Health Regions: Boundaries and Correspondence with Census Geography
Health region boundary files

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The health region boundaries provided in this product are based on 2021 Census geographic units. The smallest geographic unit available has been used as the building block to define health regions. In general, the legislated boundaries respect these units, but they do not always respect 2021 dissemination areas (DA) or 2021 dissemination blocks (DB) once the legislated boundaries are digitized. In all provinces except British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario (Ontario Health Regions (OHR)), the dissemination area was used to define health regions. However, in several instances, the actual legislated boundaries split DAs. In the Prairie provinces and B.C. the dissemination block (DB) was used to improve the accuracy of these boundaries. Even with this, the health region boundaries do not always reflect the legislated boundaries recognized by the provinces thus creating many instances of split dissemination blocks.

The limits that did not respect STC geometry (the splits) were digitized by utilizing maps, spatial layers and/or descriptions supplied by and with the cooperation of the authority for each province.

Method used to create health region 2023 boundary files

All processes and procedures to update the boundary files were carried out using ESRI Inc.® ArcGIS Pro 3.1.1, Safe Software Inc. FME®  Data inspector 2019.1, SAS Institute SAS Institute® SAS 9.4, and Microsoft® Excel for Microsoft 365 MSO Version  2308.

Boundary file formats

All health region boundaries in this publication are available in the following formats:

  • Shapefile
    File extension: .shp
  • Geography Markup Language (GML) 3.1.1
    File extension: .gml
  • File Geodatabase
    File extension: .gdb

The Shapefile, Geography Markup Language and File Geodatabase files are compressed into WinZip® files (file extension .zip).
The downloadable compressed packages (.zip) include a metadata file (.xml).

Boundary files are provided as a national boundary file and are provided as individual provincial boundary files.

Projection information

The disseminated projection coordinate system of the health region boundary files is as follows:

  • Projection: Lambert conformal conic
  • False easting: 6200000.000000
  • False northing: 3000000.000000
  • Central meridian: -91.866667
  • Standard parallel 1: 49.000000
  • Standard parallel 2: 77.000000
  • Latitude of origin: 63.390675
  • Linear unit: metre (1.000000)
  • Datum: North American 1983 (NAD83)
  • Prime meridian: Greenwich
  • Angular unit: degree
  • Spheroid: GRS 1980

Digital boundary files


ArcGIS Comprehensive Digital boundary files


Geodatabase Comprehensive Digital boundary files

Geography Markup language

Geography Markup language Comprehensive boundary files

Cartographic boundary files


ArcGIS Comprehensive Cartographic boundary files


Geodatabase Comprehensive Cartographic boundary files

Geography Markup language

Geography Markup language Comprehensive Cartographic boundary files

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