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Old Posted Aug 19, 2017, 11:18 PM
balletomane balletomane is offline
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Classification of Community Sizes

Not sure if there has been a thread on this before, but here goes...
What is considered a village, town, city, etc. in different regions across Canada?

On the Prairies, I figure most would classify them as,
Hamlet - under 100
Village - 100-999
Town - 1,000-9,999
City - 10,000 +

Whereas I figure in Ontario or Quebec a city would be an urban centre of 30,000 or more?
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2017, 11:40 PM
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Newfoundland and Labrador never really did formal municipalities until we joined Canada in 1949. St. John's was granted a municipal council in 1888 but it was an advisory council led by a chairman appointed by the Prime Minister. You'll see on all the highway signs here things like, "Welcome to Calvert. Founded 1610. Incorporated 1956", etc.

Today there are only three options.

1. Unincorporated Area - these do not pay property taxes, were intended to be cottage country, but include vast areas of year-round communities.

2. Town - there is no other type of generic municipality here. If you are incorporated, odds are you are a Town - doesn't matter if you have a couple residents, like the Town of Calmer, or tens of thousands, like the Town of Conception Bay South. All of these towns are governed by the same single piece of provincial legislation.

3. City - each City has its own provincial legislation (for example, the City of St. John's Act; basically, cities negotiate what they want to take control of from the Province, and it's wrapped up in their own Act). They generally need 20,000 residents to apply. So we have three cities - St. John's, Mount Pearl, and Corner Brook. The Town of Conception Bay South is considering becoming a City, as it is larger than Mount Pearl, and the Town of Paradise is considering it as well. Whereas other communities with City in the name are actually towns (for example, the Town of Labrador City).
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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Aug 20, 2017 at 3:36 PM.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balletomane View Post
Not sure if there has been a thread on this before, but here goes...
What is considered a village, town, city, etc. in different regions across Canada?

On the Prairies, I figure most would classify them as,
Hamlet - under 100
Village - 100-999
Town - 1,000-9,999
City - 10,000 +

Whereas I figure in Ontario or Quebec a city would be an urban centre of 30,000 or more?
Saskatchewan have city status at 5,000 population.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balletomane View Post
Not sure if there has been a thread on this before, but here goes...
What is considered a village, town, city, etc. in different regions across Canada?

On the Prairies, I figure most would classify them as,
Hamlet - under 100
Village - 100-999
Town - 1,000-9,999
City - 10,000 +

Whereas I figure in Ontario or Quebec a city would be an urban centre of 30,000 or more?
Those are classifications that apply in Alberta although we have towns that are 25,000 plus (Okotoks, Cochrane) and larger than a number of cities in Alberta. Sherwood Park is classified as a hamlet even though it has over 68,000 people.

Edit - in Alberta a hamlet is up to 300 people, a village is 300 to 1,000 people, a town is 1,000 to 10,000 people although it is not required to move to a larger status if a population passes that threshold. Fort McMurray is another oddball and is classified as an urban service area with a population of 66,000 plus. Crownest Pass is a specialized municipality of 5,000 plus.
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Last edited by speedog; Aug 20, 2017 at 12:59 AM.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 2:11 AM
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Some municipalities in Ontario still call them "towns" even with more than 100,000 people. Markham was a "town" up until a few years ago, and it has over 300,000 people. Both Oakville and Richmond Hill still are called "towns" even though they both have over 200,000 people.

That said, I don't think anybody thinks of them as towns. Typically people start thinking of it as a city around 30-40k, I think. Between 1,000 and 30,000, a town, and below 1,000 a hamlet.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 2:45 AM
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With very few exceptions in Quebec we only have Village and Ville.

