List of largest Canadian cities by census

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A collection of four maps showing the distribution of population for 1851 (Newfoundland 1857), 1871 (Newfoundland 1869), 1901 and 1921 by historical region.

This is a list of the largest cities in Canada by census starting with the 1871 Census of Canada, the first national census. Only communities that were incorporated as cities at the time of each census are presented. Therefore, this list does not include any incorporated towns that may have been larger than any incorporated cities at each census.

1871[edit]

Rank City Population[1] Notes
1 Montreal, Quebec 107,225 Ranked #2 in 2011.[2]
2 Quebec, Quebec 59,699 Ranked #11 in 2011.[2]
3 Toronto, Ontario 56,092 Ranked #1 in 2011.[2]
4 Halifax, Nova Scotia 29,582 Ranked #14 in 2011 as a regional municipality.[2]
5 Saint Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador 28,805 Saint John was incorporated in 1785 to become Canada’s first incorporated city.[3]
6 Hamilton, Ontario 26,716 Ranked #10 in 2011.[2]
7 Ottawa, Ontario 21,545 Ranked #4 in 2011.[2]
8 London, Ontario 15,826 Ranked #15 in 2011.[2]
9 Portland, New Brunswick 12,520 Portland was a city until 1889 when it amalgamated with Saint Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador.[4]
10 Kingston, Ontario 12,407 Ranked #40 in 2011.[2]

1881[edit]

Rank City Population[1]
1 Montreal, Quebec 140,747
2 Toronto, Ontario 86,415
3 Quebec, Quebec 62,446
4 Halifax, Nova Scotia 36,100
5 Hamilton, Ontario 35,961
6 Ottawa, Ontario 27,412
7 Saint John, New Brunswick 26,127
8 London, Ontario 19,746
9 Portland, New Brunswick 15,226
10 Kingston, Ontario 14,091

1891[edit]

Rank City Population[5]
1 Montreal, Quebec 219,650
2 Toronto, Ontario 181,220
3 Quebec, Quebec 63,090
4 Hamilton, Ontario 48,980
5 Ottawa, Ontario 44,154
6 Saint John, New Brunswick 39,179
7 Halifax, Nova Scotia 38,556
8 London, Ontario 31,977
9 Winnipeg, Manitoba 25,642
10 Kingston, Ontario 19,264

1901[edit]

Rank City Population[6]
1 Montreal, Quebec 267,730
2 Toronto, Ontario 208,040
3 Quebec, Quebec 68,840
4 Ottawa, Ontario 59,928
5 Hamilton, Ontario 52,634
6 Winnipeg, Manitoba 42,340
7 Halifax, Nova Scotia 40,832
8 Saint John, New Brunswick 40,711
9 London, Ontario 37,981
10 Vancouver, British Columbia 26,133

1911[edit]

Source: Canada Year Book 1932[7]

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 490,504
2 Toronto, Ontario 381,383
3 Winnipeg, Manitoba 136,035
4 Vancouver, British Columbia 120,847
5 Ottawa, Ontario 87,082
6 Hamilton, Ontario 81,960
7 Quebec, Quebec 78,710
8 Halifax, Nova Scotia 46,619
9 London, Ontario 46,309
10 Calgary, Alberta 43,704

1921[edit]

Cities west of Ontario take up four of the top ten spots in this census. Many Western cities will grow quickly during the 20th century, in large part, because they are able to expand their borders. Source: Canada Year Book 1932[7]

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 618,506
2 Toronto, Ontario 521,893
3 Winnipeg, Manitoba 179,087
4 Vancouver, British Columbia 162,229
5 Hamilton, Ontario 114,151
6 Ottawa, Ontario 107,843
7 Quebec, Quebec 95,193
8 Calgary, Alberta 63,305
9 London, Ontario 60,959
10 Edmonton, Alberta 58,821

1931[edit]

Source: Canada Year Book 1932[7]

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 818,517
2 Toronto, Ontario 631,207
3 Vancouver, British Columbia 246,593
4 Winnipeg, Manitoba 218,785
5 Hamilton, Ontario 155,547
6 Quebec, Quebec 130,594
7 Ottawa, Ontario 126,872
8 Calgary, Alberta 83,761
9 Edmonton, Alberta 79,197
10 London, Ontario 71,148

1941[edit]

Source: Canada Year Book 1955[8]

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 903,007
2 Toronto, Ontario 667,567
3 Vancouver, British Columbia 275,353
4 Winnipeg, Manitoba 221,960
5 Hamilton, Ontario 166,337
6 Ottawa, Ontario 154,951
7 Quebec, Quebec 150,757
8 Windsor, Ontario 105,311
9 Edmonton, Alberta 93,817
10 Calgary, Alberta 88,904

1951[edit]

Source: Canada Year Book 1955[8]

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 1,021,520
2 Toronto, Ontario 675,754
3 Vancouver, British Columbia 344,843
4 Winnipeg, Manitoba 235,710
5 Hamilton, Ontario 208,321
6 Ottawa, Ontario 202,045
7 Quebec, Quebec 164,016
8 Edmonton, Alberta 159,631
9 Calgary, Alberta 129,060
10 Windsor, Ontario 120,040

1956[edit]

Source: Canada Year Book 1957-58[9]

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 1,109,439
2 Toronto, Ontario 667,706
3 Vancouver, British Columbia 364,844
4 Winnipeg, Manitoba 255,093
5 Hamilton, Ontario 239,625
6 Edmonton, Alberta 226,002
7 Ottawa, Ontario 222,129
8 Calgary, Alberta 181,780
9 Quebec, Quebec 170,703
10 Windsor, Ontario 121,980

