The file of postal codes vs. administrative territories

CO_POSTL Postal code X (6)
CO_CIRC Code of the current provincial
electoral division
9 (3)
NM_CIRC Name of the current provincial
electoral division
X (30)
CO_MUNCP Code of the municipality 9 (5)
NM_MUNCP Name of the municipality 9 (58)
CO_DESGN Code of the designation
of the municipality
X (2)
CO_MRC Code of the RCM 9 (5)
NM_MRC Name of the RCM X (60)
CO_REGN_ADMNS Code of the administrative
X (2)
NM_REGN_ADMNS Name of the administrative
X (60)
CO_CIRC_NC Code of the new provincial
electoral division
9 (3)
NM_CIRC_NC Name of the new provincial
electoral division
X (30)

This file contains about 200,000 postal code records along with the provincial electoral division, the municipality, the RCM and the administrative region.

Without being perfect, managing postal codes at the DGEQ is rigorous. The information recorded in this file offer you a high degree of reliability.

Search limit
Since the search is based only on the postal code, this must be entered carefully. Any entry mistake with the postal code could give a totally erroneous result.

For example, entering the postal code G0X1M0 instead of J0X1M0 would result in finding the electoral division of Laviolette instead of Pontiac, it is likewise a problem with other administrative jurisdictions. To a lesser degree, typing in G1X3Y4 instead of G1X3Y5 will result in finding the same electoral division, Jean-Talon.

Since updates are carried out monthly, searching for an obsolete postal code for an address < /span> could also result in a futile search or erroneous result.

In addition, a postal code often covers a large area which is in more than one electoral division or municipality. This is especially true for postal codes in rural areas which cover many municipalities which could be found in different electoral divisions, municipalities or RCM. In this case, a message will be displayed and only by matching the full address can the jurisdiction concerned be determined.

The DGEQ has the tools to carry out this work, if you wish.

Note 1
Updates for municipalities

The listed names of municipalities are the current official municipalities. In fact, we make permanent municipal changes (annexations, mergers, name changes, code changes, changes to the affiliation of an RCM, changes to the name of a RCM, etc.). As a result, you may consider that this data is generally up-to-date.

Note 2
Official name of municipality vs. postal name for a municipality

For a postal code, the name of the listed municipality is the current official name. So for the postal code H1G3J7, the listed name of the municipality will be Montréal, even if this postal code is located in the territory of the former municipality of Montréal-Nord and the postal name of the municipality (used by Canada Post) is also Montréal-Nord.

Note 3
Postal code in more than one territory

A postal code can belong to more than one jurisdiction (electoral division or municipality). Part of the idea behind a postal code is founded on the number of addresses that belong to that postal code. In order to improve the efficiency of this module, we prune the postal codes which do not correspond to certain criteria.

For a postal code to be retained, the number of addresses must be significant. Postal codes that are excluded are those where the number of addresses is less than 50 and that these addresses represent less than 10% of the addresses covered by the postal code.

Example 1 - The postal code G0A2C0 includes 2,580 addresses split in the following way, 2,560 (99.2%) for MUN 1 and 20 (0.8%) for MUN 2. The postal code G0A2C0 for MUN 2 would not be considered for this municipality because it includes less than 50 addresses and these represent less than 10%. All the postal codes for G0A2C0 will be considered as being entirely in MUN 1.

Example 2 - The postal code G0C1H0 includes 1,327 addresses split in the following way, 1,012 (73.32%) for MUN 1 and 315 (26.7%) for MUN 2. The postal code G0C1H0 will thus be considered as being part of 2 municipalities, since neither municipality has less than 50 addresses and represents less than 10%.

Note 4
Absent postal codes (new developments)

Certain postal codes can be missing, such as postal codes for recent developments and for which we do not yet have addresses in our database.

Note 5
Absent postal codes (postal address)

Other postal codes could also be missing, we are thinking here of postal codes linked strictly to postal addresses.

A citizen or a business can rent a post office box in a post office and this is regardless of their place of residence. This same post office can thus allocate a specific postal code to a series of PO boxes. For example, the Haute-Ville branch in Québec City uses about 25 postal codes to serve its different PO boxes. Therefore, the postal code G1R4R7 is dedicated to the PO boxes 460 to 460 and the postal code G1R4R8 covers the PO boxes 477 to 596.

Since these postal codes are not a collection of geographically contiguous addresses, the recipient of PO box 460 and that of box 477 can reside at completely different places, it is thus quite normal that these postal codes would be excluded from this file.

Note 6
Typographical notes

According to toponymic conventions, when place names (in all or in part) already contain a hyphen are joined to form another toponym, we use an en dash (short dash) to link them.

For example the electoral division of Westmount-Saint-Louis, the administrative region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean or the municipality of Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré.

However, in the DGEQ database, the en dash is not supported. By convention, we replace the en dash by a double hyphen "--". Therefore you will find, in their initial form in our files, the electoral division of Westmount--Saint-Louis, the administrative region of Saguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean or the municipality of Saint-Faustin--Lac-Carré.

If you wish to obtain the names of jurisdictions with an en dash, you must add a conversion step for the double hyphen to the en dash during file importing into your database.

Note 7

Ultimately, our goal is to provide the most accurate information possible. If you have comments or improvements to make, please inform us.