Geography Working Paper Series
Preliminary 2021 Census Metropolitan Area and Census Agglomeration Delineation

Release date: November 13, 2019

Abstract

This working paper describes the preliminary 2021 census metropolitan areas (CMA) and census agglomerations (CA) and is presented for user feedback. The paper briefly describes the changes to the CMAs and CAs and includes tables and maps that list and illustrate these changes to their limits and to the component census subdivisions. In addition, this paper takes a look at the history of the CMA and CA program and the changes that have occurred since its inception in 1941.

Introduction

The Statistical Geomatics Centre has completed the delineation of the preliminary 2021 census metropolitan areas (CMA) and census agglomerations (CA). This paper summarizes the changes to the CMAs and CAs based on the results of this preliminary delineation for the 2021 Census.

The preliminary 2021 CMA and CA delineation is based on the following:

Tables and figures included in this paper list the component CSDs for each preliminary 2021 CMA and CA. The tables and figures also show the newly added and removed CSDs. Readers should consult the tables and figures in Appendix 1 for the CMAs or CAs of interest.

Please note that the results presented in this paper are preliminary for the 2021 Census. They are not the final CMA and CA boundaries for the 2021 Census.

Delineation methodology

A census metropolitan area (CMA) or a census agglomeration (CA) is formed by one or more adjacent census subdivisions (CSDs) centred on a population centre (known as the coreNote  ). A CA must have a population centre with at least 10,000 people as its core based on the adjusted counts from the previous Census, while a CMA must have a total population of 100,000 or more where at least 50,000 resides in the population centre core, also based on the adjusted counts from the previous Census.

The preliminary 2021 delineation uses the population centre from the 2016 Census as cores and the CSDs as of September 1st, 2018 as building blocks. Notably, a CSD re-delineation project was undertaken in the province of Prince Edward Island, resulting in a new CSD structure that is very different from the 2016 Census. To see and download the boundaries of CSDs used by this delineation, please refer to the Census Subdivision Boundary File, 2018Note  .

It is important to note that although the CSDs used in the preliminary 2021 delineation reflect the boundaries as of September 2018, they contain population counts from the 2016 Census adjusted to these CSD boundaries. These adjusted counts are used to calculate the total population of CMAs and CAs in this preliminary delineation.

To be included in a CMA or CA, a CSD must have a high level of integration with the central core. For the preliminary 2021 delineation, this level of integration is measured by commuting flows derived from the 2016 Census Place of Work (POW) data. These data are the most recent data illustrating the commuting patterns among CSDs. To maintain spatial contiguity, historical comparability, and to take special circumstances into consideration, other CSDs may be added to or retained in a CMA or CA. To determine which CSDs are part of a CMA or CA and to which CMA or CA they belong, they are tested under a set of seven rules, as listed in table 1. For the details of these rules and their application, please refer to the 2016 Census Dictionary on Census metropolitan area (CMA) and census agglomeration (CA)Note  .

Table 1
Delineation rules for census metropolitan area and census agglomeration
Table summary
This table displays the results of Delineation rules for census metropolitan area and census agglomeration. The information is grouped by Delineation Criteria (appearing as row headers), Delineation Rules (appearing as column headers).
Delineation Criteria Delineation Rules
1 Delineation core rule
2 Forward commuting flow rule
3 Reverse commuting flow rule
4 Spatial contiguity rule
5 Historical comparability rule
6 Manual adjustments rule
7 Merge and secondary core rule

Summary results of the preliminary delineation for the 2021 census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations

The total number of census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs) remains at 152 from the 2016 Census to the preliminary 2021 Census delineation. The number of CMAs have increased; however, this increase is offset by the decrease in the number of CAs. Table 2 shows the number of CMAs, CAs with census tracts, and CAs without census tracts for 2016 and the preliminary 2021 delineation.

Table 2
Number of CMA and CA, 2016 and preliminary of 2021 Census
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number of CMA and CA. The information is grouped by Geographic Area Type (appearing as row headers), 2016 and Preliminary 2021 (appearing as column headers).
Geographic Area Type 2016 Preliminary 2021
CMA 35 40
CA with census tracts 14 10
without census tracts 103 102
Total 152 152

New census metropolitan areas: the promotion of census agglomerations to census metropolitan area status

A CA becomes a CMA as a result of attaining a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the core based on the previous Census population counts.

Five CAs are promoted to CMA status in the preliminary 2021 delineation. These promotions increase the number of CMAs from 35 for the 2016 Census to 40 for the preliminary 2021 Census delineation. The new CMAs are displayed in table 3.

Table 3
Preliminary new census metropolitan areas for the 2021 Census
Table summary
This table displays the results of Preliminary new census metropolitan areas for the 2021 Census. The information is grouped by Preliminary 2021 CMA Name (appearing as row headers), Preliminary 2021 CMA Code (appearing as column headers).
Preliminary 2021 CMA Name Preliminary 2021 CMA Code
Fredericton, (N.B.) 320
Red Deer, (Alta.) 830
Kamloops, (B.C.) 925
Chilliwack, (B.C.) 930
Nanaimo, (B.C.) 938

New census agglomerations

A new CA is delineated when a population centre outside a CMA or CA attains a population of at least 10,000. There are five new CAs in the preliminary 2021 delineation based on the population counts of population centre from the 2016 Census. Table 4 lists these new CAs.

