Census of Canada, 1911

Background

The 1911 Census marked the fifth regularly scheduled collection of national statistics. It officially began on June 1, 1911.

A total of 264 commissioners were appointed to coordinate the census. Reporting to the commissioners, 9,703 enumerators were then assigned to a clearly defined area.

Enumerators visited 218 census districts, divided into multiple enumeration units. These units were made up of cities, towns, groups of townships, Indian reserves, and other less well-defined areas. In unorganized regions, First Nation reserves and the Northwest Territories, special agents (including employees of the Department of Indian Affairs and members of the Royal North West Mounted Police) could act as enumerators.

Enumerators collected information for 7,204,838 individuals distributed as follows:

  • Alberta (374,663)
  • British Columbia (392,480)
  • Manitoba (455,614)
  • New Brunswick (351,889)
  • Northwest Territories (17,196)
  • Nova Scotia (492,338)
  • Ontario (2,523,274)
  • Prince Edward Island (93,728)
  • Quebec (2,002,712)
  • Saskatchewan (492,432)
  • Yukon (8,512)

From Paper to Microfilm

In 1955, the Dominion Bureau of Statistics was authorized by the Public Records Committee to microfilm and destroy the original paper records of the 1911 Census. As a result, only a microfilm copy of the census exists as an archival holding. The microfilming of these records was not of consistent quality and not all images are readable.

The digitized images found on the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website have been made by scanning the microfilms of the 1911 Census. As exact copies, a page that was unreadable on microfilm will also be unreadable on your computer screen. Title pages appear before each sub-district; they contain this information:

  • Census year (i.e. 1911)
  • Province or territory
  • District number and name
  • Sub-district number and name
  • Number of pages in the sub-district. The pages are not always ordered consecutively and in some cases may not exist.

These records and those of previous censuses are described in the Statistics Canada fonds, formerly Record Group 31 (RG31).

Schedules

The enumeration data were collected using 13 documents, known as schedules, which included a total of 549 questions.

Only Schedule 1 has been preserved.

  • ​Schedule 1, Population
  • Schedule 2, Mortality, Disability and Compensation
  • Schedule 3, Houses, Buildings and Fruit
  • Schedule 4, Field Crops - Agriculture - Grain and Other Field Crops for the Harvest Year 1910
  • Schedule 5, Agriculture - Hoed Crops, Tobacco, Hops and Grass Seeds in 1910 and Field Crop Areas in 1911
  • Schedule 6, Agriculture - Animal and Animal Products
  • Schedule 7, Farm and Urban Values
  • Schedule 8, Forest Products
  • Schedule 9, Manufactures
  • Schedule 10, Churches, Schools, etc.
  • Schedule 11, Fisheries
  • Schedule 12, Dairy Factories
  • Schedule 13, Mineral Products

Street Indexes

For large cities, a street index was created by Statistics Canada after the completion of the 1911 census. This index allows you to quickly find which sub-district or division, street, avenue or specific institution has been enumerated.  See Censuses – Street Indexes

Instructions to enumerators and statistics

Instructions to enumerators were given on how to collect the names and other information in 1911. Those instructions can be found in Instructions to officers, commissioners and enumerators.

Special instructions were given to enumerators for the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.  Those instructions can be found in Special instructions given to enumerators in Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Statistical information can be found in the report Fifth Census of Canada, 1911, Canada, Census and Statistics Office, 1912–1915, 6 volumes (AMICUS 9579194).

About the database

This research tool contains 7,204,838 records that are searchable by name. The database entries are in the original language used in the documents. This information was not translated.

  • Search screen

    The search screen enables you to search by name of person or by place. The 1911 Census was enumerated by census districts and sub-districts, and the records were compiled accordingly. Therefore, knowledge of the districts and sub-districts is of value in locating either an individual or a geographic location.

    To assist with district names and sub-district descriptions, a list of 1911 Census Districts and Sub-districts is provided.

    The search screen enables you to search by:

    • Keywords
    • Surname
    • Given Name(s)
    • Age
    • Province or Territory

    By clicking on Hide/Show Advanced Search Options, you will also be able to search by:

    • District Name
    • District Number
    • Sub-District Name
    • Sub-District Number
    • Sub-District Description
    • Page Number

    You can enter one or multiple search terms, all of which can be used in combination. To use the fields in combination you should note that the default operator is "AND."

    Try a simple search first. You don’t have to put something in every field. See also Research tips.

    Keywords

    Search any of the fields alone or in combination.

    Surname and Given Name(s)

    Search by name of person.

    Age

    • Enter numerical values only.
    • For children under one year of age, fractions were used (for example, for 2 months, "2/12" was indicated).

    Province or Territory

    Drop-down list allows you to retrieve all the returns for a specific province or territory.

    District Name

    District Number

    Sub-District Name

    Sub-District Number

    Sub-District Descriptions

    When you have entered your search terms, click on "Search". The number of hits found will be shown at the top of the results screen.

  • How to interpret the results

    Your search results will be posted as a results summary list from which you will be able to obtain an item description.

    Search Results Page

    The search results page has a thumbnail image of the census record and displays the following information:

    • Census Year (e.g. 1911)
    • Item number
    • Surname
    • Given Name(s)
    • Age
    • Province or territory
    • District Name
    • Sub-District Name
    • Sub-District Description

    From here you have two options:

    • Click on the underlined item number of a person to access the Item Page, which is a transcript of the record with the full reference.
    • Click on either JPG or PDF to view the full image. You can print the images or save the images onto your computer.

    Item Page

    The item page has a digitized image of the actual census page available in JPG and PDF formats and contains the following fields:

    • Surname
    • Given Name(s)
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Birth Year
    • Birth Month
    • Place of Birth
    • Ethnic Origin
    • Year of Immigration
    • Marital Status
    • Relationship
    • Province
    • District Name
    • District Number
    • Sub-District Name
    • Sub-District Number
    • Sub-District Description
    • Family Number
    • Page Number
    • Microfilm Number
    • Reference

    To suggest a correction, click on the Suggest a Correction link to access an electronic form.

    To return to the Search Results page, click on the Back button of your browser in the upper left corner of your screen.

Column headings and interpretation

  • Columns 1 to 41

    Numbered in the Order of Visitation

    Column 1. Dwelling house
    A count of the houses, numbered in the order visited by the enumerator.

    Column 2. Family, household or institution
    A count of the family or household. Two or more families that occupied the same house were to be numbered separately.

    Residence and Personal Description

    Column 3. Name of each person in the family, household or institution
    Surname (last name) first.

    Column 4. Place of habitation

    • For cities, towns or incorporated villages, the number of the house and the name of the street, such as "14 Bay Street."
    • For rural districts, the name of the township, lot, parish or cadastral number such as "lot 13, concession 1."
    • For Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the location was noted by township, range or meridian such as "T. 14, R. 9, W. 3," for township 14, range 9, west of the 3rd meridian.

    Column 5. Sex
    Denoted by “m” for male and “f” for female.

    Column 6. Relationship to head of family or household

    • The head of the family (or household or institution) was entered as such (that is, head), with the remaining members and their relation to the head (for example, wife, son, daughter, servant, boarder, lodger, partner).
    • People in an institution were described as officer, inmate, patient, prisoner, pupil, and so on. The chief officer of the institution was designated through his/her proper title (for example, warden, superintendent or principal).

    Column 7. Single, Married, Widowed, Divorced or Legally Separated
    Denoted by the letter "s" for single, "m" for married, "w" for widowed, "d" for divorced or "l.s." for legally separated.

    Column 8. Month of birth
    The first syllable for each month (except in the cases of May, June or July, which were written in full).

    Column 9. Year of birth
    Entered in full for each individual.

    Column 10. Age at Last Birthday

    • For people one year of age and over, the number of years completed before June 1, 1911.
    • For children under one year of age, fractions were used (for example, for 2 months, "2/12" was indicated).

    ​Citizenship, Nationality and Religion

    Column 11. Country or place of birth

    • For people born outside of Canada, the name of the country of origin (for example, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, etc.).
    • For people born in Canada, the name of the province or territory.

    Column 12. Year of immigration to Canada, if an immigrant
    The year in which the individual moved to Canada from another country.

    Column 13. Year of naturalization, if formerly an alien
    For persons 21 years of age and over, who were born in a country outside the United Kingdom or any of its dependencies and who had become naturalized.

    Column 14. Racial or tribal origin

    • Generally traced through the father.
    • Aboriginal people were to have their racial or tribal origin traced through their mothers, with the specific name of the First Nation entered.

    Column 15. Nationality

    • Canadian for those who lived in Canada and who had acquired rights of citizenship.
    • For Non-Canadians, the country of their birth, or the country to which they professed allegiance.

