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Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for Canada: University Requirements, Sample and Writing Tips

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Aug 02,2023 05:52 PM IST

A Letter of Recommendation plays a crucial role in highlighting candidate’s profile where admission committee is concerned. It should be a brief document that should provide information about their skills, talents, academic records and certifications. Majority of Canadian Universities are very specific about application documents like LOR, resumes, SOPs and essays. 

Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for Canada .webp
In terms of Canadian Universities, they are very particular about application documents, and it is observed that references are required majorly for other degrees and in rare scenarios for undergraduate degrees. Academic letters of recommendations are needed for UG courses as well as graduate degrees. For professional degrees though, both academic and professional recommendation letters are required to be offered.

So according to the program and the course, candidates need to submit either academic or professional LORs or both. Academic LORs are written by school teacher, counsellor, principal or college professor, whereas a professional LOR is given by the manager, team leader or supervisor. This document is mostly and should be provided by someone who is well known to the candidate. Teachers and professors are also called the referees who write recommendation for their students. 
Types of Letter of Recommendation

Academic LOR

It is a letter of recommendation specifically provided by either faculty members, teacher, principal or counsellor of previously attended institution. This letter is utilized for applying to undergraduate programs abroad. 

Professional Letter of Recommendation

At times, when applying for academic degrees abroad, universities ask for professional LOR as well along with updated CV or a resume. When specifically applying for professional courses like MBA programs

University requirements for Canada: Letter of Recommendation

Canadian Universities allow students to submit their recommendation letters in one of the following way:

• Paper Reference Forms

For some graduate programs, an academic as well as professional reference or recommendation letter forms are issued to be filled and submitted through mail in a sealed and endorsed envelope. 

• Electronic References

A unique and secured link is provided to be logged in and submitted. Also an online reference document is sent as attachment. 

UniversitiesLetter of recommendations
University of Toronto2 Academic LORs
University of British Columbia3 Academic & professional LORs
Mcgill University2 Academic LORs
University of Montreal1 Academic LOR
Mcmaster University2 Academic LORs
University of Alberta2 Academic LORs
University of Waterloo2 Academic LORs

Writing tips and guidelines for writing an ideal letter of recommendation:

• LORs should be written on the official letterhead of the last institution attended.
• The writer or referee’s relationship should be briefed with the applicant, like for how long do they know each other and in what capacity had they interacted with the applicant.
• The honest reasons for recommending the concerned candidate should be explained in a descriptive manner. Here the unique talent of the student should be highlighted and their future success could be predicted based on the hard work and persistence observed by them. 
• All the information provided about the student should be authentic as students are often assessed accordingly. 
• The referee or the writer should put down their complete contact information in the letter in case of further concerns about the applicant. 
• One should not get confused between Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letter of recommendation (LOR) as these are two entirely different documents. 

Letter of Recommendation: The Recommender

• Letter of Recommendation is generally written to state positive information about a candidate’s personality traits, contributions, abilities, achievements that prove his/her worth and gets approved for admission in the institution of choice. 
• Both academic and character description should be referred to in the letter. Admission committee looks at LOR as a big picture describing candidate’s personality and contributions. 
• LOR should be written or printed on school’s or college’s letterhead sealed with the respective official stamp along with the recommender’s stamp and signature. 
• The information provided by the recommender should be authentic and accurate. 
• Letter of recommendation should never be handwritten, as it is typed in black with the usual formal font type of 11. 
• It’s very important to avoid or recheck for any grammatical or spelling errors as it leaves a very unprofessional impression on recruiters. There’s also no need to exaggerate any such points which are not relevant to candidate’s performance. 

Sample Letter of Recommendation for Canada

Academic letter of recommendation written by high school teacher for her student:

The Recipient’s Address

Dear Sir/Madam

I wrote this letter to recommend (name) a student of (School), city. He started his schooling from here and continued till class 12. It was a pleasure having him for these long years in our organization as a best student. I was working as a school principal for 22 years in this organization and was his physics teacher in the high school. 

(Name) was one of the brightest students of our school. He was always appreciated and awarded for his academic expertise, sincerity and dedication towards his studies. He always has zeal for learning and experimenting new things with the existing knowledge to discover something advanced. His willingness to learn latest technical advancements which made him an exceptional student in the whole class. 

Apart from studies he was also good at martial arts and had participated in the national level karate championship and had won the silver medal in technical fight. I wholeheartedly recommend (name) for admission in an esteemed graduate school. I wish him success in all his future endeavors. In case of any query please feel free to contact. 



An LOR is certainly one of the determining factors considered by admission panel to access candidate’s eligibility and suitability for the concerned program. The letter of Recommendation is always written by the person of credibility, so it really needs to be helpful in raising candidate’s value in all aspects. 

Also read: Letter of recommendation for Masters (MS)


The letter of recommendation should be around one page lengthy carrying few separate points discussed in it. The writer or referee should first clearly explain their and candidate’s connection, its nature, duration, and quality. Also in what manner writer observed candidate’s qualities and achievements along with assisting incidents. 
Family members, close friends and anyone who is not from the professional acquaintance of the candidate should not write their letter of recommendation. The guidelines concerning the choice of the writer should be followed strictly as provided by the universities. 
The Letter of recommendation could be made stronger by adding specific examples and anecdotes which clearly demonstrate the applicant’s skills and qualifications. Along with qualities, when authentic instances are included, it shows the application of these qualities as well in real-life situations. 
A letter of Recommendation can certainly be reused for multiple colleges, that can save time and is a smart way to utilize the letter in this process. 

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