Chris Walton Chris.Walton at telus.com
Sat Nov 4 14:42:01 UTC 2006


Unfortunately Quetico Provincial Park is not a nice simple square.
It has a perimeter that is roughly 300km long; it has a few straight sections but much of it follows lakes and rivers.

Here is a sample map; this is part of the perimeter that is made of nice straight lines:

Here is another sample map; (look for the black dashed line where it follows the shore of Three Mile Lake and Quetico River... the line is not straight!):

Here is another sample map showing part of the perimeter that follows the Ontario/Minnesota (Canada/US) border:
If you are going to try and define time zone boundaries, the jagged international border needs to be dealt with regardless of whether you place Quetico in America/Atikokan or America/Rainy_River.
The same border is part of the northern perimeter of America/Chicago.

Obviously this is not the only part of the world where boundaries don't follow straight lines.
How do you usually handle jagged borders?
Do you approximate with a lot of single points or do you approximate with a series of mathematical splines?
How much accuracy are you looking for?  The scale of the map that is used to get the data makes a huge difference!

Before we take this further... Here is a summary of time practices for Atikokan & Quetico... Nothing new but please read.
I just want to make sure we are all on the same page.

The Township of Atikokan and Quetico Provincial Park both lie west of 90° longitude.
Based on Ontario Legislation, the time observed in this region should be CST/CDT (UTC-6 in winter and UTC-5 in summer).
The local mining companies don't like the clocks moving forwards and backwards and pressured the Township of Atikokan to remain on UTC-5 year round.
The tradition probably goes back to the end of World War II.
The Township has never had any by-law or formal documentation in place to cover the practice.
If there was such a by-law it would automatically be invalidated by the Ontario Time Act.

Quetico Provincial Park is a relatively large wilderness park that is situated very close to Atikokan
(the southeast corner of Atikokan township is actually located in the park).
Total land area of the park is 4758 square km.
For comparison, the park is just a little smaller than the province of Prince Edward Island.
For people that like US comparisons, it is bigger than Rhode Island but smaller than Delaware.
There are no roads in the park other than those at the main campground.
The primary means of travel in the park (in summer months) is the canoe.

The head office of Quetico Provincial Park is in the Township of Atikokan.
The park staff (Ontario Ministry of Resources employees) use "Atikokan time" for official business year round.
(I got confirmation of this back in July from the park superintendent.)
Campers, canoeists, skiers, hikers, and those who prefer snow shoes can set their watches as they please without being shot (because we don't use guns in Canada).
In the summer months a.k.a. the tourist season, America/Atikokan, America/Rainy_River, America/Winnipeg, and America/Chicago are on UTC-5 so most visitors to Quetico park would never know there is anything special about "Atikokan time".
The hour difference between America/Atikokan and the other time zone regions only shows up in the winter when the tourists have gone home and there are presumably very few people using the park.

The bottom line is that we are dealing with an area where visitors will use what ever time they please but any local record keeping will be done with UTC-5.

For the purposes of defining time zone boundaries on paper (or computer), I am not claiming that Quetico "must" be placed in the America/Atikokan time zone... but I will try and support anybody that decides to do so.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jesper Norgaard Welen [mailto:jnorgard at prodigy.net.mx] 
Sent: November 2, 2006 7:56 PM
To: Chris Walton; TZ-list
Subject: RE: Nipigon and Atikokan

Thanks, Chris

>Nipigon Township:
>Northern boundary:   49 degrees 02 minutes 20 seconds N
>Eastern boundary:    88 degrees 14 minutes 0  seconds W
>Southern boundary:   48 degrees 58 minutes 20 seconds N  <--updated
>Western boundary:    88 degrees 26 minutes 0  seconds W

Thanks for the updated coordinates. I think I will include Quetico Provinicial Park in my Atikokan timezone. Do you happen to have the coordinates? I tried with the links you sent, but the PDF files load very slowly, and I don't see the coordinates clearly.

>If you are making a time zone map you have to decide whether to lump
>Provincial Park in with Atikokan. Quetico is a large wilderness park. 
>square kilometres it is more than ten times the size of Atikokan 
>itself. It
>mostly used by canoeists in the summer and cross country skiers in the
winter. The 
>head office for Quetico is inside the town of Atikokan. The park staff 

>Atikokan time for official purposes.  Campers, canoeists, skiers, etc. 
>what ever time they wish.

>Also, if you are creating time zone maps for all of Canada, please be 
>recent changes in Quebec time legislation. If I understand the new
>the time zone boundary will no longer follow the 63rd meridian starting
next year. 
>See my notes in: http://www3.sympatico.ca/c.walton/canada_dst.html

I'm not quite sure what are the changes from previous *actual* time keeping in the regions and the new laws to be applied Jan 1, 2007. As far as I can see the laws are merely confirming the practice that was already used. One exception could be the Anticosti Island, where this is cut on 2 by the map
on http://time5.nrc.ca/webclock_e.shtml while it seems that the permanent inhabitants, mostly situated on the west side of the island, always has used EST/EDT on the whole island, thus making the previous link wrong about the eastern part of the island. But as I understand it, the new law is now
reflecting the current practice even in this case.

- Jesper

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