    Column 16. Religion
    The religion to which an individual claimed to belong written in full.

    Principal Profession or Trade

    Column 17. Chief occupation or trade

    • For every person 10 years of age and over.
    • The title that most accurately described the "gainful" work through which the individual earned money or a money equivalent (for example, physician, nurse, carpenter, farmer, stenographer, etc.).
    • "Income," for individuals who did not have a specific occupation, but that instead subsisted on an independent income, such as investments, pensions, superannuations.
    • "None," for individuals 10 years of age and over who did not have an occupation and who did not live on an independent income.

    Column 18. Living on own means

    • Any employment or occupation that supplemented an individual's earnings.
    • For anyone 10 years of age and over.

    A numerical code was used for column 18 (for example, 6-0-32, 6-6-32 or 6-9-32). The following explanations were taken from the publication Index to Occupations, (PDF 33 Mb) Ottawa, Census and Statistics Office, 1911.

    For each category, a list of trades was created using the numbers 00 to 99. On the original census returns, take note of the first and third parts of the code. Then consult the Occupational Codes chart to obtain the meaning of the code.

    The first part of the code refers to one of the general main divisions of occupations or industries.

    The first column is the first number of the occupational code. The second column is the general divisions of occupations
    First Part of the Code Main Divisions of Occupations or Industries
    0 Agriculture
    1 Building trades
    2 Domestic and personal service
    3 Civil and municipal service
    4 Fisheries and hunting
    5 Forestry and lumbering
    6 Manufacturers—mechanical and textiles
    7 Manufacturers—food and clothing
    8 Mining
    9 Professional pursuits
    10 Trade and merchandising
    11 Transportation

    The second part of the code refers to the class of worker. A special code was created for the third category, Civil and municipal government, to include military ranks.

    The first column is the second number of the occupational code. The second column is the class of worker
    Second Part of the Code Class of Worker
    0 Self-employed or owner of the business
    1 Managers, assistant managers
    2 Superintendents, assistant superintendents, supervisors
    3 Foremen, bosses, gang bosses, paymasters, treasurers
    4 Agents, brokers, commission men
    5 Inspectors, weighers, graders
    6 Employees, workers, operators, skilled workers
    7 Clerks, companions, timekeepers
    8 Apprentices, helpers, learners, assistants
    9 Labourers, unskilled, messengers, teamsters

    The third part of the code refers to the trade.

    The first column is the third number of the occupational code. The second column is the Trade
    Third Part of the Code Trade
    0 (not used)
    1 Admirals, generals, surveyors, etc.
    2 Captains, colonels, postmasters, teachers, deputies, assessors, sheriffs, librarians, assistants, chief clerks, supervisors, etc.
    3 Lieutenants, police inspectors, paymasters, collectors, treasurers, auditors, marshals, etc.
    4 Sergeants, corporals, bandsmen, quartermasters, etc.
    5 Inspectors, scalers, gaugers, measurers, roundsmen, appraisers, keepers, etc.
    6 Employees, operators, privates, marines, sailors, policemen, letter carriers, etc.
    7 Bookkeepers, clerks, stenographers, secretaries, court stenographers, etc.
    8 Helpers, assistants, attendants, etc.
    9 Labourers, messengers, watchmen, etc.

    Column 19. Employer
    Someone who employed other helpers, other than domestic servants, for his own business.

    Column 20. Employee

    • Someone who worked for salary or wages, whether as a general manager of a bank, a superintendent, an insurance agent, a railway foreman, or a day labourer.
    • The term "W," for wage earner, was to be entered.

    Column 21. Working on own account

    • Someone who was employed in a gainful occupation and who was neither an employer nor an employee.
    • "O.A" for "own account" was therefore to be entered in this column.

    Wage Earner

    Column 22. State where person is employed, as "on Farm," "in Woolen Mill," "at Foundry Shop," "in Drug Store," etc.
    Physical place where the individual works.

    Column 23. Weeks employed in 1910 at chief occupation or trade
    Number of weeks the individual worked in their chief occupation.

    Column 24. Weeks employed in 1910 at other than chief occupation or trade, if any
    To be used if an entry had been made under “Living on own means.”

    Column 25. Hours of working time per week at chief occupation
    Number of hours worked by the person, during an average workweek at any (or all) occupations.

    Column 26. Hours of working time per week at other occupation, if any
    Number of hours worked by the person, during an average workweek at any (or all) occupations.

