Where can I find the shapefiles for Canadian postal codes?
Canadian postal codes are not available for free download. You can either purchase the PostCode Conversion File from Statistics Canada or one of many value-added data sets from providers like DMTI Spatial.
The lack of freely available PostCode data for Canada is a huge hindrance to business.
UPDATE: 2016 FSA Census Boundary files are now available (as of Sept 13, 2017 according to their site).
UPDATE: Stats Canada has since released the Forward Sortation Areas Boundary files (as of February 5, 2013 according to their site).
Statistics Canada has a page dedicated to making available different Shape files regarding Canadian Boundaries, both Geographical and Digital. (link is the same as the one mentioned above)
While they make no mention of one specific to every possible Postal Code (nor do I think you're very likely to find one), they do list one for the FSAs but it does not as of yet have a release date.
If you only need the geographic center of the postalcodes however (instead of the boundary), check out the free database at http://geocoder.ca/. You can obtain the approx center of the FSA from this as well by grouping them by the first three digits of the PostalCode and then averaging the Latitude/Longitude. SQL would help do this much easier if you import the data into a database first.
Here's a query do do what I mean.
IF NOT EXISTS(SELECT * FROM zipcodeset WHERE LEN(PostalCode) = 3) BEGIN INSERT INTO zipcodeset(PostalCode, Latitude, Longitude) SELECT LEFT(PostalCode,3), Avg(Latitude), Avg(Longitude) FROM zipcodeset GROUP BY LEFT(PostalCode,3) END
I'm waiting for those FSA Boundary shape files to be released as well so if you see them get published to that site please post a reply here so we can amend the answer. They are now published
The FSA shapefiles are up now at http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/geo/bound-limit/bound-limit-2011-eng.cfm I just downloaded them, now only if there was an LDU shapefile available...
Here is a picture of the LDU shapefile loaded in QGIS and zoomed into Stanley Park in Vancouver BC:
The data is available through the Platinum Postal Suite, v2008.3, 2008 which I was able to access through my university account. The LDU data is for all of Canada and is broken up into a per province structure, unfortunately you have to download all of them at the same time though which makes it larger than 1 gb...
There are commercial available canada postal code data as well, they are usually more precise and up to date. Can refer to IGEOCODE postal code products at http://www.igeocode.com/products/capostalcodes/demo/
Here is a link to a crowdsourced shapefile.
Canada Post is suing over this:
I don't see how Canada Post can claim copyright over addresses submitted to a crowdsourced project, but I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.
They are available in link below in the forward sortation area: