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LOR for Canadian Universities: Tips & Format


Canada, well known for its welcoming environment and world-class education, stands tall as one of the most sought-after destinations for international students. Nestled within its diverse landscapes and vibrant culture lies its educational system which not only emphasises academic excellence but also is dedicated to fostering a rich learning environment. Amidst the various essential components needed for the application process, the Letter of Recommendation (LOR) holds a particularly crucial role.
Writing a powerful LOR is more than just sending in paperwork; it acts like a doorway that gives a deep look into the applicant's personality, achievements, and what the applicant could bring to the academic institution.

Let us dive deeper into why LORs matter in the Canadian university application process and how they can significantly impact an applicant's chances of acceptance in this blog. 

How many LORs are required for Canadian Universities?

The number of LORs required by Canadian universities varies from university to university. It is crucial to and understanding these requirements is vital for prospective students. Below is an in-depth look at the LOR requirements for some of Canada's top universities, shedding light on the specific expectations of each institution.

University Name

Number of LORs Required

Type of LOR Required

University of Toronto



McGill University



University of British Columbia



University of Alberta



Queen's University



Understanding these requirements is necessary as it will give an idea to the applicants about how many LORs and which types of LORs they need to submit. Make sure your LORs are in accordance with the university's expectations and guidelines as this way, the chances of your application getting shortlisted are higher.

ALSO READ: Universities in canada

LOR Sample for Canadian Universities

While there are many ways in which we can write a compelling LOR, below is a LOR sample which you can customise according to your needs and requirements.

Dear [Recipient's Name],
I am writing to highly recommend [Student's Name] for admission to [University's Name]. As [his/her] [Your Relationship to the Student], I have had the pleasure of observing [him/her] grow both academically and personally during our time together.
[Student's Name] is an exceptionally [adjective] individual who consistently demonstrates [positive quality]. In [his/her] academic pursuits, [he/she] exhibits a keen intellect and a passion for [specific subject]. [Provide examples of academic achievements or projects].
What sets [Student's Name] apart is [his/her] ability to [mention any unique qualities, skills, or experiences]. I am confident that [he/she] will contribute positively to [University's Name] and thrive in [his/her] chosen field of study.
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend [Student's Name] for admission to [University's Name]. [He/She] is not only an outstanding student but also a [mention any additional positive qualities]. I am certain that [he/she] will excel in [his/her] academic and personal endeavours.
[Your Full Name]
[Your Position/Title]
[Contact Information]

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Writing LOR

Understanding what to avoid in writing in LORs is as important as knowing what to write in LORs. Let's look at some of the tips on how to write a better LOR by avoiding these common mistakes.

1. Generic Statements: Avoid using vague, generic statements, as these statements can apply to anyone, not specifically the student. Rather than using general statements, try to focus on details that highlight the student, their achievements, their individuality, etc. This way, the LOR will be more impactful and provide clear insight into the applicant, thereby, serving the purpose.

2. Lack of Examples: Make sure to back up the statements with concrete examples that explain the achievements, character traits, and skills of the students. Providing these details helps not only confirm the information which the student sends via document but also gives the reader a clear understanding of the student's capabilities.

3. Inconsistency: Ensure that the information in the LOR aligns with the student's resume and application. Inconsistencies can raise doubts and can impact the credibility of both the recommender and the student. A consistent and coherent narrative strengthens the overall application.

4. Overemphasis on Weaknesses: While honesty is essential, avoid dwelling excessively on the student's weaknesses. Focus on presenting a balanced view, emphasising strengths, achievements, and the potential for growth. Highlighting weaknesses without offering solutions or positive aspects can overshadow the overall impression.

5. Last-Minute Rush: Writing an LOR in haste can lead to errors, a lack of depth, and might lack the attractiveness or compelling tone. Remember, the goal is to make the LOR you write stand out from the rest of hundreds and thousands of other LORs.

To write such a powerful and well-crafted LOR, one must keep in mind that it should be planned well, written with an ample amount of time, and carefully edited. contributing to a well-crafted letter that genuinely reflects the student's qualities and accomplishments. Rushed letters may miss opportunities to showcase the student effectively. It is essential to have a thoughtful reflection on the student's qualities and accomplishments and then write the LOR in a way that highlights everything clearly.

Tips for LOR Writing

 Let us look at some of the tips for writing an effective LOR for Canada.

  1. Know the Student Well: A well-written LOR involves a better understanding between the recommender and the student. It's essential for students to choose recommenders who know them well and vice versa. And the recommender must know the student well enough to provide an insightful and meaningful recommendation.

  2. Highlight Specific Achievements: Emphasise more on the achievements, personal qualities, and aspirations of the student. Providing concrete examples of the student's accomplishments, including their academic projects, research endeavours, or extracurricular activities can help readers know the applicant better. There is also a higher chance of the student getting shortlisted if their achievements are well highlighted.

  3. Personalise the Letter: Customize the letter by tailoring and curating it to the specific university or course the applicant is interested in. Conduct thorough research on the institution and the applicant's chosen program to ensure the LOR is personalised and aligned with their goals and the unique aspects of the academic environment.

  4. Be Positive: Try to use positive words and show genuine interest throughout the LOR when writing about the student. This not only reflects the recommender's confidence in the student's abilities but also makes the recommendation more impactful.

  5. Proofread: The goal is to write a well-crafted, well-defined letter and this involves thorough proofreading. Proofreading improves the quality of the content, ensures there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes, and rectifies writing inconsistencies.

Keeping these tips in mind while writing the LOR can surely help the recommender write a compelling Letter of Recommendation for Canada which will grab the attention of the reader.


Does Canada require LOR?

Yes. Many Canadian universities and immigration programs require Letters of Recommendation (LORs) as part of their application process. It is advisable to do thorough research on the specific requirements for the quantity and type of LORs expected by the institution or program you are applying to. 

How do you write a letter of recommendation for a student in Canada?

 To write a letter of recommendation for a student in Canada, focus on specific examples of the student's achievements, character, and potential contributions. Make sure to tailor the letter in accordance with the specific institution and program, showcasing how the student aligns with their values and requirements and is the right fit for the institution.

How many copies of LOR are required?

 The number of copies of the LOR required for Canadian University can vary depending on the institution. The quantity and type of the LOR needed will be specified by the institution or program to which you are applying. Make sure to review the application guidelines or contact the admissions office for clarification before applying.

Why is a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) important for Canadian immigration or study applications?

A LOR is crucial for Canadian immigration or study applications as it provides deep insights into the applicant's character, abilities, accomplishments, achievements, and potential contributions. It offers a more comprehensive view of the applicant beyond their academic scores. A compelling LOR has a higher chance of getting shortlisted and further approval. 

What information should be included in a Letter of Recommendation for Canada?

A Letter of Recommendation for Canada should include specific and accurate details of the applicant's achievements, character traits, accomplishments, and contributions. It should be tailored according to the requirements of the institution and program and should convey why the student is a great fit for the institution.

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