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Getting started

Statistics: Power from Data! is an e-book from Statistics Canada that will help in getting the most from statistics. It includes definitions, examples, exercises and a glossary.

OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms: contains a comprehensive set of definitions of the main data items collected by the Organisation. The Glossary also contains definitions of key terminology and concepts and commonly used acronyms.

COVID-19 Resources

StatCan COVID-19: Data Insights for a better Canada : Statistics Canada

Epidemiological summary of COVID-19 cases in Canada : Government of Canada

COVID-19 Data Repository (OpenICPSR): “The COVID-19 Data Repository is a repository for data examining the social, behavioral, public health, and economic impact of the novel coronavirus global pandemic. This is a free self-publishing option for any researcher who wants to share data related to COVID-19.” 

Data management planning with DMP Assistant

An increasing number of funders request Data Management Plans (DMPs) as part of the application process.  It is recommended that researchers use Portage's DMP Assistant to create comprehensive DMPs.

DMP Assistant is a bilingual tool for preparing data management plans (DMPs). The tool follows best practices in data stewardship and walks researchers step-by-step through key questions about data management.

  1. Sign up with DMP Assistant
  2. Sign in and select a template under Organizations. The Portage template is the default.
  3. Answer the questions that are relevant to your work. Guidance and examples are provided.
  4. Revisit the tool throughout your research to review or revise your answers.

Access DMP Assistant.


Canadian Statistics

Statistics Canada Data. Statistics Canada provides tables, thematic maps, public-use microdata files and many other useful resources. Webpage updated daily. 

CANSIM Multidimensional: contains over 900,000 time series covering a wide variety of enhanced access to CANSIM data. While Statistics Canada no longer uses the term CANSIM, information is up to date with materials from Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada surveys and statistical programs: a list of Statistics Canada surveys by topic. The page for each survey provides links to the relevant tables and to the survey documentation. 

Ontario open data: the Provincial Government’s data portal provides statistical tables and data sets from many government departments and agencies.

International Statistics

Eurostat : This is the statistics office of the European Union, its mission is to provide high quality statistics for Europe. 

OECD Data : Find, compare and share the latest OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) data: charts, maps, tables and related publications.

UNdata: This portal to United Nations databases covers a whole range of statistics including Population, Industry, Energy, Trade and National Accounts. 

World Bank Open Data: Free and open access to global development data.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Data: The IMF publishes a range of time series data on IMF lending, exchange rates and other economic and financial indicators. 


2021 Census of Population

Access Census data - This is an excellent starting point for nearly all things Census-related, including previous years.

2021 Census Profile - These 2021 Census products provide statistical information about the population, age and sex, type of dwelling, families, households and marital status, language, income, immigration and ethnocultural diversity, housing, Aboriginal peoples, education, labour, journey to work, language of work and mobility and migration, as measured in the census program.

2021 Census Data Tables: These tables present a portrait of Canada based on the various census topics (Age and sex, Education, Income, etc.). They range in complexity and are available for various levels of geography.

Census Datasets (1991-2016): Census data and tables from 1991 to 2016.

Additional Census Information

History of the Census of Canada

How to Cite Statistics Canada Products

Canadian Census Analyser from CHASS: enhanced access to Canadian Census data maintained by the CHASS Facility at the University of Toronto.  Can be accessed by users from Canadian universities that are members of the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) consortium.  Bilingual interface for data extraction. How to use the Canadian Census Analyser.

Archived Census websites:

2011 National Household Survey (NHS)

In 2011 Statistics Canada replaced the mandatory long-form census with the voluntary National Household Survey (NHS). Please see StatCan's notes on NHS data quality and comparability of the NHS to the previous Census before using NHS data.

NHS data tables: provide data for various levels of geography on topics including Aboriginal People, Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity, Education and Labor, Mobility and Migration, Income and Housing.

NHS profile: this profile presents information from the 2011 National Household Survey for various levels of geography, including provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas, communities and census tracts.

2011 Aboriginal Population Profile: provides data about Aboriginal children, youth and adults (Métis, Inuit and off-reserve North American Indian) living in urban, rural and northern locations across Canada.

Research Data

Search Data in Odesi

What is Odesi?: (Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure) is a digital repository for social science data, including polling data with a web-based data exploration, extraction and analysis tools.
Laurentian users can use Odesi to access Statistics Canada microdata files (PUMFs), extracts from the CIHI Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), an extensive collection of Canadian opinion polls, and assorted, historical datasets unavailable elsewhere. Odesi allows users to explore variables and values, and to create custom tabulations and subsets in a web browser. See the Odesi user guide for instructions.

Statistics Canada Microdata

Data Liberation Initiative (DLI): Statistics Canada division which makes available public use microdata files (PUMFs), databases and geographic files. The DLI primarily distributes StatCan microdata but also includes the Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF) and some data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information's Discharge Abstract Database (DAD). Some of these files may be retrieved from the Odesi portal. Other files must be requested directly by our team. For more information, please contact

Research Data Centers (RDC): RDCs provide researchers with access, in a secure university setting, to microdata from population and household surveys. The centres are staffed by Statistics Canada employees. RDCs are located throughout the country; the closest RDC to Laurentian is in North Bay, Ontario at Nipissing University. For more information, please contact

Borealis: the Canadian Dataverse Repository

Borealis logo

Borealis, the Canadian Dataverse Repository, is a bilingual, multidisciplinary, secure, Canadian research data repository, supported by academic libraries and research institutions across Canada. Borealis supports open discovery, management, sharing, and preservation of Canadian research data.

As a researcher at Laurentian, Borealis offers you a place to securely store, manage, publish, share, and support discovery and reuse of your research data. For free! Contact Dan Scott for assistance.

Health Data

Statistics Canada Sources

Canadian Community Health Survey: The central objective of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) is to gather health-related data at the sub-provincial levels of geography (health region or combined health regions). CCHS microdata files are available through <odesi>.

Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI): an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides essential information on Canada’s health system and the health of Canadians. Access to Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) microdata files is available through the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI). Email for details.

Health Data from the Government of Canada: A collection of statistics, facts, reports and data from various contributors including, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada.

Health Statistics in CANSIM: A list of all Statistics Canada statistics on health-related topics, including aggregate tables from the CCHS.

Statistical Analysis Software


Most downloadable data and metadata are compliant with SPSS. Some campus computer labs have SPSS installed. Students can purchase a personal copy of SPSS at a discounted rate directly from IBM for more information on the software and installation, please contact IT services.

Extensive tutorials, videos and instructions on all aspects of SPSS can be found by doing a web search.

Beyond 20/20

Beyond 20/20 may be required to access some legacy Statistics Canada data. This program is designed to help non-specialist users manipulate tabular data. This browser is mouse-driven and creates custom tables, retrieves the information in them and displays this information in table, chart, and map views.


You can download Beyond 20/20 from Statistics Canada for free. Note: Beyond 20/20 is only available for Windows.