Age of Majority in Canada With List by Province

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The age of majority in Canada is the age at which a person is considered by law to be an adult. A person younger than the age of majority is considered a "minor child." Like the drinking age, the age of majority in Canada is determined by each province and territory in Canada and varies between the ages of 18 and 19.

At the age of majority, the responsibility of parents, guardians, or child protective services generally ends. However, child support is determined by the court or agreement for each case and therefore may continue past the age of majority. Upon reaching the age of majority, the new adult now has the right to vote. Other rights may be achieved at younger ages, while some are reserved for ages past the age of majority.

Age of Majority by Province or Territory in Canada

The age of majority in the individual provinces and territories of Canada is as follows:

Legal Age in Canada

The legal age is set for various rights and activities and is also known as the age of license. It may or may not match the age of majority in a province or territory. Even when it does, there may be other conditions such as mental capacity that can restrict some individuals. Legal ages also often differ as to whether the individual needs the consent of a parent or guardian or not for an activity.

It is important to check the laws and regulations of each jurisdiction to find the applicable legal age for an activity. Because the age of majority varies between 18 and 19, nationwide programs such as sweepstakes often limit entry to age 19 for consistency.

Criminal responsibility begins at age 12 in Canada, with individuals protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act until age 17. By age 14, a youth could be sentenced as an adult.

The right to work begins at age 12, with the consent of a parent or guardian. At age 15, the individual can work without the need for consent. However, a person is not entitled to a full minimum wage until age 18. Joining the armed forces is allowed with parental consent at age 17 and without consent at age 19.

The legal age is as low as 12 for the right of consent for being adopted, working with the consent of parent or guardian, or name changes with permission of the parent or guardian.

Age of Consent for Sexual Activity in Canada

The general age of consent in Canada in 16. However, there are exemptions for close-in-age sexual activity, which depend on the age of the younger partner. At age 12 and 13, an individual can consent to activity with a person no more than two years older. At age 14 and 15, a person may consent to activity with another person less than five years older.