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Age of Majority in Canada: What Does It Mean?


Fact Checked

What is the age of majority in Canada, and what does it mean? 

In Canada, the age of majority is either 18 or 19, depending on the province or territory. 

This is the age when one becomes a legal adult and can do things like voting in an election, buying a lottery ticket, and getting married. 

This article is your complete guide to the age of majority in all the provinces and territories, including BC, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • The age of majority in Canada is either 18 or 19. 
  • When you reach the age of majority, you are granted the responsibilities and rights of an adult by law. However, some activities establish a higher legal age limit. 
  • In six Canadian provinces, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, the age of majority is 18, while in British Columbia and the three Canadian territories, the age of majority is 19.

What Does Age of Majority Mean in Canada? 

The age of majority in Canada is when the law considers someone a legal adult. When you’re no longer a minor, you don’t require oversight by a guardian or parent. 

At this age, you are granted the responsibilities and rights of an adult by law. 

The age of majority is not the same in all of Canada. It is either 18 or 19, depending on the province or territory you live in. Each part of Canada determined the age of majority based on section 92(13) of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1867. 

What Happens When You Reach the Age of Majority in Canada? 

When you reach the age of majority in Canada, your parents no longer have custody of you. You become responsible for the decisions you make, and you can do things such as:

  • Vote in elections
  • Get the full minimum wage
  • Buy a lottery ticket
  • Quit school 
  • Independently enter contracts
  • Make a will 
  • Change your name
  • Get married
  • Access social assistance 
  • Apply for most credit cards, loans, and more 

Age of Majority by Province 

Here’s a table of the age of majority in each of the Canadian provinces. It is either 18 or 19, depending on the province or territory. 

ProvinceAge of Majority
Alberta 18
British Colombia 19
New Brunswick19
Newfoundland and Labrador19
Northwest Territories19
Nova Scotia19
Nunavut 19
Prince Edward Island18

The legal age is completely different from the age of majority. It is an age where you are allowed to do a certain activity or have a certain responsibility.

For example, the legal age in Ontario to purchase alcohol is 19, and it is 16 to get a driver’s license. 

The age of majority in Ontario is 18. 


What is an age of majority card in Ontario? 

An Ontario photo card is used to prove your identity and age. It can be used for day-to-day business transactions and as proof of identity for domestic travel. It is valid for five years, and if you have one, you cannot have a driver’s license at the same time. You can receive a photo card if you are 16 years or older and are a resident of Ontario. 

What is the age of majority in California? 

The age of majority in California is 18 years of age. 

What is the age of majority in the US? 

The age of majority by state can differ; however, almost all states set the age of majority to 18 years old. 

How old is a minor in Ontario? 

In Ontario, a minor is someone who is younger than 18 years of age. 

How old is a minor in the US? 

A minor in the United States is someone younger than 18 years old. 


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Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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