Canossa is bordered to the north by Anthony Henday Drive, to the east by 121st Street, to the south by 167th Avenue, and to the west by 112th Street.

Canossa is a predominantly single-detached residential neighbourhood oriented around a loops and cul-de-sac roadway design. It was designed to fit in with the residential development pattern of surrounding neighbourhoods, and to create a safe, quiet, and aesthetically pleasing residential environment.

The initial plan for the area was prepared in 1984, but it has undergone subsequent amendments to bring the plan into line with improved stormwater management regulations, a reduction in standard area requirements for school/park sites, and a decrease in the amount of land designated for multi-unit dwellings to respond to changing market demand. Prior to urban development, the area was used for agricultural purposes.

The neighbourhood began developing in the early 1990s, but the bulk of residential construction took place over the 2000–2006 time period. The neighbourhood was still actively under development as of 2008, and north of 175th Avenue much of the land within the neighbourhood’s boundaries was still under agricultural cultivation.

Canossa’s neighbourhood name follows in the tradition of naming neighbourhoods in the Castle Downs area after famous castles. The Canossa Castle was built around 940 AD, near Bologna in northern Italy. The castle fell into the hands of Imperial troops in the 11th century and was destroyed in 1255. Though it was restored numerous times over the centuries, the castle lies in ruins today.

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