Census Geography Files

Available online: 

2016 Census -  and Statistics Canada

2011 Census -  and Statistics Canada

2006 Census -  and Statistics Canada

2001 Census -  and Statistics Canada

1996 Census - 

1991 Census - 

1986 Census - 

1981 Census -  / 1981 Census CMAs/CTs - University of Toronto

1971 Census CMAs/CTs - 

1971 Census Enumeration Areas with data - Statistics Canada

1951 Census CMAs/CTs - 

1911, 1921, 1931, 1941 & 1951 Census Divisions and Subdivisions - 

*Download Ottawa-Gatineau census geography files here

Location: 

J:\Canada\Statistics_Canada_Census (boundary data 1981-2011 inclusive)

J:\_Ottawa_Gatineau_Region\Statistics_Canada_Census (Ottawa-Gatineau census boundary data 1951, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, 2006, 2011 & 2016)

Description

The Canadian Census is conducted by Statistics Canada every 5 years, and provides a statistical portrait of the country and its people. The Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) provides Canadian academic institutions with affordable access to Statistics Canada data files and databases for teaching and research purposes. These digital spatial files describe the shape and location of geographic features such as streets or boundaries. They also show the location for which census data are tabulated and disseminated. The files can be combined with aggregate census data to create maps, charts or perform other types of analysis.

Available Themes: 

Name Abbreviation Population Minimum Covers all of Canada? How many in Canada (2016)
Aggregate dissemination area (new) ADA 5,000 Yes 5,386
Census agglomeration CA 10,000 No 117
Census division CD n/a Yes 293
Census metropolitan area CMA 100,000 with 50,000 in core No 35
Census subdivision CSD n/a Yes 5,162
Census tract CT 2,500 (usually) No 5,721
Census consolidated subdivision CCS n/a No 1,768
Designated place DPL 1,000   1,629
Dissemination area DA 400 Yes 56,590
Dissemination block DB n/a Yes 489,905
Economic region ER n/a Yes 76
Federal electoral district FED n/a Yes 338
Province or territory PR n/a Yes 13

All the links in the table are from this Illustrated Glossary from Statistics Canada.

Other geographic and water feature files provided by Statistics Canada include:

  • Aggregate dissemination areas
  • Census agricultural regions
  • Census consolidated subdivisions
  • Population centres
  • Population ecumene
  • Lakes and rivers (polygons)
  • Rivers (lines)
  • Coastal waters (polygons)

The 2011 Illustrated Glossary may be helpful.

Data Producer: 

Statistics Canada

Authorized Users: 

Carleton University students, faculty and staff

Disclaimer: 

Users are required to sign a Data Use Agreement before files may be acquired. All use of the data shall acknowledge Statistics Canada as the owner of copyright.

Content last reviewed: August 2, 2018