Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Canada-related articles

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WikiProject Manual of Style
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List of date formats used[edit]

In the sections below, please indicate a style guide created in Canada or used by a Canadian body.

Long date formats[edit]

Month Date, Year ("American")
Date Month Year ("European")
No preference

Short date formats[edit]



YYYY-MM-DD ("ISO 8601")
No preference

Places moves[edit]

Currently there is a discussion on Wikipedia talk:Canadian wikipedians' notice board/Cities#Starting the primary topic discussion about amending the places section of this MOS. 117Avenue (talk) 05:45, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

City/town names in articles[edit]

From time to time I see the name of a Canadian city or town shown in the lede as "[city], [province], Canada". This not only seems clunky, but, is also out of line with the common practice I see elsewhere. I.e. the equivalent "[city], [state], United States of America" or "[city], [constituent country], United Kingdom" is not used; it's "[city], [state]" and "[city], [constituent country]" only. Often "Canada" is mentioned in the page's infobox. Whichh is correct? I cannot seem to find any guideline on this matter. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 02:24, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Officially, you're correct that the proper usage should be just "City, Province" in most cases — what you're seeing is usually the result of an edit war between a Canadian editor who was using that form and an American editor who insists for no particularly compelling (or ever really explained) reason on "City, Canada" instead. Bearcat (talk) 02:43, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't agree with your first sentence. Where was it decided that "City, Province" is the "proper usage"? It seems to equally have no compelling rationale, just like "City, Canada". --Skeezix1000 (talk) 12:50, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that would be wrong (and just silly).
What I'm asking, though, is: which is correct for a lede (especially when "Canada" is in the article's infobox)? "[X] is located in [city], [province], Canada" or just "[x] is located in [city], [province]"? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 03:30, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
ISTM the City, Province form is normal. Where it may be deemed necessary, if not obvious from the context, I would prefer a form something like X is a Canadian Y located in City, Province to those that tack Canada onto the end of the location.—Odysseus1479 04:20, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I have not witnessed such edit wars in my five years (perhaps such occurred in WP's earlier years). I see no harm in articles stating "[city], [province], Canada". In fact it may be of benefit to our readers around the world. A reader from across the world likely knows California is an American state when reviewing a Californian town article, whereas the same reader reviewing a Manitoban town article may have no clue Manitoba is a province in Canada (of course "Canada" in the infobox will help). Sadly, the names of American states are much more internationally known compared to Canadian provinces. Hwy43 (talk) 05:58, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
IMHO, the sovereign state should always be included for the entire 'pedia. In the past however, I've ran into stiff opposition trying to push that inclusion, at the British bios. GoodDay (talk) 10:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
For Canadian articles, I would recommend [[city, province]] or [[city|city, province]].
For non-Canadian articles I would recommend [[city, province|city]], Canada or [[city]], Canada.  Stepho  talk  12:35, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
For any city which is located at an undisambiguated title, [[city]], [[province]] is preferable to [[city|city, province]] (and while it's not as important an issue, for stylistic purposes even on disambiguated titles [[city, province|city]], [[province]] is still sometimes preferable to just [[city, province]].) And regardless of how anybody feels about "City, Province, Country", it's never appropriate to just use "City, Canada" on Wikipedia without reference to the province — which of the five Canadian Kingstons is meant by "Kingston, Canada"? Which of the three Canadian Windsors is meant by "Windsor, Canada"? Bearcat (talk) 17:04, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with "City, Province, Country" in the lead, and I don't see a compelling need to treat "Canadian" and "non-Canadian" articles differently. I agree with Hwy43 -- unclear why anybody would assume that the worldwide audience understands in which country Nova Scotia or Manitoba are located, and frankly the country information is presumably just as important (if not more so) as the subdivision information. Not sure how it's relevant that the information is in the infobox - articles usually contain most of the infobox information in the body of the article. Odysseus1479 is correct that "City, Province, Country" is not the only manner in which to convey the information (he notes X is a Canadian Y located in City, Province as a good example), but there is also nothing wrong with "City, Province, Country" (there is nothing "clunky" with fully identifying a settlement's location). If anything, there are some U.S. and U.K. editors who need to take a more global view. Skeezix1000 (talk) 12:48, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
A brief review of some articles on large U.S. cities shows that they also seem to be moving in the direction of identifying the United States/U.S. in the first sentence. The U.K. is not a great precedent since their constituent countries aren't comparable to Canadian provinces or territories. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 12:58, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
We should be focused on what is the most useful information that we can provide to the global readership of Wikipedia. "Canada" is a more useful locator that "Ontario", "Manitoba" or "New Brunswick" for people who may never have heard of these places. Canadians will know that Toronto is in Ontario, so that is not useful information to add - it is being done for stylistic purposes only.
Identifying the province only and not the country is purported to be "proper" - according to whom? I know that Canada Post requires it, but they have no jurisdiction here. That style is common in Canada, but that is not a good reason for it to be the Wikipedia style. Similarly, adding the country seems "clunky" because we are not used to it in Canada, but when The Economist mentions Toronto, it does not add Ontario; it locates Toronto in Canada for its global readership.
With respect to US and UK articles, they would be improved by adding country locators too. Do we expect a reader in Harare or Guangzhou to know where Wiltshire or Wyoming are?
User:Miesianiacal has been removing "Canada" from some article leads as "unnecessary". How does removing that information improve the article? With regard to the argument that the country information is in the infobox, the article text should stand on its own. If the infobox is considered to be an integral part of the article text, then we should not repeat anything in the text that is in the box, i.e., any location info. I don't think that makes sense.
Finally, Bearcat should know that Wikipedia does not rank editors. An American is just as qualified to edit a Canadian article as a Canadian is as long as they are following Wikipedia policies. For the record, a toque is a hat, a chesterfield is a couch, and I am Canadian. Ground Zero | t 15:12, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Removing information can improve an article; in fact, it's encouraged in certain circumstances. It seems that, if someone doesn't know where Ontario is, they can click on the link to Ontario. If the consensus it to include "Canada", fine. It's just there was/is no instruction one way or another in the MoS. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You've linked to the section of a guideline on article splitting due to size. That guideline (nor any other guideline or policy of which I am aware) encourages the removal of key information, such as the country in which the settlement is located. Like you, I encourage good copy-editing, but not at the expense of basic information. The "readers can just click on links to find out more" response makes sense when one is deleting, say, information about Ontario population growth in the 20th century from the Kingston, Ontario article, but doesn't make a lot of sense in the context of a piece of important and relevant information comprising only one word. Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:56, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm aware of what I linked to and what it says and it proves that removing information can improve an article. At the base of it, WP:SPINOUT is about keeping articles concise.
It's an arbitrary line we're together drawing here. "[city], [province]"; "[city], [province], Canada"; "[city], [province], Canada, North America". What's too little and what's too much? People may not know where Canada is. Obviously, I'm being a little (though not totally) facetious to show the directive "the more information the better" has a limit. So, it comes down to: what's favoured by the majority? So far, it seems like "[city], [province], Canada". Not my preference, but, fine. I'll go with that from now on.
Should it be added to the MoS as a guideline? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Not sure where it says removing content can improve an article. It seems to be completely about splitting long articles. Having said that, I agree that concise is good. But not at the expense of key information. Don't really agree that the inclusion of the country is arbitrary - it's not unreasonable to assume that the global readership is more likely to recognize Canada than all of its provinces (and if they don't recognize Canada, pointing out that it's in North America is unlikely to help). But if you think it's arbitrary, maybe we should add it to the MoS.--Skeezix1000 (talk) 19:33, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I didn't say there was a "rank", or a nationality test that one has to pass before one is allowed to edit a Canadian article; I differentiated between "Canadian" and "American" editors as a matter of context. Bearcat (talk) 16:50, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Conjures up this mental image. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 17:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I'd include Canada, as this is an international 'pedia. GoodDay (talk) 19:16, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


