The creation of habitat maps commonly is based on defining regions having similar chemical, physical and biological characteristics. Traditionally, the boundaries between habitat types are established on arbitrarily-chosen levels of physical variables and on approximation of spatial location. Here, we demonstrate a practical method for creating seabed habitat maps using the habitat template approach to integrate multiple environmental fields into a single map. The resulting map shows the distribution of habitats where organisms with particular life history traits are likely to flourish, and provides a spatial framework for integrated management of ocean uses. A case study for the Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy in the northwest Atlantic Ocean illustrates that the parsimonious nature of the modelling approach allows prediction of spatial patterns in benthic habitat types based on readily available oceanographic data.