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The 2006 Census population counts for a particular area represent the number of Canadians whose usual place of residence is in that area, regardless of where they happened to be on Census Day. Also included are any Canadians who were staying in that area on Census Day and who had no usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada, as well as those considered to be 'non-permanent residents' (see Notes). For most areas, there is little difference between the number of usual residents and the number of people staying in the area on Census Day. For certain places, however, such as tourist or vacation areas, or those including large work camps, the number of people staying in that area at any particular time could significantly exceed the number of usual residents shown here. The population counts include Canadians living in other countries, but do not include foreign residents living in Canada (the 'foreign residents' category does not include 'non-permanent residents' – see Notes). Given these differences, users are advised not to interpret population counts as being the number of people living in the reported dwellings.

The dwelling counts refer to total private dwellings and private dwellings occupied by usual residents in Canada. The census dwelling counts do not include collective dwellings, which are dwellings of a commercial, institutional or communal nature. The usual residents in collective dwellings are, however, included in the population counts.

For the 2006 Census, a private dwelling is defined as: A set of living quarters designed for or converted for human habitation in which a person or group of persons reside or could reside. In addition, a private dwelling must have a source of heat or power and must be an enclosed space that provides shelter from the elements, as evidenced by complete and enclosed walls and roof and by doors and windows that provide protection from wind, rain and snow.

Changes occur to the names, boundaries, and other characteristics of geographic areas (e.g., census subdivisions may amalgamate, or there may be an annexation or a change of name or status). Since the geographic framework is used for census data collection, the geographic reference date must be set several months before the date of the census in order to have these changes made in time. For the 2006 Census, the geographic reference date was January 1, 2006.

Users wishing to compare 2006 Census data with those of other censuses should then take into account that the boundaries of geographic areas may change from one census to another. In order to facilitate comparison, the 2001 Census counts are adjusted as needed to take into account boundary changes between the 2001 and 2006 censuses. The 2001 counts that were adjusted are identified by the letter 'A'. The letter 'A' may also refer to corrections to the 2001 counts; however, most of these are the result of boundary changes. This symbol is also used to identify areas that have been created since 2001, such as newly incorporated municipalities (census subdivisions) and new designated places (DPLs).

There are 1,289 designated places for the 2006 Census. For the first time, designated places will not straddle census subdivision boundaries. There are 584 census subdivisions that contain designated places.

A detailed description of intercensal changes made to the geographic units can be found in the publication entitled Standard Geographical Classification, 2006, Volume I (Catalogue no. 12-571-XPB).

Some Indian settlements and Indian reserves were incompletely enumerated during the 2001 Census and/or the 2006 Census (see Notes). These reserves and settlements are identified wherever they appear in the tables.

Land area is the area in square kilometres of the land-based portions of standard geographic areas. The data are unofficial, and are provided for the sole purpose of calculating population density. Land area data for the standard geographic areas reflect the boundaries in effect on January 1, 2006 (the geographic reference date for the 2006 Census of Canada).

The land area data are derived from the Spatial data infrastructure (SDI) using the Albers equal-area conic map projection. The data are calculated and stored in square kilometres at the basic block (BB) level to eight decimal places. (The basic block is the smallest polygon unit in the SDI and is formed by the intersection of all roads and boundary arcs of standard geographic areas that do not follow roads.) The BB data are then aggregated to the dissemination block (DB) level and rounded to four decimal places. The DB data are individually aggregated to each higher level standard geographic area. The land area data presented in these tables, however, are rounded to two decimal places.

Users should note that even when the boundaries of standard geographic areas did not change between the 2001 and 2006 censuses, the land areas may differ due to geometry shifts. The shifts are caused by a change in the underlying database architecture and by improving the absolute positional accuracy of the some of the roads.