A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a corporation whose ownership is dispersed among the general public in many shares of stock which are traded on a stock exchange or in over the counter markets. In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange. A public company can be unlisted. Public companies are formed within the legal systems of particular nations, therefore have national associations and formal designations which are distinct and separate. For example one of the main public company forms in the United States is called a limited liability company, in France is called a "society of limited responsibility", in Britain a public limited company, in Germany a company with limited liability. While the general idea of a public company may be similar, differences are meaningful, are at the core of international law disputes with regard to industry and trade. In the early modern period, the Dutch developed several financial instruments and helped lay the foundations of modern financial system.
The Dutch East India Company became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public. In other words, the VOC was the first publicly traded company, because it was the first company to be actually listed on an official stock exchange. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they did not develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fledged capital market: corporate shareholders; as Edward Stringham notes, "companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were not enduring endeavors and no considerable secondary market existed." The securities of a publicly traded company are owned by many investors while the shares of a held company are owned by few shareholders. A company with many shareholders is not a publicly traded company. In the United States, in some instances, companies with over 500 shareholders may be required to report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Public companies possess some advantages over held businesses.
Publicly traded companies are able to raise funds and capital through the sale of shares of stock. This is the reason publicly traded corporations are important; the profit on stock is gained in form of capital gain to the holders. The financial media and the public are able to access additional information about the business, since the business is legally bound, motivated, to publicly disseminate information regarding the financial status and future of the company to its many shareholders and the government; because many people have a vested interest in the company's success, the company may be more popular or recognizable than a private company. The initial shareholders of the company are able to share risk by selling shares to the public. If one were to hold a 100% share of the company, he or she would have to pay all of the business's debt; this increases asset liquidity and the company does not need to depend on funding from a bank. For example, in 2013 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg owned 29.3% of the company's class A shares, which gave him enough voting power to control the business, while allowing Facebook to raise capital from, distribute risk to, the remaining shareholders.
Facebook was a held company prior to its initial public offering in 2012. If some shares are given to managers or other employees, potential conflicts of interest between employees and shareholders will be remitted; as an example, in many tech companies, entry-level software engineers are given stock in the company upon being hired. Therefore, the engineers have a vested interest in the company succeeding financially, are incentivized to work harder and more diligently to ensure that success. Many stock exchanges require that publicly traded companies have their accounts audited by outside auditors, publish the accounts to their shareholders. Besides the cost, this may make useful information available to competitors. Various other annual and quarterly reports are required by law. In the United States, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act imposes additional requirements; the requirement for audited books is not imposed by the exchange known as OTC Pink. The shares may be maliciously held by outside shareholders and the original founders or owners may lose benefits and control.
The principal-agent problem, or the agency problem is a key weakness of public companies. The separation of a company's ownership and control is prevalent in such countries as U. K and U. S. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission requires that firms whose stock is traded publicly report their major shareholders each year; the reports identify all institutional shareholders, all company officials who own shares in their firm, any individual or institution owning more than 5% of the firm's stock. For many years, newly created companies were held but held initial
Fernie, British Columbia
Fernie is a city in the Elk Valley area of the East Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, located on BC Highway 3 on the eastern approaches to the Crowsnest Pass through the Rocky Mountains. Founded in 1898 and incorporated as the City of Fernie in July 1904, the municipality has a population of over 5,000 with an additional 2,000 outside city limits in communities under the jurisdiction of the Regional District of East Kootenay. A substantial seasonal population swells the city during the winter months. Fernie lies on the Elk River, along Canada's southernmost east-west transportation corridor through the Rockies that crosses the range via the Crowsnest Pass, 40 kilometres to the east; as the largest and longest-established community between Cranbrook and Lethbridge, Fernie serves as a minor regional centre for its fellow Elk Valley communities. Fernie is the only city-class municipality in Canada, encircled by the Rocky Mountains; the townsite was laid out in the crook of a doglegged glacial valley that today is drained by the Elk River.
Three tributaries of the Elk—Coal and Fairy Creeks—rise in its side valleys and join the Elk either within or in close proximity to the townsite. To the north of the city lie Mount Fernie, Mount Klauer, The Three Sisters and Mount Proctor. To the northeast is Mount Hosmer, to the east is Fernie Ridge, to the southeast is Morrissey Ridge and to the southwest are the various peaks of the Lizard Range. Fernie gives the name to the Jurassic-Age Fernie Formation; the Lizard Range is home to Fernie Alpine Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in Canada, Island Lake Catskiing, a resort. While the slopes of the mountains are the present focus of economic activity until comparatively residents of the area were more interested in the mountains' innards; the vast Crowsnest Coal Field lies just to the east of the city, Fernie owes its origins to nineteenth-century prospector William Fernie, who established the coal industry that continues to exist to this day. Acting on pioneer Michael Phillips' twin discoveries of coal and the Crowsnest Pass a few years earlier, Fernie founded the Crows Nest Pass Coal Company in 1897 and established a temporary encampment near Coal Creek.
