Designated place

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]

  • a minimum population of 100 and a maximum population of 1,000. The maximum population limit may be exceeded provided that the population density is less than 400 persons per square kilometre, which is the population density that defines a population centre
  • a population density of 150 persons or more per square kilometre
  • an area less than or equal to 10 square kilometres
  • a boundary that respects the block structure from the previous census, where possible
  • a boundary that respects census subdivision (CSD) limits. If a named area with DPL status crosses the boundary of two or more census subdivisions, then it is enumerated as multiple DPLs, each designated "Part A", "Part B", etc., rather than as a single DPL.

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 2011 Census, there were 1,507 designated places in Canada, of which 1,506 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 2011.[2]



By territory

In the Canada 2011 Census, there was one designated place in the Canadian territories.[2]

Northwest Territories

There were no designated places in the Northwest Territories in 2011.[2]


There were no designated places in Nunavut in 2011.[2]


At the 2011 Census of Canada, Yukon had one designated place.[3][4]

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

See also


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