Table 4
Preliminary new census agglomerations for the 2021 Census
Table summary
This table displays the results of Preliminary new census agglomerations for the 2021 Census. The information is grouped by Preliminary 2021 CA Name (appearing as row headers), Preliminary 2021 CA Code (appearing as column headers).
Preliminary 2021 CA NameTable 4 Note 1 Preliminary 2021 CA CodeTable 4 Note 1
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts – Val-David, (Que.) 467
Amos, (Que.) 481
Essa, (Ont.) 563
Trail – Fruitvale, (B.C.) 910
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 936

Retired census agglomerations

A CA is retired from the program if the population of its core is below 10,000. Based on the population counts of the population centre from the 2016 Census, two CAs no longer meet the minimum core population requirement; as a result, they will be retired from the CA program for the 2021 Census. Table 5 shows these retired CAs and their core population centre (POPCTR) population counts.

Table 5
Preliminary retired census agglomerations for the 2021 Census
Table summary
This table displays the results of Preliminary retired census agglomerations for the 2021 Census. The information is grouped by 2016 CA Name (appearing as row headers), 2016 CA Code, Core (POPCTR) Name and 2016 Core Population (appearing as column headers).
2016 CA Name 2016 CA Code Core (POPCTR) Name 2016 Core Population
Bay Roberts, (N.L.) 005 Bay Roberts 7,100
Cold Lake, (Alta.) 845 Grand Centre 7,256

Merging of adjacent census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations

An existing CA can be merged to an adjacent CMA if the total percentage of commuting interchange between the CA and CMA is at least 35% of the employed labour force living in the CA. Multiple CAs can be merged to the same CMA. When a merge occurs, the core of the CA becomes a secondary core of the CMA to which it is merged.

Three existing CAs are merged with adjacent CMAs in the preliminary 2021 delineation. As indicated in table 6, all three CAs being merged are located in Ontario.

Table 6
Preliminary merging of census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations for the 2021 Census
Table summary
This table displays the results of Preliminary merging of census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations for the 2021 Census. The information is grouped by 2016 CA Name (appearing as row headers), 2016 CA Code, Preliminary 2021 CMA Name and Preliminary 2021 CMA Code (appearing as column headers).
2016 CA Name 2016 CA Code Preliminary 2021 CMA Name Preliminary 2021 CMA Code
Arnprior, (Ont.) 507 Ottawa – Gatineau, (Ont./Que.) 505
Carleton Place, (Ont.) 509 Ottawa – Gatineau, (Ont./Que.) 505
Leamington, (Ont.) 557 Windsor, (Ont.) 559

New secondary cores

A secondary core is a population centre with a population of at least 10,000 that is located outside the municipality of the primary core but within the CMA or CA. New secondary cores can arise due to a population centre located within a CMA or CA attaining a population of 10,000 or, as mentioned in the previous section, from the merging of a CA with a CMA. As displayed in table 7, there are 12 new secondary cores in the preliminary 2021 delineation.

Table 7
Preliminary new secondary cores for the 2021 Census
Table summary
This table displays the results of Preliminary new secondary cores for the 2021 Census. The information is grouped by New Secondary Core (POPCTR) Name (appearing as row headers), Secondary Core Population in 2016 and CMA / CA Name (appearing as column headers).
New Secondary Core (POPCTR) Name Secondary Core Population in 2016 CMA / CA Name
Quispamsis – Rothesay, (N.B.) 24,445 Saint John, (N.B.)
Laurentides, (Que.) 12,710 Montréal, (Que.)
Arnprior, (Ont.) 10,426 Ottawa – Gatineau, (Ont./Que.)
Carleton Place, (Ont.) 11,936 Ottawa – Gatineau, (Ont./Que.)
Elmira, (Ont.) 10,161 Kitchener - Cambridge - Waterloo, (Ont.)
Innisfil, (Ont.) 23,992 Barrie, (Ont.)
Leamington, (Ont.) 32,991 Windsor, (Ont.)
Port Colborne, (Ont.) 15,037 St. Catharines – Niagara, (Ont.)
Welland - Pelham, (Ont.) 62,388 St. Catharines – Niagara, (Ont.)
Warman, (Sask.) 10,961 Saskatoon, (Sask.)
Fort Saskatchewan, (Alta.) 23,895 Edmonton, (Alta.)
Mission, (B.C.) 33,261 Abbotsford - Mission, (B.C.)

New census agglomerations with census tracts: the addition of census agglomerations to the census tract program

CAs with a core population of at least 50,000, as well as all CMAs, are included in the census tract (CT) program. A CT is a small and relatively stable geographic area that usually has a population of less than 10,000Note  .

According to the 2016 Census population counts, the core of the CA of Saint-Hyacinthe has attained a population of over 50,000; as a result, CTs will be delineated in the CA for the 2021 Census.

Impact on the census tract program

In addition to the CA of Saint-Hyacinthe, CSDs in CAs without CTs merging with CMAs as well as CSDs that are added to CMAs and existing CAs with CTs will also enter the CT program.

In total, 22 CSDs will be added to the CT program. Table 8 shows the breakdown of the number of these CSDs by CMA and CA with CTs. Both Ottawa – Gatineau and Windsor have CSDs being added directly to the CMAs as well as by CAs merging with the CMAs. The remaining CMAs and CAs in the list have CSDs being added directly to them.

