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Interesting maps, but Vancouver's is quite inaccurate... either that or they're using weird definitions for Urban Core/Secondary Core/Fringe.

For example, the North Shore mountains, despite having little to no development or inhabitants are seemingly coloured as urban core. And places like Langley and Pitt Meadows are coloured as urban core while the denser and arguably more urban South Surrey/White Rock is relegated to what looks to be Urban Fringe, despite being geographically closer to downtown and having a comparable population.
 

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Interesting maps, but Vancouver's is quite inaccurate... either that or they're using weird definitions for Urban Core/Secondary Core/Fringe.
Ottawa's seems quite odd as well. Orleans, Barrhaven and even Manotick, for example, are somehow considered urban core, and Kanata is secondary core. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Cantly are Fringe, but Buckingham is secondary core? I'd be interested to know the methodology of this.
 

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Ottawa's seems quite odd as well. Orleans, Barrhaven and even Manotick, for example, are somehow considered urban core, and Kanata is secondary core. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Cantly are Fringe, but Buckingham is secondary core? I'd be interested to know the methodology of this.
From StatsCan's website:

"Geographic Units:
Urban Area (UA)

Part A – Plain Language Definition

Area with a population of at least 1,000 and no fewer than 400 persons per square kilometre.

Part B – Detailed Definition

An urban area has a minimum population concentration of 1,000 persons and a population density of at least 400 persons per square kilometre, based on the current census population count. All territory outside urban areas is classified as rural. Taken together, urban and rural areas cover all of Canada.

Urban population includes all population living in the urban cores, secondary urban cores and urban fringes of census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs), as well as the population living in urban areas outside CMAs and CAs.

Censuses: 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971, 1966, 1961

Remarks:

For the first time, the delineation of urban areas is done with an automated process that makes it possible to use population counts and population density data from the current census.

The geographic units used for the delineation of urban areas for 2001 are urban areas as defined for the 1996 Census, and blocks as defined for the 2001 Census.

The urban area delineation rules are ranked in order of priority:
1. If an urban area from the 1996 Census has a minimum population of 1,000 persons according to the 2001 Census, it is retained as an urban area.

2. If a block with a population density of at least 400 persons per square kilometre is adjacent to an urban area, then it is added to that urban area.

3. If a block or group of contiguous blocks, each having a population density of at least 400 persons per square kilometre for the current census, has a minimum total population of 1,000, then the block or group of contiguous blocks is delineated as a new urban area.

4. The distance by road between urban areas is measured. If the distance is less than two kilometres, then the urban areas are combined to form a single urban area.

5. If an urban area is contained within a census subdivision (CSD) or a designated place (DPL), the difference in land area between the urban area and the CSD or DPL is calculated. If this difference is less than 10 square kilometres, then, for confidentiality purposes, the boundary for the urban area is adjusted to the CSD or DPL boundary.

The resulting urban areas are reviewed and may be modified to ensure spatial contiguity where appropriate, for example, the removal of interior holes.

Some urban areas may contain commercial and industrial districts, railway yards, airports, parks and other uninhabited areas that result in blocks with population densities of less than 400 persons per square kilometre. In general, the impact on the total population within urban areas is minor, but the impact on specific urban land areas could be significant. This would affect any programs or research based on precise distance or land area measurements related to individual urban areas.

Once an urban area attains a population of 10,000 persons, it is eligible to become the urban core of a census agglomeration. Upon attaining a population of at least 100,000 persons, it is eligible to become the urban core of a census metropolitan area. When an urban area with a population of at least 50,000 persons is also the urban core of a census agglomeration, the census agglomeration is eligible for the census tract program.

Urban and rural areas may be used as variables to cross-classify census data for standard geographic areas, such as census subdivisions, census metropolitan areas/census agglomerations, or census metropolitan area and census agglomeration influenced zones (MIZ).

Naming Convention for Urban Areas

The name of the urban area is the name of the principal census subdivision (CSD) when the CSD is (or was) a city, town or village. If two or more principal CSDs are involved, the urban area may be given a compound name. In other cases, the name of the urban area is an appropriate place name.

Geographic Code for Urban Areas

Urban area codes are unique four-digit codes that are assigned sequentially upon the UA creation. These codes remain constant between censuses. If an urban area is retired due to amalgamation or failure to meet the population or density thresholds, then its code is retired.

It is recommended that the two-digit province code precede the UA code in order to identify each UA uniquely within its corresponding province/territory. For example:

PR-UA Code


UA Name


11 0159


Charlottetown (P.E.I.)

13 0122


Campbellton (N.B.)

24 0122


Campbellton (Que.)

46 0282


Flin Flon (Man.)

47 0282


Flin Flon (Sask.)

60 1023


Whitehorse (Y.T.)

Five UAs straddle provincial boundaries: Campbellton (New Brunswick and Quebec), Hawkesbury (Ontario and Quebec), Ottawa–Hull (Ontario and Quebec), Flin Flon (Manitoba and Saskatchewan) and Lloydminster (Alberta and Saskatchewan).

Table 1 in the Introduction shows the number of urban areas by province and territory.

Refer to the related definitions of Block, Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and Census Agglomeration (CA), Census Subdivision (CSD), Designated Place (DPL), Land Area, Place Name (PN), Population Density, Urban Core, Urban Fringe and Rural Fringe and Urban Population Size Group.

Changes Prior to the 2001 Census:

Prior to 2001, the geographic units used for urban area delineation were census subdivisions, designated places and enumeration areas. Population counts and population density from the previous census were used in all cases, except when enumeration area boundaries had been adjusted for the current census.

For 1976, urban areas contained a population concentration of at least 1,000 persons and a population density of at least 1,000 persons per square mile (386 per square kilometre). Urban areas were combined if they were separated by less than one mile (1.6 kilometres).

For 1971, 1966 and 1961, urban areas included:
– all incorporated cities, towns and villages with a population of 1,000 persons or over;
– all unincorporated places with a population of 1,000 persons or over and a population density of at least 1,000 persons per square mile; and
– the urbanized fringe of these urban areas, known as the urbanized core of a census agglomeration or census metropolitan area, where a minimum population of 1,000 persons and a density of at least 1,000 persons per square mile existed."


http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Reference/dict/geo049.htm

Though I do agree that the boundaries may be a bit too liberal. For example, Keswick is considered part of Toronto's urban area, when imo I feel it is far enough and small enough to be a secondary urban area.

Still, one of my hobbies (as well as many of yours, I'd assume :) ) is determining where an urban area ends and separate, smaller exurbs begin. And while there may be plenty to criticize here, it is nice to have an official map on the subject* :)

(*though I personally agree with Demographia's view that Hamilton-Toronto-Oshawa urban areas should be a single entity)
 

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Interesting maps, but Vancouver's is quite inaccurate... either that or they're using weird definitions for Urban Core/Secondary Core/Fringe.

For example, the North Shore mountains, despite having little to no development or inhabitants are seemingly coloured as urban core. And places like Langley and Pitt Meadows are coloured as urban core while the denser and arguably more urban South Surrey/White Rock is relegated to what looks to be Urban Fringe, despite being geographically closer to downtown and having a comparable population.

The urban areas extend to include each entire census subdivision if it is part of the urban area, whether it is mountains, agricultural or whatever. The results only make sense to statscan, or if you understand their criteria of contiguous urban areas.
 
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