Urban Geography

Read Complete Research Material

Urban Geography

Definitions and concepts

The census collects information on the journey to work including concepts such as place of work status, workplace location, mode of transportation, commuting distance, and commuting flows between the residence and workplace. These data are often used in conjunction with age, sex and labour and income variables to paint a picture of workers and commuters at their place of work. The characteristics and concepts related to the journey to work appear in the population universe. These data are collected for persons who are non-institutional residents 15 years of age and over who worked at some time since January 1, 2005. These data are generally published for a subset of this group, the employed labour force. However the data can be tabulated for many different labour force activity components.

Commuting distance may be inflated for persons who work outside the areas covered by census metropolitan areas or census agglomerations, since the workplace location is usually coded to a single representative point for the census subdivision of work. This can affect the calculated commuting distance, particularly when the census subdivision of work has a large area. The census assumes that the commute to work originates from the usual place of residence, but this may not always be the case. In some cases, respondents may be on a business trip and may have reported their place of work or mode of transportation based on where they were working during the trip. Some persons maintain a residence close to work and commute to their home on weekends. Students often work after school at a location near their school. As a result, the data may show unusual commutes and an unusual mode of transportation (Remember, 26).


Journey to work data are obtained or derived from the information collected through questions 46 (place of work) and 47 (mode of transportation), along with place of residence information. The questions appear on the 2006 Census Form 2B (long) questionnaire, which was used to enumerate a 20% sample of all households in Canada. For persons living in private households on Indian reserves, Indian settlements and in remote areas, data were collected using the 2006 Census Form 2D questionnaire. The questions asked on the Form 2D questionnaire were the same as on the 2B questionnaire, but the examples, where provided for place of work, were more relevant to these areas (Remember, 26).

Please refer to 2006 Census questionnaires for more information.

For more information on all of the questions of the 2006 Census please refer to the 2006 Census questions and reasons why the questions are asked, or refer to Definitions by question number, which gives a list of all census variables sorted by question.


Workplace location are available for the entire country by the Standard Geographical Classification (SGC). This hierarchical classification includes provinces and territories, census divisions (CDs), and census subdivisions (CSDs). Workplace locations that fall within a census metropolitan area (CMA) and census agglomeration (CA) are also available for more detailed geographies including census tracts (CT), dissemination areas (DA), dissemination blocks ...
Related Ads