Designated place

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A designated place (DPL) is a type of community or populated area identified by Statistics Canada for statistical purposes. DPLs are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages.


DPLs are communities that lack separate municipal government, but which otherwise physically resemble incorporated places. DPLs are delineated at the request of a federal or provincial government to provide data for settled concentrations of population that are identifiable by name but are not legally incorporated under the laws of the province in which they are located. The boundaries of a DPL have no legal status, and not all unincorporated communities are necessarily granted DPL status.

Some designated places may have a quasi-governmental status, such as a local services board in Ontario or an organized hamlet in Saskatchewan. Others may be formerly unincorporated settlements or formerly independent municipalities which have been merged into larger governments, and have retained DPL status in order to ensure statistical continuity with past censuses.

DPLs are similar to the function of census-designated places in the United States, but are defined differently. One significant difference is that Statistics Canada applies the designation to much smaller communities than does the United States Census Bureau.


To be defined as a DPL under current Statistics Canada rules, a community must have: [1]

The status of designated place was created for the first time in the Canada 1996 Census. [1] Prior to 1996, such areas were only counted as regular enumeration areas within the applicable census divisions, and no special aggregation of figures was published. [1]

By province

In the Canada 2016 Census, there were 1,629 designated places in Canada, of which 1,628 of them were in nine provinces. [2]


British Columbia


New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia


Prince Edward Island

There were no designated places in Prince Edward Island in 2016. [2]



By territory

In the Canada 2016 Census, there was one designated place in the Canadian territories. [2]

Northwest Territories

There were no designated places in the Northwest Territories in 2016. [2]


There were no designated places in Nunavut in 2016. [2]


At the 2016 Census of Canada, Yukon had one designated place. [2] [3] [4]

Name  [4] Type  [4] Population
(2011)  [4]
(2006)  [4]
(km2)  [4]
Carmacks Landing Settlement Aboriginal settlement1741522.34

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. 1 2 3 "More information on Designated place (DPL)", Statistics Canada.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016 Table 1.1 Geographic areas by province and territory, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. November 16, 2016. Archived from the original on January 11, 2020. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  3. "Census Dictionary: Table 1 – Geographic units by province and territory, 2011 Census". Statistics Canada. 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2011 and 2006 censuses (Saskatchewan)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-19.