His explorations of 1893–1895 were important in declaring Canada"s sovereignty over the Arctic, and eventually defining the border between Quebec and Labrador. He moved to Ottawa, Ontario to work as a surveyor and explorer with the Geological Survey of Canada. Low was recognized by senior officials for his excellent work and handed a series of scientific assignments in the North.
Although his career is dotted with distinguished work, Low is perhaps best remembered as the commander of a 1903-1904 Dominion expedition to declare Canada"s authority over the Arctic, a journey that resulted in a bestselling book, The Cruise of the Neptune.
In 1906 he was appointed director of the Geological Survey of Canada. In 1907, he became the first deputy minister of the Department of Mines.
He retired from the department in 1913. He died in Ottawa in 1942.
Low was also an athlete, and he played ice hockey for two famous teams, the McGill University Hockey Club, considered the first organized hockey club in the world, and the Ottawa Hockey Club.
In 1883, he played goaltender for the victorious McGill Hockey Club in the 1883 Montreal Winter Carnival. The championship is considered the first Canadian championship. In 1884, he would return to the Montreal Winter Carnival tournament as Ottawa"s goaltender and shutout McGill.
Aplowite, which is a transparent, pink-coloured cobalt mineral, is named in his honour.
After moving to Ottawa in 1883, he was a founding member of the Ottawa Hockey Club, formed within weeks of the 1883 tournament. He was a member of the Ottawa Hockey Club until 1889.