List of Ontario census divisions

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of Ontario

In the Canadian province of Ontario, there are three different types of census divisions: single-tier municipalities, upper-tier municipalities (which can be regional municipalities or counties) and districts. They differ primarily in the services that they provide to their residents.

The varying structures of municipal and regional governments in Ontario can sometimes be confusing, as they result from a variety of approaches to local government, implemented at different times by different provincial governments in specific areas to serve specific needs. Due to the vast disparities among Ontario's different regions, it would be extremely difficult for a provincial government to apply a consistent, unified system across the entire province.

In some cases, as well, a census division may retain its historical name even if it changes government type (eg. Oxford County, Haldimand County, Norfolk County and Prince Edward County are no longer counties even though they retain "county" in their name; Oxford is a regional municipality and the others are single-tier municipalities.)

These divisions are used by Statistics Canada to aggregate census data. A smaller municipality within a census division is called a census subdivision.

Several census divisions in Ontario have significantly changed their borders or been discontinued entirely. For more information, see also Historic counties of Ontario.

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1. Algoma
2. Brant
3. Bruce
4. Chatham-Kent
5. Cochrane
6. Dufferin
7. Durham
8. Elgin
9. Essex
10. Frontenac
11. Greater Sudbury
12. Grey
13. Haldimand
14. Haliburton
15. Halton
16. Hamilton
17. Hastings
18. Huron
19. Kawartha Lakes
20. Kenora

21. Lambton
22. Lanark
23. Leeds and Grenville
24. Lennox and Addington
25. Manitoulin
26. Middlesex
27. Muskoka
28. Niagara
29. Nipissing
30. Norfolk
31. Northumberland
32. Ottawa
33. Oxford
34. Parry Sound
35. Peel
36. Perth
37. Peterborough

38. Prescott and Russell
39. Prince Edward
40. Rainy River
41. Renfrew
42. Simcoe
43. Stormont, Dundas and Glengary
44. Sudbury
45. Thunder Bay
46. Timiskaming
47. Toronto
48. Waterloo
49. Wellington
50. York


Single-tier municipalities

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Single-Tier Municipalities of Ontario

A single-tier municipality is a census division which is governed by one municipal administration, with neither a county or regional government above it, nor further municipal subdivisions below it (cf. independent city). A single-tier municipality is either a former regional municipality or a former county, whose municipal governments were amalgamated in the 1990s into a single administration. A single-tier municipality should not be confused with a separated municipality, which is a municipality that is administratively separated from its county, but is not considered a separate census division.

A single-tier municipality which is predominantly urban in nature may also be referred to as a megacity. Single-tier municipalities of this type (Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Greater Sudbury) were created where a former regional municipality consisted of a single dominant urban centre and its suburbs.

(* Brant County and the City of Brantford are still considered a single census division by Statistics Canada, even though they are two separate single-tier municipalities. Although Haldimand-Norfolk split in 2001 to become to two single-tier municipalities of Haldimand County and Norfolk County, they are also still considered a single census division.)

Regional municipalities

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Regional Municipalities of Ontario

Regional municipalities (or regions) are upper-tier municipalities that generally have more servicing responsibilities than the counties. They generally provide the following services: maintenance and construction of arterial roads, transit, policing, sewer and water systems, waste disposal, region-wide land use planning and development, as well as health and social services.

Regions are typically more urbanized than counties. Regional municipalities are usually implemented in census divisions where an interconnected cluster of urban centres forms the majority of the division's area and population. Regional municipalities which consisted of a single dominant centre and its suburbs became single-tier municipalities; those which were not so clearly dominated by a single municipality retained regional municipality status. Although Oxford County and the District Municipality of Muskoka are not titled as such, they are both legally considered Regional Municipalities under Part 1, Section 1 of the Ontario Municipal Act (

Regional seats are listed in brackets.


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Counties of Ontario

Counties have fewer responsibilities than regions, as the lower-tier municipalities (cities, towns, villages, townships) within the counties typically provide the majority of municipal services to their residents. The responsibilities of county governments are generally limited to the following: maintenance and construction of arterial roads, health and social services, and county land use planning. Counties are only found in Southern Ontario.

Counties may be as large as regional municipalities in population, but their population density is generally lower (although not as low as in a district.) Counties may include major cities, such as London, Kingston and Windsor, but these cities have generally not evolved into urban agglomerations with other communities, as in regions and "megacities".

Counties may also include separated municipalities, communities that are considered part of the county for census purposes but are not administratively connected to the county. Municipalities are separated when regional or single-tier status is not appropriate for the municipality's population patterns, but their population is still large enough that it may adversely affect the county's ability to provide services to its smaller communities.

County seats in brackets.

(* Frontenac County exists only by name, and was actually abolished in 1998. While the Frontenac Management Unit does oversee a limited number of services shared by Kingston and the townships, it does not exist as a typical Ontario county.)


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Districts of Ontario

Districts are regional areas in Northern Ontario, but these are simply territorial boundaries that do not serve any municipal government purpose. Many of these districts are comprised primarily of unincorporated lands. Some districts may have District Social Service Administration Boards, which are designed to provide certain social services, but they do not serve a governmental function.

In a district, all services are provided either by the local municipality or directly by the provincial government. Much of Northern Ontario is sparsely populated, so a county government structure would not be an efficient or cost-effective method of administration. Only one census division in Northern Ontario, the City of Greater Sudbury, has a local government which offers county-type services.

District seats in brackets.

See also

External link


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