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How Do You Write A Canadian Address: Complete Guide (2024)

Aman Chopra
July 16, 2024

How do you write a Canadian address?” It is a question that many shippers ask. You don’t have to worry if you feel like wrangling when writing a Canadian address!

This guide is your key to mastering Canadian address formatting! Let us transform you from a stampeding rooking to a smooth-sailing mail maestro.

Key Takeaways

  • Correct formatting is crucial for Canadian addresses. Adhere to Canadian address format meticulously to ensure timely and accurate delivery.

  • Addressing personal and business envelopes differs. The core format is still the same. However, personal envelopes focus on the individual’s name and address. Meanwhile, business envelopes may include the company name and specific recipients within the organization.

How Do I Write A Canadian Mailing Address On Personal Envelopes

Writing Canadian addresses on personal envelopes is a breeze! Here’s how to do it like a pro:

1. Print the Name of the Recipient

Place the recipient’s name on the first line when addressing an envelope. Ensure the name is at the centre with the same space at the top and bottom for a balanced look. Write the name in uppercase letters because this enhances readability.

Before the name, you can also include applicable honorific titles (such as Mr., Mrs., or Dr., among others). Additionally, you must write the recipient’s full name as you know it.


  • JANE DOE (no title)|

  • MR. JOHN SMITH (with title)

  • DR. AMY LEE (with title)

2. Include the Apartment Number and Street Address on the Next Line

The following line’s apartment number and street address are vital to the Canada address format. After writing the recipient’s name on the first line, move to the next one. If you’re including an apartment number, write it first, followed by a hyphen to separate it from the street number.

Next, add the street number, followed by the complete street name. After the street name, include directional suffixes, such as NW for Northwest.


DR. JANE DOE, MD (Optional – Recipient Name)
305-123 MAIN ST NW (Apartment Number-Street Number-Street Name-Directional)

3. Determine the Proper Postal Code and Province or Territory

Each region in Canada has its postal code. Determining the Canadian postcodes is essential to ensure the mail goes to the right person. If you’re corresponding with someone, the easiest way to do so is to ask them for their complete mailing address. If you know the recipient’s city and province, you can search online to find the specific code using this format:

“[city name], [province abbreviation],” and “postal code”

Canada Post offers a postal code lookup tool. In this tool, you can enter an address or partial information to find the correct code.

How To Write Postal Address

The postal address goes on the 3rd line of the envelope, next to the recipient’s name and street address. Start with the city name, followed by a space and the province abbreviation in uppercase letters. Leave two spaces between the province abbreviation and the postal code.

Remember to write them in uppercase letters with a space separating the first three characters from the last three.


JANE DOE (Optional – Recipient Name)
305-123 MAIN ST NW (Apartment Number-Street Number-Street Name-Directional)
OTTAWA ON K1A 0B1 (City-Province-Space-Space-Postal Code)

4. Include Canada on the Last Line

You can skip the “CANADA” line entirely for domestic mail within Canada. However, if you include “CANADA” on the last line, write it in uppercase letters for consistency with the rest of the address.

5. Write Your Return Address

The return address follows the same Canadian address format as the recipient’s. The only difference is where you place them. The return address is in the top left corner of the envelope, separate from the recipient address on the front. Write your full name in uppercase letters on the first line.

On the second line, write your street address. Remember to include the apartment number (if any) with a hyphen. The street number, street name, and optional directional suffix follow this. The third line includes your city name, followed by a space, then the province abbreviation, and two spaces before the postal code, all in uppercase.

How to Include an Address in a Business Envelope

There are two ways to include an address in a business envelope: 1) to a specific person and 2) to the company itself:

Addressing A Specific Person

The Canada address format requires this specific template for readability:

1. Recipient’s Name

Center the recipient’s name on the first line of the envelope. Include titles like Mr., Ms., or Dr. if you know them.

2. Company Name

On the second line, write the company name if it’s relevant to help with internal mail sorting.

3. Street Address

The third line is for the complete address, including the apartment number (with a hyphen) and any directional suffixes (NW, SE, etc.). The address lines can be more than one, depending on the length of the mailing addresses.

4. City, Province or Territory, Postal Codes

The fourth line should have the city name, followed by a space, then the province abbreviation (ON, BC, etc.), and two spaces before the postal code. Add the correct postal code to avoid delays and issues along the delivery.


123 MAIN ST NW APT 404

Addressing A Company

1. Company Name

Center the complete company name on the first line of the envelope.

2. Civic Address

The second line is for the complete address, including the apartment number (with a hyphen) and any directional suffixes (NW, SE, etc.).

3. City, Province or Territory, Postal Codes

The third line should have the city name, followed by a space, then the province abbreviation (ON, BC, etc.), and two spaces before the postal code.

Address Placement Guidelines

Standard Envelope

Canada Post's standard envelope address placement guides

Graphic Placement Guidelines

Canada Post's graphic placement guidelines

On A Large Envelope

Canada Post's address placement guidelines on a long envelope

How Do You Write A Mailing Address With The Correct Standard Format From Canada Post

Here are addressing guidelines when following the correct standard format from Canada Post:

  • Write the street address in capital letters.