Table 8
Preliminary census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations with census subdivisions entering the census tract program for the 2021 Census
Table summary
This table displays the results of Preliminary census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations with census subdivisions entering the census tract program for the 2021 Census. The information is grouped by Preliminary 2021 CMA / CA Name (appearing as row headers), CMA/CA Code, Preliminary Geographic Area Type and Preliminary number of CSDs entering the CT program for the 2021 Census (appearing as column headers).
Preliminary 2021 CMA / CA Name CMA/CA Code Preliminary Geographic Area Type Preliminary number of CSDs entering the CT program for the 2021 Census
Drummondville, (Que.) 447 CA 1
Saint-Hyacinthe, (Que.) 452 CA 2
St. John’s, (N.L.) 001 CMA 1
Halifax, (N.S.) 205 CMA 2
Fredericton, (N.B.) 320 CMA 1
Montréal, (Que.) 462 CMA 1
Québec, (Que.) 421 CMA 1
Saguenay, (Que.) 408 CMA 1
Greater Sudbury / Grand Sudbury, (Ont.) 580 CMA 1
Ottawa – Gatineau, (Ont./Que.) 505 CMA 6
Windsor, (Ont.) 559 CMA 3
Winnipeg, (Man.) 602 CMA 1
Regina, (Sask.) 705 CMA 1
Total 22

Component census subdivisions in the preliminary 2021 census metropolitan area and census agglomeration delineation

Overall, CSDs have been added to or removed from the CMA and CA program in 50 of the 2016 and preliminary 2021 CMAs and CAs. Of these 50 affected CMAs and CAs, 11 are CMAs, 2 are CAs with CTs, and 28 are CAs without CTs. Table 9 shows the number of CSD changes in each affected CMA and CA.

Table 9
Number of CSD additions and removals for the 2016 Census and the preliminary 2021 CMA and CA
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number of CSD additions and removals for the 2016 Census and the preliminary 2021 CMA and CA. The information is grouped by CMA / CA Name (appearing as row headers), CMA / CA Code, Geographic Area Type, CSD added, CSD removed and Total changes (appearing as column headers).
CMA / CA Name CMA / CA Code Geographic Area Type CSD added CSD removed Total changes
St. John's, (N.L.) 001 CMA 1  ... 1
Halifax, (N.S.) 205 CMA 2  ... 2
Fredericton, (N.B.) 320 CMA 1  ... 1
Saguenay, (Que.) 408 CMA 1  ... 1
Québec, (Que.) 421 CMA 1  ... 1
Montréal, (Que.) 462 CMA 1  ... 1
Ottawa - Gatineau, (Ont./Que.) 505 CMA 6  ... 6
Windsor, (Ont.) 559 CMA 3  ... 3
Greater Sudbury / Grand Sudbury, (Ont.) 580 CMA 1  ... 1
Winnipeg, (Man.) 602 CMA 1  ... 1
Regina, (Sask.) 705 CMA 1  ... 1
Drummondville, (Que.) 447 CA with CTs 1  ... 1
Saint-Hyacinthe, (Que.) 452 CA with CTs  ... 1 -1
Corner Brook, (N.L.) 015 CA without CTs  ... 2 -2
Charlottetown (P.E.I.),Table 9 Note 1 105 CA without CTs 17 11 6
Summerside (P.E.I.),Table 9 Note 1 110 CA without CTs 1 1 0
Campbellton, (N.B./Que.) 330 CA without CTs  ... 1 -1
Edmundston, (N.B.) 335 CA without CTs  ... 4 -4
Matane, (Que.) 403 CA without CTs 2  ... 2
Rimouski, (Que.) 404 CA without CTs  ... 1 -1
Alma, (Que.) 410 CA without CTs  ... 1 -1
Dolbeau-Mistassini, (Que.) 411 CA without CTs 1 1 0
Saint-Georges, (Que.) 428 CA without CTs 3  ... 3
Thetford Mines, (Que.) 430 CA without CTs  ... 1 -1
Victoriaville, (Que.) 440 CA without CTs 2  ... 2
Shawinigan, (Que.) 444 CA without CTs Note ...: not applicable 1 -1
Brockville, (Ont.) 512 CA without CTs Note ...: not applicable 1 -1
Midland, (Ont.) 571 CA without CTs Note ...: not applicable 1 -1
Brandon, (Man.) 610 CA without CTs Note ...: not applicable 1 -1
Yorkton, (Sask.) 710 CA without CTs 2  ... 2
North Battleford, (Sask.) 735 CA without CTs 2 1 1
Weyburn, (Sask.) 755 CA without CTs 2  ... 2
Brooks, (Alta.) 806 CA without CTs  ... 4 -4
Lloydminster, (Alta./Sask.) 840 CA without CTs 1  ... 1
Port Alberni, (B.C.) 940 CA without CTs  ... 1 -1
Courtenay, (B.C.) 943 CA without CTs 1 Note ...: not applicable 1
Williams Lake, (B.C.) 950 CA without CTs 3 Note ...: not applicable 3
Prince Rupert, (B.C.) 955 CA without CTs 3 Note ...: not applicable 3
Terrace, (B.C.) 965 CA without CTs 4 Note ...: not applicable 4
Dawson Creek, (B.C.) 975 CA without CTs 2 Note ...: not applicable 2
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts - Val-David, (Que.) 467 New CA 3 Note ...: not applicable 3
Amos, (Que.) 481 New CA 9 Note ...: not applicable 9
Essa, (Ont.) 563 New CA 2 Note ...: not applicable 2
Trail - Fruitvale, (B.C.) 910 New CA 5 Note ...: not applicable 5
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 936 New CA 8 Note ...: not applicable 8
Arnprior, (Ont.) 507 Merged CA Note ...: not applicable 2 -2
Carleton Place, (Ont.) 509 Merged CA Note ...: not applicable 3 -3
Leamington, (Ont.) 557 Merged CA Note ...: not applicable 2 -2
Bay Roberts, (N.L.) 005 Retired CA Note ...: not applicable 5 -5
Cold Lake, (Alta.) 845 Retired CA Note ...: not applicable 1 -1
Total 93 47 46

