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Logo cira.jpg
Type: Non-Profit Organization
Industry: Registry
Founded: Canada (1998)
Headquarters: 350 Sparks Street, Suite 306
Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7S8
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@CIRANEWS
Key People
Byron Holland, President & CEO

Jacques Latour, Director of Information Technology
Michael Stewart, General Counsel & Director of Policy
J. Paul Havey, Dir of Finance & Administration
David Fowler, Dir of Marketing & Communications

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is the organization that manages the .ca ccTLD.[1] This non-profit organization was created in 1998 and became the official .ca registry on December 1, 2000.[2]

A 15 member Board of Directors, consisting of both elected and appointed members, oversees CIRA's operations. Board members are elected annually by CIRA Members through an online process. Membership in CIRA is free, and open to anyone who holds a .ca domain.

Evolution of .ca domain

.ca is the ccTLD for Canada. Registrants of .ca domains must meet Canadian Presence Requirements as defined by the registry.

IANA operator Jon Postel allocated the ccTLD originally to John Demco of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1988.[3] At the time, the internet was used mostly for research.[4] The administration of the .ca domain was carried out by John Demco with the assistance of a .ca committee of volunteers. The names from the .ca domain were assigned without charge to the applicants.

The first .ca domain name was, registered in 1988 by the University of Prince Edward Island.[5]

In 1997, at the Canadian Internet Community's annual conference, discussions of reform led to the formation of CIRA.[6]

History of CIRA

  • At the closing of the the Canadian Internet community's annual conference in 1997, the CDNCC recommended that a private sector, non-profit corporation be set up to take over the administration of the .ca from UBC and John Demco.[7] In late December 1998, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) was created for this take-over. In a 1999 letter, the Canadian Government recognized CIRA as the new administrator of the .ca domain.[8]
  • In June 2000, the Umbrella Agreement for the Transfer of the .ca Domain Name Registry was signed between the Canadian government, CIRA, and the University of British Columbia. A Transition Agreement for the Transfer of the .ca Domain Name Registry was also signed between CIRA and the University of British Columbia. Through these agreements, CIRA gained complete responsibility for managing the .ca domain from then on.[9] At the time, there were 86,976 .ca registrations in effect.
  • CIRA officially opened its offices in Ottawa, Ontario on May 2, 2001. CIRA Members (CIRA Registrants with at least one active .ca domain name) voted in the first Board of Directors election in June, 2001. The first CIRA Annual General Meeting was held in Toronto in December, 2001. By the end of 2001 the registry managed 270,655 .ca domain names.[10]
  • CIRA launched Public Board Elections in March, 2001.[11]
  • In June 2003, ICANN held a public meeting in Montreal.[12]. CIRA hosted an event during ICANN's 2005 Annual General Meeting in Vancouver.
  • CIRA announced that it had surpassed one million .ca domain name registrations in April, 2008.[13]
  • In October, 2009 CIRA announced the launch of a test-bed initiative for DNSSEC.[14] Officials from CIRA said the process of implementing DNSSEC had began in early 2009, while the implementation date was set for 2010.
  • In October, 2010 CIRA released a new version of its domain name registration system and stopped accepting new registrations for third-level domains.[15]


Until 2001, besides top level Canadian domain names (such as, CIRA had also overseen the third-level Canadian domain names (such as

On October 12th, 2010, CIRA stopped registering third-level domains, but has promised to continue supporting the existing third-level domain names.


  3. EuroDNS
  4. EuroDNS
  5. OpenSRS
  6. Scassa, Teresa & Deturbide, Michael, Electronic Commerce and Internet Law in Canada, Canada: CCH Canada Ltd, 2004
  8. Domain Name News
  9. History of Nova Scotia
  11. Université d'Ottawa
  13. Micheal Geist
  14. CircleID

External links