Canadian Addresses

Lisa C. Daily Life, Newcomer Information

For newcomers, learning how to correctly write and understand English addresses is a practical skill that you need the moment you land in Canada.

Today, let’s learn the basics about Canadian addresses!

The structure of a Canadian address

An address is made up of 5 different parts. Let’s use this address as an example:

Unit 530, 910 7 Ave. SW, Calgary, AB  T2P 3N8
1. Unit 530 is the unit, room or office number.
  • This is optional. If it is the address of a house, there won’t be a unit, room or office number.
  • Sometimes to shorten it, the unit number is put before the civic number with a dash behind it: 530 – 910 7 Ave. SW, Calgary AB T2P 3N8
2. 910 is the civic number.
  • Civic number is the number that the City of Calgary assigns to a house or building.
3. 7 Ave. SW is the street name. Here are some common abbreviations you will encounter in Calgary and other Canadian cities:
  • Ave. = Avenue; St. = Street; Rd. = Road; Blvd. = Boulevard
  • SW = Southwest; NW = Northwest; SE = Southeast; NE = Northeast
4. Calgary, AB: the city followed by the province.
  • AB stands for Alberta, ON stands for Ontario, BC stands for British Columbia, and QC stands for Quebec, etc.
  • See Appendix 1 for other provinces and territories.
5. T2P 3N8 is the zip code or postal code.
  • In Canada, the postal code is a 6-character alphanumeric code in the form “ANA NAN”, where “A” stands for an alphabet, and “N” stands for a number.

Canada Post’s has specific Addressing Guidelines. If you are mailing a letter or parcel, it’s better to follow these guidelines:

In real life, however, many Canadians don’t follow the strict rules. You can write an address in one single line or break it into two lines.

Sometimes, you see “Buzz #” in an address, click below to learn about:


Appendix 1:

Province/TerritoryInternationally approved alpha code (Source: Canada Post)
Newfoundland and LabradorNL
Prince Edward IslandPE
Nova ScotiaNS
New BrunswickNB
British ColumbiaBC
Northwest TerritoriesNT