The Canadian Pacific Railway arrived in the valley the following year, a townsite emerged parallel to the railway line north of the initial encampment, or "Old Town." An Internment camp was set up at rented premises in Fernie from June 1915 to October 1918. Underground coal mines were dug 10 kilometres away from the townsite in the narrow Coal Creek valley and until 1960 a small satellite community was known as Coal Creek stood adjacent to them. A variety of other mines were sunk into the coal fields in a fifty-kilometer radius in the following two decades. No mining was carried out in Fernie proper. Forestry played a smaller role in the local economy and a local brewery produced Fernie Beer from Brewery Creek. Like most single-industry towns, Fernie endured several boom-and-bust cycles throughout the twentieth century tied to the global price of coal; the mines at Coal Creek closed permanently by 1960 and the focus of mining activity shifted to Michel and Natal about twenty-five kilometres upriver, which sat on a more productive portion of the Crowsnest Coal Field.
Kaiser Resources opened immense open-pit mines there in the 1970s to meet new thermal coal contracts for the Asian industrial market, predominantly for use in blast furnaces. Fernie would remain an important residential base for mine labour, along with the new communities of Sparwood and Elkford that sprang up much closer to these new mines. Today, Teck Resources operates all five open-pit mines, shipping out unit trains along the Canadian Pacific Railway through Fernie to the Pacific Coast, where the coal is loaded onto freighters at Roberts Bank Superport in Delta. After a disastrous fire leveled much of the downtown core in 1904, the fledgling municipal government passed an ordinance requiring all buildings in the area to be built of'fireproof' materials like brick and stone. A new city centre rose from the ashes sporting brick buildings along broad avenues that would have looked more at home in a sedate and refined Victorian city than a rough-and-tumble frontier coal town, they were short-lived, however, as a second, larger inferno swept through the city on August 1, 1908.
Whipped up by sudden winds, a nearby forest fire burnt its way into a lumber yard on the edge of the community and sparked a Dresden-style firestorm that melted brick and mortar and erased the entire city in an afternoon. There were few casualties however and for a second time, a stately brick downtown core rose from the ashes. Today, these historic buildings, most of which still stand, are a treasured and distinctive feature of the community. Summer in Fernie is far quieter than the winter months, though mountain biking, fly fishing and golf are important tourist draws. On October 17, 2017, there was an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena which killed three workers during the Ghostriders' regular season; because of this tragedy, the City of Fernie declared a state of emergency and people had to evacuate the area for days. The'Riders were relocated because of this to the Elk Valley Leisure Centre in Sparwood, British Columbia during the 2017–18 KIJHL season until the City of Fernie decided what to do.
The City of Fernie decided
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, sometimes other elements. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, it is a major component used in buildings, tools, automobiles, machines and weapons. Iron is the base metal of steel. Iron is able to take on two crystalline forms, body centered cubic and face centered cubic, depending on its temperature. In the body-centered cubic arrangement, there is an iron atom in the center and eight atoms at the vertices of each cubic unit cell, it is the interaction of the allotropes of iron with the alloying elements carbon, that gives steel and cast iron their range of unique properties. In pure iron, the crystal structure has little resistance to the iron atoms slipping past one another, so pure iron is quite ductile, or soft and formed. In steel, small amounts of carbon, other elements, inclusions within the iron act as hardening agents that prevent the movement of dislocations that are common in the crystal lattices of iron atoms; the carbon in typical steel alloys may contribute up to 2.14% of its weight.
Varying the amount of carbon and many other alloying elements, as well as controlling their chemical and physical makeup in the final steel, slows the movement of those dislocations that make pure iron ductile, thus controls and enhances its qualities. These qualities include such things as the hardness, quenching behavior, need for annealing, tempering behavior, yield strength, tensile strength of the resulting steel; the increase in steel's strength compared to pure iron is possible only by reducing iron's ductility. Steel was produced in bloomery furnaces for thousands of years, but its large-scale, industrial use began only after more efficient production methods were devised in the 17th century, with the production of blister steel and crucible steel. With the invention of the Bessemer process in the mid-19th century, a new era of mass-produced steel began; this was followed by the Siemens–Martin process and the Gilchrist–Thomas process that refined the quality of steel. With their introductions, mild steel replaced wrought iron.
