What Is A Civic Number?

What Is A Civic Number
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Each residential and commercial property in Canada is given a unique number called a “civic number” by the local municipality. This number is used to identify the property and facilitate emergency services.

The civic number, street name, and postal code make up a property’s complete postal address. The civic number is typically displayed on the front of the building or property and is used to identify the property’s location.

A civic number forms the first part of a civic address, followed by the street name and municipality name. For example, a house with the civic number 1410 might have a civic address that looks like 1410 Church Street West, Norfolk County.

Finding Your Civic Number

If you are wondering how to find your civic number, you can check your property tax bill, your home insurance policy, or the deeds and title for the property. You can also contact your local municipal office for help finding your civic number. They may have an online search tool, or you can reach out to them by phone or email to request the information.

You can use mapping websites such as Google Maps, which often displays the civic number along with the street address. If all else fails, you can try finding your civic number by physically checking the address on your mailbox or on the exterior of the building.

What Is The Use Of A Civic Number?

Civic numbers are essential to Canada’s addressing system and serve a number of significant functions. The primary benefit is that they help emergency services quickly locate a property in the event of an accident. Canada Post also uses them to deliver mail accurately.

The civic number is also used to identify a specific property for property-related transactions, such as buying, selling, and transferring ownership. It is used to identify the property for property tax purposes, and the local government uses it to send tax bills to the property owner.

In case of an emergency evacuation, the civic number helps emergency services determine which properties are affected and need to be evacuated. The civic number is utilized for a number of administrative tasks, including zoning, planning, and property assessment.

The History Of Civic Addressing

The history of civic addressing in Canada can be traced back to the early 1800s. In the early days, properties were often identified by the name of the property owner or by descriptive landmarks rather than by a formal address system. This made it difficult for mail delivery and emergency services to locate properties accurately.

In the late 1800s, the city of Ottawa began to establish a more formal addressing system. The first civic addressing system in Ottawa was implemented in 1887. It involved numbering properties along main streets, with odd numbers on one side and even numbers on the other. In 1900, the city began assigning civic numbers to properties on all streets.

Over the years, the city continued to improve and update its civic addressing system. In the mid-1960s, the city standardized the numbering system for new developments and subdivisions. This allowed for a more consistent and efficient addressing system across the city.

Today, the civic addressing system remains an important part of Ottawa’s infrastructure. It ensures that properties are accurately located and identified for a variety of purposes.


Since its early days, the civic number has played a crucial role in helping emergency services, mail delivery, and other services accurately locate properties. Back then, properties were frequently identified by name or descriptive landmarks.

In its current state as a standardized and efficient numbering system, the civic number continues to be essential to functioning emergency services, mail delivery, and other services, helping them accurately locate properties. It is essential for property-related transactions, taxation, emergency evacuation, and administrative purposes.

The civic addressing system in Canada continues to evolve and improve, ensuring that properties are properly identified and located for various purposes.

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