Ranking of the 10 most populated municipalities, 1901 to 2021

Release date: February 9, 2022

The interactive ribbon chart is a data visualization product that shows the evolution of most populated municipalities over time. It depicts the top 10 municipalities (also called census subdivisions, or CSDs) ranked by population for each census year. For each census year, municipalities are ranked from the highest population count to the lowest, creating the ribbon effect. The size of the ribbon is proportional to the population size for any given year. This product is available for Canada, provinces and territories. Population data are shown for municipalities by census years ranging from 1901 to 2021.


  1. Statistics Canada disseminates census data based on a standard set of geographic units or areas. The data portrayed in this chart are representative of the population count specific to the geographical boundaries of that area for any given year. Data shown for years prior to 2021 may not always represent the current geographical boundaries or the current area name. Users should interpret the population change over time with caution; as it could be the result of pure demographic growth as well as the result of municipalities being merged or dissolved.
  2. Area names from the 2021 Standard Geographical Classification are used throughout the series in place of historical names when available for simplicity.
  3. An effort has been made to present municipalities with a municipal or local administrative structure, such as cities, towns, communities, rural or regional municipalities, and Indian settlements, all of which are most often under local government. Areas that have primarily statistical significance are excluded, such as unorganized areas and some districts, counties or townships, which are generally not under local government. Some exceptions apply. In order to provide a better historical perspective, such municipalities have sometimes been included for past periods, for example if districts, counties, or townships are promoted to city status over time.
  4. Nunavut was part of the Northwest Territories prior to 1999. Areas covered by the current boundaries of Nunavut are included for years prior to 1999 to offer a more complete picture of historical population change of the territory.

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