So I propose that Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Canada-related_articles#Places be amended by

  1. adding a subheading atop the current text of the section to identify it as relating to "Article titles", and
  2. adding another subsection, "Text", that says something along these lines:
In articles that identify a Canadian location, the location should be identified with the format [[City, Province/Territory]], Canada unless the article text or title has already established that the subject is Canadian, e.g., it is not necessary to identify the "Parliament of Canada" as being located in "Ottawa, Ontario, Canada". For larger cities that are internationally known (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal) an editor should consider whether the Province identification is necessary.

I realize that the last sentence ("For larger cities...") is going to be controversial as some will argue that Winnipeg, Halifax, Edmonton are internationally known, but I want to see what other editors think. Maybe we should drop that. Ground Zero | t 21:03, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the initiative, Ground Zero. I would drop that last sentence, if only because readers will presumably also be interested in a link to the subdivision in which the city is located, even if the City is internationally known (someone looking up Montreal may very well want to know it is in Quebec right off the top, and have a wikilink to the Quebec article). And by dropping the sentence we can, as you correctly suggest, also avoid debates over the international fame of Saskatoon and Moncton.--Skeezix1000 (talk) 11:20, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
As there has been no further discussion for five days, I have implemented this change, which I think reflects the consensus from the above discussion. Skeezix: thanks for your comments . Ground Zero | t 15:26, 26 August 2014 (UTC)


Do all provincial parks deserve articles? There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kledo Creek Provincial Park. 117Avenue (talk) 01:22, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Redundancy model[edit]

