CIRA History

The CIRA vision and mission

Our vision is to be a world-class internet registry that is recognized and valued by the internet community and Canadians. To do so, we foster the development of .CA as a key public resource for all Canadians by providing stable, secure and trusted domain name services, and by taking a leadership role in shaping Canada’s internet for the benefit of .CA domain holders.

Every step we have taken along the way has helped us work toward achieving this goal, and more.


CIRA History

In Canada and around the world, CIRA is closely associated with the .CA domain. CIRA was incorporated in December 1998 and became the official .CA registry on December 1, 2000. But .CA’s history pre-dates CIRA’s.

Who was responsible for registering the .CA domain before CIRA?

From 1987 to November 2000, .CA domain names were assigned and registered by a group of volunteers headed by John Demco, former Computing Facilities Manager for the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC). UBC provided the technical and administrative resources to house and operate the registry.

The Framework for the administration of the .CA domain name system laid the foundation for the transition of the .CA registry from UBC and the creation of CIRA. Governed by an elected board, 12 directors and three non-voting board advisors are responsible for managing the business and affairs of the .CA domain. When CIRA took over the management of the .CA domain, there were some 60,000 names registered. There are now more than 2.5 million .CA domain names.

Not only has the .CA registry grown and changed dramatically under CIRA’s management, but so too has the internet.

After years of explosive growth, the domain industry is now maturing, and focus is increasingly on offering a safe and trusted domain experience for internet users in Canada and around the world, as CIRA applies its expertise in DNS and registry operations to help build a better online Canada.

Achievements of CIRA and .CA


A timeline of CIRA's milestones