Background: Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) is notifiable in Canada with a differential diagnosis that includes a number of conditions. This analysis describes the epidemiology of AFP in Canadian youth less than 15 years old. Methods: Monthly active surveillance for AFP was conducted as part of the Canadian AFP Surveillance System. Results: From 1996 to 2014, 850 cases of AFP were reported, representing an average annual crude incidence rate of 0.77 cases per 100,000 youth less than 15 years old. The mean age of cases was 6.8 years (median 5.9 years). Nine percent had an abnormal neurological history and 53% had an acute respiratory illness within 30 days of onset. Fever occurred in 23% of cases, 96% experienced bilateral weakness, 21% had respiratory muscle involvement, and 26% had cranial nerve involvement. The average hospital length of stay was 13.5 days. The most common diagnoses were Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) or a variant (70%), and transverse myelitis (TM, 14%). At the time of the initial report, 14% had fully recovered. Conclusions: Our AFP surveillance system provides a baseline for AFP and its causes in the Canadian paediatric population. While rare, AFP is associated with severe morbidity in youth. GBS and TM were the most common diagnoses.