Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Place name (PN)

Release date: November 16, 2016


'Place name' refers to selected names of active and retired geographic areas as well as names from the Canadian Geographical Names Data Base. Place names also include names of census subdivisions (municipalities), census divisions, designated places, population centres, provinces, federal electoral districts, economic regions and census metropolitan areas as well as the names of some local places. There can be duplicate place names, however the place name point co-ordinates have been offset for cartographic display purposes.

Reported in

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


The term 'place name' replaces the term 'locality' for the 2011 Census.

The purpose is to provide users with a means for searching and mapping on 'localized' place names.

Place name data keeps evolving and may not be comparable between censuses.

Refer to the related definitions of census subdivision (CSD); designated place (DPL) and population centre (POPCTR).

Changes prior to the current census

Prior to 2011, the term 'locality' was used to describe historical place names, such as former census subdivisions (municipalities), designated places and urban areas. However, the locality and place name concepts were not identical.

Prior to 2001, localities did not exist.

Prior to 1996, designated places did not exist.

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