Public Services and Procurement Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Important notice

The Canadian Style has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!


10.17 Salutation or greeting

The salutation will vary depending upon the person addressed and the nature of the letter. The following are some appropriate salutations for various circumstances:

  • Sir or Dear Sir
    Madam or Dear Madam
    (for formal correspondence)
  • Dear Mr. or Mrs.
    or Ms. Jones
    (for a more personal letter)
  • Dear S. Jones
    (if sex of recipient is not known)
  • Dear Sir/Madam
    Dear Sir or Madam
    (where a title is used but the
    person’s name is not known)

If the person’s name or title is not known, the expression To whom it may concern may also be used. It is not recommended that Mr., Mrs. or Ms. be used with a title as a salutation, as in "Mr. Premier."

The salutation begins at the left margin. For capitalization in a salutation, see 4.35 The salutation and complimentary close; for punctuation, see 7.27 The Colon, Miscellaneous.