On better-drained soils, which are rated Classes 2 and 3, the average annual growth can reach about 100 feet cube per acre. On Class 3 or 4 sites, growth is limited to a maximum of 63 feet cube per acre. Climate and moisture are the main limitations.
In elm-ash stands, white elm and black ash predominate and are sometimes associated with red ash, bur oak, and butternut. This site type occurs on the same type of deposits as the elm-ash-bur oak tracts; however,drainage varies greatly. Here, the water table remains high throughout most of the year and growth is less. The soils have been rated Class 4w.
Pure stands of eastern white pine and red pine, sometimes mixed with hemlock, grow easily on sandy or sandy and gravelly deposits. Generally well-drained and sometimes excessively drained, these materials favor the development of HumoFerric Podzols. Well-drained Rna and medium sands have been rated Class 1 and excessively drained coarse or gravelly sands have been rated Class 2MF.
Maple-elm tracts are mainly sugar maple associated with white elm, black ash, basswood, and sometimes sliDDen elm and butternut where calcareous rocks occur. These stands are situat~d between tracts of elm-ash-bur oak and Laurentian maple tracts. They are found at the foot of slops, especially on tills, and sometimes on the plain alluvium adjacent to the glacial tills. The soils are usually Gleyed Melanic Brunisols with a well-developed mull horizon. Drainage is good, moderately good, or imperfect. These soils have been rated Classes ZC, 3W, 4w, and 4C.
In maple-basswood (Laurentian) tracts, sugar maple predominates end is associated with white ash, basswood, and sometimes beach, bitternut hickory, and butternut. The soil profile is an Orthic Melanic Brunisol derived from well-drained moderately deep till containing calcareous rocks. The humus is a well-developed mull. Class 2C is found on well-drained calcareous tills and Class 3F on well-drained tills where calcareous rocks do not occur.
Thin and outwash tills as well as tills with poor water-holding capacity are covered mainly by stands of sugar maple and red oak. In these tracts, ironwood, white ash, basswood, and beach occur to a lesser extent. Calcareous rocks in the subsoil favor the introductkwr of hiokory and Mue beach. The outwash till outcrops of the clay plain have been rated Class 3M, the well-drained thin tills Class 4a,, the excessively drained thin tills Class 5W and the hilltop Class 6a.
Red oak tracts are almost pure stands of red oak interspersed with small amounts of white ash, eastern white pine, red pine, ironwood, and red maple. The red oak tracts occuov the lithosolic tops of the hills on the lowland and on the edge of the Laurentian Wighlands. The soils are very dry and many rock outcrops occur. These tracts are rated Classes 6MR and 7MR
In the Middle Ottawa Section, tracts of yellow birch and maple-beach are found along with the types already described. They have the same characteristics, but their distribution is much more limited.
Yellow birch tracts comprise mainly sugar maple and yellow birch. Basswood, beach, and white ash occur in some places. This association is generally found on the moist part of the slopes on moderately well-drained deep tills, which have been rated Class 3. The soils are Orthic Dystric or Degraded Dystric brunisds. The growth of these tracts can reach an annual average of 92 cuMc feet per acre, end they have been rated Class 2C. In the maple-beech tracts, sugar maple and beech are the main species. Yellow birch, hemlock, basswood, and white ash also occur. In some places beach regenerates very strongly and no yellow birch is found. This type of stand grows on dry tills. Maple-beach tracts occupy the upper slopes of mountains or the tops of rock-centered till hummocks. Generally, the soils is an Orthic Dystric brunisols or Degraded Dystric Brunisol. thick tills have been rated Class 3M, and thins soils 4MR.
Capability classification (1966-1969) byJ. L. Carrier in cooperation with J. i.. Drown end G. Gsgnon, Department of Lends and Forests, Research Service, D. Doyon, Quebec Department of Agriculture and Colonization Research Service, andllaniel Waltz, Sir George Williams University. Whenever available, information found in Quebec Soil Survey Reports was used.
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ONTARIO


9. LOCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The area covered bythe Ottawa map sheet comprises parts of southeastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec. The Ontario Dart of the area includes much of the lowland between the Ottawa River and St. Lawrence River and Seaway. It is within the eastern Ontario development region, and includes many agricunural towns as well as larger centers such as Ottawa and Cornwall. These larger centers are mainly along the Ottawa end St. Lawrence rivers. A number of smaller centers are found inland.
