The last 10,000 years has seen a dramatic natural transformation of the central Canadian landscape.
20,000 years ago, all that you would have seen from the aircraft window is the thick layer of ice which smothered the majority of Canada.
Over hundreds of thousands of years this ice sheet advanced and retreated over Canada, scraping back and forth over the soil and rocks beneath.
As the ice sheet retreated for the last time around 15,000 years ago, it left a blank canvas of bare rock upon which plants had to re-establish themselves.
Today the Canadian shield is a mosaic of forest, lowland bogs and over one thousand lakes amongst rocky outcrops.
These features are part of the boreal forest; the world's largest and coldest ecosystem stretching almost continuously from northern Europe, to Russia and Canada.
Known in Russian as the Taiga, translating as “swampy moist forest”, this ecosystem is coated in deciduous pines, firs and spruces.
The plants in the boreal are very tough, fighting adversaries including freezing temperature, short periods of continuous sunlight, and thin water-logged soils.
Although the winters are extremely cold in central Canada, the summers are very warm and humid thanks to its continental climate.
Amongst the forests and marshes roam some of Canada’s most iconic wildlife.
Wolverines, wolves, and over 12 million wetland birds call the boreal forests home.
The two most distinctive animals are the grizzly bear, standing over two metres tall on its hind legs, and the beaver, the national animal of Canada thanks to the country's pioneer history of fur trading.