Geography and Location
The Land Between is a bioregion that extends from the Georgian Bay Coast to the Ottawa Valley. It is the last intact wilderness expanse of southern Ontario, a final refuge for wildlife species, and a land of hope. The region is an irreplaceable source of ecosystem services, such as water filtration and pollution capture, that keep us healthy. However, it is also a fragile place where urban sprawl and habitat loss will compromise our long-term stability and ability to navigate the challenges of Climate Change.
Where is the Land Between Region?
The Land Between is a special geological region extends across central Ontario from the Frontenac Arch in the east to Georgian Bay and Southern Parry Sound. The region is more than 240km in length and over 50km in width that skirts the Algonquin Dome and spans 9 counties and 28 townships.
To learn more about the region's boundary and its detection read/download: The Land Between Boundary
Why is the Land Between Special? It is a rare Ecotone.
When traveling throughout Ontario, you will encounter large known ecosystems such as the St. Lawrence Lowlands, the Canadian Shield and further north, the Boreal Forest. But what lies between these areas? An “ecotone" is an area of transition containing elements from the ecosystems it borders, but also having features that are entirely unique.
The Land Between is characterized by low relief exposed granite to the north side and “stepping stones” of limestone plain along the south side. Small and connected lakes and wetlands between these dry open ridges and patches of cool shaded forest are the patterns of this unique natural system. The physical character of The Land Between, as an ecotone, is shaped by fundamental transitions in: Geology; physiography; climate; and elevation.
Rock outcrops/Barrens of the Land Between
Shorelines in southern Ontario
The Land Between is located in a unique plant hardiness zone; has its own growing degree days; has its own amount of frost free days, has the highest mineral diversity in Ontario; the highest percentage of shoreline to area than anywhere in the province; and the only rock barrens in Ontario. To view these maps see/download: Geographic Transitions of TLB
Generally the landscape has less than 15cm of soil cover. The lack of soils, together with the abundance of connected fresh water, and the starker climate make this landscape easy to damage. Pollution and disruption here is far reaching and long lasting.
Ecotones are also areas of high biodiversity. Biodiversity results from the number of food web interactions: Higher biodiversity means more species are interacting within the food web and this is important for healthy and functioning ecosystems. Higher biodiversity also translates into more resilience to withstand climate change impacts and therefore greater well-being for people.
For more information on the characteristics of The Land Between Ecotone please download The Land Between as an ecotone, or watch the videos and read our blog below!