Rural municipality (Canada)


A rural municipality, often abbreviated RM, is a type of municipal status in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,[1] and Prince Edward Island.[2] In other provinces, such as Alberta and Nova Scotia, the term refers to municipal districts that are not explicitly urban, rather than being a distinct type of municipality.[3][4]


The Municipal Ordinance of 1883 was enacted by the then North-West Territories to provide services to a rural area and provide some means of municipal governing. Saskatchewan and Alberta became provinces in 1905. The Government of the North-West Territories issued Statute Labour Ordinance (1897) and sets of fire districts, statute labour and fire (SLF) districts or statute labour districts. Community residents could pay taxes or supply a couple days per quarter section labour constructing roads, bridges, fireguards instead of paying taxes. Prairie fires in the 19th century were devastating affairs. Fire districts were later called local improvement districts that were later reformed into rural municipalities.

In Saskatchewan, local improvement districts (1898) were the precursors of rural municipalities. Discontinuance of local improvement districts in favour of smaller rural municipalities began on December 13, 1909. Typically, a rural municipality consists of about nine townships, each six miles by six miles in area. Settled areas of denser populations could form urban municipalities such as villages, towns and cities. In northern Saskatchewan, the large Northern Local Improvement District was replaced by the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District in 1972, and was not subdivided into smaller rural municipalities.

Rural municipalities by provinceEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Municipalities Act, SS 2005, c M-36.1, s 49.
  2. ^ "Municipal Government Act PEI" (PDF). Government of Prince Edward Island. December 23, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Types of Municipalities in Alberta". Alberta Municipal Affairs. December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "The Establishment of Elective Rural Municipal Government in Nova Scotia" (PDF). Government of Nova Scotia: Department of Municipal Affairs. pp. 1, 2. Retrieved December 29, 2016.

External linksEdit

  • History: The Beginning of Municipal Government in Saskatchewan – Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
  • Saskatchewan Gen Web - One Room School Project - Evolution