Backbone of the East
The Frontenac Arch is an ancient span of Precambrian bedrock that connects the Canadian Shield of central and northern Ontario to the Adirondack and Appalachian regions to the south. Over a billion years old, the Frontenac Arch is considered the formative “backbone” of Eastern North America. This southerly extension of the shield was formerly part of a towering mountain range. The Frontenac Arch as seen today was shaped by glacial retreat and millennia of erosion, which has resulted in the distinctive topography of ridges and valleys with shallow soils. As an ecotone between converging ecoregions, the Frontenac Arch possesses exceptional biodiversity and an extensive list of Species At Risk. The landform is also an important habitat corridor for the migration and dispersal of wildlife. The Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve was established in 2002, in recognition of the region’s significance to cultural and biological heritage.