Antimicrobial resistance is a continuing challenge to the appropriate, timely, cost-effective and ecologically appropriate delivery of antimicrobials. Surveillance studies conducted globally and nationally can assist in determining trends over specific geographical areas and allow comparisons between countries and within very specific infectious processes. CANWARD is an ongoing, national, Health Canada-endorsed, multiyear study focused on both inpatient and outpatient pathogens isolated in Canadian hospitals and determining their degree of antimicrobial resistance, with a particular emphasis on specific wards (medical, surgical, intensive care units, emergency room and clinics) as well as specific infection sites (urine, blood, respiratory and wound). This Supplement documents the initial 5 years of the CANWARD study (2007–11 inclusive). The seven manuscripts in this Supplement provide a comprehensive examination of pathogens covering multiple infectious processes. The data highlight the continued emergence of resistance and should provide to healthcare professionals nationally and globally the current status of antimicrobial resistance in Canada.