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Glossary

Block-face
A block-face is one side of a street between two consecutive features intersecting that street. The features can be other streets or boundaries of standard geographic areas. Block-faces are used for generating block-face representative points, which in turn are used for geocoding and census data extraction when the street and address information are available

Civic address
Postal addresses can be categorized as civic addresses or postal installation addresses. A civic address consists of street address number, a street name, municipality name and postal code. The street name may include a street type and direction. The street address number may include a suite and/or apartment number. (Canada Post Corporation, 2005a, p. 20-21).

Census subdivision (CSD)
Census subdivision (CSD) is the general term for municipalities (as determined by provincial and territorial legislation) or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes (e.g., Indian reserves, Indian settlements and unorganized territories).

Census subdivision type
Census subdivisions (CSDs) are classified into 55 types according to official designations adopted by provincial/territorial or federal authorities. Two exceptions are 'Subdivision of unorganized (SNO)' in Newfoundland and Labrador, and 'Subdivision of county municipality (SC)' in Nova Scotia, which are geographic areas created as equivalents for municipalities by Statistics Canada, in cooperation with those provinces, for the purpose of disseminating statistical data. The census subdivision type accompanies the census subdivision name in order to distinguish CSDs from each other, for example, Granby, V (for the ville of Granby) and Granby, CT (for the municipalité de canton of Granby).

CPC community
The term "municipality" as in the Address Lookup File does not necessarily constitute the legally defined municipality at the time when Canada Post publishes its data. This term serves the purpose of preserving locally used names to prevent confusion in reference to the area serviced. To avoid confusion this term is referred to in this paper as the "CPC community".

Delivery installation
This is a local facility from which mail is delivered. post offices, stations, retail postal outlets, centre postal communitaires, and letter carrier depots are different categories of delivery installations. (Canada Post Corporation, 2005a, p. 22-23).

Dissemination area (DA)
A dissemination area (DA) is a small, relatively stable geographic unit composed of one or more adjacent dissemination blocks. It is the smallest standard geographic area for which all census data are disseminated. DAs cover all the territory of Canada.

Dissemination block (DB)
A dissemination block (DB) is an area bounded on all sides by roads and/or boundaries of standard geographic areas. The dissemination block is the smallest geographic area for which population and dwelling counts are disseminated. Dissemination blocks cover all the territory of Canada.

Dwelling
In general terms a dwelling is defined as a set of living quarters. Two types of dwelling are identified in the census: collective dwellings and private dwellings. The former pertains to dwellings which are institutional, communal or commercial in nature. The latter, private dwelling refers to a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance either from outside the building or from a common hall, lobby, vestibule or stairway inside the building. The entrance to the dwelling must be one that can be used without passing through the living quarters of some other person or group of persons.

Forward Sortation Area (FSA)
The first three characters of the postal code (alphanumeric combination of "ANA") form the Forward Sortation Area (FSA). This is defined quite generally on the CPC internet site as follows:

The Forward Sortation Area or (FSA) represents a specific area within a major geographic region or province. The forward sortation area provides the basis for the primary sorting or forward mail. (Canada Post Corporation, 2006, Section B, Chapter 3, p. 9).

FSA service area
This is defined in this paper as the area where persons have access to mail for postal codes with the same forward sortation area (FSA).

General delivery (GD)
Delivery to customers not renting a postal office box, customers having no specific address.

Geocoding
Geocoding is the process of assigning geographic identifiers (codes) to map features and data records. The resulting geocodes permit data to be linked geographically.

Household
The concept of Household applies to a person or group of persons who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada or abroad. The dwelling may be either a collective dwelling or a private dwelling.

Lock box
Lock boxes are usually set in post office walls in groups.  Mail is sorted by individual box number from the employee working area.  The customer removes it after unlocking the door on the public side with the key supplied when the box is rented (Canada Post Corporation, 2007, Glossary).

Mobile service
Mobile service is delivery of mail to industrial areas by motorized means (usually performed under contract), (Canada Post Corporation, 2007, Glossary). 

Post office box
See lock box.

Postal code service area
This is defined in this paper as the area where persons have access to mail for that postal code.

Postal installation address (or "Station" address)
Postal addresses can be categorized as civic addresses or postal installation addresses. A postal installation address consists of a type of delivery, which may be general delivery, lock box number or (rural route number, mobile route number or suburban service number), municipality name (which is referred to here as the CPC community name), province and postal code. The address may also include the CPC delivery installation information. (Canada Post Corporation, 2005a, p. 20-21).

Rural delivery area
This term is used to define areas where service is provided by postal codes defined as "rural" by CPC. The CPC classification is considered to be a component of mail preparation. This classification is typed based on the 2nd character of the postal code as follows:

  • an urban postal code: numerals 1 to 9 (E2J). Urban postal codes are generally serviced by letter carrier or community mailboxes; or
  • a rural postal code: numeral 0 (zero) (A0A). Rural postal codes are serviced by rural route drivers and/or postal outlets.

Rural delivery areas do not represent the same area as Statistics Canada's rural areas.

Rural route (RR)
This is a system for collection and delivery of mail and for the transaction of other postal business with customers residing along or near well defined roads in reasonably well settled rural areas (Canada Post Corporation, 2007, Glossary).

Search area
The term search area is used in this paper to denote the geographic area within which the geocoding can be done using road names and civic addresses.

Single link indicator
The single link indicator can be used to force a one-to-one relationship between postal codes and dissemination areas, dissemination blocks or block-faces. This relationship may be useful for mapping, however, because many dissemination areas, dissemination blocks or block-faces are not represented by the SLI, this is not recommended for uses such as allocation of population to geographic areas.

Standard geographic areas
In the working paper, standard geographic areas refers to the geographic areas used for the publishing of census data including dissemination block, dissemination area and census subdivision.

Statistical unit
A statistical unit is the unit of observation or measurement for which data are collected or derived. The basic statistical unit for social statistics is the person, which is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programs. Other units used in social statistics include the dwelling and the household.

Street address
See civic address.

Urban delivery area
This term is used to define areas where service is provided by postal codes defined as "urban" by CPC. The CPC classification is considered to be a component of mail preparation. This classification is typed based on the 2nd character of the postal code as follows:

  • an urban postal code: numerals 1 to 9 (E2J). Urban postal codes are generally serviced by letter carrier or community mailboxes; or
  • a rural postal code: numeral 0 (zero) (A0A). Rural postal codes are serviced by rural route drivers and/or postal outlets.

Urban delivery areas do not represent the same area as Statistics Canada's urban areas.


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Date modified: 2007-02-12 Important Notices
Online catalogue Main page Discussion Tables and figures Appendices Glossary More information PDF version