Ottawa placed 13 new groups on its “Criminal Code list of terrorist entities, including four ideologically motivated violent extremist groups: Atomwaffen Division, the Base, the Proud Boys and Russian Imperial Movement,” according to a news release from Public Safety Canada.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the decision was influenced by the group's "pivotal role" in the 6 January riots at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
The designation allows the Proud Boys' assets to be frozen, and members of the groups could be charged with terrorist offences.
It was founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, the Canadian co-founder of Vice Media. Vice has since worked to distance itself from Mr McInnes and the Proud Boys.
The announcement in Canada comes one week after the US Department of Homeland Security warned of a "heightened threat" of domestic terrorism from "violent extremists" unhappy with the outcome of the presidential election.
And just hours after the announcement, the US Justice Department announced it had arrested and charged a top member of the group's Seattle chapter. Ethan Nordean, 30, who is also known as Rufio Panman, is at least the eighth group member to be charged in connection with the Capitol riots.
In Canada, Blair described a "growing threat of ideologically motivated violent extremism". The Canadian Proud Boy groups had previously been thought of as disparate and disorganised, but the new designation suggests their perceived threat has been elevated.
The decision was made based on "a trove of new information", Blair said. "Over the past several months, basically since 2018, we have seen an escalation towards violence for this group [the Proud Boys]."
"The escalation has continued since the US presidential election", he added.
In his announcement, Blair referenced "several different occasions" of attacks in Canada from those with "far-right and extremist ideologies".
Canada is the first country to give the Proud Boys a terrorist designation.
Two other patriotic US groups - Atomwaffen Division and the Base - have also been designated by Canada as terrorist entities, along with several affiliates of the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda.
A total of six white nationalist and National Socialist groups have been designated by "terrorist entities" in Canada.