A pair-feeding study was conducted to determine if reduced feed intake (FI) in broiler chickens fed high canola meal (CM) diets per se accounts for reduced growth performance and whether this lower growth rate can be mitigated by increasing dietary amino acid (AA) levels. Five experimental wheat-based diets were formulated as follows: soybean meal (SBM) diet, high CM diet with normal AA concentration, and high CM diets with 3, 6, or 9% additional AA concentration (Lys, Met+Cys, Thr, Ile, Arg, and Val). Another group of birds was pair-fed with SBM diet to the consumption levels of birds fed CM diet with normal AA. There were 6 replicates of 17 male 10-day-old Ross 308 chicks per treatment over grower and finisher periods. Birds fed the CM diets had reduced FI and BWG, but improved FCR (P < 0.01) compared to SBM ad libitum fed birds. The SBM pair-fed birds gained the same weight and exhibited similar FCR compared to CM fed birds. Additional 9% AA improved FCR (P < 0.01) compared to SBM and CM diets with normal AA. No significant differences were observed in ileal digestibility of DM, energy, crude protein, and AA between CM with normal AA and SBM diets. The additional 6 and 9% AA in CM diets increased digestibility of crude protein and some AA (P < 0.05). SBM ad libitum and CM + 6 and 9% AA fed birds had the highest and lowest relative weight of abdominal fat, respectively (P < 0.05). Addition of 6 and 9% AA in CM diets increased relative carcass and breast yields (P < 0.01). Serum triglyceride level was higher in SBM ad libitum fed birds (P < 0.05). The composition of microbiota in the ceca was not affected by treatments. This study showed that reduced growth of birds fed high CM diets is primarily mediated through reduced FI. This growth depression could partially be ameliorated by increasing dietary AA levels.