Census learning centre
Types of dwellings

Release date: April 27, 2022

Catalogue number: 982000032021007

Hello and welcome to the Types of dwellings video!

The census counts dwellings to associate people with a spatial unit and to publish counts of the dwellings themselves, along with information about dwelling characteristics. This video provides information about the different variables associated with dwellings such as Structural type of dwelling, Dwelling condition, Condominium status, Period of construction, Rooms and Bedrooms in a dwelling.


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Concept video: Types of dwellings - Transcription

(The Statistics Canada symbol and "Canada" wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Concept video: Types of dwellings".)

Welcome to the Types of dwellings concept video!

This video examines the different type of dwelling concepts and variables. It is designed to provide you with a basic understanding of the structural type of dwelling, dwelling condition, condominium status, number of rooms and bedrooms and period of construction.

The dwelling characteristics, with the exception of the structural type of dwelling, are only asked in the census long-form questionnaire.

The structural type of dwelling variable is defined by its categories:

  • Single-detached house
  • Semi-detached house
  • Row house
  • Apartment or flat in a duplex
  • Apartment in a building that has five or more storeys
  • Apartment in a building that has fewer than five storeys
  • Other single-attached house
  • Mobile home, and
  • Other movable dwelling

A single-detached house is not attached to any other dwelling or structure (except its own garage or shed).

Semi-detached house refers to one of two dwellings attached side by side (or back to back) to each other, but not to any other dwelling or structure (except its own garage or shed).

Row house refers to one of three or more dwellings joined side by side (or occasionally side to back), such as a townhouse or garden home.

Apartment or flat in a duplex refers to one of two dwellings, located one above the other, that may or may not be attached to other dwellings or buildings.

Apartment in a building that has five or more storeys refers to a dwelling unit in a high-rise apartment building that has five or more storeys.

Apartment in a building that has fewer than five storeys refers to a dwelling unit attached to other dwelling units, commercial units or other non-residential space in a building that has fewer than five storeys.

Other single-attached house refers to a single dwelling that is attached to another building and that does not fall into any of the other categories, such as a single dwelling attached to a non-residential structure, for example, a store or a church, or occasionally to another residential structure such as an apartment building.

Mobile home refers to a single dwelling designed and constructed to be transported on its own chassis and capable of being moved to a new location on short notice. It may be placed temporarily on a foundation pad and may be covered by a skirt.

Other movable dwelling refers to a single dwelling, other than a mobile home, used as a place of residence but capable of being moved on short notice, such as a tent, recreational vehicle, travel trailer, houseboat or floating home.

The dwelling condition variable indicates, judging from the respondent’s perspective, whether the dwelling is in need of repairs, excluding desirable remodeling or additions. This indicator of housing adequacy is classified into three groups: in need of regular maintenance only, in need of minor repairs, and in need of major repairs. Dwellings in need of major repairs are considered inadequate by housing organizations.

Painting and furnace cleaning would be examples of regular maintenance; missing or loose tiles or shingles; and defective siding or steps would be examples of minor repairs; while any repairs that were done to fix dwelling structure or major dwelling systems such as electrical, heating, or plumbing would fall under major repairs.

The Condominium status variable indicates whether a private dwelling is part of a condominium development. A condominium is a residential complex in which dwellings are owned individually, while land and common elements are held in joint ownership with others.

The categories for this variable are “yes” or “no.” The condominium variable can be found in the private households population of interest.

Period of construction is a variable that indicates the period in time during which the building or dwelling was originally constructed, as estimated by the respondent.

The categories listed on the questionnaire are as follows.

(The following categories are displayed on the screen:

  • 1920 or before
  • 1921 to 1945
  • 1946 to 1960
  • 1961 to 1970
  • 1971 to 1980
  • 1981 to 1990
  • 1991 to 1995
  • 1996 to 2000
  • 2001 to 2005
  • 2006 to 2010
  • 2011 to 2015
  • 2016 to 2020
  • 2021)

Rooms refer to enclosed areas within a private dwelling that are finished and suitable for year-round living. The number of rooms in a private dwelling includes the following:

  • Kitchens
  • Bedrooms
  • Finished rooms in the attic or basement.

The number of rooms in a private dwelling excludes the following:

  • Bathrooms
  • Halls
  • Vestibules
  • Rooms used solely for business purposes.

Partially divided rooms are considered to be separate rooms if they are considered as such by the respondent, for example, an L-shaped dining room and living room arrangement.

Bedrooms refer to rooms in a private dwelling that are designed mainly for sleeping purposes, even if they are now used for other purposes. They include:

  • Guest rooms and television rooms
  • Rooms used as bedrooms now, even if they were not originally built as bedrooms, such as bedrooms in a finished basement.

Bedrooms exclude rooms designed for another use during the day, such as dining rooms and living rooms, even if they may be used for sleeping purposes at night. By definition, one-room private dwellings, such as studio apartments, have zero bedrooms.

(The words "Thank you for watching the Types of dwellings video!" appear on screen.)

This concludes the Types of dwellings video.

(The census logo appears with a link, which is also available to view here: Census of population.)

For more detailed information regarding concepts, variables, methodology, historical comparability and other elements, please refer to Statistics Canada's census pages.

(The "Canada" wordmark appears. ISBN: 978-0-660-41889-6))

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