    Column 27. Total earnings in 1910 from chief occupation or trade
    Total wage earned from the "Chief Occupation or Trade."

    Column 28. Total earnings in 1910 from other than chief occupation or trade, if any

    Wages from any employment other than chief occupation.

    Column 29. Rate of earnings per hour when employed by the hour-cents

    Persons employed in the construction and mechanical trades were believed to be paid according to a fixed schedule of rates per hour. Individuals paid in such a manner were to have an entry in this column.

    Insurance Held at Date

    Column 30. Upon life $
    The value of the policy which was in force as of June 1, 1911, for any person who carried life insurance.

    Column 31. Against accident or sickness $
    The value of the policy which was in force as of June 1, 1911, for any person who carried accident or sickness insurance.

    Column 32. Cost of insurance in census year $
    The total cost of the insurance from June 1, 1910 to June 1, 1911.

    Education and Language of Each Person Five Years of Age and Over

    Column 33. Months at school in 1910
    For individuals of school age—aged between 5 and 21 years.

    Column 34. Can read
    Yes or no.

    Column 35. Can write
    Yes or no.

    Column 36. Language commonly spoken

    • "E" for only English and "F" for only French.
    • For individuals who spoke both languages, the entry was to be "E" and "F."
    • If neither English nor French had been learned, then only the full name of the spoken language was to be entered.

    Column 37. Cost of education in 1910 for persons over 16 Years of age at college, convent or university
    For the 1910 calendar year for every individual over 16 years of age, whether at high school, collegiate institute, college, seminary, university, or any other place.

    Infirmities (Specify Age When Infirmity Appeared)

    The degree of the infirmity needed to have reached the stage of incapacity to be noted. If the infirmity developed in childhood, "child" was entered followed by the age at which the infirmity appeared.

    Columns 38 to 41 were lost on approximately 75 percent of the microfilm reels, so they are also missing on the digitized images.

    Column 38. Blind

    Column 39. Deaf and Dumb

    Column 40. Crazy or Lunatic

    Column 41. Idiotic or Silly

Common abbreviations

A complete list of abbreviations for places of birth in Canada is on our main census page.

  • Other abbreviations

    Gender

    • M (Male)
    • F (Female)

    Marital status

    • S (Single person)
    • M (Married)
    • W (Widowed)
    • D (Divorced)
    • L.S. (Legally separated)
    • V (Veuf / Veuve / Widowed)
    • C (Célibataire / Single)

    Months

    • Jan. (January)
    • Feb. (February)
    • Mar. (March)
    • Apr. (April)
    • Aug. (August)
    • Sept. (September)
    • Oct. (October)
    • Nov. (November)
    • Dec. (December)

    Religion

    • B.C. (Bible Church)
    • C. (of) E. (Church of England)
    • C. (of) S. (Church of Scotland)
    • E.M.C. (Episcopal Methodist Church)
    • F.C. (Free Church (Presbyterian))
    • M.E.C. (Methodist Episcopal Church)
    • P.C.L.P. (Presbyterian-Canada and Lower Provinces)
    • P.F.C. (Presbyterian Free Church)
    • R.P. (Reformed Presbyterian)
    • U.P. (United Presbyterian)
    • W.M. (Wesleyan Methodist)

Issues about this census and this database

  • Some census records have not survived. Consult the list of 1911 Census Districts and Sub-districts to find out what sub-districts are missing.
  • To move to the next image, change the jpg number in the URL box at the top of the screen. 
    For example, for image http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/1911/jpg/e001936019.jpg change the jpg number to 1936020.
  • Columns 38 to 41 of Schedule 1 (questions related to infirmities) were lost on approximately 75 percent of the microfilm reels, so they are also missing on the digitized images.
  • Some of the original documents are very difficult to read. Therefore, some information in the database may be incorrect and/or incomplete. See Research tips below.

Research tips

The Research Tips section on our main census page includes basic and advanced search tips and strategies.  There are also instructions on how to search by place.

Other resources and indexes

City directories

Maps

Indexes

The 1911 census has also been indexed on the following websites:

How to obtain copies

You can print the JPG or PDF images or save the images onto your computer.

Consult Access the Records for other options such as consulting census records on microfilm.

Please do not submit copy requests because we do not provide copies of census records that are already digitized online.

Credits

Library and Archives Canada gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Ancestry.ca, without which this project would not have been possible.

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