These changes increase the total number of CSDs included within a CMA or CA from 966 for the 2016 Census to 1012 for the preliminary 2021 delineation. Along with the promotion of five CAs with CTs to CMAs, these changes contribute to the changes in the number of CSDs included in each of the three types of CMAs, CAs with CTs, and CAs without CTs between the 2016 Census and the preliminary 2021 delineation, as listed in table 10. The increase in the number of CSDs within CMAs is largely driven by the promotion of five CAs with CTs to CMAs, as these five new CMAs together contain 58 CSDs. Similarly, the decline in the number of CSDs within CAs with CTs is also mostly related to these tracted CA to CMA promotions.

Table 10
Changes of the number of census subdivisions in census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations from the 2016 Census to the preliminary 2021 delineation
Table summary
This table displays the results of Changes of the number of census subdivisions in census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations from the 2016 Census to the preliminary 2021 delineation. The information is grouped by Geographic Area Type (appearing as row headers), Number of CSDs (appearing as column headers).
Geographic Area Type Number of CSDs
2016 Preliminary 2021 Change between 2016 and Preliminary 2021
CMA 495 571 76
CA with Census Tracts 112 58 -54
without Census Tracts 359 383 24
Total 966 1,012 46

The majority of the CSDs within CMAs and CAs are included due to being part of the delineation core or due to high level of commuting between the delineation core and the CSD. The distribution of CSDs within CMAs and CAs by delineation rules for inclusion are displayed in table 11.

Table 11
Changes of the number of census subdivisions included under each rule from the 2016 Census to the preliminary 2021 delineation
Table summary
This table displays the results of Changes of the number of census subdivisions included under each rule from the 2016 Census to the preliminary 2021 delineation. The information is grouped by Delineation Rules (appearing as row headers), Number of CSDs, 2016, Preliminary 2021 and Change between 2016 and Preliminary 2021, Count, calculated using Count and Percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Delineation Rules Number of CSDs
2016 Preliminary 2021 Change between 2016 and Preliminary 2021, Count
count percent count percent
1 - delineation core rule 364 38 354 35 -10
2 - forward commuting flow rule 263 27 301 30 38
3 - reverse commuting flow rule 10 1 19 2 9
4 - spatial contiguity rule 53 5 58 6 5
5 - historical comparability rule 54 6 64 6 10
6 - manual adjustments rule 161 17 133 13 -28
7 - merge and secondary core rule 61 6 83 8 22
Total  966 100 1,012 100 46

Overall, a higher percentage of CSDs are included in CMAs and CAs because they have strong commuting with the cores, as evident by the increased proportions of CSD under rules 2, 3, and 4. The increase of CSDs under rule 7 indicates growth in the number of secondary cores as well as the strengthening commuting relationships between secondary cores and their adjacent primary cores of CMAs.

The increases of percentage of CSDs being included under rules 2, 3, 4, and 7 are offset by decreases in the percentage of CSDs included under rules 1 and 6.

Please refer to the tables in Appendix 1 for the changes in CSD compositions and delineation rules for each CMA and CA.

Census subdivisions added to census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations

A total of 86 CSDs are newly added to CMAs and CAs in the preliminary 2021 delineation: 12 CSDs added to CMAs, one CSD added to CAs with CTs, and 73 CSDs added to CAs without CTs.

Of the 86 CSDs added, 12 are added under the delineation core rule, 51 are added under the forward commuting flow rule, one is added under the reverse commuting flow rule, nine are added under the spatial contiguity rule, and 13 are added under the manual adjustments rule.

The provinces of British Columbia, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island have the highest number of CSD additions to CMAs and CAs, with 26, 25, and 18 CSDs being added respectively. Both British Columbia and Quebec have two new CAs which account for about half of the CSDs being added in both provinces.

Seventeen of the 18 CSDs being added in Prince Edward Island are new CSDs that are the results of a CSD re-delineation project completed by Statistics Canada with the province as of September 2018. These CSD additions therefore do not reflect only component CSDs being added to the existing boundaries of the CAs in Prince Edward Island, but also the changes of the CSD structure within the existing CA boundaries.

All except one of the CSDs added to CMAs are included under the forward commuting flow rule. The one exception is included under the spatial contiguity rule. Table 12 lists all CSDs that are added to CMAs and the rule under which each CSD is included.

