Data & Software


Statistics Canada has an official listing of data available through the RDC program which includes links to full online documentation for each survey.

Statistics Canada data list

The web page of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network maintains a complete listing of currently available surveys as well as pilot projects for administrative and other data that may be offered.

RDC listing of currently available surveys

  • Cross-sectional surveys
  • Longitudinal surveys
  • Census
  • Pilot projects

Data Liberation Initiative (DLI)

The DLI is a partnership between post-secondary institutions and Statistics Canada for improving access to Canadian data resources. As a participating institution of the DLI, Western provides access to a large collection of Public Use Microdata files (PUMFs) and a special collection of aggregate data tables.

Using this resource is beneficial in several ways. Researchers can download PUMF files for datasets they are interested in working with, which may be suitable for their analyses depending on the scope of their research. For those researchers who will go on to use the microdata master files available in the RDC, they can use the PUMF files to familiarize themselves with the data they will work with. Through DLI, researchers also have access to publicly available, non-confidential versions of codebooks corresponding to the RDC master files. This can assist researchers with preparing proposals and developing syntax in advance of an approved project.

DLI data may be accessed through Odesi or through the Statistics Canada Nesstar server. Please note that whichever system is used, the researcher must have a university IP address from a participating institution in order to obtain access.

At the University of Windsor DLI data is available through the Leddy Library – Academic Data Centre.

Frequently Asked RDC Questions (StatsCan)

Guidelines for RDC research papers (StatsCan)

Real Time Remote Access (RTRA) System

The RTRA system is an on-line remote access facility allowing users to run SAS programs, in real-time, against microdata sets located in a central and secure location. A full range of descriptive statistics is available through the Real Time Remote Access tool. RTRA users can calculate frequencies, means, percentiles, proportions, ratios, and shares.

Researchers using the RTRA system do not gain direct access to the microdata and cannot view the content of the microdata file. Instead, users submit SAS programs to extract results in the form of frequency tables. As RTRA researchers cannot view the microdata, becoming a deemed employees of Statistics Canada is no longer necessary. This relationship is the basis that allows the RTRA to service its clients rapidly. For information on how to apply, please visit the Statistics Canada process and guidelines.

Lastly, if there is a Statistics Canada data set you would like to access that isn't on either list, contact us at and we will see what your options are - surveys are added regularly.


There are six workstations in the RDC containing the following software:
R Statistics
R Studio
Microsoft Office

Additional software can be ordered as needed upon request.