How to Memorize the Canadian Territories and Provinces

(Last Updated On: February 26, 2018)

Memorize the Canadian Provinces and Territories

O Canada… what are your provinces again? According to the results of our US States quiz and our Canadian Provinces quiz, a solid proportion of people are able to name all 50 US states but NOT the 13 provinces and territories of Canada. In fact, the lowest-guessed US state has a solid 10%+ lead on the guess rate versus the lowest guessed Canadian province. Sure a lot of the users on the site are from the United States, but still. That’s not very neighborly. We can do better. We’ve got tips to help you memorize the Canadian provinces and territories.

Plus, there’s only 13 of them! This is doable, even if you’re just getting familiar with the Great White North.

Memorize the Canadian Provinces and Territories - Canada Map

Break into sections

Canada has 13 provinces and territories, which is more than your short term memory will easily hold. We suggest breaking up the task into smaller chunks to help you keep a hold on the information and learn it. That said, we’ve broken up the list into three sections, the top row, bottom row, and southeastern corner. The bottom row is the largest chunk to remember, so if you get that down you’re most of the way there.

Top row:


Northwest Territories


Bottom row:

British Columbia






Newfoundland and Labrador

Southeast corner:

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Come up with mnemonics

Mnemonics are a tried and true method of memorizing a list. If your brain still calls back to “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” or “My Very Evil Mother Just Served Us Nasty Peas” (RIP Pluto)  you’re definitely going to like this method.

In this case, we can either use the first letter in each province or the first letter in each individual word.

Top row: YNN or YNTN


Southeast Corner: PNN or PEINBNS

We’ve got some examples for you, but we also encourage creating your own. It’ll stick even deeper into your memory if it’s your own invention.

Top row: You’re Not Nice

Bottom Row: Billy And Sally Made Our Queen Nervous

Southeast Corner: Pick New Names

Memorize the Canadian Provinces and Territories - Queen Elizabeth II
She seems pretty cool and collected to us.

Difference Between a Territory and Province

This may not be critical in the effort to memorize the Canadian provinces and territories, but more knowledge always helps. There are some differences between territories and provinces.

The main difference between a province and a territory of Canada is the source that gives them authority. Provinces are designated powers by the Constitution Act of 1867, where territories derive power from the designation of the Parliament of Canada. Provinces are considered sovereign in some senses where territories are not. The majority of the sub-sections of Canada are provinces; there are three territories. They are Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.

Practice with our quiz

Chunking and mnemonics are both great methods for the early stages of learning, but if you want to retain information well, the key is practice. This is where quizzes can be immensely helpful. Our quiz can help you memorize the Canadian provinces and territories and you can use the challenge feature of the site to take on friends and opponents to get some variety in. Or just show off the fruit of your labor! Or earn the Blame Canada badge and become a true Canadaphile.

Got other geography questions? Check out our geography tag to soak up knowledge about ancient maps, disputed sovereign states, and tons more.




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