Table 12
Census subdivisions added to the preliminary 2021 census metropolitan areas, excluding CSDs added under the merge rule
Table summary
This table displays the results of Census subdivisions added to the preliminary 2021 census metropolitan areas. The information is grouped by CMA Name (appearing as row headers), CSD (appearing as column headers).
CMA Name CSD
Code Name Type 2016 Adjusted Population Preliminary 2021 Rule
St. John's, (N.L.) 1001472 Holyrood T 2,463 Forward commuting flow
Halifax, (N.S.) 1208008 East Hants MD 22,453 Forward commuting flow
Halifax, (N.S.) 1208014 Indian Brook 14 IRI 1,089 Spatial contiguity
Fredericton, (N.B.) 1310016 Prince William P 930 Forward commuting flow
Québec, (Que.) 2433090 Saint-Apollinaire 6,110 Forward commuting flow
Montréal, (Que.) 2463035 Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan 5,147 Forward commuting flow
Ottawa – Gatineau, (Ont./Que.) 2480085 Mulgrave-et-Derry 369 Forward commuting flow
Saguenay, (Que.) 2494220 Ferland-et-Boilleau 540 Forward commuting flow
Windsor, (Ont.) 3537016 Essex T 20,427 Forward commuting flow
Greater Sudbury / Grand Sudbury, (Ont.) 3552004 St.-Charles MU 1,269 Forward commuting flow
Winnipeg, (Man.) 4602046 Niverville T 4,610 Forward commuting flow
Regina, (Sask.) 4706078 Craven VL 214 Forward commuting flow

Table 13 shows the only CSD that is added to CAs with CTs. The CSD is included under the forward commuting flow rule.

Table 13
Census subdivisions added to the preliminary 2021 census agglomerations with census tracts
Table summary
This table displays the results of Census subdivisions added to the preliminary 2021 census agglomerations with census tracts. The information is grouped by CA Name (appearing as row headers), CSD (appearing as column headers).
CA Name CSD
Code Name Type 2016 Adjusted Population Preliminary 2021 Rule
Drummondville, (Que.) 2449125 Saint-Bonaventure 1,031 Forward commuting flow

Of the 73 CSDs added to CAs without CTs, 12 are included under the delineation core rule, 39 are included under the forward commuting flow rule, one is included under the reverse commuting flow rule, eight are included under the spatial contiguity rule, and 13 are included under the manual adjustments rule. Table 14 lists all CSDs that are added to CAs without CTs and the rule under which each CSD is included.

