Provinces and territories of Canada

Provinces and territories of Canada
A map of Canada showing its 13 provinces and territories
CategoryFederated state
Number10 provinces
3 territories

The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national governments within the geographical areas of Canada under the authority of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North AmericaNew Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada (which upon Confederation was divided into Ontario and Quebec)—were united to form a federated colony, becoming a sovereign nation in the next century. Over its history, Canada's international borders have changed several times, and the country has grown from the original four provinces to the current ten provinces and three territories. Together, the provinces and territories make up the world's second-largest country by area.

Several of the provinces were former British colonies, and Quebec was originally a French colony, while others were added as Canada grew. The three territories govern the rest of the area of the former British North America.

The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly called the British North America Act, 1867), whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada. The powers flowing from the Constitution Act are divided between the Government of Canada (the federal government) and the provincial governments to exercise exclusively. A change to the division of powers between the federal government and the provinces requires a constitutional amendment, whereas a similar change affecting the territories can be performed unilaterally by the Parliament of Canada or government.

In modern Canadian constitutional theory, the provinces are considered to be sovereign within certain areas based on the divisions of responsibility between the provincial and federal government within the Constitution Act 1867, and each province thus has its own representative of the Canadian "Crown", the lieutenant governor. The territories are not sovereign, but instead their authorities and responsibilities come directly from the federal level, and as a result, have a commissioner instead of a lieutenant governor.


Arms Province Postal
Area (km2)[5] Official
Land Water Total Commons Senate
Arms of Ontario.svg Flag of Ontario.svg Ontario[b] ON
July 1, 1867
14,446,515 917,741 158,654 1,076,395 English[c] 121 24
Armoiries du Québec (blason).svg Flag of Quebec.svg Quebec QC
Quebec City
July 1, 1867
8,433,301 1,356,128 185,928 1,542,056 French[d] 78 24
Arms of Nova Scotia.svg Flag of Nova Scotia.svg Nova Scotia NS
July 1, 1867
965,382 53,338 1,946 55,284 English[f] 11 10
Arms of New Brunswick.svg Flag of New Brunswick.svg New Brunswick NB
July 1, 1867
772,094 71,450 1,458 72,908 English
10 10
Simple arms of Manitoba.svg Flag of Manitoba.svg Manitoba MB
July 15, 1870
1,360,396 553,556 94,241 647,797 English[c][h] 14 6
Arms of British Columbia.svg Flag of British Columbia.svg British Columbia BC
July 20, 1871
5,020,302 925,186 19,549 944,735 English[c] 42 6
Arms of Prince Edward Island.svg Flag of Prince Edward Island.svg Prince Edward Island PE
July 1, 1873
154,748 5,660 0 5,660 English[c] 4 4
Arms of Saskatchewan.svg Flag of Saskatchewan.svg Saskatchewan SK
September 1, 1905
1,168,423 591,670 59,366 651,036 English[c] 14 6
Shield of Alberta.svg Flag of Alberta.svg Alberta AB
September 1, 1905
4,345,737 642,317 19,531 661,848 English[c] 34 6
Simple arms of Newfoundland and Labrador.svg Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador.svg Newfoundland and Labrador NL
St. John's
March 31, 1949
523,790 373,872 31,340 405,212 English[c] 7 6
Total 37,190,668 5,490,918 572,013 6,062,931 335 102


  1. ^ As of May 10, 2016.[4]
  2. ^ Ottawa, the national capital of Canada, is located in Ontario, near its border with Quebec. However, the National Capital Region straddles the border.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g De facto; French has limited constitutional status.
  4. ^ Charter of the French Language; English has limited constitutional status.
  5. ^ Nova Scotia dissolved cities in 1996 in favour of regional municipalities; its largest regional municipality is therefore substituted.
  6. ^ Nova Scotia has very few bilingual statutes (three in English and French; one in English and Polish); some Government bodies have legislated names in both English and French.
  7. ^ Section Sixteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  8. ^ Manitoba Act.

Provincial legislature buildings

Other Languages
한국어: 캐나다의 주
日本語: カナダの州
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kanadske provincije i teritorije