Templates and detailed specifications for Canada.ca

The templates presented in this section can be identified as either a navigation or a destination page and grouped under one of 4 broad categories: themes, Canada.ca collections, institutional or site-wide constructs.

As an overview, the following charts group the page templates by category, map the templates to a page type, and describe the purpose of each, when it must be used, and whether it is mandatory for Canada.ca.

To be compliant, mandatory templates must be used as defined below. Conditional and optional templates are recommended when appropriate.

Template name Purpose Usage Mandate Type Working example
Splash page
  • The initial landing page for a visitor to Canada.ca, allowing the option to enter the site in French or English
  • Must be implemented only once on Canada.ca
  • Exceptions may apply See Footnote 1
Mandatory Navigation  
Home page
  • Shows the Government of Canada’s most visited and important products and services
  • Must be implemented only once on Canada.ca
Mandatory Navigation Working example: home page
Theme page
  • Organizes topics that makes sense to people so they can access government-wide information and services
  • Must be implemented only once for each Canada.ca theme, as well as for How government works and Public service and military
  • Only Theme Lead institutions can use this template
Mandatory Navigation Working example: theme page
Topic page
  • Allows people to discover services and information related to a specific topic across government
  • Leads people to sub-topics and destination pages
  • Must be implemented for each topic page on Canada.ca
  • New topics must be approved for use by the respective Theme Lead
Mandatory Navigation Working example: topic page
Departments and agencies page
  • Provides links to all federal government institutions
  • Must be implemented only once on Canada.ca
Mandatory Navigation Working example: departments and agencies page
Institutional profile page
  • Gives an overview of an institution’s:
    • mandate
    • programs
    • information and services
  • Must be implemented once for each institution on Canada.ca by institutions listed under the schedules I, I.1, and II of the Financial Administration Act (FAA)
  • Consult the Canada.ca Institutions list
  • Exceptions may apply See Footnote 1
Mandatory Navigation
Organizational profile page
  • Gives an overview of the following , for an organization associated with a government institution:
    • mandate
    • programs
    • information and
    • services
Mandatory Navigation
Partnering and collaborative arrangement profile page
  • Gives an overview of the:
    • mandate
    • information and services of partnering or collaborative arrangement agreements
  • Partnering or collaborative arrangements are joint activities or transactions. They have shared or associated objectives, with a written agreement to combine financial or in-kind input
  • They must involve another:
    • government
    • company
    • organization
    • group
    • individual
  • Use to introduce each partnering or collaborative arrangement
  • Consult the Canada.ca Institutions list
  • Do not use for inter-departmental collaborations within the Government of Canada
Conditional Navigation  
Service initiation page
  • Helps people quickly start a task
  • Gives people the information they need before starting the task, such as explaining eligibility criteria or steps to follow
  • Gives people easy access to:
    • service standards
    • turnaround times
    • related services
    • guides
    • help
  • Use to start tasks that:
    • have prerequisites to satisfy prior to starting the task, such as:
      • eligibility criteria
      • documents or information that must be in hand
    • point to any service delivery channel such as:
      • phone
      • email
      • mail
    • support services (as defined under the Policy on Service)
  • Don’t use for tasks that do not have any prerequisites. Use Generic destination pages instead
Conditional Destination  
Institutional service performance reporting page
  • Collects all service standards from an institution, as per the requirements in the Policy on Service
  • Used only once by each institution that has service standards to make public
Conditional Destination Working example: institutional service performance reporting page
Program description page
  • Offers details about a program
  • Gives access to services related to the program
  • Use to give background information about a program
  • Don’t use to start a task
Conditional Destination  
Ministerial profile page
  • The only source of information about a minister
  • Gives a list of institutions under the minister’s responsibility
  • Gives an overview of the biography and links to the minister’s:
    • recent activities and announcements
    • social media channels
  • Used only once to give information about:
    • a minister
    • heads of quasi-judicial arm’s-length institutions
    • parliamentary secretaries
Mandatory Destination Working example: ministerial profile page
Collection landing page
  • Allows people to search within a collection
  • Introduces the most popular items from a collection
  • Gives access to an collection of common content produced by all or most federal institutions
  • Gives access to contextual and historical content related to a collection such as reports and events
  • Used only once to introduce a collection
Conditional Navigation  
Consultation profile page
  • Describes a consultation or engagement activity
  • It can provide:
    • status and outcome of the initiative
    • background materials
    • data
    • information about planned or completed events
  • Use for each consultation, to provide an overview of a single consultation or engagement activity
Conditional Navigation  
Act profile page
  • Gives a 1 or 2 sentence description written using plain language principles to describe the act