The Ontario part of the area is served by an extensive transportation system, including main highways and railways, which join Montreal and the east with both northern and southern Ontario. Much of the area has a system of rural roads from 1 to 4 miles apart. The area is served by the St. Lawrence Seaway, and by international airports at Ottawa and Montreal.
The Ontario part of the area is a lowland with flat to gently rolling relief and practically no strongly broken relief. Elevations range from 150 feet to 400 feet and generally increase from east to west.
The soil materials tend to be shallow to the west where there are extensive tacts of exposed sedimentary rock, and somewhat deeper to the east. The soil materials include clays and other fine materials of lacustrine or marine origin, fine sands of deltaic origin, and loams of drumlin or morainic origin.
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10. GEOLOGY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY
The broad belt south of the Ottawa River tends to be flat to very gently undulating or rolling. It contains extensive clay flats at 150 to 200 feet above sea level; these are generally low in lime and develop moist soils. Several plateaus of fine deltaic sand occur at 200 to 250 feet above sea level. These have a water table, and they vary in relief from smooth to hummocky. The soils are sometimes fresh, and may vary from fresh to wet within very short distances. There are also extensive swamps and bogs in this region. The lower St. Lawrence River region is gently rolling and the surface varies from smooth to hummocky. The soil material is largely of till origin, is generally high in lime, and is loamy textured. The soils are generally fresh, but there are many pockets of moist to wet soils. Pockets of moist clay, moist deltaic loams, and extensive swamps also occur. The southern part of the area, in the Winchester vicinity, contains extensive tracts of clay. These generally have very fresh to moist soils and very gentle topography. They are frequently interspersed with small- to medium-sized drumlins of fresh loam till. This region has some excellent farmland.
Immediately south of Ottawa there is an extensive region of fine sand along the Rideau River. This region has gently undulating relief and is somewhat hummocky, so that the water table and soil moisture content vary widely within short distances. West of Ottawa there are extensive regions of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks, largely ddomite, limestone, and sandstone. These regions havegently rolling or undulating relief that is broken to some extent by small scarp mere are many shallow broad basins in the rock, which are frequently occupied by very wet organic soils. Elsewhere, the soil material generally ranges in depth from exposed bedrock to shallow, and there are a few tracts of deep soils. The materials are of variable texture.
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11. CLIMATE
The climate of this region, and the response of vegetation to combinations of climate and landform, place it in Site Region 6E for Ontario, which is one of the more favorable climatic regions of Ontario. The growing season is 189 to 198 days, end the frost-free period is 130 to 150 days. fne annual precipitation of 34 to 38 inches is among the highest in Ontario; it appears to be distributed fairly evenly during an average year. The July mean temperature is 880F to 69'F, the January mean is 120F to 150F, and the annual mean 420F to 440F. There are 3250 to 3400 growing degree-days above 420F. Because of the gentle relief, the local climate tends to be uniform, though there is some variation in precipitation within the area. Also, the settling of cord air may cause frost pockets.
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12. FOREST ECOLOGY
At present, forests are largely restricted to wet regions and other regions of limited capability for agriculture, and to farm woodlots, some of which are on very good soils. Theforests mainly consist of tamarack and black spruce on very swamp sites, and sugar maple on deep organic materials and moist mineral matenals. The forest on fresh soils consists largely of sugar maple, with lesser amounts of basswood, white ash, and white pine. Stands of similar composition, but of much lower quality, occur on very shallow and shalloYroaieouer bedrock. On dry and fresh sand, the forest cover may include sugar maple and pioneer species, such as poplar. These sites have a high capability for growing good stands of red and white pine.
Mapping units and capability classes byJ. R. M. Williams and G. A. Hills, based on field work, Ontario soil survey reports, and other sources.
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13. SITE REGIONS
For a descri ption of Site Regions refer to the Ontario Regional Class Description in Land Capability Classification for Forestry, prepared for the Canada Land Inventory by R. J. McCormack, Department of Regional Economic Expansion. Report No. 4, 2nd Edition, 1970.
