Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Place name (PN)

Release date: November 17, 2021


"Place name" refers to selected names of active and retired geographic areas, as well as names from the Canadian Geographical Names Database. 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 coordinates have been offset for cartographic display purposes.

Reported in

2021, 2016, 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971, 1966 and 1961


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

Place name data keep 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

Since 2011, the term "place name" has been replaced by the term "locality".

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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