Ville covers everything from maybe 2000 people all the way to Montréal.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 3:00 AM
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A lot of people here call Cobourg a "small town" at 20,000 people.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 3:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TownGuy View Post
A lot of people here call Cobourg a "small town" at 20,000 people.
in Quebec, we have small , medium and large cities.

small ; less than 20,000
medium ; 20,000-200,000
large ; 200,000+

Quebec proposes greater autonomy, grants metropolis status for Montreal
Bill 121 will grant city new authority in areas of economic development, housing, heritage, and social policy

Quote:
Montreal is now officially the "metropolis of Quebec,"
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montre...real-1.3888329

one step closer to a city-state
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Last edited by GreaterMontréal; Aug 20, 2017 at 3:52 AM.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 3:21 PM
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It's entirely up to the community in Ontario.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 4:39 PM
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At one time in Ontario most places seemed to become cities once they reached 15,000 people.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2017, 11:31 PM
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Ontario's limit for city classification is 10,000 but several exceptions have been made, most notably Dryden and Temiskaming Shores, which were given city status under an assumption they would eventually reach 10,000. Dryden never did, and Temiskaming Shores now has only 9,900. It's not done automatically, only upon request, which is why Markham was a town for so long and Oakville still is one.

Other designations are just more specific variations of the default, which is Municipality. Most common are Town or Township and Village.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 4:03 AM
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Different provinces has their own legal description but I think most people in Ontario & Quebec don't really view a place as a city until it hits at least 30,000 whereas in the ROC it seems 10,000 is where people tend to view a place from going from a town to a city.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 4:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
Different provinces has their own legal description but I think most people in Ontario & Quebec don't really view a place as a city until it hits at least 30,000 whereas in the ROC it seems 10,000 is where people tend to view a place from going from a town to a city.
municipalities in Quebec
Top 50 : 21,000+ , 50th Varennes (21,620)
Top 25 : 45,000+ , 25th Victoriaville (45,610)
Top 10 : 100,000+ , 10th Terrebonne (113,575)
Top 5 are all above 200,000 , 5th Longueuil (246,152)
Top 3 , all above 400,000 , 3rd Laval (430,077)
Montréal is the only city above 1M, at about 1,76M

I would say, 35,000 is the minimum to be considered a ''real'' city.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 7:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
Ontario's limit for city classification is 10,000 but several exceptions have been made, most notably Dryden and Temiskaming Shores, which were given city status under an assumption they would eventually reach 10,000. Dryden never did, and Temiskaming Shores now has only 9,900.
When Temiskaming Shores was first formed, it did have over 10,000 people, but the population has since declined below 10,000.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 7:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaterMontréal View Post
I would say, 35,000 is the minimum to be considered a ''real'' city.
I'd be inclined to agree. For Manitoba, Brandon (pop roughly 50K) is the only place other than Winnipeg that feels sort of like an actual city given that it has a university, an airport with flights out of the province, a daily newspaper, etc.

Every other municipality feels more or less like a small town.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 8:50 PM
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If I recall correctly, in Alberta you need to have 5 buildings and some land used commercially to be hamlet and you don't have local representatives, although you may have a seat at the county council. A village needs 300+ people as mentioned before, and you are able to elect 2 councilors at large and a mayor. Town 1000+ people and you may elect 6 councilors at large and a mayor. City 10,000+ and your councilors+mayor are no longer limited to 7 and you can have a ward system.

I find it interesting the very large 'towns' in Alberta, since at some point only having councilors at large would be problematic I would think.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 9:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post

I find it interesting the very large 'towns' in Alberta, since at some point only having councilors at large would be problematic I would think.
Lethbridge has ~ 100,000 people and elects eight at-large aldermen/councillors. To my knowledge there's never been any appetite to change to a ward system.

IIRC Vancouver BC has an at-large system as well, or at least used to.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 9:53 PM
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Originally Posted by GernB View Post
Lethbridge has ~ 100,000 people and elects eight at-large aldermen/councillors. To my knowledge there's never been any appetite to change to a ward system.

IIRC Vancouver BC has an at-large system as well, or at least used to.
I know that in Quebec, cities are divided into wards (quartiers), and there is 1 councillor for each ward.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GreaterMontréal View Post
I know that in Quebec, cities are divided into wards (quartiers), and there is 1 councillor for each ward.
Same with Calgary. As GernB alludes to, changing to a ward system is an option once a municipality becomes a city, but not mandatory. Although I said it might be problematic to have councilors 'at large', I also wonder if it results in more collaborative governance.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2017, 11:50 PM
balletomane balletomane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaterMontréal View Post
I would say, 35,000 is the minimum to be considered a ''real'' city.
Statistics Canada defines medium sized urban areas to be those of 30,000 to 99,999, so similar to your minimum.
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