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Topographic Maps

Basics of Topographic Maps

A topographic map is a detailed and accurate graphic representation of cultural and natural features on the ground including features such as culture, water, relief, vegetation and toponymy.

Information along the map borders and on the back of the map provides details such as scale and scale conversion, the legend and the year the information on the map was last updated.

  • Toronto topographic maps:
    • These maps provide general purpose topographic map coverage of the City of Toronto and are at scales of 1:2,000 and 1:10,000.
    • Metro Toronto Topographic Maps: Call # G3464.T7 A6 1971 C2 - G3464.T7 C14 .S10 T6
    • Toronto Topographic Maps: Call # G3464.T7 C14.S2 1972 T6 - G3464.T7 C14.S2 1990 T6
  • National Topographic System (NTS):
    • These maps provide general purpose topographic map coverage of Canada and are at scales of 1:25,000, 1:50,000, 1:125,000, 1:126,700 and 1:250,000
    • The maps are filed by scale and sheet number. Index maps are available on top of the map cabinets.

Canadian topographic maps at 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 are available online from the following websites:

  • CanTopo is the new generation of topographic maps being produced by Natural Resources Canada. As a minimum, all titles published will include new roads, hydrology, metric contours, and updated toponyms and administrative boundaries. CanTopo is a multi-source product generated from the Cartographic Data Base (CDB). Data comes mainly from the GeoBase initiative, Natural Resources Canada digital topographic data and data from national initiatives. CanTopo will only cover certain parts of the Canadian landmass and will be released quarterly beginning June 30, 2009.
  • CanVec is a multi-source product coming mainly from the National Topographic Data Base (NTDB), the GeoBase initiative ( and the data update using Landsat 7 imagery coverage. CanVec aims to standardize and actualize representation of topographical phenomenon for the entire Canadian Landmass. CanVec can be used to produce the metric maps, for web mapping as well as GIS applications
  • National Topographic Database (NTDB) is a digital topographic database covering the entire Canadian landmass. Geomatics Canada created a complete and uniform product that includes features such as watercourses, urban areas, railways, roads, vegetation, and relief. No changes will be mad to this product after August 2009. CanVec replaces the NTDB.


Geographical Names Database

The Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CGNDB) stores names records for populated places and physical features across Canada. Search results of the CGNDB give the NTS sheet number as well as the latitude and longitude of the location of the place name.



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