Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada
Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Dwelling, private

Part A - Plain language definition:

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.

Part B - Detailed definition:

Refers to a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance either from outside or from a common hall, lobby, vestibule or stairway inside the building. The entrance to the dwelling must be one that can be used without passing through the living quarters of someone else. The dwelling must meet the two conditions necessary for year-round occupancy:

  1. a source of heat or power (as evidenced by chimneys, power lines, oil or gas pipes or meters, generators, woodpiles, electric lights, heating pumps, solar heating panels, etc.);
  2. 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).

The census classifies private dwellings into regular private dwellings and occupied marginal dwellings. Regular private dwellings are further classified into three major groups: occupied dwellings (occupied by usual residents), dwellings occupied by foreign and/or temporary residents and unoccupied dwellings. Marginal dwellings are classified as occupied by usual residents or by foreign and/or temporary residents. Marginal dwellings that were unoccupied on Census Day are not counted in the housing stock.

More information on Dwelling, private