Canada Metro Areas Database

Canadian Suburban, Urban, Rural Areas

This database ties Canada Postal Codes to corresponding Canada Metro Areas (Canadian Urban areas) and Census Agglomerations (Canadian Suburban areas). Also, it includes extra census statistics to further refine aggregation of the Postal Code data. This data is similar to that found in Statistics Canada's Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF), but is updated regularly, not every 5 years.

Pertaining to Canada Urban areas, this database is helpful for making Rural, Urban, and Suburban delineations by applying the following general classifications: Urban = Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), Suburban = Census Agglomerations (CA), and records that are not CMA/CA classified are deemed as Rural.

Note: Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations data is also referred to as Canadian Urban Areas, Metropolitan Areas, or even CMA Census. For brevity, we often use the term Metro Areas to encompass the entire set (although the term is not quiet adequate). This product is ideal for use in developing Canadian sales territory assignments.

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Canada Metro Areas by Postal Code

This database contains Canada Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations associated to Postal Codes as determined by Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada currently defines 151 Metropolitan Areas/ Agglomerations.

Terminology:
  • CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) - This is for large Canada Metropolitan areas (or places adjacent to the Canada Urban areas area and within commuting distance). It must have a population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 live in the urban core of the CMA. All of these are Canadian Urban areas.
  • CA (Census Agglomerations) - Areas with a core population of at least 10,000, but less than 50,000. This is considered one of the Canada Suburban areas.
Note: currently about 92% of the Postal Codes fall within the CMA (Canada Urban Areas) or CA (Canada Suburban Areas). If an area does not, it will remain unclassified (no associated MetroID) and is considered one of the Canada Rural areas.

Sample map of the greater Quebec Canadian Urban Area Canada Metro Areas - Quebec

For efficiency, the download files are normalized to minimize the amount of duplicate information. The following files are included:
can-metros This file lists Metro Area geographical designations plus population and other census statistics. The individual fields are MetroID (unique identifier), Province Abbreviation, Metro Name, Metro Type, Population, Size Category, Number of Private Dwellings, Number of Occupied Dwellings, Coverage Area.
postal-to-metroThis is simply an intersection file that associates the Postal Code with the Metro Area unique ID (MetroID) located in the can-metros file.
states(Supplementary – not everyone needs this file)This is a master list of the 2-digit state/province abbreviations associated with State/Province Name
Learn more: View the Product Documentation / Watch our Canada Metro Areas video / Watch our Accuracy Matters video

Database Specs

Data Format - CSV

Comma-Separated Values (CSV) Text File

Postal Code

The postal code is 7 characters in the following format: ANA NAN.  Please note that there is a space in the 4th position

MetroID

Census Geographical Area Unique ID - used to link Postal Code file to Geograpic Area Definitions Data File (Metro Area File)

Province Abbr

The Province code is 2 characters (AB=Alberta, BC=British Columbia, MB=Manitoba, etc.)

City/ Town

The city/town is up to 30 characters long.

Metro Name

Census Geographical Area name

MetroType

Geographical Area Type Code (CMA, CA, unclassified)

Population

Population according to Statistics Canada

Size Category

S,M,L (Small, Medium, Large) - Statistics Canada considers a CA Small at less than 30,000 population, Medium is 30,000 to 99,999. All CMAs are considered Large (100,000 or more)

Private Dwellings Count

Total number of dwellings - includes any enclosed shelter with a roof, walls, doors, windows, and heat source or power.

Occupied Dwellings Count

Total number of occupied dwellings - includes any occupied enclosed shelter with a roof, walls, doors, windows, and heat source or power.

Coverage Area

Coverage is given in square miles (for square kilometers, multiply by 2.58999)

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Related Links

Canadian Subdivisions
Canada Post Database Geocoded
Canada Postal Database
CanadaPlus with Latitude / Longitude
CanadaPlus
U.S. Rural Urban and Suburban