  • You must also write the postal codes in uppercase letters. Don’t forget to separate the first 3 characters from the last 3 with 1 space. You should not put hyphens, as this can create possible setbacks.

  • Write the cities or municipalities, provinces or territories, and postal codes within the same line.

  • Put a space between the province (or territory) and the postal code and two spaces between the municipality and the province (or territory).

  • Punctuation should only be used when part of a proper name, such as ST. JOHN’S.

  • Place the return address in the upper-left corner of the envelope or package (or at the top on the item’s back) after formatting it as the destination address.

Canadian Civic Addresses

Canadian civic address visual examples

a. Write the title, floor, and other relevant delivery information above the civic address.

b. Place a hyphen between the civic number and the unit number.

c. If there is a civic number suffix (e.g., 123A), use one space; otherwise, do not use a space.

d. Put two spaces between the provincial symbol and the postal addresses.

United State Addresses

US addresses visual example

a. Indicate the city’s complete name.

b. Separate the state symbol from the city by 1 space.

c. Separate the zip code from the state symbol by 2 spaces.

d. Instead of using the entire state name, use the two-character state symbol.

e. A zip code is either 5 or 9 digits long. If it’s 9 digits long, a hyphen separates the 5th and 6th digits.

International Addresses

international address visual example

a. Be sure to correctly write the country name so the post office’s equipment can read it.

b. Verify that the country’s name appears alone and is the last entry in the address block, below the postal code or zip code and the city name. Write the country’s name in capital letters and its whole (e.g., write UNITED KINGDOM and not the UK).

What Happens If You Don’t Follow The Correct Format?

Here’s what might happen if you don’t follow the correct standard format when writing a Canadian address:

Potential Delivery Delay

The most common consequence is a delay in delivery. Post office sorting machines rely heavily on the standardized format to read and sort mail efficiently. Changes in the format can slow down the sorting process and extend the delivery time.

Meanwhile, let us say that the address contains errors or doesn’t follow the format. Postal workers must manually sort it, which can further delay delivery.

Failed Delivery

In worst-case scenarios, the mail might be undeliverable if the address has significant errors or missing details. This situation could lead to the mail being returned to the sender or even discarded.

Extra Costs

In some cases, Canada Post might charge surcharges for incorrectly formatted mail. This is because it requires additional handling and potential correction efforts.

How To Avoid These Issues

Here’s how to avoid common mistakes when writing a Canadian address:

Follow The Format

Remember the standard structure. Be sure you have an accurate address, including apartment numbers, directional suffixes, and the correct province abbreviation. These details are often forgotten.

Use Uppercase

Write the entire address in uppercase letters for optimal readability by sorting machines. This helps avoid misinterpretations.

Skip Punctuation (Mostly)

Generally, avoid punctuation marks. Periods are only acceptable in abbreviations or for proper names (like St. John’s).

Ditch The Hashtag (#)

Don’t use “#” for apartment numbers. Instead, write them out as “NUMBER” or include a hyphen (e.g., 305-123A).

Verify Canadian Postal Codes and Addresses

Only include “CANADA” on the last line for mail going to other countries. Skip it for domestic mail within Canada.

Experience Hassle-Free Shipping With Stallion

With Stallion’s advanced systems, you don’t have to worry about not being able to follow the correct format! You only need to fill out the forms correctly and let Stallion do its job. As long as you input the correct details, you can ensure the packages arrive at their destination securely and on schedule.

Stallion offers competitive shipping rates. This perk translates to significant business cost savings, allowing you to provide competitive pricing to your customers.

You can easily see the rates on their website with the help of a shipping calculator. It provides upfront costs based on weight, dimensions, and destination. Stallion has no hidden fees or surprise charges, making budgeting for shipping costs easier.

Seamless Shipping Process:

  1. Only sellers and businesses with Stallion accounts can take advantage of the benefits. Thus, remember to create an account first. Don’t worry because registration is free.

  2. Once you’re in the dashboard, feel free to navigate around. The platform is easy to use, so hover to familiarize yourself with your account. Once you’re done, start creating a shipment. Note: you can also import your shipments from your online store via Stallion’s integration platform.

  3. Input all the details about your package, including package weight, dimensions, and destination.

  4. Pay for the shipping fees.

  5. Choose to drop off or schedule a pickup.

Once Stallion has the packages, you can wait for them to arrive at their destination. We will complete the rest of the process, including the customs clearance for cross-border and international shipping.

As A Summary

Conquer the Canadian mail maze with Stallion’s guide! Taming those pesky address lines is a breeze with our clear instructions. From uppercasing the characters to including that postal code, you’ll quickly ship parcels and letters. So, saddle up, grab your envelope, and let Stallion help your mail gallop straight to its destination.

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

Get Started Today.  Sign Up for Free!
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