Abbreviations of Provinces and Territories in Canada

How to Address an Envelope or Parcel

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Munroe, Susan. "Abbreviations of Provinces and Territories in Canada." ThoughtCo, Sep. 21, 2017, thoughtco.com/abbreviations-of-canadian-provinces-510809. Munroe, Susan. (2017, September 21). Abbreviations of Provinces and Territories in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/abbreviations-of-canadian-provinces-510809 Munroe, Susan. "Abbreviations of Provinces and Territories in Canada." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/abbreviations-of-canadian-provinces-510809 (accessed September 24, 2017).
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Accurate addresses do not just help lower costs by eliminated redelivery and extra handling, being accurate reduces the carbon footprint of mail delivery and gets mail where it needs to go quicker. It helps to know the correct two-letter province and territory abbreviations if sending mail in Canada.

Accepted Postal Abbreviations for Provinces and Territories

These are the two-letter abbreviations for Canadian provinces and territories that are recognized by Canada Post on mail-in Canada.

The country is divided into administrative divisions known as provinces and territories. The ten provinces are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The three territories are Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.

Province/TerritoryAbbreviation
AlbertaAB
British ColumbiaBC
ManitobaMB
New BrunswickNB
Newfoundland and LabradorNL
Northwest TerritoriesNT
Nova ScotiaNS
NunavutNU
OntarioON
Prince Edward IslandPE
QuebecQC
SaskatchewanSK
YukonYT

Canada Post has specific postal code rules. Postal codes are an alphanumeric number, similar to a zip code in the United States. They are used for mailing, sorting and delivering the mail in Canada and are handy for other information about your area.

Similar to Canada, the U.S. Postal Service uses two-letter postal abbreviations for the states of the U.S.

Mail Format

Any letter sent within Canada has the destination address of the center of its envelope with a stamp or meter label on the top right corner of the envelope.

A return address, although not required, can be put on the top left corner or the back of the envelope.

The address should be printed in uppercase letters or an easy-to-read typeface. The first lines of the address contain the personal name or internal address of the recipient. The second to the last line is the post office box and street address.

The last line consists of the legal place name, a single space, the two-letter province abbreviation, two full spaces, and then the postal code. If within Canada, a country designation is not necessary.

More About the Canada Post

Canada Post Corporation, known more simply as Canada Post, is the crown corporation that functions as the country's primary postal operator. Originally known as Royal Mail Canada, which had been founded in 1867, it had been rebranded as Canada Post in the 1960s. Officially, on October 16, 1981, the Canada Post Corporation Act came into effect. This abolished the Post Office Department and created the present day crown corporation. The act aimed to set a new direction for the postal service by ensuring the postal service's financial security and independence.