The gains topped the expectations of analysts surveyed by Reuters. They predicted, on average, a gain of 10,000 jobs, and the highest prediction was for 25,000.
All the job gains were part time, mirroring part-time losses in July. The unemployment rate remained at 7.3 percent, as forecast, because more Canadians looked for work in August.
"It's likely to support the already hawkish stance of the Bank of Canada. We've had a slew of some disappointing domestic data recently, so this is a positive development for the Canadian dollar," Scotiabank chief currency strategist Camilla Sutton said.
That said, markets priced in a slimmer chance that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates after the Canadian figures, which were released at the same time as weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data.
The U.S. data increased speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve is now more likely to pump additional money into its sluggish economy. Many analysts think Canada's central bank will be more reluctant to tighten monetary policy while its U.S. counterpart is easing.