1961[edit]

Source: Canada Year Book 1967[10]

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 1,191,062
2 Toronto, Ontario 672,407
3 Vancouver, British Columbia 384,522
4 Edmonton, Alberta 281,022
5 Hamilton, Ontario 273,991
6 Ottawa, Ontario 268,206
7 Winnipeg, Manitoba 265,429
8 Calgary, Alberta 249,631
9 Quebec, Quebec 171,979
10 London, Ontario 169,569

1966[edit]

1971[edit]

Source: Canada Year Book 1972

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 1,214,351
2 Toronto, Ontario 712,786
3 Edmonton, Alberta 438,152
4 Vancouver, British Columbia 426,256
5 Calgary, Alberta 403,319
6 Hamilton, Ontario 309,173
7 Ottawa, Ontario 302,241
8 Winnipeg, Manitoba 246,246
9 Laval, Quebec 228,010
10 London, Ontario 223,222

1976[edit]

1981[edit]

A number of Canadian cities suffered population losses during the 1970s. Source: Canada Year Book 1988

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 980,354
2 Toronto, Ontario 599,217
3 Calgary, Alberta 592,743
4 Winnipeg, Manitoba 564,473
5 North York, Ontario 559,521
6 Edmonton, Alberta 532,246
7 Vancouver, British Columbia 414,281
8 Mississauga, Ontario 315,056
9 Hamilton, Ontario 306,434
10 Ottawa, Ontario 295,033

1986[edit]

1991[edit]

Source : Statistics Canada Community Profiles: Census 1991

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 1,017,666
2 Calgary, Alberta 710,677
3 Toronto, Ontario 635,395
4 Winnipeg, Manitoba 616,790
5 Edmonton, Alberta 616,741
6 North York, Ontario 563,270
7 Scarborough, Ontario 524,598
8 Vancouver, British Columbia 471,844
9 Mississauga, Ontario 463,388
10 Hamilton, Ontario 318,499

1996[edit]

Source: Georef 1996 Census[11]

Rank City Population
1 Montreal, Quebec 1,016,376
2 Calgary, Alberta 768,082
3 Toronto, Ontario 653,734
4 Winnipeg, Manitoba 618,477
5 Edmonton, Alberta 616,306
6 North York, Ontario 589,653
7 Scarborough, Ontario 558,960
8 Mississauga, Ontario 544,382
9 Vancouver, British Columbia 514,008
10 Laval, Quebec 330,393

2001[edit]

A wave of amalgamations took place in Ontario during the 1990s and 2000s that adjusted city population figures.

Rank City Population[12] Notes
1 Toronto, Ontario 2,481,494 Toronto amalgamated with six surrounding municipalities on January 1, 1998.[13]
2 Montreal, Quebec 1,039,534
3 Calgary, Alberta 879,003
4 Ottawa, Ontario 774,072 Ottawa amalgamated with 11 surrounding municipalities on January 1, 2001.[13]
5 Edmonton, Alberta 666,104
6 Winnipeg, Manitoba 619,544
7 Mississauga, Ontario 612,000
8 Vancouver, British Columbia 545,671
9 Hamilton, Ontario 490,268 Hamilton amalgamated with six surrounding municipalities on January 1, 2001.[13]
10 Surrey, British Columbia 347,825

2006[edit]

The wave of amalgamations extended into the province of Quebec: in 2002, both Montreal and Quebec City combined with a number of smaller surrounding cities, some of which later chose to leave the amalgamation. Source : Statistics Canada Community Profiles: Census 2006

Rank City Population
1 Toronto, Ontario 2,503,281
2 Montreal, Quebec 1,620,693
3 Calgary, Alberta 988,193
4 Ottawa, Ontario 812,129
5 Edmonton, Alberta 730,372
6 Mississauga, Ontario 668,549
7 Winnipeg, Manitoba 633,451
8 Vancouver, British Columbia 578,041
9 Hamilton, Ontario 504,559
10 Quebec, Quebec 491,452

2011[edit]

Rank City Population
1 Toronto, Ontario 2,615,060
2 Montreal, Quebec 1,649,519
3 Calgary, Alberta 1,096,834
4 Ottawa, Ontario 883,391
5 Edmonton, Alberta 821,201
6 Mississauga, Ontario 713,443
7 Winnipeg, Manitoba 663,617
8 Vancouver, British Columbia 603,502
9 Brampton, Ontario 523,911
10 Hamilton, Ontario 519,949

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Census of Canada, 1880-81. Volume I. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1882. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses". Statistics Canada. January 13, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ "History of Saint John". City of Saint John. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Canada's Historic Places: W. A. Chesley Residence". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ Census of Canada, 1890-91. Volume I. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1893. 
  6. ^ Fourth Census of Canada, 1901. Volume I: Population. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1902. 
  7. ^ a b c [1], Censuses 1871-1931
  8. ^ a b [2], Census 1941-1951
  9. ^ [3] Census 1956
  10. ^ [4], Census 1961
  11. ^ [5] 1996 Census
  12. ^ "Population and Dwelling Counts, for Canada and Census Subdivisions (Municipalities), 2001 and 1996 Censuses - 100% Data". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c "Municipal Restructuring Activity Summary Table" (PDF). Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing. Retrieved April 3, 2014.