Types of municipalities in Quebec

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The following is a list of the types of local and supralocal territorial units in Quebec, including those used solely for statistical purposes, as defined by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy and compiled by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Not included are the urban agglomerations of Quebec, which, although they group together multiple municipalities, exercise only what are ordinarily local municipal powers.

A list of local municipal units in Quebec by regional county municipality can be found at List of municipalities in Quebec.

Local municipalities[edit]

All municipalities (except cities), whether township, village, parish, or unspecified ones, are functionally and legally identical. The only difference is that the designation might serve to disambiguate between otherwise identically-named municipalities, often neighbouring ones. Many such cases have had their names changed, or merged with the identically-named nearby municipality since the 1950s, such as the former Township of Granby and City of Granby merging and becoming the Town of Granby in 2007.

Municipalities are governed primarily by the Code municipal du Québec (Municipal Code of Québec, R.S.Q. c. C-27.1),[1] whereas cities and towns are governed by the Loi sur les cités et villes (Cities and Towns Act, R.S.Q. c. C-19)[2] as well as (in the case of the older ones) various individual charters.

The very largest communities in Quebec are colloquially called cities; however there are currently no municipalities under the province's current legal system classified as cities. Quebec's government uses the English term town as the translation for the French term ville, and township for canton.[3] The least-populous towns in Quebec (Barkmere, with a population of about 60, or L'Île-Dorval, with less than 10) are much smaller than the most-populous non-town municipalities (Saint-Charles-Borromée and Sainte-Sophie, each with populations of over 13,300).

Abbreviation French term English translation Description Lists
CT Municipalité de canton Township municipality All or part of the territory of a township (townships were originally only a land surveying feature) set up as a municipality. List of township municipalities in Quebec
CU Municipalité de cantons unis United township municipality Municipality composed of several townships. List of united township municipalities in Quebec
M Municipalité Municipality Territory administered by an authority established under the laws governing municipalities. List of municipalities (not otherwise specified) in Quebec
P Municipalité de paroisse Parish municipality The territory of a religious parish established as a municipality. List of parish municipalities in Quebec
V Ville[4] Town [3][dead link] Municipality legally established as a town. List of towns in Quebec
VL Municipalité de village Village municipality Territory of a village established as a municipality separate from a surrounding parish or township municipality. List of village municipalities in Quebec

The title city (French: cité code=C) still legally exists, with a few minor differences from that of ville. However it is moot since there are no longer any cities in existence. Dorval and Côte Saint-Luc had the status of city when they were amalgamated into Montreal on January 1, 2002 as part of the municipal reorganization in Quebec;[5] however, when re-constituted as independent municipalities on January 1, 2006, it was with the status of town (French: ville) (although the municipal government of Dorval still uses the name Cité de Dorval).

Prior to January 1, 1995, the code for municipalité was not M but rather SD (sans désignation; that is, unqualified municipality).[6]

Aboriginal local municipal units[edit]

Abbreviation French term English translation Description Lists
R Réserve indienne Indian reserve Territory reserved for Indians under the Indian Act.[7] List of Indian reserves in Quebec
TC Terre réservée aux Cris (1-A) Land reserved for the Cree Territory reserved for the use and benefit of the Cree population. Associated with a Cree village (VC) of the same name.
TI Terre de la catégorie I pour les Inuits Category I land for the Inuit Territory reserved for the use and benefit of the Inuit population. Associated with a northern village (VN) of the same name.
TK Terre réservée aux Naskapis (1-AN) Land reserved for the Naskapi Territory reserved for the use and benefit of the Naskapi (Innu) population. Associated with a Naskapi village (VK) of the same name.[8]
VC Municipalité de village cri (Terre 1-B) Cree village municipality A primarily Cree village with a Cree local authority established by the Cree Villages and the Naskapi Village Act.[9] List of Cree villages in Quebec
VK Municipalité de village naskapi (Terre 1-BN) Naskapi village municipality A primarily Naskapi (Innu) village with a Naskapi local authority established by the Cree Villages and the Naskapi Village Act. List of Naskapi villages in Quebec
VN Municipalité de village nordique Northern village municipality A village with an Inuit local authority established by the Act respecting Northern villages and the Kativik Regional Government. List of northern villages in Quebec

Prior to 2004, there was a single code, TR, to cover the modern-day TC and TK. When the distinction between TC and TK was introduced, it was made retroactive to 1984, date of the federal Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act (S.C. 1984, c. 18).

