Canadian Census

The Canadian censuses are a key starting point for Canadians interested in discovering their family story. They provide vital details such as names of spouses, immigration years, occupations and so much more. Here you will find our comprehensive census records ranging from early Pre-Confederation to 1921, all fully searchable and indexed.

The 1825 and 1842 Lower Canada Censuses are here

These newly added census records are the oldest Canadian censuses on Ancestry.ca and reveal information about some of the earliest immigrants to Lower Canada (now known as Quebec). These include details about immigrants from England, Scotland and Ireland landing in cities like
Montreal and Quebec City.

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Most Popular Collections

1921 Census1921

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Region Covered: All Provinces except for Newfoundland & Labrador

Interesting Facts: It cost a total of $1.44 million to complete the census in 1921, roughly the equivalent to $18.3 million dollars in 2013. 

1911 Census1911

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Region Covered: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories

Interesting Facts: Census date was moved from April to June, to avoid poor weather

1901 Census1901

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Region Covered: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories

Interesting Facts: National census day is April 1

1891 Census1891

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Region Covered: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Northwest Territories

Interesting Facts: Canadian gov’t employed over 4,000 enumerators

Key collections

1825 Census of Lower Canada

Region Covered: Districts in Quebec

Interesting Facts: Many Irish came to Quebec after an early famine in the 1820s.

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1842 Census of Canada East

Region Covered: Districts in Quebec

Interesting Facts: The first census after the Act of Union created the Province of Canada, consisting of Canada West (present-day Ontario) and Canada East (present-day Quebec).

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1851 Census

Region Covered: Canada East (Quebec), Canada West (Ontario), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

Interesting Facts: Census wasn’t taken until January 1852

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1861 Census

Region Covered: Canada East (Quebec), Canada West (Ontario), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

Interesting Facts: American Civil War — 1861; 1866/70 — Fenian Raids

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1871 Census

Region Covered: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Bruns

Interesting Facts: Questionnaire available in French and English; Labrador was part of Quebec in 1871

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1881 Census

Region Covered: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, PEI, British Columbia and Northwest Territories

Interesting Facts: Starting with this census year, all original census returns were destroyed

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1906 Census

Region Covered: Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

Interesting Facts:1900 to 1910 — Settlement of the West

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1916 Census

Region Covered: Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

Interesting Facts: Mother Tongue was indicated due to large increase of immigration from other parts

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The Canadian Census
Hall of Fame

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery

A Canadian author best known for her novel Anne of Green Gables. The enumerator struck out her occupation as an author because women couldn’t have an occupation.

Pierre Trudeau

Pierre Trudeau

The 15th Prime Minister of Canada and credited with establishing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms within Canada's constitution. He was just two years of age when the 1921 census was conducted.

Lara Secord (Ingersoll)

Laura Secord (Ingersoll)

A Canadian heroine. Warned Lietenant Fitzgibbon herself of a surprise American attack, which would have furthered American control in the Niagara Peninsula.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

The seventh Prime Minister of Canada and the first French Speaking Prime Minister of Canada.

Raymond Lewis

Raymond Lewis

The first black Canadian-born Olympic medallist. Lewis was nicknamed Rapid Ray because of his speed on the track.