Further refinements in the process, such as basic oxygen steelmaking replaced earlier methods by further lowering the cost of production and increasing the quality of the final product. Today, steel is one of the most common manmade materials in the world, with more than 1.6 billion tons produced annually. Modern steel is identified by various grades defined by assorted standards organizations; the noun steel originates from the Proto-Germanic adjective stahliją or stakhlijan, related to stahlaz or stahliją. The carbon content of steel is between 0.002% and 2.14% by weight for plain iron–carbon alloys. These values vary depending on alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, so on. Steel is an iron-carbon alloy that does not undergo eutectic reaction. In contrast, cast iron does undergo eutectic reaction. Too little carbon content leaves iron quite soft and weak. Carbon contents higher than those of steel make a brittle alloy called pig iron. While iron alloyed with carbon is called carbon steel, alloy steel is steel to which other alloying elements have been intentionally added to modify the characteristics of steel.
Common alloying elements include: manganese, chromium, boron, vanadium, tungsten and niobium. Additional elements, most considered undesirable, are important in steel: phosphorus, sulfur and traces of oxygen and copper. Plain carbon-iron alloys with a higher than 2.1% carbon content are known as cast iron. With modern steelmaking techniques such as powder metal forming, it is possible to make high-carbon steels, but such are not common. Cast iron is not malleable when hot, but it can be formed by casting as it has a lower melting point than steel and good castability properties. Certain compositions of cast iron, while retaining the economies of melting and casting, can be heat treated after casting to make malleable iron or ductile iron objects. Steel is distinguishable from wrought iron, which may contain a small amount of carbon but large amounts of slag. Iron is found in the Earth's crust in the form of an ore an iron oxide, such as magnetite or hematite. Iron is extracted from iron ore by removing the oxygen through its combination with a preferred chemical partner such as carbon, lost to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
This process, known as smelting, was first applied to metals with lower melting points, such as tin, which melts at about 250 °C, copper, which melts at about 1,100 °C, the combination, which has a melting point lower than 1,083 °C. In comparison, cast iron melts at about 1,375 °C. Small quantities of iron were smelted in ancient times, in the solid state, by heating the ore in a charcoal fire and welding the clumps together with a hammer and in the process squeezing out the impurities. With care, the carbon content could be controlled by moving it around in the fire. Unlike copper and tin, liquid or solid iron dissolves carbon quite readily. All of these temperatures could be reached with ancient methods used since the Bronze Age. Since the oxidation rate of iron increases beyond 800 °C, it is important that smelting take place in a low-oxygen environment. Smelting, using carbon to reduce iro
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996, known as Canadian Pacific is a historic Canadian Class I railroad incorporated in 1881. The railroad is owned by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, it owns 20,000 kilometres of track all across Canada and into the United States, stretching from Montreal to Vancouver, as far north as Edmonton, its rail network serves Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit and New York City in the United States; the railway was first built between eastern Canada and British Columbia between 1881 and 1885, fulfilling a promise extended to British Columbia when it entered Confederation in 1871. It was Canada's first transcontinental railway, but no longer reaches the Atlantic coast. A freight railway, the CPR was for decades the only practical means of long-distance passenger transport in most regions of Canada, was instrumental in the settlement and development of Western Canada.
The CPR became one of the largest and most powerful companies in Canada, a position it held as late as 1975. Its primary passenger services were eliminated in 1986, after being assumed by Via Rail Canada in 1978. A beaver was chosen as the railway's logo in honor of Sir Donald A Smith who had risen from Factor to Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company over a lengthy career in the beaver fur trade. Smith was a principal financier of the C. P. R. Staking much of his personal wealth. In 1885, he drove the last spike to complete the transcontinental line; the company acquired two American lines in 2009: the Dakota and Eastern Railroad and the Iowa and Eastern Railroad. The trackage of the IC&E was at one time part of CP subsidiary Soo Line and predecessor line The Milwaukee Road; the combined DME/ICE system spanned North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa, as well as two short stretches into two other states, which included a line to Kansas City, a line to Chicago and regulatory approval to build a line into the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.
