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Canadian, Provincial, and Municipal Government Geospatial Data


This page lists geospatial data (GIS data) that is produced by the Governments of Canada, Ontario, and the City of Montreal. The geospatial data on this website consists of: census geography files, topographic map data, digital elevation models, general mapping data. Geospatial data, also known as GIS Data, can be used to create maps and analyse geographic information. To view and analyse this data, a Geographic Information System software is required.

To access geospatial data produced by DMTI, click here.

GeoGratis - Natural Resources Canada

GeoGratis is a web portal that allows users to explore and download, without charge, geospatial data and maps of Canada. Search can be done by using geographic names and keywords or by browsing collections. Results can be filtered by geographic coordinates and by type of products (maps, data, publications, etc.)

NOTE: an easy way to identify the geographic area you are interested in along with its National Topographic System (NTS) code is through the Geospatial Data Extraction Tool.

The most popular products available from GeoGratis include:


"CanVec is a multi-source product coming mainly from the National Topographic Data Base (NTDB), the GeoBase initiative ( and the data update using Landsat 7 imagery coverage. CanVec provides topographic information in vector format and contains more than 90 topographical entities thematically organized into 11 distribution themes: Administrative Boundaries, Buildings and Structures, Energy, Hydrography, Industrial and Commercial Areas, Places of Interest, Relief and Landforms, Toponymy, Transportation, Vegetation and Water Saturated Soils."

See product specifications.


"Toporama is a topographic reference product produced by NRCan using CanVec data. Toporama originates from the best available data sources covering the entire Canadian landmass at a scale of 1: 50 000. Toporama displays this data in a representative (symbolic) manner allowing for easy identification. Format available: GeoTiff."

CanMatrix - Print-Ready - Raster Maps

CanMatrix digital topographic raster print-ready maps were produced by scanning topographic maps at the scales of 1:50 000 and 1:250 000. Formats available: PDF and Tiff.

See product specifications

CanMatrix - Georeferenced - Raster Maps

CanMatrix digital topographic raster map data were produced by scanning existing printed topographic maps at the scales of 1:50 000 and 1:250 000 and georeferencing them. Format available: GeoTiff.

See product specifications

Additional Geospatial Data - Government of Canada

Atlas of Canada

The Atlas offers free small scale data for North America, Canada and Canadian provinces.

Census Geography Files

The Census Boundary Files are the geospatial data files that represent the different census geographies in Canada: Provinces, Census Divisions, Census Subdivisions, Census Tracts, Dissemination Areas, etc. These data are available for the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Censuses. On the same page, you will also find Road network files as well as Correspondence files (that provide unique identifiers allowing comparison between various censuses).

GeoConnections Discovery Portal

GeoConnections is a an online catalogue that gives access to millions of geospatial products. Resources are mainly Canadian and include topographic data, satellite imagery and aerial photographs. Some of the content is free.


"GeoBase is a federal, provincial and territorial government initiative that provides access to a common, up-to-date and maintained base of quality geospatial data for all of Canada." Data is free and the products available are:

  • Administrative Boundaries
  • Canadian Digital Elevation Data (CDED) 1:50,000 and 1:250,000
  • Canadian Geodetic Network
  • Geographical Names of Canada
  • Land Cover
  • National Hydro Network
  • National Power Line Network
  • National Railway Network
  • National Road Network
  • Satellite Imagery

Government of Quebec Data

The Government of Quebec datasets are only available to students and faculty of Concordia University.


AQgeo provides the official location and classification of the complete road network for the province of Quebec along with road names, address ranges and postal codes. It is supplemented by a cartographic context (AQcarto) including administrative boundaries for municiplaties and boroughs and a hydeographic layer. To obtain AQgeo, please contact the librarian responsible for geospatial data.

Cadastral Data

Concordia has acquired geospatial data describing individual lots in the Greater Montreal Area (see this map for an illustration of the covered area).The dataset includes geopgraphic files in ArcInfo Coverage format (e00) and attribute tables consisting of the administrative description of the lots. For a detailed description of the product, see this guide (in French only). To obtain the data, please contact the librarian responsible for geospatial data.

LiDAR Data

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is an airborne, laser-based remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target and analysing the reflecting light. It is used to produce digital terrain models and mosaic datasets. We have acquired LiDAR datasets for the following areas (click on the names to see a map): Vallée-du-Haut-St-Laurent (2011) et Vallée-du-Richelieu (2008); Secteur rivière aux Esturgeons et Secteur rivière aux Fèves (2010); Secteur Yamaska (2011); Monteregie Sud-Est (2013). For more technical information see this user guide (in French).

To obtain the data, please contact the librarian responsible for geospatial data.

Ontario Geospatial Data Exchange

The data that is part of the OGDE is only available to students and faculty of Concordia University. To obtain a dataset, please contact the librarian responsible for geospatial data.

The following data is a list of OGDE datasets:

  • Southern Ontario Land Resource Information System (SOLRIS)
    SOLRIS is a comprehensive landscape scale inventory of southern Ontario's natural, rural and urban areas. Available in SHAPEFILE format.
  • Provincial Digital Elevation Model
    A high resolution raster data set covering the province of Ontario to the 51st parallel. Cell resolutions are 20 metres in northern Ontario and 10 metres in southern Ontario. The DEM is divided up into 150 tiles.
  • For a description of other datasets that are part of the OGDE click here.

City of Montreal Data

The City of Montrealc datasets are only available to students and faculty of Concordia University.

City of Montreal Cartographic Plans (Autocad format)

The City of Montreal detailed cartographic plans, at the scale of 1:1000, contains building footprints, elevation spot heights, and other detailed features. This data is only available to Concordia students and faculty for research and academic purposes. To acquire these data, please contact the librarian responsible for geospatial data.

Transit Data - Societé de Transport de Montréal

The STM transit geospatial data constists of bus stop locations, bus routes, metro stops, metro lines, commuter train stops and lines, in shapeformat. To acquire this data, please contact the librarian responsible for geospatial data.

Software Requirements


ArcGIS is a fully operational Geographic Information System that is used to view, interpret, and analyse geospatial data. It can be used to create maps, calculate spatial statistics, and much more. The ArcGIS software is installed on workstations W-226, 227, 229 and 230 located near the Webster Library information desk.

ArcGIS Explorer

ArcGIS Explorer is a free software that is used to view and do basic interpretations of geospatial data. It cannot be used to analyse the data. ArcGIS Explorer is available to download.

Open Source Geographic Information System Applications

There are several open source geographic information system applications available for download. Please note that most of the open source GIS applications do not have the same level of functionality as ArcGIS. For a list of open source GIS applications go to:

page last updated on: Friday 2 August 2013

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