I'm planning to build a Geocoding database for Canada. The goal is that - the database should be able to provide latitude and longitude for any given street level address in Canada. A similar implementations for USA (Geocoder::US 2.0, jGeocoder ) uses US Census Data (Tiger).

Provincial Base Mapping Data Sources in Canada provides a list of data sources for Canada (both nation wide and provincial based). I couldn't find anywhere is a discussion about the quality of these sources. Also I don't have much time to go through all of them in detail and pick the best.

If anyone had done similar research before about various geo-spatial/geo location sources of Canada for similar implementation. Or if found any similar implementations/attempts some where on web. Guide me please. Any suggestions regarding my goal are also appreciated.

Note: I don't want any suggestions for services that can help like Google API, yahoo place finder etc.

  • 2
    Highway data is done provincially to a federal standard. The provincial transportation agencies map out their network each year or two, depending on scope, equipment, timing, etc. They also create a future road network db projecting next year's network. The municipalities go through the same exercise. This data is aggregated by the Feds to produce the NRN. The highway network is accurate to a year and fairly reliable. The difference between CAN and the US is that Canadian data is NOT free & could cost you lots to get the full GIS/zip/Census/POI data set on the block or dissemination area level
    – dassouki
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 19:13
  • What is your budget?
    – Mapperz
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 13:50

4 Answers 4


As dassouki mentions this is not going to be done cheaply.

The GeoPinpoint Suite is geocoding millions of records each year and is applying an advanced address-parsing technology ensuring superior match rates even with the most incomplete data. GeoPinpoint Suite's innovative modular design allows the software to encompass future enhancements without jeopardizing its performance or usability. GeoPinpoint’s foundation is built from Canada's most comprehensive and complete street address network - CanMap® Streetfiles.

(recently purchased this dataset - $10's thousands).


See GeoCoder.ca. Provides service but also has free crowd-sourced data.


  • I think this is a great start for an answer. Part of his question concerned a discussion of the quality of the sources. It may be useful to expand your answer to discuss the quality, and what makes it a good source instead of just putting in a link. Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 2:03

There are few commercial data provider that offer street address to latitude and longitude geocoding. Base on our evaluation, IGEOCODE canada postal code dataset seems most accurate without overly high price tag.

Those provider supply raw datasets in various format, you may pick the one best suit your usage. It shouldn't be hard.


Qualifyer; I work for DMTI Spatial. We have the most complete and most accurate high precision geocode database in Canada. Currently we have 81% of all properties with a geocode from centroid to rooftop. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]


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