The Canadian Census Data Discovery Partnership aims to build a bilingual and openly available discovery platform for census data (print & digital) going back to the earliest Canadian censuses. We’ve recently set up this website which contains more information on the project.

The team: The project is being led by the Historical Census of Canada Working Group. This group began as part of the OCUL Data Community in Ontario, but has been growing this year! We have welcomed new members from Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia (please see our full membership list at the bottom of this update). Our aim is to have representation from all regions of Canada, from several OCUL communities, and from various stakeholders across Canada.

Phase 1 of our project has been to scope and develop a comprehensive bilingual inventory of Canadian census data - this inventory will become the access backbone of the census discovery platform. -In 2019, we completed the scoping and initial development of the inventory, and -In 2020, we have conducted a pilot project to evaluate the inventory design and prepare detailed bilingual training materials. For the pilot we recruited participants from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec, and this awesome group was able to completely inventory 18 censuses. Beginning in July, we have started the production phase of inventorying, working our way through our full list of about 120 censuses. We would not have been able to complete phase 1 without the financial support of OCUL, which has recognized the value of this project right from the beginning.

Next steps: While we continue work on completing the inventory, we are also now turning our attention to next steps.

We need to flesh out our vision for the discovery platform and seek further funding opportunities in order to make our vision a reality. At this time, we are seeking input from stakeholders and are hoping to develop partnerships with organizations and individuals who have strong census expertise and interest. This consultation will be happening during Summer & Fall 2020. Please reach out to us if you or someone you know should be included in this exercise.

Thanks, and we look forward to talking to you more!

Leanne Trimble
Susan Mowers
Co-chairs, Historical Census of Canada Working Group

List of members:

Alex Guindon, Concordia University

Graeme Campbell, Queen’s University

Julien Doris, Université d’Ottawa - University of Ottawa

Katie Cuyler, University of Alberta

Leanne Trimble, University of Toronto

Sandra Sawchuk, Mount Saint Vincent University

Susan Mowers, Université d’Ottawa - University of Ottawa