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14. RECREATION CAPABILITY (ONTARIO)
In the Ontario part of the area, the scenic Ottawa, St. Lawrence, and Rideau waterways and the many historic features found throughout the area are main tourist attractions. These water systems are the most intensively used recreation features; however, the lack of good bathing beaches limits their capability for recreation. The highest rating for bathing, Class 3, occurs just east of Lancaster, on the St. Lawrence River. A Class 2 lodging site, located on the Ottawa River west of Shirley's Bay, is the best for the entire area. There are extensive possibilities for viewing and hunting upland game such as white-tailed deer md Hungarian partridges. The potential is less extensive for wetland wildlife, which tends to be more concentrated along the shorelines. The Mer Bleue and the Alfred Bog are atypical ecosystems in this part of the province. Alfred Bog supports one of the few moose herds in Southern Ontario. The chief tourist attraction in the area is the city of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. This city of about 300,000 people contains many features of interest to the visitor, including the Public Archives several national museums, the Parliament Hill. The range of recreational activities in the Ontario part of the area is somewhat limited; however, the city of Ottawa and the Rideau Waterway provide high-quality recreation and tourist potential.
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15. QUEBEC
16. LOCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The area covered by the Ottawa map sheet lies between 450 and 460 north latitude and 740 and 760 west longitude. It extends on both sides of the Quebec-Ontario border and is in the Upper St. Lawrence and Middle Ottawa sections of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region. In the Quebec part of the area, the Upper St. Lawrence Section comprises part of the Central St. Lawrence Lowland and the southernmost palt of the Laurentian Highlands between Luskville and St. Jerome. The Middle Ottawa Section comprises part of the Laurentian Highlands. It extends from Ferme-Neuve to Deep River and Brownsburg. The topography of the Central St. Lawrence Lowland is mainly flat to gently undulating and the altitude varies from 50 to 350 feet above mean sea level. The flatness is sometimes broken by morainic ridges, particularly the rocky hills of Oka and Rigaud, and by the sandy plateau of St. Larare. The Laurentian Highlands region is hilly and furrowed by narrow valleys of flat to undulating relief that run north to south and open on the Ottawa River valley. The elevation ranges from 500 to 1200 feet.
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17. GEOLOGY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY
The Upper St. Lawrence Section contains Paleozoic formations, such as the Potsdam sandstones, Beekmantown limestones, Black River and Trenton limestones, and Chazy, Loraine, end Richmond shales. However, the Oka and Rigaud hills are of Precambrian age and consist of crystalline limestone of the Grenville Formation intermixed with granitic and gneissic rocks. The part of the Canadian Shield that is in the Middle Ottawa Section generally contains metamorphic and intrusive rocks of Precambrian age. The metamorphic rocks are much more common and belong to the Grenville Formation. They are crystalline limestones, paragneiss, quartzites, amphibolites, and pyroxenites. These rocks have small granitic intrusions, sometimes associated with pegmatites, syenites, diorites, gabbros, and diabases. The glacial Champlain Sea, which covered the St. Lawrence and Ottawa river valleys, mantled them with silty and loamy sediments. Later the meltwaters resulted in the formation of sandy plateaus, beaches, and terraces'on the shores of the St. Lawrence and its tributaries. The Upper St. Lawrence Section contains glacial tills, especially on the edge of the Laurentian Highlands and on the few hills situated in the lowland. Fluvioglacial deposits are found as eskers at Riviere-Beaudette and Pointe-Fortune. In the Middle Ottawa Section, the bottom deposits correspond to glacial and fluvioglacial formations, such as ground moraines and sand and gravel deposits respectively. In the postglacial period, they were covered by deposits of fluviatile, marine, lacustrine, alluvlal, and organic origin. Because of the irregular relief, the tills are thin on the hills and deeper in the valleys. They generally contain numerous drift boulders and their texture is lamely that of sandy loams. Fluvioglaclal deposits are found mainly along valleys and around lakes as terraces, outwash plains, kames, and askers. Varved or layered silty clay lacustrine deposits are also common. The layered type occurs along main rivers such as the Gatineau and the LiBvre. The Ottawa River tributaries have left recent alluvium containing stratified silts and fine sands. Some sandy deposits, modified and shifted by the winds, have contributed to the formation of dunes.
