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List of the 100 largest population centres in Canada

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Map of Canada

A population centre, in the context of a Canadian census, is a populated place, or a cluster of interrelated populated places, which meets the demographic characteristics of an urban area, having a population of at least 1,000 people and a population density of no fewer than 400 people per square km2.[1]

The term was first introduced in the Canada 2011 Census; prior to that, Statistics Canada used the term urban area.[1]

Statistics Canada listed 944 population centres in its 2011 census data; 513 of them, 54 per cent of all population centres in Canada, were located in Ontario or Quebec, the two most populous provinces.

History

The term "population centre" was chosen in order to better reflect the fact that urban vs. rural is not a strict division, but rather a continuum within which several distinct settlement patterns, and several competing interpretations of the distinction, may exist.[1] For example, a community may fit a strictly statistical definition of an urban area, but may not be commonly thought of as "urban" because it has a smaller population, or because it functions socially and economically as a suburb of another urban area rather than as a self-contained urban entity, or because it is geographically remote from other urban communities.

Accordingly, the new definition set out three distinct types of population centres: small (population 1,000 to 29,999), medium (population 30,000 to 99,999) and large (population 100,000 or greater).[1] Despite the change in terminology, however, the demographic definition of a population centre remains unchanged from that of an urban area: a population of at least 1,000 people where the density is no fewer than 400 persons per square km2.

Characteristics

A population centre does not necessarily correspond to the boundaries of a municipality or of a census division. For example, a less densely populated area within a city's municipal boundaries may not be included as part of its population centre, while areas outside the city limits that directly continue a city's urban core population may be included.

For example, the population centre of Toronto extends into neighbouring Peel Region, Halton Region, Durham Region and York Region, encompassing places such as Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Pickering and Ajax. Despite this, numerous other communities which are considered part of the Greater Toronto Area for political purposes are not part of the population centre of Toronto; because a belt of more rural areas separates them geographically from the primary bulk of urban settlement, communities such as Milton, Georgetown, Caledon, Bolton, Nobleton, Bradford and Stouffville instead form their own separate small or medium population centres,[2] and even a portion of the city of Toronto itself, to the north and east of the Toronto Zoo in Scarborough, is excluded from the population centre as it is much less densely populated than the rest of the city.

However, the Statistics Canada definition of a population centre is that it does not cross the boundaries of a Census Metropolitan Area (CMA); even though the band of continuous urban development emanating outward from downtown Toronto along the shore of Lake Ontario extends even further into Hamilton and Oshawa, these two cities are both considered separate CMAs by Statistics Canada rather than being part of Toronto's, and accordingly each is also considered a distinct population centre.

Conversely, a single municipality may also contain more than one distinct population centre, if less densely populated or undeveloped regions separate more urbanized areas from one another. For example, Ottawa currently has seven distinct population centres (Ottawa-Gatineau, Constance Bay, Kanata, Richmond, Osgoode, Manotick and Metcalfe),[3] the neighbouring city of Gatineau has a secondary population centre at Buckingham in addition to its primary urban core forming part of Ottawa-Gatineau, and Greater Sudbury currently has eight distinct population centres (Sudbury, Azilda, Capreol, Chelmsford, Coniston, Dowling, Lively and Valley East).[4]

For actual "city limits" populations, see List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population, and for metropolitan area populations, see List of metropolitan areas in Canada.