It is publicly traded on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CP. Its U. S. headquarters are in Minneapolis. Together with the Canadian Confederation, the creation of the Canadian Pacific Railway was a task undertaken as the National Dream by the Conservative government of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald, he was helped by Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, the owner of the North Western Coal and Navigation Company. British Columbia, a four-month sea voyage away from the East Coast, had insisted upon a land transport link to the East as a condition for joining Confederation; the government however proposed to build a railway linking the Pacific province to the Eastern provinces within 10 years of 20 July 1871. Macdonald saw it as essential to the creation of a unified Canadian nation that would stretch across the continent. Moreover, manufacturing interests in Quebec and Ontario wanted access to raw materials and markets in Western Canada; the first obstacle to its construction was political.
The logical route went through the city of Chicago, Illinois. In addition to this was the difficulty of building a railroad through the Canadian Rockies. To ensure this routing, the government offered huge incentives including vast grants of land in the West. In 1873, Sir John A. Macdonald and other high-ranking politicians, bribed in the Pacific Scandal, granted federal contracts to Hugh Allan's Canada Pacific Railway Company rather than to David Lewis Macpherson's Inter-Ocean Railway Company, thought to have connections to the American Northern Pacific Railway Company; because of this scandal, the Conservative Party was removed from office in 1873. The new Liberal prime minister, Alexander Mackenzie, ordered construction of segments of the railway as a public enterprise under the supervision of the Department of Public Works led by Sandford Fleming. Surveying was carried out during the first years of a number of alternative routes in this virgin territory followed by construction of a telegraph along the lines, agreed upon.
The Thunder Bay section linking Lake Superior to Winnipeg was commenced in 1875. By 1880, around 1,000 kilometres was nearly complete across the troublesome Canadian Shield terrain, with trains running on only 500 kilometres of track. With Macdonald's return to power on 16 October 1878, a more aggressive construction policy was adopted. Macdonald confirmed that Port Moody would be the terminus of the transcontinental railway, announced that the railway would follow the Fraser and Thompson rivers between Port Moody and Kamloops. In 1879, the federal government floated bonds in London and called for tenders to construct the 206 km section of the railway from Yale, British Columbia, to Savona's Ferry, on Kamloops Lake; the contract was awarded to Andrew Onderdonk, whose men started work on 15 May 1880. After the completion of that section, Onderdonk received contracts to build between Yale and Port Moody, between Savona's Ferry and Eagle Pass. On 21 October 1880, a new syndicate, unrelated to Hugh Allan's, signed
Sparwood is a district municipality in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is the second largest community on the Elk River. Located 30 kilometres from Fernie, the District Municipality of Sparwood has 4200 residents. Sparwood is quite large for its population, taking up an area of 191.01 square kilometres and incorporating the local coal mines. In the late 1800s, there was a railroad stop known as Sparwood, so named because of the trees from this area being shipped to the coast for manufacturing spars for ocean vessels; the local economy is dependent on coal mining, one of British Columbia's primary industries. A large part of the population either works in the mines or as tradesmen and labourers in related support industries, such as trucking or as mechanics. Logging is another important industry. Sparwood/Elk Valley Airport is the local airport for general aviation; the closest airport with commercial service is Cranbrook/Canadian Rockies International Airport. Road access is provided by the Crowsnest Highway.
Sparwood was formed on 12 May 1966 accepting people from the nearby towns of Michel and Middletown. Since the beginning of Sparwood, it has experienced many downs in the primary industry. Sparwood promotes itself extensively as the home of the Terex Titan, at one time the largest truck in the world; the green Titan, in service at Sparwood between 1978 and 1991, stands a few yards from the Crowsnest Highway where it can attract the attention of tourists and travelers. The adjacent tourist information centre serves visitors to the district municipality and the wider area. Sparwood is distinguished by mural art which depicts something of the history of the former Michel-Natal mining communities. Sparwood is home to the 2011 B. C provincial champion boys snowboarding team. On 17 October 2017 an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena killed three workers during the Fernie Ghostriders' regular season; because of this tragedy, the City of Fernie declared a state of emergency and people had to evacuate the area for days.
