County (Canada)

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County (translated county ) is an administrative unit in Canada at the upper regional level below the level of the provinces. While counties mostly have a rural character, the regional municipalities that also exist are usually groups of urban areas.


In Canada, the county system was adopted as a regional administrative unit by the colonial power of Great Britain .

The five oldest provinces of New Brunswick , Nova Scotia , Ontario , Quebec and Prince Edward Island as well as Alberta are therefore subdivided or subdivided into counties as upper regional administrative units in the course of a two-tier administration.

Situation in the individual provinces

In New Brunswick , the counties were abolished as a political administrative unit in 1966, but they are still used for geographic orientation and statistical purposes. The only exception is the jurisdiction: the judicial districts correspond to the old administrative units.

Nova Scotia is divided into 15 counties and three regional municipalities, which were also counties before 1995 and 1996 respectively.

Prince Edward Island is divided into 3 counties.

In Ontario , the counties (and here only in southern Ontario) are administrative districts that only perform very few tasks, as these are otherwise performed by the independent communities within the district.

Québec is now divided into 17 administrative regions (French régions administratives ). These in turn are made up of regional county municipalities ( municipalités régionales de comté , MRC ), which take on certain supraregional administrative tasks. This includes the creation of a land use plan, water supply and waste management. 14 independent cities carry out the tasks of the MRC themselves. In the metropolitan areas of Québec and Montréal, there is an additional level of the metropolitan association ( communauté métropolitaine , CM ). This division has replaced the previous division into counties ( comtés ) since the 1980s .

The province of Alberta is now divided into so-called regional municipalities . Many still have the term county in their names, even though County was abolished in Alberta in the 1990s.

Individual evidence

  1. United Kingdom: Counties and Unitary Authorities. (PDF, 3.5 MB) Office for National Statistics, 2011, accessed January 1, 2013 (overview map).
  2. ^ Census Profile: Provincial Data. Statistics Canada, accessed August 8, 2012 .
  3. Historique des MRC. Retrieved January 5, 2019 (French).