  • Allows people to read the legislation
  • Relates an act to:
    • topics
    • institutions
    • ministers
    • other legislation
  • Gives access to consultations on:
    • the act
    • news
    • notices
    • amendments
  • Use to publish an act
Conditional Navigation Working example: act profile page
Regulation profile page
  • Gives a 1 or 2 sentence description written using plain language principles to describe the regulation
  • Allows people to read the regulation
  • Relates a regulation to:
    • topics
    • institutions
    • ministers
    • other legislation
  • Gives access to consultations on:
    • the regulation
    • news
    • notices
    • amendments
  • Use to publish a regulation
Conditional Navigation Working example: regulation profile page
Guidance on legislation profile page
  • Gives access to guidance on legislation
  • Recaps the guidance using plain language principles
  • Gives access to details and related materials
  • Use to publish and explain guidance on legislation
Conditional Navigation  
Government-wide audience page
  • Gives access to information and services relevant to a government-wide audience such as:
    • Indigenous peoples
    • youth
    • veterans
  • Must be implemented only once for each Canada.ca audience
  • Only used by your departmental lead for the Canada.ca audience
Mandatory Navigation Working example: GC-wide audience page
News landing page
  • Gives access to Government of Canada’s news products
  • Helps people find a specific news product by filtering results with keywords or metadata fields
  • Displays news products by topics and institutions
  • Use only once to introduce the GC-wide news collection
Conditional Navigation  
News results page
  • Enables people to efficiently find a specific news product by quickly filtering results based on:
    • keywords
    • pre-set metadata fields
  • Use only once to allow searching and filtering within the GC-wide news collection
Conditional Navigation  
News product page
  • Allows people to read a news product
  • Relates a news product to:
    • topics
    • institutions
    • ministers
  • Used to present the news products
  • Must be used to publish the following news products:
    • news release
    • backgrounder
    • speech
    • media advisory
    • statement
Conditional Navigation  
Campaign page
  • Gives information to support a promotional campaign
  • Allows for flexible page design
  • Use to support institutional, theme or GC-wide promotional campaigns that last for a set period of time
  • Don’t use as a replacement for other destination page types such as:
    • program delivery
    • service delivery
Conditional Navigation  
Promotional events page
  • Describes an official government event that occurs in a promotional context
  • Gives information such as:
    • date
    • time
    • location
    • target audiences
  • May link to content related to the event such as:
    • services
    • programs, etc.
  • Use for an event that occurs that is part of a promotional campaign, such as a:
    • festival
    • celebration
    • ceremony
  • Don’t use for non-promotional events that occur as part of regular business activities. Non-promotional events may include:
    • workshops
    • webinars
Conditional Navigation  
Contact us page
  • Provides a consistent model for contact options on Canada.ca
  • Allows people to:
    • quickly find contact information
    • contact the government by email, telephone, in person or by mail
  • Supports multiple ways to find contact information
  • Shows adapted contact information in the context of the web page
  • Use to present contact information for:
    • a person
    • an office
    • an organization
    • an emergency
  • Use to get:
    • feedback
    • complaints
    • questions from people
Mandatory Navigation Working example: institutional contact page
Search page
  • Provides the template for the search engine on Canada.ca
  • Used only once for the Canada.ca search engine
Mandatory Navigation  
Short index page
  • Shows a combined list of select hyperlinked titles that lead to other pages or documents
  • Use to present a list of 10 to 50 related links without text descriptions
Conditional Navigation  
Long index page
  • Shows a combined list of select hyperlinked titles that lead to other pages or documents
  • Use to present a list of 50+ related links without descriptions
Conditional Navigation  
Finder page
  • Shows a combined list of select hyperlinked titles that lead to other pages
  • Lets people select only one value per metadata field in order to reduce a large amount of results of items into a shorter list
  • Metadata fields help people understand how a collection of items is organized
  • Use to present a list of 100+ related links that can be filtered using metadata and may require results to be split across multiple pages
  • Use when there is a need to allow people to build simpler queries against large amount of results
Conditional Navigation  
Faceted finder page
  • Presents a combined list of select hyperlinked titles that lead to other pages or documents
  • Lets people select 1 or more values per metadata field in order to reduce a large collection of items into a more manageable list
  • Metadata fields help people understand how a large amount of results is organized
  • Use to present a list of 100+ related links that can be filtered using metadata and may require results to be split across multiple pages
  • Use when there is a need to allow people to build more complex queries against a large number of results
Conditional Navigation  
Generic destination page
  • Supports any content that doesn’t have an assigned template
  • Use to present any content type that does not have an assigned template
  • Must use existing common design patterns from templates within this specification
Conditional Destination  
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