Peninsula is a large peninsula in eastern Canada. It is
bounded by the
Hudson Bay to the west, the
Hudson Strait to the north,
Labrador Sea to the east, and the
Gulf of Saint Lawrence
Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the
southeast. The peninsula includes the region of Labrador, which is
part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the regions of
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Côte-Nord, and Nord-du-Québec, which are
in the province of Quebec. It has an area of 1,400,000 km2
(541,000 sq mi).
1 Location and geography
Location and geography
A hillside at Nain, east coast of the peninsula on a September 2008
The peninsula is surrounded by sea on all sides except for the
southwest where it connects to the mainland. The northwestern part of
Peninsula is shaped as a lesser peninsula, the Ungava
Peninsula, surrounded by Hudson Bay, the Hudson Strait, and Ungava
Bay. The northernmost point of the Ungava Peninsula, Cape
Wolstenholme, also serves as the northernmost point of the Labrador
Peninsula and of the province of Quebec.
The peninsula is a plateau threaded by river valleys. There are
several mountain ranges. The Torngat Mountains, located in the
northern part of the peninsula, contain the highest point of the
peninsula Mount Caubvick, which at 1,652 metres (5,420 ft) is
also the highest point of
Canada east of Alberta. The mountains also
Torngat Mountains National Park, the only national park of Canada
Labrador Peninsula. The park is located in the province of
Newfoundland and Labrador, whereas the adjacent Kuururjuaq National
Park is located in the province of Quebec.
Due do it being covered almost entirely by the
Canadian Shield - a
vast, rocky plateau with a history of glaciation - the peninsula has a
large number of lakes. The province of
Quebec alone has more than half
a million  lakes of varying size. The largest body of water on the
Peninsula is the Caniapiscau Reservoir, but the largest
natural lake is Lake Mistassini. Other lakes of note include the
Manicouagan Reservoir, the Smallwood Reservoir, the Caniapiscau
Reservoir, and the La Grande 2 and La Grande 3 reservoirs. Due to a
history of hydroelectic development, the majority of the larger
freshwater lakes on the peninsula are reservoirs.
In addition to an abundance of lakes, the peninsula also has many
rivers. The longest, the La Grande River, is 900 kilometres (560 mi)
long and flows westwards across nearly half the peninsula. Other
rivers of note include the Eastmain River, Rupert River, and Churchill
Prior to European arrival, the peninsula was inhabited chiefly by Cree
people, as well as the
Innu people in the Southeast area of the
peninsula, who referred to their land as Nitassinan, meaning "our
land" in the
Innu language. The area was known as
Greenlandic Norse and its inhabitants were known as skrælingjar.
It is widely accepted that the peninsula is named after Portuguese
explorer João Fernandes Lavrador. He was granted a patent by King
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal in 1499 which gave him the right to explore that
part of the Atlantic Ocean as set out in the Treaty of Tordesillas.
Together with Pêro de Barcelos, he first sighted
Labrador in 1498.
Fernandes charted the coasts of Southwestern
Greenland and of adjacent
North America around 1498 and gave notice of them in
Portugal and Europe. His landowner status allowed him to use the title
lavrador, Portuguese for "farmer" or "landholder", while "labrador" in
Spanish and Galician means "agricultural worker". (Portuguese
pronunciation: [lɐvɾɐˈðoɾ]). Fernandes actually gave the
name of Terra do Lavrador to
Greenland which was the first land he
sighted, but eventually the name was spread to all areas and finally
was set for Labrador.
^ Nitassinan: The
Innu Struggle to Reclaim Their Homeland, Douglas
& McIntyre, December 1991, 240pp, by Marie Wadden,
ISBN 978-1-55365-731-6, (book link), (retrieved 11/19/2012)
^ "The Portuguese Explorers". Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Retrieved 24 October 2011.