Canada Lands Inventory

Agricultural and Rural Development Act (ARDA) (Canada Land Inventory)


The Canada Land Inventory is a comprehensive survey of land capability and use. It is designed as a planning tool for the utilization of agricultural, forest, recreation, and wildlife resources. This type of program was recommended in 1958 by the Senate of Canada Special Committee on Land Use and by the “Resources for Tomorrow” Conference of 1961. Following the recommendations of these bodies, in 1963 the federal government approved the Canada Land Inventory Program, under the Agricultural and Rural Development Act (ARDA). National ranking methods were then developed in cooperation with the provincial and federal ministries in charge of resource development.

The inventory covers approximately a million square miles and includes all of the Atlantic Provinces and the populated areas of Québec, Ontario, and Western Canada. The maps are drawn to two different scales (1: 50,000 and 1: 250,000). The 1: 50,000-scale maps serve as basic planning documents and are distributed only by the provinces.

To facilitate the use of this data, IRDA acquired, in digital format, the 300 original 1: 50 000-scale sheets to serve as new base maps using a 1: 20,000 scale. Québec’s agricultural land potential coverage is represented on 948 of these 1:20,000-scale sheets.

See the description of classes and sub-classes.

Available formats

Consulting the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ) website

To access the agricultural capability data for free, go to the ‘Consulter la cartographique numérique’’ tab on the CPTAQ website (in French).

Map sheets (1: 20,000 scale) available from IRDA

  • PDF format: $20 per 1: 20,000-scale sheet
    Printable document, colours, detailed legend of soils, hydrographical and road networks, land register, etc.
  • Paper format: $30 per 1: 20,000-scale sheet
    Colour printing on plotter, detailed legend of soils, hydrographical and road networks, land register, etc.
  • Digital vector format: $20 per 1: 20,000-scale sheet
    ArcInfo Coverage export (e00), geographic

For more information, consult the help file Info_pedo_arda.pdf at the point C-ARDA.

To order

Open the index of agricultural capability maps and enlarge the area that interests you.

Note the sheet number and contact us to place your order.

The paper format is shipped by Purolator, and the PDF and digital formats by email or on CD.