Championship leader Nico Rosberg scored his seventh career pole position by edging out his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve.
Hamilton, who had dominated practice, setting the fastest time of Friday and then going quickest on Saturday morning, meaning he went into qualifying as the hot favourite at a track in which he enjoyed.
The Mercedes driver had topped both Q1 and Q2 but was outpaced by Rosberg by 68 thousandths of a second on their first runs in Q3 after hitting traffic in the final sector.
Rosberg then made a small improvement on his second run, but it was not necessary as a poor middle sector meant that Hamilton was unable to better his rival’s earlier lap time.
As for the four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, the Red Bull driver was the best-of-the-rest, jumping from sixth to third with a strong final lap.
Williams had looked set to be the closest challenger to Mercedes, but Valtteri Bottas was unable to improve on his final run and ended up in fourth position.
His Williams team-mate Felipe Massa was fifth fastest, just ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso was seventh, his Ferrari not quite showing the speed to threaten the top six at Montreal.
Jean-Eric Vergne was fastest of those who only attempted one run in Q3, shading McLaren’s Jenson Button to eighth place by two-hundredths of a second.
Kimi Raikkonen was the slowest of the Q3 runners, securing tenth place on the grid.
All of the top ten will start the race on super-soft Pirelli thanks to new-for-2014 rules dictating that drivers must use the set they set their best Q2 time on.
Nico Hulkenberg missed out on a place in Q3 by just under half-a-tenth and will start in P11.
As for Kevin Magnussen, the young Dane could only managed P12 after failing to improve on his second run.
Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Daniil Kvyat were P13, P14 and P15 respectively, with Sauber driver Adrian Sutil attempting only one run in Q2 as he had used two sets of super-softs in Q1, ending up in P16.
Pastor Maldonado was eliminated in Q1 after his Lotus ground to a halt in the closing stages.
He had just jumped Marussia pairing Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi before his car developed a technical issue.
After the highs of Monaco in scoring championship points, Jules Bianchi was unable to attempt a second run in Q1 thanks to a car problem, while Chilton had to rely on the time posted on his first run because of incidents late in the session.
Kamui Kobayashi was the faster of the Caterhams in P20 after making a good improvement on his final run, although he will be hit with a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson brought out a red flag with 16 seconds of Q1 remaining after crashing at the exit of the first chicane.
Esteban Gutierrez was unable to participate in qualifying following damage to the chassis sustained in a crash during Saturday morning’s free practice session.
The Sauber team is building up a car around a spare chassis for the Mexican for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
So another Mercedes front row and yet this time, Nico Rosberg is ahead of his team-mate. Race day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be a fascinating battle for supremacy between the Silver Arrows duo.
Canadian Grand Prix, qualifying times:
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m14.874s
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m14.953s
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m15.548s
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m15.550s
5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m15.578s
6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m15.589s
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m15.814s
8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m16.162s
9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m16.182s
10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m16.214s
11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m16.300s
12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m16.310s
13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m16.472s
14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m16.687s
15. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m16.713s
16. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m17.314s
17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m18.328s
18. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m18.348s
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m18.359s
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m19.820s
21. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari no time
22. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m19.278s*
107 per cent time: 1m21.052s
*Five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change