Territories equivalent to local municipalities[edit]

Abbreviation French term English translation Description Lists
NO Territoire non organisé Unorganized territory A territory that has not been organized under a local municipality. Administered directly by a supralocal authority. List of unorganized territories in Quebec

Submunicipal units[edit]

Abbreviation French term English translation Description Lists
A Arrondissement Borough Subdivision of some local municipalities. List of boroughs in Quebec
EI Établissement amérindien Indian settlement Village or hamlet the majority of whose population is Amerindian and situated on lands without any particular legal status.[10] List of Indian settlements in Quebec

There is also a different kind of submunicipal unit, which is defined and tracked not by the Quebec Ministry of Municipal Affairs but by Statistics Canada in the 2011 census: see List of unconstituted localities in Quebec.

Supralocal units[edit]

Abbreviation French term English translation Description Lists
ARg Administration régionale Regional government Regional civil administration of a large, sparsely populated, Aboriginal area. Represents Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents alike. Only one: the Kativik Regional Government.
CM Communauté métropolitaine Metropolitan community Administration bringing together the municipalities of a metropolitan area, larger than an urban agglomeration. Not necessarily a multiple of RCMs and TEs. Only two: Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and Communauté métropolitaine de Québec.
MRC Municipalité régionale de comté Regional county municipality (RCM) A territory comprising municipalities and sometimes unorganized territories, governed by an authority determined by law. List of regional county municipalities and equivalent territories in Quebec
Territoire équivalent à une MRC Territory equivalent to an RCM A statistical unit created to cover areas of Quebec not belonging to an RCM List of regional county municipalities and equivalent territories in Quebec

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Municipal Code of Quebec (also in French)
  2. ^ Cities and Towns Act (also in French)
  3. ^ a b "Stats Quebec". Quebec government. Quebec Government. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  4. ^ In most laws, the term "municipalité de ville" is employed, but it is rarely used otherwise.
  5. ^ http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/publications/referenc/pdf/modspec2002-01.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/publications/referenc/pdf/Mod1995_rev.pdf
  7. ^ "A tract of federally owned land with specific boundaries that is set apart for the use and benefit of an Indian Band and that is governed by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)." Source: Statistics Canada [1]
  8. ^ "Parcels of land in Quebec set aside for the permanent residence of Naskapi First Nations of Quebec. Terres réservées aux Naskapis are adjacent to village Naskapi. The lone area of village Naskapi is set aside for the use of the Naskapi band, although its members do not reside there permanently." Source: Statistics Canada [2]
  9. ^ "Parcels of land in Quebec set aside for the permanent residence of Cree First Nations of Quebec. Terres réservées aux Cris are adjacent to villages cris. The area of a village cri is set aside for the use of Cree Bands, but members of Cree Bands are not permanently residing there. Note that a village cri and its adjacent terre réservée aux Cris can have the same name, e.g., the village cri of Waswanipi and the terre reservée aux Cris of Waswanipi." Source: Statistics Canada [3]
  10. ^ "A place where a self-contained group of at least 10 Indian (Aboriginal) persons resides more or less permanently. It is usually located on Crown lands under federal or provincial/territorial jurisdiction. Indian settlements have no official limits and have not been set apart for the use and benefit of an Indian Band as is the case with Indian reserves. Statistics Canada relies on INAC to identify Indian settlements to be recognized as census subdivisions, and their inclusion must be with the agreement of the provincial or territorial authorities. An arbitrary boundary is delineated to represent each Indian settlement as a census subdivision." Source: Statistics Canada, [4]

External links[edit]

Quebec provincial legislation
Federal legislation