Canada’s air quality

Canada’s air quality has improved significantly over the last several decades as our air pollutant emissions continue to decline. Our air is consistently ranked among the cleanest in the world, according to the World Health Organization. This is largely due to federal, provincial and territorial governments working together to reduce air pollution from vehicles, power plants, and industries across the country. The latest air pollutant emissions report shows an overall steady decline in air pollutant emissions since 1990. Despite this progress, almost one third of Canadians still live in areas where quality does not meet one of the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Learn about Canada’s air quality, sources of air pollution, and air quality health indicators:

Air quality

Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators

Active transportation

With more opportunities to travel by foot and on bike, Canadians can spend more time outdoors enjoying nature and fresh air while improving their health as they get from point A to point B. Active transportation is vital to our economy and tourism sectors. It also plays an essential role in connected and consistent multi-modal transportation systems that support more equitable, vibrant, livable communities. It will also reduce healthcare costs, noise pollution, and improve air quality. Increasing active transportation will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to Canada's response to climate change.

Wildfire smoke and air quality

Wildfire season in Canada typically runs from early April to late October. In a changing climate, wildfire seasons are becoming longer and more severe. As wildfire burns through forests and grasslands, it produces dense smoke that can be a major source of toxic air pollutants. This pollution contains fine particles (that are not visible to the human eye) that penetrate deep into our lungs and bloodstream, sometimes leading to serious health effects. For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, visit Wildfire smoke and air quality.

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