Lists

By population rank

Rank[5] Population centre Province Population in 2016 Population in 2011 % Change Class
1 Toronto Ontario 5,429,524 5,144,412 +5.5% Large urban
2 Montreal Quebec 3,519,595 3,387,653 +3.9% Large urban
3 Vancouver British Columbia 2,264,823 2,124,443 +6.6% Large urban
4 Calgary Alberta 1,237,656 1,094,379 +13.1% Large urban
5 Edmonton Alberta 1,062,643 935,361 +13.6% Large urban
6 OttawaGatineau Ontario/Quebec 989,657 945,592 +4.7% Large urban
7 Winnipeg Manitoba 711,925 670,025 +6.3% Large urban
8 Quebec City Quebec 705,103 681,804 +3.4% Large urban
9 Hamilton Ontario 693,645 671,008 +3.4% Large urban
10 Kitchener Ontario 470,015 446,295 +5.3 Large urban
11 London Ontario 383,437 365,715 +4.8% Large urban
12 Victoria British Columbia 335,696 314,596 +6.7% Large urban
13 Halifax Nova Scotia 316,701 304,979 +3.8% Large urban
14 Oshawa Ontario 308,875 290,704 +6.3% Large urban
15 Windsor Ontario 287,069 277,970 +3.3% Large urban
16 Saskatoon Saskatchewan 245,181 220,546 +11.2% Large urban
17 St. CatharinesNiagara Falls Ontario 229,246 220,616 +3.9% Large urban
18 Regina Saskatchewan 214,631 192,079 +11.7% Large urban
19 St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador 178,427 172,312 +3.5% Large urban
20 Kelowna British Columbia 151,957 140,131 +8.4% Large urban
21 Barrie Ontario 145,614 140,383 +3.7% Large urban
22 Sherbrooke Quebec 139,565 133,673 +4.4% Large urban
23 Guelph Ontario 132,397 122,457 +8.1% Large urban
24 Abbotsford British Columbia 121,279 115,011 +5.4% Large urban
25 Kingston Ontario 117,660 114,928 +2.4% Large urban
26 Kanata Ontario 117,304 104,559 +12.2% Large urban
27 Trois-Rivières Quebec 114,203 112,626 +1.4% Large urban
28 Moncton New Brunswick 108,620 103,926 +4.5% Large urban
29 ChicoutimiJonquière Quebec 104,222 104,589 -0.4% Large urban
30 Milton Ontario 101,715 75,880 +34.0% Large urban
31 Red Deer Alberta 99,718 89,715 +11.1% Medium
32 Brantford Ontario 98,179 94,269 +4.1% Medium
33 Thunder Bay Ontario 93,952 95,251 -1.4% Medium
34 White Rock British Columbia 93,729 85,062 +7.8% Medium
35 Nanaimo British Columbia 92,004 85,357 +10.2% Medium
36 Sudbury Ontario 88,054 87,950 +0.1% Medium
37 Lethbridge Alberta 87,572 79,364 +10.3% Medium
38 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Quebec 84,685 81,802 +3.5% Medium
39 Peterborough Ontario 82,094 79,863 +2.8% Medium
40 Kamloops British Columbia 78,026 72,755 +7.2% Medium
41 Saint-Jérôme Quebec 77,146 69,598 +10.8% Medium
42 Chilliwack British Columbia 73,161 67,374 +8.6% Medium
43 Sarnia Ontario 72,125 73,044 -1.3% Medium
44 Châteauguay Quebec 71,164 66,445 +7.1% Medium
45 Drummondville Quebec 68,601 65,341 +5.0% Medium
46 Belleville Ontario 67,666 66,331 +2.0% Medium
47 Fort McMurray Alberta 66,573 60,555 +9.9% Medium
48 Sault Ste. Marie Ontario 66,313 68,143 -2.7% Medium
49 Prince George British Columbia 65,510 62,623 +4.6% Medium
50 Medicine Hat Alberta 62,935 59,624 +5.6% Medium
51 WellandPelham Ontario 62,388 60,540 +3.1% Medium
52 Grande Prairie Alberta 62,320 55,236 +12.8% Medium
53 Airdrie Alberta 61,082 42,844 +42.6% Medium
54 Granby Quebec 59,691 57,351 +4.1% Medium
55 Fredericton New Brunswick 59,405 56,663 +4.8% Medium
56 Saint John New Brunswick 58,341 60,459 -3.5% Medium
57 Beloeil Quebec 50,845 48,688 +4.4% Medium
58 North Bay Ontario 50,396 52,405 -3.8% Medium
59 Saint-Hyacinthe Quebec 50,032 47,289 +5.8% Medium
60 Brandon Manitoba 48,324 45,624 +5.9% Medium
61 Vernon British Columbia 48,073 46,125 +4.2% Medium
62 Cornwall Ontario 45,723 45,508 +0.5% Medium
63 Joliette Quebec 45,508 42,850 +6.2% Medium
64 Courtenay British Columbia 45,018 43,346 +3.9% Medium
65 Charlottetown Prince Edward Island 44,739 41,613 +7.5% Medium
66 Victoriaville Quebec 44,735 41,925 +6.7% Medium
67 Chatham Ontario 43,550 44,676 -2.5% Medium
68 Georgetown Ontario 42,123 40,185 +4.8% Medium
69 St. Thomas Ontario 41,813 40,973 +2.1% Medium
70 Woodstock Ontario 40,404 37,443 +7.9% Medium
71 Bowmanville Ontario 39,371 35,168 +12.0% Medium
72 Salaberry-de-Valleyfield Quebec 39,048 38,323 +1.9% Medium
73 Shawinigan Quebec 38,211 39,427 -3.1% Medium
74 Rimouski Quebec 36,942 35,437 +4.2% Medium
75 Spruce Grove Alberta 36,135 27,970 +29.2% Medium
76 Sorel Quebec 36,088 35,770 +0.9% Medium
77 Campbell River British Columbia 35,138 33,448 +5.1% Medium
78 Prince Albert Saskatchewan 35,102 34,057 +3.1% Medium
79 Penticton British Columbia 33,617 32,823 +2.4% Medium
80 Mission British Columbia 33,261 31,109 +6.9% Medium
81 Leamington Ontario 32,991 32,520 +1.4% Medium
82 Moose Jaw Saskatchewan 32,724 32,546 +0.5% Medium
83 Stouffville, Ontario Ontario 32,634 24,654 +32.4% Medium
84 Lloydminster Alberta/Saskatchewan 31,400 27,769 +13.1% Medium
85 Orillia Ontario 31,128 30,546 +1.9% Medium
86 Stratford Ontario 31,053 30,516 +1.8% Medium
87 Orangeville Ontario 30,734 29,007 +6.0% Medium
88 Cape BretonSydney Nova Scotia 29,904 30,175 -0.9% Small
89 Bradford Ontario 29,862 23,024 +29.7% Small
90 Leduc Alberta 29,556 23,827 +24.0% Small
91 Timmins Ontario 29,331 30,485 -3.8% Small
92 Okotoks Alberta 28,833 24,470 +17.8% Small
93 Saint-Georges Quebec 26,921 24,940 +7.9% Small
94 KeswickElmhurst Beach Ontario 26,757 26,002 +2.9% Small
95 Bolton Ontario 26,378 27,108 -2.7% Small
96 Val-d'Or Quebec 25,541 25,023 +2.1% Small
97 Cochrane Alberta 25,289 17,433 +45.1% Small
98 QuispamsisRothesay New Brunswick 24,445 23,862 +2.4% Small
99 Midland Ontario 24,353 23,791 +2.4% Small
100 Innisfil Ontario 23,992 20,365 +17.8% Small

By province or territory

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "From urban areas to population centres". Statistics Canada. Archived from the original on 13 December 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Map: Toronto (Population Centre), Ontario". Statistics Canada, February 1, 2012.
  3. ^ Map: Ottawa - Gatineau (Population Centre), Ontario. Statistics Canada, February 1, 2012.
  4. ^ Map: Sudbury (Population Centre), Ontario. Statistics Canada, February 1, 2012.
  5. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2016 Census". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-06-02.