Table 14
Census subdivisions added to the preliminary 2021 census agglomerations without census tracts
Table summary
This table displays the results of Census subdivisions added to the preliminary 2021 census agglomerations without census tracts. The information is grouped by CA Name (appearing as row headers), CSD (appearing as column headers).
CA Name CSD
Code Name Type 2016 Adjusted Population Preliminary 2021 Rule
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1101052 East River, Part 2 FD 487 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102010 Crossroads FD 1,746 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102015 Johnstons River FD 327 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102017 New Glasgow FD 3,855 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102022 Kingston RM 1,047 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102023 New Haven-Riverdale RM 543 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102025 West River RM 795 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102027 Afton RM 1,242 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102043 Hunter River RM 356 Spatial contiguity
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102047 Pleasant Grove RM 488 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102053 Grand Tracadie RM 352 Manual adjustment
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102055 Brackley RM 596 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102060 North Shore RM 1,312 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102061 York RM 414 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102064 East River, Part 1 FD 2,085 Forward commuting flow
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102069 Winsloe North FD 266 Manual adjustment
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102073 North Shore FD 1,406 Forward commuting flow
Summerside, (P.E.I.) 1103040 Miscouche FD 819 Forward commuting flow
Matane, (Que.) 2408030 Saint-Adelme PE 520 Forward commuting flow
Matane, (Que.) 2408065 Saint-Léandre PE 400 Forward commuting flow
Saint-Georges, (Que.) 2429050 Saint-René PE 745 Forward commuting flow
Saint-Georges, (Que.) 2429065 Saint-Philibert 369 Forward commuting flow
Saint-Georges, (Que.) 2429125 Saint-Simon-les-Mines 549 Forward commuting flow
Victoriaville, (Que.) 2439030 Chesterville 922 Forward commuting flow
Victoriaville, (Que.) 2439135 Saint-Valère 1,263 Forward commuting flow
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts - Val-David, (Que.) 2478005 Val-Morin 2,870 Manual adjustment
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts - Val-David, (Que.) 2478010 Val-David VL 4,917 Delineation core
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts - Val-David, (Que.) 2478032 Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts V 10,223 Delineation core
Amos, (Que.) 2488040 Saint-Marc-de-Figuery PE 834 Forward commuting flow
Amos, (Que.) 2488050 Saint-Mathieu-d'Harricana 739 Forward commuting flow
Amos, (Que.) 2488055 Amos V 12,823 Delineation core
Amos, (Que.) 2488060 Saint-Félix-de-Dalquier 940 Forward commuting flow
Amos, (Que.) 2488065 Saint-Dominique-du-Rosaire 450 Forward commuting flow
Amos, (Que.) 2488070 Berry 538 Forward commuting flow
Amos, (Que.) 2488075 Trécesson CT 1,223 Forward commuting flow
Amos, (Que.) 2488085 Sainte-Gertrude-Manneville 787 Forward commuting flow
Amos, (Que.) 2488802 Pikogan IRI 538 Delineation core
Dolbeau-Mistassini, (Que.) 2492065 Saint-Eugène-d'Argentenay 488 Forward commuting flow
Essa, (Ont.) 3543003 Adjala-Tosorontio TP 10,975 Manual adjustment
Essa, (Ont.) 3543021 Essa TP 21,083 Delineation core
Weyburn, (Sask.) 4702044 Weyburn No. 67 RM 1,064 Forward commuting flow
Weyburn, (Sask.) 4702048 McTaggart VL 121 Spatial contiguity
Yorkton, (Sask.) 4709006 Wallace No. 243 RM 852 Forward commuting flow
Yorkton, (Sask.) 4709009 Rhein VL 170 Spatial contiguity
North Battleford, (Sask.) 4712078 Battle River No. 438 RM 1,154 Forward commuting flow
North Battleford, (Sask.) 4712837 Sweet Grass 113-M16 IRI 0 Spatial contiguity
Lloydminster, (Alta./Sask.) 4717028 Britannia No. 502 RM 2,153 Forward commuting flow
Trail – Fruitvale, (B.C.) 5905005 Fruitvale VL 1,920 Delineation core
Trail – Fruitvale, (B.C.) 5905009 Montrose VL 996 Delineation core
Trail – Fruitvale, (B.C.) 5905014 Trail CY 7,709 Delineation core
Trail – Fruitvale, (B.C.) 5905018 Warfield VL 1,680 Delineation core
Trail – Fruitvale, (B.C.) 5905026 Kootenay Boundary A RDA 1,891 Delineation core
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 5919015 Cowichan Valley G RDA 2,325 Delineation core
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 5919017 Cowichan Valley H RDA 2,446 Manual adjustment
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 5919021 Ladysmith T 8,537 Delineation core
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 5919804 Chemainus 13 IRI 735 Manual adjustment
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 5919809 Penelakut Island 7 IRI 452 Manual adjustment
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 5919811 Shingle Point 4 IRI 0 Manual adjustment
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 5919816 Oyster Bay 12 IRI 77 Manual adjustment
Ladysmith, (B.C.) 5919817 Portier Pass 5 IRI 0 Manual adjustment
Courtenay, (B.C.) 5926014 Cumberland VL 3,753 Forward commuting flow
Williams Lake, (B.C.) 5941014 Cariboo F RDA 4,554 Forward commuting flow
Williams Lake, (B.C.) 5941805 Deep Creek 2 IRI 91 Manual adjustment
Williams Lake, (B.C.) 5941812 Williams Lake 1 IRI 191 Manual adjustment
Prince Rupert, (B.C.) 5947016 North Coast A RDA 41 Spatial contiguity
Prince Rupert, (B.C.) 5947809 Lax Kw'alaams 1 IRI 646 Spatial contiguity
Prince Rupert, (B.C.) 5947810 S1/2 Tsimpsean 2 IRI 88 Reverse commuting flow
Terrace, (B.C.) 5949013 Kitimat-Stikine C (Part 1) RDA 2,834 Forward commuting flow
Terrace, (B.C.) 5949804 Kitsumkaylum 1 IRI 334 Manual adjustment
Terrace, (B.C.) 5949805 Kshish 4 IRI 0 Spatial contiguity
Terrace, (B.C.) 5949844 Kitselas 1 IRI 269 Spatial contiguity
Dawson Creek, (B.C.) 5955005 Pouce Coupe VL 792 Forward commuting flow
Dawson Creek, (B.C.) 5955021 Peace River D RDA 5,920 Forward commuting flow

Census subdivisions removed from census agglomerations

A total of 34 CSDs are removed from 17 preliminary 2021 CAs. Eighteen CSDs are removed because they no longer meet any of the delineation criteria, and the other 16 CSDs are removed because they have been dissolved or become inactive since the 2016 Census. Four of these CSDs are in New Brunswick. The rest are in Prince Edward Island; these are related to the CSD re-delineation project in the province. Table 15 shows all CSDs that are removed from CAs.

