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Published by at January 16th, 2024 , Revised On January 23, 2024

How To Write Date In Canada – An Easy Cheat Sheet

Canadians are a friendly bunch, known for their love of hockey, Timbits, and saying “sorry” even when they haven’t done anything wrong. But there is one thing that can trip them up sometimes: writing dates.

Whether you are filling out a form, writing a formal document, or just sending a casual email, knowing how to write date in Canada can be a bit confusing. That’s where this handy cheat sheet comes in!

General Date Format In Canada

In Canada, the date format follows a distinct pattern that might differ from what you are accustomed to in other parts of the world. Understanding and adhering to this format is crucial for clear communication and proper documentation.

How To Write Date In Canada Properly

The standard date format in Canada prioritizes clarity and consistency. Unlike the month-day-year format prevalent in the United States, Canada opts for a day-month-year sequence. This means that when writing a date, you start with the day, followed by the month and year.

For example, if the date is January 4, 2024, it would be written as 04-01-2024 in the Canadian format. This format is widely accepted and utilized across various official documents, publications, and everyday communication.


  • Always represented by two digits.
  • Leading zeros are used for single-digit days, ensuring a consistent two-digit format.


  • Also presented with two digits.
  • Months are often abbreviated, and it’s essential to be familiar with these abbreviations for accurate date writing.


  • The year follows the month and is represented by four digits.
  • This four-digit year representation helps avoid any ambiguity, especially when dealing with historical or future dates.

Formal Vs Informal Writing

In formal writing, such as legal documents, dissertations, theses, or business letters, it’s always best to stick to the ISO 8601 format. However, in informal writing, like emails or social media posts, you can use a more abbreviated format. Here are a few options:

  • Short format: DD/MM/YYYY (e.g., 26/10/2023)
  • Long format: The [day of the week], [month] [day], [year] (e.g., Thursday, October 26, 2023)
  • Ordinal numbers: You can use ordinal numbers for the day of the month (e.g., 26th of October, 2023).

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Writing Months In Canada

  • In Canada, months are commonly abbreviated to maintain brevity and consistency.
  • The standard practice involves using the first three letters of each month. For instance, January becomes “Jan,” February becomes “Feb,” and so on.
  • When months share the same initial three letters (e.g., March and May), additional letters may be included to avoid confusion. For March, “Mar” is used, while May is abbreviated as “May.”
  • It is crucial to consistently use these abbreviations, whether in formal documents, casual writing, or digital communication. Consistency aids in clarity and ensures a standardized approach to date representation.

Time Zones

Canada has six time zones. If you are writing a date and time that needs to be clear for everyone, be sure to specify the time zone. You can use the following abbreviations:

  • Atlantic Time (AT)
  • Newfoundland Standard Time (NST)
  • Eastern Time (ET)
  • Central Time (CT)
  • Mountain Time (MT)
  • Pacific Time (PT)

Tips And Tricks On How To Write Date In Canada

Here are a few tips to help you understand how to write date in Canada better.

  • Use commas: When writing out the date in a long format, use commas after the day of the week and month. (e.g., Tuesday, January 10, 2024)
  • No leading zeros: You do not need to add a leading zero to the day or month unless it’s the first day of the month (e.g., 10/01/2024).
  • Avoid abbreviations: It is best to avoid abbreviations for months unless you’re absolutely sure the reader will understand them.

Bonus: French Dates In Canada

Canada is a bilingual country, so it’s worth knowing how to write date in French as well. Here are the basics:

  • French format: jour-mois-année (e.g., 26 octobre 2023)
  • Months: French months are not capitalized (e.g., octobre, novembre, décembre)
  • Days of the week: Days of the week are lowercase in French (e.g., lundi, mardi, mercredi)

Frequently Asked Questions

In Canada, the date is typically written in the format of day-month-year, following the British convention. For example, January 4, 2024, would be written as 04-01-2024. However, the month-day-year format (e.g., 01/04/2024) is also commonly used, especially in digital communication and official documents.

In English Canada, the date is commonly written in the day-month-year format. For instance, January 4, 2024, is written as 4/1/2024 or 04-01-2024. However, the month-day-year format (e.g., 01/04/2024) is also widely accepted.

Dates are often written in numeric format as day-month-year. For example, January 4, 2024, can be represented as 04-01-2024 or 4/1/2024. The month-day-year format (e.g., 01/04/2024) is also commonly used.

In Canada, the date of birth is typically written in the day-month-year format. For instance, if someone was born on January 4, 1990, it would be written as 04-01-1990 or 4/1/1990.

The short form of the date commonly follows the day-month-year format. For example, January 4, 2024, is often abbreviated as 04-01-24 or 4/1/24, with the day and month represented numerically.

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Avatar for NicolasNicolas holds a master's degree in literature and has earned a PhD in statistics. He has a keen interest in writing, culinary arts, and running. Nicolas is dedicated to assisting students at various academic levels.

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