The Canadian Census Discovery Portal will be an openly available online discovery platform. The aim is to include all born-print and born-digital statistical tables, datasets, and mapping products, as well as all relevant documentation, going back to the earliest known pre-Confederation censuses. The portal will be completely bilingual.

Through the portal, users will access our inventory of individual census items (e.g. identify specific tables such as: “Birthplace by Census District”, 1901 census, volume 1, table 14) and download digital copies of the materials. They will be able to search by subjects, geographies and dates, allowing them to easily identify a set of relevant materials. They will also find helpful notes on accessibility and readability of contents in all available formats – ultimately, the project hopes to improve accessibility and usability (see Phase 3 [insert link to Phase 3 page]).

Currently (summer 2020) the project team is drafting a detailed vision document for the project, which will be posted here soon.

Scope of the Canadian Census Discovery Portal

Some limitations on the scope of the project:

  1. In scope: Census of the population of Canada
    • Out of scope: Other censuses such as the Census of Agriculture, as well as publications relating to Industry, merchandising, trade, household possessions. Transportation etc. may be included in a future project.
  2. In scope: Censuses which are more than mere population counts. In other words, censuses of individual persons and households are in scope.
    • Out of scope: As some very early local population “counts” did not include details about individuals, these are excluded.
  3. In scope: Contents specifically released as part of a census
    • Out of scope: Post-census surveys such as the Aboriginal Peoples Survey, annual (intercensal) population estimates, population projections, and secondary level sources which are not necessary to the understanding or accuracy of the Censuses, may be included in a future project.
  4. In scope: Contents which provide Census results, or support the understanding and use of those results
    • This can include “supplementary” materials which were not published as part of a census but which provide valuable information to help use census data.
    • Out of scope: Purely promotional contents
  5. In scope: Items which cover geographic territory overlapping with the current boundaries of Canada