Reclassification and Renaming of the Corporation of Delta from a District to a City


The Alternative Approval Process to obtain approval from Delta citizens to change Delta’s classification is now closed. The results of the Alternative Approval Process will be presented at the May 15, 2017 Regular Meeting of Delta Council. Thank you to all residents for their participation and feedback during this process.


Delta is seeking to change its classification and name from a District Municipality to a City. This process includes the use of an Alternative Approval Process to obtain elector approval to change Delta’s classification. For clarity, the proposal is to change Delta’s name from ‘The Corporation of Delta’ to ‘City of Delta’ – Delta would remain a municipality.

Council is pursuing a change in its classification and name to clarify its identity and role as a local government. Often, organizations and individuals incorrectly identify Delta as a private business, due to “the Corporation” being included in its name. All municipalities are legal corporations, but Delta is the only municipality in British Columbia that actually calls itself the Corporation. In an effort to clarify Delta’s identity as a key municipality within Metro Vancouver, Delta is seeking to change its classification from a District municipality to a City and accordingly update its name by Letters Patent to the “City of Delta”.

By statute, to be considered a City, a municipality must have a population of over 5,000. The current population of Delta exceeds 98,000.

Anticipated Benefits

If the reclassification is successful key considerations and impacts include:

Official name change from The Corporation of Delta to the City of Delta

  • Classification to a City increases recognition of Delta as a local government and municipality; helping alleviate assumptions Delta is a private corporation/business
  • Name change will boost Delta’s municipal profile and identity and is consistent with naming conventions for most Lower Mainland municipalities
  • Supports simplification of Delta’s official name (from the Corporation of Delta to City of Delta)
  • Supports Delta’s economic development, including the South Delta Sustainability Strategy, as cities are more identifiable than Districts
  • Classification change does not impact Delta’s access to grant funding from senior levels of government, as these are based on population

Project cost estimated at $5,000, which includes newspaper advertising and other municipal communications. Should this project  be successful and Delta proceeds with changing its classification and name, there will be no impact to taxes or any additional taxes.

Recent Reclassification Examples & Costs

In recent years, both Maple Ridge (September 2014) and West Kelowna (January 2015) have successfully reclassified and renamed themselves from a District Municipality to a City. Both of these municipalities cited their reclassification costs at $3,000, noting expenses were kept minimal (mostly staff time and advertising) by using the Alternative Approval Process to obtain elector approval, rather than a referendum. To save unnecessary costs related to their classification and City name change, both Maple Ridge and West Kelowna also adopted a phased-in approach of updating their stationery as supplies diminish and require replenishment.

Similar to Maple Ridge and West Kelowna, Delta's budget strategy is focused on minimizing costs and the timeframe associated with seeking to change its classification and name; a process estimated to cost Delta a total of $5,000. In terms of updating Delta’s signage and stationery, much of Delta’s bulrush branding does not include or state "the Corporation of", and instead simply indicates “Delta”, which also helps towards cost savings for this project. For instance, most of Delta’s parks and facilities signage along with vehicle fleet branding do not require updates, as these items are already advertised with the Delta bulrush brand.

Results of Alternative Approval Process

Results of the Alternative Approval Process for this project will be reported at the May 15, 2017 Regular Meeting of Council.

Delta estimates that 6,993 represents the number of electors who must submit signed elector response forms in order to prevent Council from applying for a change of classification from a District Municipality to a City. If Delta receives less than 6,993 elector response forms opposing Delta’s classification change, Council may apply to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to change the classification of Delta from a District Municipality to a City. If 10% of the electors sign and submit elector response forms by the March 31, 2017, 4:00 pm deadline, Council must obtain assent of the electors before proceeding.

Reports & Related Documents

Copies of staff reports related to this matter are available for public inspection at the Municipal Hall, North and South Delta Recreation Centres and Ladner Leisure Centre, during regular business hours, as well as through the links below.


If you have questions or inquires regarding this project, please contact the Chief Administrative Office by telephone at 604-946-3212 or email

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