Table 15
2016 Census subdivisions removed from the preliminary 2021 census agglomerations
Table summary
This table displays the results of 2016 Census subdivisions removed from the preliminary 2021 census agglomerations. The information is grouped by CA Name (appearing as row headers), CSD (appearing as column headers).
CA Name CSD
Code Name Type 2016 Adjusted Population 2016 Rule Preliminary 2021 CSD Status
Corner Brook, (N.L.) 1005015 Gillams T 410 Forward commuting flow Active
Corner Brook, (N.L.) 1005022 McIvers T 538 Forward commuting flow Active
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102012 Lot 49 LOT 1,077 Forward commuting flow Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102014 Lot 48 LOT 1,911 Manual adjustment Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102026 Lot 31 LOT 1,634 Forward commuting flow Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102028 Lot 65 LOT 2,200 Forward commuting flow Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102048 Brackley COM 340 Forward commuting flow Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102049 Lot 33 LOT 1,201 Manual adjustment Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102052 Lot 34 LOT 2,577 Manual adjustment Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102054 Lot 35 LOT 1,643 Manual adjustment Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102056 Lot 36 LOT 743 Manual adjustment Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102058 Lot 37 LOT 587 Forward commuting flow Dissolved/
Inactive
Charlottetown, (P.E.I.) 1102065 Winsloe South COM 221 Forward commuting flow Dissolved/
Inactive
Summerside, (P.E.I.) 1103019 Lot 17 LOT 548 Forward commuting flow Dissolved/
Inactive
Edmundston, (N.B.) 1313032 Saint-Hilaire P 490 Spatial contiguity Dissolved/
Inactive
Edmundston, (N.B.) 1313033 St. Hilaire VL 303 Spatial contiguity Dissolved/
Inactive
Edmundston, (N.B.) 1313034 Baker Brook P 287 Forward commuting flow Dissolved/
Inactive
Edmundston, (N.B.) 1313035 Baker-Brook VL 585 Spatial contiguity Dissolved/
Inactive
Campbellton, (N.B./Que.) 1314008 Dalhousie P 1,067 Forward commuting flow Active
Rimouski, (Que.) 2410070 Saint-Fabien PE 1,837 Forward commuting flow Active
Thetford Mines, (Que.) 2431040 Irlande 884 Forward commuting flow Active
Shawinigan, (Que.) 2451085 Saint-Boniface 4,832 Delineation core Active
Saint-Hyacinthe, (Que.) 2454090 Saint-Simon 1,413 Forward commuting flow Active
Dolbeau-Mistassini, (Que.) 2492070 Saint-Stanislas 373 Forward commuting flow Active
Alma, (Que.) 2493045 Saint-Nazaire 2,073 Forward commuting flow Active
Brockville, (Ont.) 3507006 Augusta TP 7,353 Manual adjustment Active
Midland, (Ont.) 3543071 Tay TP 10,033 Delineation core Active
Brandon, (Man.) 4607060 Cornwallis RM 4,520 Forward commuting flow Active
North Battleford, (Sask.) 4716028 North Battleford No. 437 RM 725 Forward commuting flow Active
Brooks, (Alta.) 4802031 Newell County MD 7,524 Manual adjustment Active
Brooks, (Alta.) 4802036 Duchess VL 1,085 Manual adjustment Active
Brooks, (Alta.) 4802038 Rosemary VL 396 Manual adjustment Active
Brooks, (Alta.) 4802039 Bassano T 1,206 Manual adjustment Active
Port Alberni, (B.C.) 5923033 Alberni-Clayoquot B RDA 443 Forward commuting flow Active

Six CSDs are removed from the CA program due to the retirement of the two CAs to which they belong. These CSDs are displayed in table 16.

Table 16
Preliminary 2021 retired census agglomerations and their 2016 census subdivisions
Table summary
This table displays the results of Preliminary 2021 retired census agglomerations and their 2016 census subdivisions . The information is grouped by CA Name (appearing as row headers), CSD (appearing as column headers).
CA Name CSD
Code Name Type 2016 Adjusted Population 2016 Rule
Bay Roberts, (N.L.) 1001385 Upper Island Cove T 1,594 Delineation core
Bay Roberts, (N.L.) 1001394 Bishop's Cove T 275 Delineation core
Bay Roberts, (N.L.) 1001396 Spaniard's Bay T 2,622 Delineation core
Bay Roberts, (N.L.) 1001409 Bay Roberts T 5,818 Delineation core
Bay Roberts, (N.L.) 1001426 North River T 562 Delineation core
Cold Lake, (Alta.) 4812002 Cold Lake CY 13,839 Delineation core

Release date and more information of the final 2021 delineation

The final census metropolitan area (CMA) and census agglomeration (CA) boundaries for the 2021 Census will be delineated in 2021 using the population centres from the 2016 Census and the final census subdivision (CSD) boundaries for the 2021 Census. As a result, the final CMAs and CAs will reflect the cumulative CSD changes occurring between January 2, 2016 and January 1, 2021.

All population counts and Place of Work data used to delineate the final 2021 CMAs and CAs will be from the 2016 Census, adjusted to the final 2021 CSD boundaries.

The final 2021 CMA and CA delineation may also include user feedback from the preliminary 2021 CMA and CA delineation working paper.

The boundaries for the final 2021 CMAs and CAs are expected to be released in the fall of 2021.

History of the concept and criteria of census metropolitan area and census agglomeration delineation (1941 to 2021) Note 

The census metropolitan areas (CMA) and census agglomerations (CA) concept has existed since the 1941 Census. Over the years, the name of the entities and the methodology used to derive these entities have evolved. This section looks back at the changes that have taken place since the inception of the CMA and CA program.

1941

Statistics Canada published data on ‘greater cities’ for the first time. These were defined as cities which have well-defined satellite communities in close economic relationship with them.

1946

No changes were made.

1951

The term ‘census metropolitan area’ (CMA) appeared for the first time. This term designated cities of over 50,000 having fringe municipalities in close geographic, economic and social relations, the whole constituting a unit of over 100,000.

The concept of ‘major urban areas’, the forerunners of today’s ‘census agglomeration’ (CA), was introduced. The term designated urban areas in which the largest city had a population of at least 25,000 and fewer than 50,000.

1956

No changes were made.

1961

CMAs were delineated around cities with a population of at least 50,000 if the following criteria were met: population density of the urbanized area was at least 1,000 persons per square mile (386 people per square kilometre); a labour force outside the central city of which at least 70% were engaged in non-agricultural activities; and the total CMA population was at least 100,000.

