Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Private dwelling

Release date: February 8, 2017


'Private dwelling' refers to a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance either from outside the building 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 some other person or group of persons.

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 or solar panels)
  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.

Dwellings that do not meet the conditions necessary for year-round occupancy are marginal dwellings. Private dwellings are classified 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 solely by foreign residents and/or by temporarily present persons and unoccupied dwellings. Marginal dwellings are classified as occupied by usual residents or occupied solely by foreign residents and/or by temporarily present persons. Marginal dwellings that were unoccupied on May 10, 2016, are not counted in the housing stock.

Statistical unit(s)

Not applicable


Not applicable

Reported in

2016, 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981,Note 1 1976, 1971,Note 2 1966,Note 2 1961Note 2

Reported for

For more information on the dwelling universe, refer to the Guide to the Census of Population, 2016.

Question number(s)

Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable


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