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Collective dwelling

Part A - Short definition:

Dwelling used for commercial, institutional or communal purposes, such as a hotel, a hospital or a work camp.

Part B - Detailed definition:

Refers to a dwelling of a commercial, institutional or communal nature. It may be identified by a sign on the premises or by an enumerator speaking with the person in charge, a resident, a neighbour, etc. Included are lodging or rooming houses, hotels, motels, tourist homes, nursing homes, hospitals, staff residences, communal quarters (military bases), work camps, jails, group homes, and so on. Collective dwellings may be occupied by usual residents or solely by foreign residents and/or by temporarily present persons.

Census years:

2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971, 1966, 1961

Reported for:

See Figure 22 for an illustration of the 2011 dwelling universe.

Question number(s):

Not applicable


Collective dwelling types

General and specialty hospitals
An institution providing medical or surgical diagnosis and short-term treatment to the ill or injured. Included are general hospitals, children's hospitals, maternity hospitals, remote hospitals, etc.
Chronic care and long-term care hospitals

Establishments that provide continuous medical, nursing and professional health care supervision for long-term patients who are dependent in all activities of daily living and are unable to perform most or all personal care tasks.

Included are rehabilitation hospitals. These are hospitals which provide continuing treatment of patients whose condition is expected to improve through the provision of rehabilitative services.

Nursing homes are a long-term care facility that are classified as a separate category.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes are long-term care facilities, which provide a range of health care services going from periodic assistance up to regular nursing care, for elderly residents.

These facilities provide professional health monitoring and skilled nursing care 24/7.

Residents are not independent in most activities of daily living.

Residences for senior citizens
Residences for senior citizens that provide support services (such as meals, housekeeping, medication supervision, assistance in bathing) and supervision for elderly residents who are independent in most activities of daily living.
Group homes or institutions for the physically handicapped and treatment centres
Group homes or institutions providing care and treatment to the physically handicapped. Treatment centres provide care, treatment or assistance services for persons with an addiction. Generally, lower level of health care is provided than in hospitals or nursing homes.
Group homes for children and youth
Establishments that provide accommodation for children under guardianship of the court or children needing shelter or assistance services.
Group homes or institutions for people with psychiatric disorders or developmental disabilities
Group homes or institutions providing diagnosis or treatment to persons with psychiatric disorders or developmental disabilities.
Federal correctional institutions
Correctional institutions where inmates (mostly adults) are serving a sentence to custody of 2 years or more. These may be run either by the federal government or a private company.
Provincial and territorial custodial facilities
Correctional facilities or detention centres where inmates (mostly adults) are serving a sentence to custody of less than 2 years or who are being detained to await court proceedings, judgement or sentence. These may be run either by the provincial/territorial government or a private company.
Young offenders' facilities
Facilities to which young offenders are admitted into custody. The facility may be an open or a secure custody facility. These minors are awaiting trial, are under court order or have been convicted of an offence. A young offender is a person who is 12 years of age and older, but less than 18 years of age, at the time of committing an offence.
Jails and police lock-up facilities
Facilities where persons are detained by police for a short period of time for any number of reasons, including awaiting court appearance, transfer to another facility or release. A lock-up facility is generally operated by a police force in a police station under the authority of a municipal, regional, provincial or federal authority. Persons may or may not have been charged with an offence. Detainees may be adults or young offenders.
Shelters for persons lacking a fixed address
Establishments for persons lacking a fixed address such as homeless shelters or shelters for street youth.
Shelters for abused women and their children
Establishments for women and their children who need shelter or assistance.
Other shelters and lodging with assistance
Establishments for residents who need shelter or assistance. Included are transition homes and halfway houses for ex-inmates or persons on conditional release.
Lodging and rooming houses
Commercial establishments (which may originally have been a private dwellings) having furnished rooms for rent. Residents receive no type of care. They generally have access to common facilities, such as the kitchen and/or the bathroom.
Hotels, motels and tourist establishments
Commercial establishments that serve as temporary accommodation for business travellers and persons on pleasure trips. Also included are bed and breakfasts.
Campgrounds and parks
Buildings or other facilities providing temporary accommodation for persons on pleasure trips, or accommodation for transients or persons with no fixed address.
School residences and training centre residences
One or more buildings that usually accommodate students attending an educational institution or training centre, such as boarding schools, colleges and universities. These buildings may be located on or off the grounds of the institution and may accommodate non-students.
Work camps
Accommodation provided to employees of an industry, such as mining, logging or hydro construction, and generally located in a remote area. A work camp usually consists of bunkhouses, tents, trailers, etc.
Other establishments with temporary accommodation services
Establishments, such as YMCA/YWCA, hostels, and Ronald McDonald Homes, that do not belong to any of the above categories and provide temporary accommodation to persons with or without a fixed address. These establishments may charge for accommodation.
Religious establishments
Establishments, such as a convent or a seminary, which provide accommodation to members of a religious group.
Military bases
Barracks and other buildings on a military base in Canada belonging to the Canadian Forces.
Commercial vessels (1,000 or more tonnes)1
Commercial vessels 1,000 or more tons gross tonnage under Canadian registry in port on May 10, 2011.
Commercial vessels (under 1,000 tonnes)1
Commercial vessels less than 1,000 tons gross tonnage under Canadian registry in port on May 10, 2011.
Government vessels1
Canadian Forces and Coast Guard vessels. Other government vessels, e.g., research and exploration vessels.
Hutterite colonies

A group of people of the Hutterite religion who live in dwellings that belong to the community and use their land for agricultural purposes.

For census purposes, a Hutterite colony is classified as a single collective dwelling, and the person in charge (the 'boss') is considered as its representative.

Other collective dwellings
A dwelling that meets the criteria of the collective dwelling definition, but does not fall into any specified type. Included are racetracks, outfitter camps, carnival and circus camps, non-religious communes.


Only data for collective dwellings occupied by usual residents are published and limited information is available. The categories published for collective dwelling depend on the data quality.

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