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: https://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/manual/PGaddress-e.asp?ecid=murl10006450
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:
|Province/Territory||Internationally approved alpha code (Source: Canada Post)|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||NL|
|Prince Edward Island||PE|