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abbreviations: geographical names

The names of provinces, territories and districts may be abbreviated when they follow the name of a city, town, village or geographical feature:

  • Wawa, Ont.
  • Mount Robson, B.C.

It is not necessary to use the provincial abbreviation after the names of well-known cities such as Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Fredericton. However, since the same name is often shared by several places in Canada and other parts of the English-speaking world (e.g. Perth, Windsor, Hamilton), add the appropriate abbreviation in cases where doubt could arise.

The following abbreviations are used officially for the names of provinces and territories in Canada. The right-hand column lists the two-character symbols recommended by Canada Post for use with mailing addresses. For other purposes, use the traditional provincial abbreviations:

Abbreviations for names of Canadian provinces and territories
Province Traditional Canada Post
Alberta Alta. AB
British Columbia B.C. BC
Manitoba Man. MB
New Brunswick N.B. NB
Newfoundland and Labrador N.L. NL
Northwest Territories N.W.T. NT
Nova Scotia N.S. NS
Nunavut [See note] NU
Ontario Ont. ON
Prince Edward Island P.E.I. PE
Quebec Que. QC
Saskatchewan Sask. SK
Yukon Y.T. YT

Do not abbreviate words such as County, Fort, Mount, North, Point, Island, Port and Saint used as part of a proper noun, unless the official name for the location shows the abbreviated form:

  • Fort Garry
  • Point Pelee
  • Sable Island
  • Port Radium
  • Saint John, N.B.
  • St. John’s, N.L.

Note

No traditional abbreviation for the name Nunavut has been officially established as yet. Until the territory’s toponomy authority makes a decision, the name of the territory must not be abbreviated.

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