Vancouver Island 1881 Census

Sub Districts   Map

In the 1881 census of Canada, Vancouver Island and adjacent Gulf Islands were enumerated in three large census districts: New Westminster (District 187), Victoria (District 190) and Vancouver (District 191). The districts covered the following regions.

You can also view census districts on an interactive page.

North Island (District 187)   Map

The northern end of the Island was enumerated as sub-district D4 in Census District 187 (New Westminster). This sub-district formed part of the Kwawkewlth Indian Agency. The sub-district extended from Quatsino Sound on the northwest coast of the Island, up to Cape Scott and down along the northeast coast to the entrance of Johnstone Strait. The Kwakwakwakawakw people — also known as Kwawkewelth and Kwakiutl — were enumerated here by George Blenkinsop, the federal government official responsible for the Kwawkewlth Agency. Blenkinsop identified 14 separate "tribes" and nearly 400 households or families. He also recorded half a dozen non-native households, including his own, at Fort Rupert and at Alert Bay on Cormoront Island. More information about this sub-district is provided on the First Nations page.

In the 1881 census, the population of this sub-district was 1,215.

Victoria (District 190)   Map

The city of Victoria constituted Census District 190. The city was divided into 3 sub-districts, which corresponded to the city's 3 wards — Yates Street Ward (190A), Johnson Street Ward (190B), and James Bay Ward (190C). The outlying areas were enumerated as Victoria District (190E) and Esquimalt & Methchosin (190D). For more information on sub-districts in the capital region, see the Victoria District page.

In the 1881 census, the population of Victoria (District 190) was 7,295.

Vancouver (District 191)   Map

This district covered nearly all of Vancouver Island beyond the city and district of Victoria. It included the Saanich peninsula and the Gulf Islands, farming communities in the Cowichan and Comox Valleys, and the city of Nanaimo. For a more detailed description of the sub-districts, please see the notes on Vancouver District. Census District 191 also included major sub-districts in the West Coast Indian Agency and the Cowichan Indian Agency. Information on how the aboriginal people in these agencies were enumerated is provided on the First Nations page.

In the 1881 census, the population of District 191 (Vancouver) was 10,113.