UPDATE April 13, 2009
Canada online passport renewal system is not working and will be terminated effective May 1, 2009. And as of June 1, 2009, most Canadians going by land or sea to US will need a passport. (Air travellers already need a passport). Canadians see this link for details.
US (Americans) see this link for details.
Original post Backgrounder:
'Canadians 16 years of age and older who are applying for a passport can speed up the process by completing an online registration application that gets them in and out of the passport office, new document in hand, in about 10 minutes.
While I haven't had to use this method myself, several contacts have informed me of this short time span, and how pleased they are to have a once-dreaded chore turned into a surprisingly painless experience.
So Canadians, listen up: Go to Passport Canada Online and follow the steps listed there. You will still need your passport photo certified in the usual way, and then taken with you to the passport office.