Geospatial Data: Canada

The following list outlines nationally focused geospatial datasets by subject.  Select one of the links below to see detailed information for each dataset.

Many other geospatial data sets for Canada can be free downloaded from the Internet. Below is a recommended list of data portals by provider. Think about which organizations might have created the data you are looking for, and start with their website's search box.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

  • AAFC Geospatial Products: The geospatial products and services offered provide online access to agriculture-related maps, geospatial data and tools that are available from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to help you make better decisions for environmentally responsible yet competitive agriculture.
  • CanSIS - Canadian Soil Information System (AAFC) manages and provides access to soil and land resource information on behalf of the federal, provincial, and territorial governments.

Natural Resources Canada

  • Atlas of Canada: provides a comprehensive collection of maps (at 1: 2 million, 1: 7.5 million scales) and related information about Canada’s environment, people & society, economy, history, climate change, freshwater, health and topography (Toporama). GIS files for some of these topics can be downloaded following the link called "Read about this map".
  • Canadian Geographic Names: provides a number of products and services related to geographical names. You can access geographical names data, to use Web services to query geographical name online.
  • GeoGratis: a wealth of vector/raster/tabular data distributed by Nature Resources Canada. GeoGratis Catalogue and Search tool will shut down as of August 31, 2017. As of that date, you can consult the Open Government of Canada search tool. Use the HTML geospatial product index to visualize an inventory of the most popular GeoGratis collections and to download the files. You will also find a KMZ index to view in Google Earth. You can also use this GeoGratis FTP Site Directory page to access data. 
  • Earth Sciences Resources: access to scientific publications of the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada. A series of maps and geospatial data are available for download.

Environment Canada

Statistics Canada

  • Census Geography (Statistics Canada): provides access to information on a wide range of census geographic areas (from provinces and territories down to city blocks) which allows users to relate census data to them

Other Organizations

  • GeoBase: seamless Canadian data including administrative boundaries, digital elevation data, geodetic network, geographic names, land cover, national hydro network, national road network and satellite imagery. GeoBase is being discontinued by the end of December 2014. For data formerly accessed via GeoBase, use Open Government of Canada
  • Geography Network: ESRI Canada's portal for finding and sharing Canadian geographic content, including maps and data from many of the country’s leading providers.
  • Open Government of Canada: source for open data released by the Canadian federal government
  • Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) includes data that covers physical properties, hydrology, hydraulics, meteorology, ice and snow data, biological aspects, chemical and sediments data, waves and circulation data, and lake levels.
  • Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN): provides a wide range of geospatial data related to the environment, economy, and tourism of the Great Lakes region.
  • National Forest Database: provides various information on the forest resources of Canada including forest inventory, wood supply, forest fires and forest insects etc.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada Interactive Maps: provides access to several maps and GIS data regarding the ocean and fishes resources of Canada.
  • ArchiviaNet from Library and Archives Canada contains over 4,000 digital images of historical maps, atlases and photos.