January 28, 2013 8:38 am
Updated: January 23, 2014 12:50 pm

Graphic Monday: Lesbian and gay couples by census tract

A rainbow flag is held by marchers in the annual Pride parade in Vancouver's West End.


Lesbian and gay couples segregate from each other by neighbourhood in Quebec much more than in the rest of Canada, census data shows.

In Canada overall, of 399 census tracts with a high number of gay male couples, defined as more than 20 gay couples per 1,000 of population, 179 had no lesbian couples. Of these, 101, or 56%, were in Quebec – 81 in Montreal, 12 in Quebec City, and the rest in smaller centres.

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That’s a pattern it’s hard to see elsewhere in the country. In other Canadian cities, lesbians and gay men show much more of a tendency to share the same geography.

Canada’s highest census tract for gay male couples, a dozen or so blocks on the west side of Church St. centred on Wellesley St. W. in Toronto, has 255 gay couples and 30 lesbian couples. Montreal’s top census tract for gay couples (west of Boul. Rene-Levesque and Papineau Ave.), on the other hand, has no lesbian couples.

Of Montreal’s 20 highest census tracts for gay couples, 14 have no lesbian couples. The equivalent number in Toronto is seven, and in Vancouver, six.

The data, the most recent available, comes from the 2006 census. Global added the totals of common-law and married same-sex couples to calculate a rate.

In 2011, Statistics Canada asked a question designed to count same-sex households, but the question was poorly designed and didn’t distinguish clearly between same-sex couples and two people of the same sex sharing accomodation. At the last minute (actually the morning of the census release), StatsCan decided not to release the data. Global’s efforts to pry it loose with an access-to-information request were unsuccessful, in the end.

Use the search window to see data for other Canadian cities.

Same-sex couples: Toronto, 2006 »

Same-sex couples: Toronto, 2006

Same-sex couples: Vancouver, 2006 »

Same-sex couples: Vancouver, 2006

Same-sex couples: Montreal, 2006 »

Same-sex couples: Montreal, 2006

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