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18. CLIMATE
The climate of the Upper St. Lawrence Section can be classified as humid and moderate. The mean annual temperature is about 420F. The frost-f ree period varies from 125 to 175 days, with an average of 150 days. It usually begins after the week in May and ends about the first week in 0ctober. The average annual precipitation is about 36 inches and is distributed felrty evenly throughout the The Middle Ottawa Section has a slightly colder climate. It has a mean annual temperature of about 400F. The frost-free period is usually about 100 to 130 days extending from the end of May to mid-September. The average annual precipitation is about 37 to 40 inches and is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.
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19. FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Ottawa River, from Ottawa to Papineauville, and the St. Lawrence River are marshy in many places providing excellent habitat for fish and waterfowl. The waters of the area are well-stocked with pike, bass trout, maskinonge, walleye, and many varieties of panfish. Ducks are found mainly along the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers, and geese are also found along the Saint Lawrence. Upland game consists mainly of white-tailed deer, grouse, Hungarian partridges rabbits, and squirrels.
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20. SETTLEMENT AND LAND USE
The area was originally inhabited by Iroquois and Algonquin Indians. Settlement occurred during the earliest colonization period, along the St. Lawrence River and then along the Ottawa. These rivers were part of an important exploration and trade route in the development of Canada.
Today, the land south of the Laurentian Highlands is devoted primarily to agriculture. Mixed farming is important, but there is a trend towards specialization in daily fanning to supply the large urban markets of Montreal and Ottawa. Most of the Laurentian Highlands is in forest. Large expanses in eastem Ontario are also forested, particularly on the organic soils north of Comwall and in the southwestem pat of the area, where thin soil over limestone and organic soils have prevented agricultural development.
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21. RECREATION CAPABILITY
In the Ouebec part of the area the Gatineau, Lievre, the Rouge rivers offer recreational possibilities especially for boating and fishing, but the Gatineau is the most important. These rivers are mainly limited by the presence of pulpwood, organic pollution, and variation in water level. The smaller Petite Nation and Nord rivers have low recreational capability. The eastem part of the Petite Nation, however, offers excellent viewing of falls and cascades. The high level of pollution limits the Nord River. The many lakes north of the Ottawa add to the recreational capability of the area. These clear lakes are fished for pike, bass and brook trout. Some lakes, such as lakes Papineau and Poisson Blanc, have rocky shores and deep waters. Lakes Simon and des Plages have beautiful beaches for bathing and swimming. The area has a high capability for hiking and viewing. The lowlands along the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence rivers fon an interesting agricultural region showing the typical French farm pattem. Along the roads and arnlands throughout the area are large trees which add a blaze of color to the scenery in fall. The Oka Hills ofter interesting viewing the year around. In the spring, the maple sugaring houses in the Gatineau Hills are a popular attraction.
Along the Ottawa and Nord rivers the contrast in scenery between the Laurentian Highlands and the Central Saint Lawrence Lowland provides good capability for viewing throughout the year. The Gatineau Hills are the most spectacular feature of the area Gatineau Park provides magnificent viewpoints scenic routes, and hiking trails. The most important valleys are scenic corridors tributary to the Ottawa River. Other attractions are the second and third longest wooden bridges in Quebec, which are located near Val das Bois and NotreDame de la Sallette, the LaflBche caves, the falls at Plaisance, and a number of sites near Sainte-AdBle. Rock and mineral collectors can find numerous specimens near operating or abandoned mines. In winter, skiing is the main attraction. The main ski runs are located in the upper Gatineau in the westem part of the area end around Sainte-AdBle in the eastem part. These ski runs aJerage 500 feet in elevation, except at Mount Sainte-Marie, where the runs are 1000 feet. Although the skiing capability of the rest of the Laurentian region is also high, use is somewhat limited by proximity to bedrock and rock outcrops. Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are possible in many locations. In February, ice fishingis a popular activity on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivets and on many lakes. The recreational capability of the area is among the highest in Quebec. The variety of landforms, the many important rivers and the possible use of many lakes make it a large playground between the two very important cities of Montreal and Ottawa.
Capability classification by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests and the Quebec Department of Tourism Fish and Game.
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