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CANADA AT SCALE: Maps of our History


OTTAWA, June 29, 1999Canada at Scale: Maps of our History, the newest exhibition of the National Archives of Canada, illustrates the evolution of Canada through cartography. It opens on June 30 at the National Archives, 395 Wellington St. in Ottawa, and will be shown from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until December 31, 1999. Admission is free. Later this summer, the exhibition will be available on the National Archives Web site ( For information: (613) 992-2618.

Canada at Scale celebrates both Canada’s cartographic heritage of the last 500 years and Canada’s role in world cartography from the late nineteenth century to the present. It brings together some 70 cartographic and visual records from the thousands in the holdings of the National Archives. The exhibition offers a rare and varied glimpse into the rich traditions of Canadian cartography and unique insight into the exploration and evolution of Canada, from modest colony to the world’s second-largest country.

Canada at Scale shows how Aboriginal peoples, European colonial powers, Canadians, governments, private industry and academics all produced precious maps in spite of the difficulties presented by the vastness of the land, the harshness of the climate and terrain, the long periods of war and the rudimentary techniques. It illustrates how the maps of Canada changed during the course of history becoming more accurate and reliable as techniques for navigation, making astronomical measurements and printing maps improved. Modern types of maps and charts which emerged with our changing knowledge and needs, and in response to technological and industrial growth are also shown.


For more information please contact:

Pauline Portelance
Media Relations Officer
Telephone: (613) 947-1498