The model for presenting names in the infobox seems quite redundant as written. It might make sense to include all three of name, type, and official name for instances where the official name is something other than "[type] of [name]", but otherwise it would seem to contradict "present information in short form, and exclude any unnecessary content" of WP:IBT. Thoughts? Nikkimaria (talk) 04:15, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Nikkimaria is referring to WP:CANSTYLE#Infoboxes. Using all three parameters is not redundant. The three fields all convey separate, unique and necessary key facts about the incorporated community in question. Without the [settlement_type] parameter we cannot assume that the [settlement_type] in "[settlement_type] of [name]" is the community's actual status (e.g., Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo). Similarly, with all but the [official_name] parameter in use, we cannot assume that the [official_name] follows the "[settlement_type] of [name]" convention (e.g., it is not "District Municipality of Delta). There are countless examples of municipalities across Canada that brand themselves as a certain type of municipality, but their true municipal statuses granted by their provinces are in fact different. Not only does the exception proposed cast doubt via assumption, it risks inconsistency with parameter usage on communities where their actual municipal status is different than the type they portray themselves as. As for WP:IBT, the usage of all three parameters for Canadian communities are necessary as they enable us to identify key facts about the municipality at first glance without having to hunt for it in the prose of the article. By no means does the perceived redundancy clutter the infobox of Canadian communities. I oppose making exceptions to WP:CANSTYLE#Infoboxes. Hwy43 (talk) 06:47, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
As I said, where they are in fact different it makes sense to include all of the parameters. However, the parameters are not labelled in display, so when they are the same they do visibly convey the same information twice. This results in the top of the box appearing as "[Name] - [Type] - [Type] of [Name]" - something readers will perceive as redundant clutter. What you identify as "inconsistency" is actually fairly standard practice: determine which parameters to use based on the situation at hand. This flexibility is preferable to the current model. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:45, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
That is what you said and I already countered that in my previous reply. We both know where each other stand. Hwy43 (talk) 20:33, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Sure, but while there are instances where such delineation is useful and desired, I look at the infobox for Calgary and am left wondering why a single, one line header of "City of Calgary" doesn't convey the entire point precisely. Adding "Calgary" then "City" then "City of Calgary" is certainly redundant and sloppy in my view. I am inclined to agree that inconsistency is not a greater problem than redundancy in this example. Resolute 17:37, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
Although it does appear redundant in some cases, I would like to stick to the WP:CANSTYLE#Infoboxes for reasons above. Specifically, it is important to demonstrate the municipality type which may or may not be in the official name, have consistency between wikipages for all municipalities in Canada, and to maintain the links to "list of..." pages which would be lost if we reduce it to the single name. Appearance aside, those are 3 distinct pieces of information that are useful to include. I oppose making exceptions to canstyle infobox guidelines. Mattximus (talk) 23:50, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
While I understand what Resolute is getting at, I am inclined to agree with Hwy43 and Mattximus on this one and would oppose any change. Skeezix1000 (talk) 22:07, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Mattximus, those links to "list of..." pages should be removed regardless of the results of this discussion - they are easter eggs. The cases in which the municipality type is not in the official name is far outweighed by the cases in which the redundancy occurs. As Resolute says, while there are instances where such delineation is useful and desired, this is not true for most articles. Nikkimaria (talk) 23:02, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Inclusion of French names in lede[edit]

I think we should discuss and come up with a Canadian model or a standard for including French names in the lede. Perhaps on a country wide, if not a province by province application. Currently many Ontario articles are having the French names removed by one self claimed French speaking user and one Montreal based IP user, Premier of Ontario, is one example. Multiple other users have reverted the removal of the French name for this office, but it does beg the question; why should the French names be removed and or included. I do not see a reason for the "Mayor of Chilliwack" to have in the article lede the French name or translation, but when there are official French names of departments, for what ever reason - legally obligated, provincially recognized, historical, federally mandated, regionnaly accepted, or other - or there is a significant use of the French name in national media - be English or French media - I think there should be no question that we include the French name in the lede. It costs us nothing, shows inclusiveness, helps with searches, and makes sense.--NotWillyWonka (talk) 17:22, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Incorporated municipalities or census subdivisions?[edit]

@Bearcat: in the "Article or redirect?" section, it states all incorporated municipalities should have articles, yet I've read you and others say census subdivisions (defined by StatCan as municipalities and municipal-equivalents) on deletion requests, etc. Was it intended that CANSTYLE say census subdivisions, or that it be limited only to those that are incorporated municipalities? Also, in the first paragraph, it ends with "... that it exists." Should it be amended to say "... that it exists or once existed."? Hwy43 (talk) 09:05, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

That section pertains to the distinction between an incorporated municipality and a neighbourhood or community within an incorporated municipality. Technically speaking, any named geographic place that can be properly sourced as existing is a valid article topic in principle — the only rule is that no place is entitled to keep an unsourced article that just asserts existence, and contains no other substantive information or sourcing at all, so the section exists to clarify that communities or neighbourhoods can be redirected to their parent municipality instead of standing alone as independent articles if they're falling afoul of that rule. It has no bearing on the question of census subdivisions — most of which are municipalities anyway, although there are certainly some unorganized areas which also have that status. But since they aren't part of a larger municipal entity, there's nowhere to redirect an unorganized area to — so the section simply isn't about the question of whether they warrant articles or not. Bearcat (talk) 17:58, 18 March 2015 (UTC)