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Government Information/Data: Historical Censuses

This guide will lead you to resources for government documents, statistics or data and geospatial data or maps

Guide to Census Data in ODESI from Scholars Portal

Check this guide out if you're interested in working with Census of Population and Agriculture data in ODESI.

Historical Censuses of Canada

Census of Canada publications are located on the 2nd floor of the Chancellor Paterson Library, at the end of the CA1 BS call number range in the CODOC Collection. The publications are arranged by census year.

The collection includes print publications from the following censuses: 1860-61 to 1931, 1951, 1961 to 2006 as well as the 1936 Census of the Prairie Provinces. These volumes only provide summary statistics on the population. No individual names are included. Use the Ontario Census Returns to look up individuals.

1976 Census of Canada microfiche for northwestern Ontario are also available and the 1976 Census user summary tape and microfiche : content of tables guide lists the tables included in the microfiche series.

Historical Census Data Online

Survey data  from the 1871, 1881 and 1901 Censuses of Population of Canada are available through ODESI.

Check out this guide from Scholars Portal which includes links to the earlier censuses in ODESI as well as links to the earlier Censuses of Agriculture.

Data tables from the 1665-1871 Censuses of Canada are available online courtesy of Queen's University Library.

The Canadian Century Research Infrastructure is a pan-Canadian, multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional effort to develop a set of interrelated databases centered on data from the 1911, 1921, 1931, 1941 and 1951 Canadian censuses.
These databases will then be joined to other databases that cover the periods from 1871 to 1901, and from 1961 to 2006.

Ontario Census Returns

Census returns contain the official enumeration of the Canadian population. While census returns prior to 1851 are rarely complete for any geographical area, those between 1851 and 1916 hold a wealth of information concerning Canadian residents, such as age, occupation, ethnic origin, religion and country or province of birth. Names of individuals are included.

The Ontario Census Returns are on microfilm and located in the microforms area on the 5th floor of the Chancellor Paterson Library. Generally the library holds reels for areas in northwestern Ontario.

Check the Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm, 1666 - 1891 or the Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm, 1901 to determine which microfilm reel number(s) you need for a specific location.

Ontario Census Returns, 1851  

 Ontario Census Returns, 1861

Ontario Census Returns, 1871

Ontario Census Returns, 1881

Ontario Census Returns, 1891

Ontario Census Returns, 1901

Ontario Census Returns, 1911

For Canadian Census returns from other areas check the Library and Archives Canada Censuses web page which includes links to the 1921 Census of Canada and information on more recent censuses.

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