Are We an Urban Nation?

Why yes of course we are, but perhaps not quite so urban as we think. 

It is often asserted that most Canadians now live in big cities or their suburbs. But this is a bit misleading, leaving the impression that almost all of us live in Greater Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Statscan has decided to end the old rural/urban dichotomy in which urban meant a population centre of more than just 1,000 with a density of just 400 persons per square kilometre. It will now consistently distinguish between rural areas, and small, medium and large population centres.

As of the 2006 Census, 80.2% of the population lived in urban areas, often misleadingly thought of as cities. But just 59% of us lived in population centres of more than 100,000, which is what I would think of as urban even if things get a little blurry out there on the suburban/rural fringe.


  • The 41 percent who live outside population centres of 100,000 or more are the Conservative heartland. The NDP do well in Northern Ontario, Manitoba, BC, and the Territories. The Libs in Atlantic Canada.

  • I live in a village with 2600 people and I am considered to be exotic!

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