The'Riders were relocated because of this to the Elk Valley Leisure Centre in Sparwood during the 2017–18 KIJHL season until the City of Fernie installed a new chiller unit. The Ghostriders now play at their home rink again. Sparwood has a population of 3784 residents, with a population density of 21.5 per square kilometer. There are two public schools in Sparwood; these schools are operated by School District 5 Southeast Kootenay, based in Cranbrook. Sparwood has a warm-summer humid continental climate with cold and snowy winters combined with moderately warm summers with high diurnal temperature variation; as a result of the low overnight lows in summer, September's mean of 10.5 °C places Sparwood just above subarctic climates in classification. Fernie Free Press - Weekly Paper Elk Valley Herald - Weekly Paper Kootenay News Advertiser - Weekly Paper The Valley - Weekly Paper Fernie Fix - Monthly Glossy Magazine Black Rock News - Semimonthly 99.1 FM - CJDR, Rock 92.7 FM - CFBZ, Country 97.7 FM - CBTN, CBC 107.1 FM - CFSM - Adult Contemporary Mixitup FM - MIUFM, Pop Channel 10: Shaw TV Channel 5: CFCN, CTV Channel 13: CBUT, CBC The following people were born in Sparwood: Daryl Boyle, professional ice hockey player Michelle Loughery, muralist Since 1980, Sparwood has been the sister city of Kamisunagawa in Hokkaido, Japan.
Fernie Ghostriders Elk River Elk Valley Kootenay Ice Regional District of East Kootenay#Municipalities Official website
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011; the Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America behind New York City, San Francisco, Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census. 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage. Vancouver is classed as a Beta global city. Vancouver is named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life, the Economist Intelligence Unit acknowledged it as the first city ranked among the top-ten of the world's most well-living cities for five consecutive years.
Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, UN Habitat I, Expo 86, the World Police and Fire Games in 1989 and 2009. In 2014, following thirty years in California, the TED conference made Vancouver its indefinite home. Several matches of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup were played in Vancouver, including the final at BC Place; the original settlement, named Gastown, grew up on clearcuts on the west edge of the Hastings Mill logging sawmill's property, where a makeshift tavern had been set up on a plank between two stumps and the proprietor, Gassy Jack, persuaded the curious millworkers to build him a tavern, on July 1, 1867. From that first enterprise, other stores and some hotels appeared along the waterfront to the west. Gastown became formally laid out as a registered townsite dubbed Granville, B. I.. As part of the land and political deal whereby the area of the townsite was made the railhead of the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was renamed "Vancouver" and incorporated shortly thereafter as a city, in 1886.
By 1887, the Canadian Pacific transcontinental railway was extended westward to the city to take advantage of its large natural seaport to the Pacific Ocean, which soon became a vital link in a trade route between the Orient / East Asia, Eastern Canada, Europe. As of 2014, Port Metro Vancouver is the third-largest port by tonnage in the Americas, 27th in the world, the busiest and largest in Canada, the most diversified port in North America. While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second-largest industry. Major film production studios in Vancouver and nearby Burnaby have turned Greater Vancouver and nearby areas into one of the largest film production centres in North America, earning it the nickname "Hollywood North"; the city takes its name from George Vancouver, who explored the inner harbour of Burrard Inlet in 1792 and gave various places British names. The family name "Vancouver" itself originates from the Dutch "Van Coevorden", denoting somebody from the city of Coevorden, Netherlands.
The explorer's ancestors came to England "from Coevorden", the origin of the name that became "Vancouver". Archaeological records indicate that Aboriginal people were living in the "Vancouver" area from 8,000 to 10,000 years ago; the city is located in the traditional and presently unceded territories of the Squamish and Tseil-Waututh peoples of the Coast Salish group. They had villages in various parts of present-day Vancouver, such as Stanley Park, False Creek, Point Grey and near the mouth of the Fraser River. Europeans became acquainted with the area of the future Vancouver when José María Narváez of Spain explored the coast of present-day Point Grey and parts of Burrard Inlet in 1791—although one author contends that Francis Drake may have visited the area in 1579; the explorer and North West Company trader Simon Fraser and his crew became the first-known Europeans to set foot on the site of the present-day city. In 1808, they travelled from the east down the Fraser River as far as Point Grey.
The Fraser Gold Rush of 1858 brought over 25,000 men from California, to nearby New Westminster on the Fraser River, on their way to the Fraser Canyon, bypassing what would become Vancouver. Vancouver is among British Columbia's youngest cities. A sawmill established at Moodyville in 1863, began the city's long relationship with logging, it was followed by mills owned by Captain Edward Stamp on the south shore of the inlet. Stamp, who had begun logging in the Port Alberni area, first attempted to run a mill at Brockton Point, but difficult currents and reefs forced the relocation of the operation in 1867 to a point near the foot of Dunlevy Street; this mill, known as the Hastings Mill, became the nucleus. The mill's central role in the city waned after the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s, it remained important to the local economy until it closed in the 1920s. The settlement which came to be called Gastown grew around
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h