As of December 31, 2003, Canadian permanent residents require a permanent resident card when returning to Canada by commercial carrier (airplane, boat, train or bus). A permanent resident is someone who has been allowed to enter Canada as an immigrant but who has not become a Canadian citizen. The permanent resident card replaces the paper IMM 1000 Record of Landing document and will be the official proof of status document for Canadian permanent residents.
You cannot apply to a Canadian mission overseas for a Permanent Resident Card. You can only apply for the card from within Canada. A Travel Document facilitates return to Canada.
A Travel Document is only issued under certain conditions. In most cases, you must show that you have complied with the residency obligation required to remain a permanent resident of Canada.