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Commuting Patterns and Places of Work of Canadians, 2006 Census: Definitions and notes


Persons who, during the reference week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to Census Day (May 16, 2006):

  1. did any work at all for pay or in self-employment or without pay in a family farm, business or professional practice
  2. were absent from their job or business, with or without pay, for the entire week because of a vacation, an illness, a labour dispute at their place of work, or any other reasons.

Commuting distance

Distance, in kilometres, between the respondent's residence and his or her usual workplace location.

Workplace locations are coded to a geographic point location. This geographic point location is a block-face, dissemination block, dissemination area or census subdivision representative point. Commuting distance is calculated as the straight-line distance between the residential block representative point and the workplace location representative point.

Mode of transportation

Main means a person uses to travel between home and place of work (by car, on foot, on public transit, or by some other means).

Persons who use more than one mode of transportation are asked to identify the single mode they use for most of the travel distance. As a result, the question provides data on the primary mode of transportation to work. The question does not measure multiple modes of transportation, nor does it measure the seasonal variation in mode of transportation or trips made for purposes other than the commute from home to work.


Refers to the kind of work persons were doing during the reference week, as determined by their kind of work and the description of the main activities in their job. Persons with two or more jobs were to report the information for the job at which they worked the most hours.

Census metropolitan area (CMA) and census agglomeration (CA)

Area consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a major urban core. A census metropolitan area must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. A census agglomeration must have an urban core population of at least 10,000.

Notes to reader:

Geographic boundaries: Between 2001 and 2006, some census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and their municipalities were restructured. For analytical purposes, the 2006 geographical boundaries of the CMA and their municipalities were used for the 2001 Census data.

Rounding: Due to the nature of random rounding, counts may vary slightly between different census products, such as the analytical document, highlight tables, and topic-based tabulations.