1966

No changes were made.

1971

CMAs were defined as main labour market areas, but were delineated according to alternate criteria based on the labour force composition, population growth rate and accessibility around an urbanized core with at least 100,000 population and a density of at least 1,000 persons per square mile. Municipalities within a 20-mile radius of the urbanized core were included in the CMA if the percentage of their labour force in primary activities was smaller than the national average and the percentage of population increase for 1956-1966 was larger than the average for the 1966 CMA. Where only one of the two preceding criteria was met, municipalities were included if they were accessed by a provincial or federal highway.

The term ‘census agglomeration’ (CA) appeared for the first time, replacing ‘major urban areas’. CAs were comprised of at least two adjacent municipal entities. These entities had to be at least partly urban and belong to an urbanized core having a population of at least 2,000. The urbanized core included a largest city and a remainder, each with a population of at least 1,000, and had a population density of at least 1,000 per square mile.

1976

Commuting data based on the place of work question of the previous decennial census were used for the first time to delineate CMAs. Municipalities were included in CMAs if they met the forward commuting threshold of 40% or the reverse commuting threshold of 25% with the urbanized core.

1981

Commuting data based on the place of work question of the previous decennial census were used for the first time to delineate CAs. For both CMAs and CAs, the forward commuting threshold was 40% and the reverse commuting threshold was 25%.

The minimum urbanized core population for CAs was raised from 2,000 to 10,000. CAs were eligible for census tracts if they had a census subdivision (CSD) with a population of at least 50,000 at the time of the previous census. Single CSD (component) CAs could be created for subdivision into census tracts.

1986

Introduction of the consolidated and primary CMA and CA concept. Adjacent CMAs and CAs that had sufficient commuting interchange (35% or more) were merged and were identified by the terms 'primary census metropolitan area (PCMA)' and 'primary census agglomeration (PCA).' The terms 'consolidated census metropolitan area (CCMA)' and 'consolidated census agglomeration (CCA)' described the sum of the component CMAs and CAs. Census data were disseminated for these areas.

The forward commuting threshold was raised from 40% to 50% to control for differences in processing of the place of work data between 1971 and 1981.

Introduction of the minimum of 100 commuters for forward and reverse commuting for both CMAs and CAs.

Single CSD (component) CAs were permitted.

1991

No changes were made.

1996

Two changes to CMA/CA delineation rules were implemented to preserve data comparability over time. CMAs could be consolidated with CAs, but they could not be consolidated with other CMAs. A primary census agglomeration (PCA) could not be retired from a consolidated CMA or CA (with census tracts at the previous census) even if its total commuting interchange percentage dropped below the consolidation threshold of 35%. Exceptions to this rule could occur due to changes in the physical structure of the urban areas used to determine the urban cores.

Minimum sets of CSDs were used instead of the census consolidated subdivisions (CCSs) for evaluation in the spatial contiguity rule.

2001

CAs were required to have an urban core population of at least 100,000 to be changed to the status of a CMA.

Consolidated CMAs were no longer defined for dissemination purposes. As a result, primary CMAs and primary CAs were also not defined. However, the consolidation rule was retained and incorporated into the CMA delineation methodology. There was no substantive change to the methodology for defining CMAs and no change to the limits of CMAs resulting from this rule change.

2006

CAs were no longer required to have an urban core population of 100,000 to be promoted to the status of a CMA. Instead, CAs assumed the status of a CMA if they had attained a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more lived in the urban core.

2011

The terms 'population centre,' 'core,' 'fringe' and 'rural area' replace the terms 'urban area,' 'urban core,' 'urban fringe' and 'rural fringe' for the 2011 Census.

CMA and CA delineation started using commuting data based on the place of work question asked in the most recent census instead of the previous decennial census.

The ‘Guidelines for CMA name change requests’ were established to allow municipalities to submit formal requests of new names for CMAs.

2016

Commuting data based on the place of work question from the 2011 National Household Survey were used for CMA and CA delineation. However, data in the category of no fixed workplace address were excluded from the commuting flow calculations.

For both CMAs and CAs, the forward commuting threshold remained at 50%, while the reverse commuting threshold was raised from 25% to 50%.

CSDs in CMAs and CAs with census tracts that were included under the historical comparability rule would be retained for one more census. This change means that these CSDs could be removed from CMAs and CAs after the next census or the next delineation.

2021

No changes were made.

History of entries and deletes of 2016 and preliminary 2021 census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations

References

Dubuisson, R. 1983. “Metropolitan area concepts in Canada and selected foreign countries.” Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-X-503.

Ricour-Singh, F. 1972. “1971 census agglomerations delineation and general characteristics.”

Ricour-Singh, F. 1972. “Census metropolitan areas: revision of the concept, criteria and delineations for the 1971 Census.”

Ross, G. 1984. “Census metropolitan area/census agglomeration program, a review, 1941-1981.” Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-X-508.

Acknowledgements

This working paper is the culmination of the work of several individuals in the Statistical Geomatics Centre. The dedicated work of Michel Carleton, Luc Therrien, Mary-Ellen Maybee, Brigit Levac, Kaily Barry, Sophie Gratton, Kelly Matier and Geneviève Clément are acknowledged.

Appendices

Maps and tables for each preliminary 2021 census metropolitan area and census agglomeration

Additional information

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