When a whole city changes…

In order to provide data products for Canada that are complete, accurate and current, it is important to continually invest in identifying the best sources of information possible and bringing them together to create key layers such as streetfiles, postal codes and address points.

Each quarter DMTI follows this process  to identify areas to work on ranging from new subdivisions to urbanizing rural areas.  Typically, the number of changes per area ranges from a few to a few hundred.

Occasionally, we encounter a scenario where a municipality goes through so much change that it appears that nearly everything is affected — from the street name to the postal codes that provide mail to their residents and businesses.

One recent examples of this is Shawinigan, QC.

Shawinigan is a city located on the Saint-Maurice River in the Mauricie area in Quebec, Canada and had a population of 50,060 as of the Canada 2011 Census as per Wikipedia and 26,230 private dwellings occupied by usual residents.

As part of our focus on Canada, we are continually updating and comparing three (3) main sources of information:  streets, postal codes and addresses.

Our data team compared the latest Canada Post data against the current database and saw that in Shawinigan, QC – many addresses suddenly fell out due to changes.

An investigation revealed that the municipality had recently changed most of their addresses and soon was going to change many more.  The Canada Post data was actually showing only about half of the changes.   In all, nearly the whole municipality will be affected.

As part of our process, we compared this finding against additional sources to fact check this change and agreed that we make the city-wide changes to our data as soon as possible.

This would result in some Canada Post fallout within the product but this would be less if we waited until the entire municipality was changed,  allowing us to be ahead of the curve and in step with the municipality.

Due to the scope of the changes (an entire municipality!) – the entire data team banded together and got this update into our upcoming Aug 2016.3 data release because of how important it is to ensure our products are in alignment.

Congratulations Data Team, and thank you for your on-going commitment to data quality and currency and all of the other changes that went into this release!