The 1891 Canadian Census

The 1891 Canadian census saw only a few changes to the map. There were no additional provinces added to the census, although the area which previously had been disputed between Manitoba and Ontario was now part of Ontario. The census included the following:

  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba (as it then was - quite small as compared to today)
  • the Northwest Territories (what later became Alberta, Saskatchewan, parts of Manitoba, Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec, Labrador, the Yukon, and Nunavut)
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

Map of Canadian provinces, 1891.
Source: Wikipedia Commons
Map of Canada, 1881

The questions on the 1891 Canadian census were to be answered as of April 5 1891, no matter what date the enumeration actually occurred. Everyone who normally resided in the household as of that date was to be included, regardless of whether they actually spent the night there.





This census saw a number of new questions added to the schedule, and a number discontinued. In addition, this was the first time that the census page was bilingual (French and English). A “relationship to head of household” question was added, as were the place of birth of the person’s parents. There were also expanded questions regarding employment status. An attempt also was made to identify French-Canadian populations or settlements throughout Canada.

The questions asked on the 1891 Canadian census were as follows:

  • Dwellings
    • vessels
    • dwelling homes in construction
    • dwelling homes uninhabited
    • dwelling homes inhabited
  • Families, in order of enumeration
  • Names
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Married or widowed
  • Relation to head of family
  • Country or province of birth
  • French Canadian
  • Place of birth of father
  • Place of birth of mother
  • religion
  • Profession, occupation, or trade
  • Employers
  • Wage earner
  • Unemployed during week preceding census
  • Employers to state average number of hands employed during year
  • Instruction
    • read
    • write
  • Infirmities
    • deaf and dumb
    • blind
    • unsound mind

There were also a number of other schedules to the census, on which the following information was collected:

  • information regarding deaths that had occurred in the last twelve months (Schedule 2);
  • real estate, orchard products, nurseries, vineyards and market gardens (Schedule 3);
  • farm products and other information relating to agriculture (Schedule 4);
  • livestock and animal products (Schedule 5);
  • industrial establishments (Schedule 6);
  • products of the forest (Schedule 7);
  • production related to shipping and mining (Schedule 8); and
  • fisheries (Schedule 9).






Go from “ 1891 Canadian Census ” to “Canadian Census: an Introduction”

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For details of the various census documents, see the pages for the Canadian census and the applicable year, as indicated below.

1851 Canadian census

1861 Canadian census

1871 Canadian census

1881 Canadian census

1891 Canadian census

1901 Canadian census

1906 Canadian census

1911 Canadian census

1916 Canadian census



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