Annual maximum rainfall data from 51 stations in Canada were analyzed for trends and changes by using the Mann–Kendall trend test and a bootstrap resampling approach, respectively. Rainfall data were analyzed for nine durations ranging from 5 min to 24 h. The data analyzed are typically used in the development of intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves, which are used for estimating design rainfall values that form an input for the design of critical water infrastructure. The results reveal more increasing than decreasing trends and changes in the data with more increasing changes and larger changes, noted for the longer rainfall durations. The results also indicate that a traditional trend test may not be sufficient when the interest is in identifying changes in design rainfall quantiles. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.