I would like to download Canadian cities' borders as shapefiles for clipping satellite imagery for several cities. I could find the US city borders as "Urban Areas" in the following page: https://www.census.gov/geographies/mapping-files/time-series/geo/carto-boundary-file.2017.html. However I could not find the same data for Canada.

Does anyone know where I can download Canadian city bounds as shapefiles?

  • 1
    From the internet. Probably some Canadian official source. Or OSM if all fails. What have you searched for?
    – Erik
    Jul 16, 2021 at 12:29
  • I found the cities' boundaries for Us but not for Canada,I only found this website where could not find such data open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/… I need a shape file with all Canadian cities' Boundaries, if possibly not OSM.
    – Gab
    Jul 16, 2021 at 12:31
  • What have you searched for?
    – Erik
    Jul 16, 2021 at 12:34
  • "Canadian cities borders as shape files", and got this : open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/… where could not find a shape file of the city borders but of the provinces ...
    – Gab
    Jul 16, 2021 at 12:38
  • So, you didn't bother browsing around that website, or doing additional searches?
    – Erik
    Jul 16, 2021 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


For City Boundaries Limits you need the Census Subdivisions dataset in ArcGIS Shapefile format. Use the Cartographic Boundary File.


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In QGIS with data labelled enter image description here

  • Thanks a lot!! for me was a good explanation of the composition of the data but the "Census Subdivision" and might divide into several parts or "Subdivisions" and thus polygons a single population center or urbanization nucleus such as for instance Vancouver and I needed a shape file depicting unique named urbanizations or unique named urbanized areas that is way "population centers" might have a unique polygon per urbanized area, I suppose...
    – Gab
    Jul 16, 2021 at 16:50

The file I found closer to what I needed, a vectorial (.shp) approximation to the border of urbanizations in Canada, is the lpc_000b16a_e or lpc_000b16a_e.zip (ZIP version, 3,863.0 kb) possible to find at the link recommended by JGH (see the comments above) after choosing 2016 Census and from there, then "Population centers": https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/alternative_alternatif.cfm?l=eng&dispext=zip&teng=lpc_000b16a_e.zip&k=%20%20%20%20%203863&loc=http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/geo/bound-limit/files-fichiers/2016/lpc_000b16a_e.zip

Example of Vancouver urbanization approximation as vector by the file lpc_000b16a_e:

enter image description here

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