Destinations Magazine

Canadian GIS Data

By T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

I am sure that almost any geomatics professional would agree that a major part of any GIS are the data sets involved. The data can be in the form of vectors, rasters, aerial photography or statistical tabular data and most often the data component can be very costly or labor intensive. But it doesn’t always have to be that way, as there are plenty of great resources available that offer free open Canadian data that you can use with your geomatics projects to generate geospatial products. In fact more and more are popping up all over the web and some cities like Ottawa are even having contests to help promote the use of their data.

Over the past few years has been highlighting and promoting various cities and provinces in Canada that have done a great job providing Open Geospatial Data and applications to the public. During that time there has been plenty of great praise, feedback and emails regarding these efforts in helping to promote Canadian geospatial data and ensuring that everybody in the geomatics community knows where to find data for their projects.

I created this page a few years ago to collaborate links of all the open geospatial data info (sites that offer data downloads at no cost and without restrictions), fee based geospatial data, online web mapping applications and other great sources of geospatial information (including National, Provincial and Regional levels). I am sure that this comprehensive list of open geospatial data, fee based geospatial data, web mapping applications and cartographic products will be valuable to many of us (as I get hundreds of emails and requests regarding “Where can I find data for …?”) so I will continue to update it when I learn of new information.

If you know of any other sites offering Canadian data (freely available or fee based) that may help others in geomatics and it is not listed here then let me know and I will update the list. In the mean time start using some of these great resources that we have available in Canada to generate geospatial products.

[page last updated Feb 2013]

National Data


GeoGratis by Natural Resources Canada offers geospatial data including satellite imagery, tabular and vector Data in a wide range of formats. They have also recently added a few APIs to their collection and completely revamped the web site – check out the new improved 2013 GeoGratis web site



A federal, provincial and territorial government initiative created by the Canadian Council on Geomatics, user registration is required for downloading data but there are no costs


Offers online location based information, including maps and satellite images focused in public health, public safety and security, the environment and sustainable development, Aboriginal matters, and geomatics technology development. Data from this site varies and includes thematic data, topographic data, satellite imagery, air photos and much more.

Atlas of Canada

The Atlas of Canada has been around for more then a hundred years but has changed significantly since its early days ( The majority of content on this site are provided in pre made geographic map products at a national level that you can order or download for free and print on your own.

Open Data Pilot Project

The Government of Canada’s commitment to open government that aims to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians

Environment Canada

Various data collections from Environment Canada

Provincial & Regional Canadian Data


Alberta Geological Survey AGS has a large selection of maps for different areas of Alberta showing surficial and bedrock geology, drift thickness, groundwater/hydrogeology, and mineral resources. Their recent maps also include the GIS shape files and their interactive geological maps let you browse, query and download GIS data.

Province of Alberta

AltaLIS Alberta data available through a partnership with the Alberta Government and Spatial Data Warehouse, it has been the main supplier of Alberta Base Mapping Data to the private sector since 1998. AltaLIS offers digital mapping products categorized into three main groups: Property, Base, and Terrain. Note: Most data at this site is not free

Calgary, Alberta

Grande Prairie, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta

Change Camp Edmonton

Medicine Hat, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta

British Columbia

DataBC was one of the first provincial open data sites in Canada

Logo Data BC

Open Data Society of BC

Langley, British Columbia

North Okanagan, British Columbia

Nanaimo, British Columbia

North Vancouver, British Columbia

Prince George, British Columbia

Saanich, British Columbia

Surrey, British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia


Manitoba Land Initiative
Great source for geo-spatial information from the Government of Manitoba, intended for both the GIS expert and the decision maker allowing on-line access to the MLI corporate land data warehouse. Users must be registered but it is free to register


Winnipeg, Manitoba

New Brunswick

GeoNB by Service New Brunswick provides Geographic Data & Maps for the province of New Brunswick including topographic layers, property data, orthophotomaps and much more.

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador (collection of pre-made maps)

Community Infrastructure Mapping System
A community information shared program via google maps

Nova Scotia

The Province of Nova Scotia’s gateway to geographic information about Nova Scotia. Includes free maps and licensed data sets. (not all data is free)

North West Territories

NWT Centre for Geomatics

Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) Spatial Data Warehouse – Geospatial Portal


Nunavut Geoscience (no much data but there are pre made maps)


Province of Ontario open data portal

Burlington, Ontario

Guelph, Ontario

Halton, Ontario


London, Ontario

Open London

Mississauga, Ontario

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Region, Ontario

Ottawa, Ontario

Peel Region, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario

Waterloo, Ontario

Open Data Waterloo Region -

Windsor, Ontario

Prince Edward Island (air photos available for the whole Province with many historic sets as well)


Government of Québec


Montréal, Québec

Québec City, Québec



Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan offers real-time, graphical data that assists in searching for plans of surveys, parcels and titles. ISC also provides services such as custom mapping, acquisition of satellite images and aerial photography.,11,1,Documents

Map of Canada


Regina, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Geomatics Yukon

[This is a dynamic page that changes all the time and was originally published March, 2008]

Disclaimer: Although I do test all links that I publish on, those links and sites are not under my control and therefore are provided here solely for your information and convenience. Neither nor myself are responsible for the accuracy or reliability of the content and or information found on these sites through these links. Also note that sites can change from time without notice. If anyone discovers dead links or has new information then by all means let me know and I will update this page.

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