The 15 Best Online Brokers in Canada for Stock Traders

Best online brokers Canada
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    If you are just starting out your investment journey, it is imperative to find the best online broker in Canada to buy and sell shares. There has probably never been a better time to start investing in the stock markets. This is due to a significant rise in the number of online brokers available for you to begin trading.

    The online brokerage space has become crowded but it has also meant that trading costs are lower and platforms now provide users with a wide range of products and services. As new players enter this segment and capitalize on a widening user base, it might be difficult for traders to find a platform that is a perfect fit.

    However, before you choose an online broker there are a few basic questions you need to answer. Are you a seasoned trader who will buy and sell stocks frequently? Are you a day trader or a long-term investor? Are you looking to invest passively via exchange traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds, or will you apply advanced trading strategies including futures and options?

    While most Canadian stock trading platforms provide you with similar services, there will be a difference in trading fees. As the saying goes- a penny saved is a penny earned. So it’s important to note the subtle differences in price, services offered, and the value they add to your investing goals. Let’s take a look at the best online brokers in Canada for stock traders.

    Qtrade: Best online broker in Canada overall

    Qtrade Direct Investing
    Qtrade Direct Investing
    Offer: Get up to $150 cashback (low-hurdle and quick-pay) . Use Promo code: OFFER150. Conditions apply. Offer ends in October 31, 2023.

    Get up to $150 cashback

    Prices and fees

    Qtrade Direct Investing is an online broker in Canada that continuously ranks as the best online broker in Canada by like the likes of the Globe and Mail and other major publications. This platform offers trade commissions under $10. Their pricing has two levels, “Investor” and “Investor Plus”.

    For the “Investor” pricing level, equity commissions are $8.75 per trade, options trades are $8.75 plus $1.25 per contract, and select ETFs are commission-free. The “Investor Plus” pricing level offers clients equity commissions of $6.95 per trade. But to qualify for this pricing level, clients must either trade at least 150 times per quarter or have at least $500,000 in assets. Investor Qtrade Direct Investing has an administration fee of $25 per quarter for clients with combined account balances of less than $25,000. You can waive the fee by placing at least 2 commission-generating trades per quarter.

    The fee for U.S. Dollar accounts is $60 per year, or $15 per quarter. For registered accounts, the minimum threshold to waive the administration fee is $25,000 (combined for all accounts) and the administration fee amount is $100 per year.

    Account Type and Investment Products

    You can choose between two categories of accounts: “investment accounts” and “self-directed registered plans”. Investment accounts consist of cash and margin accounts, both in Canadian or U.S. dollars. Self-Directed Registered Plans include TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs, and more.

    In both categories of accounts, individuals can trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options and new issues. Like other Canadian dealers, there are certain restrictions. Short selling and trading in complex options is only permitted in margin accounts. Qtrade offers Morningstar as a resource for information.

    Trading Platform

    Qtrade offers a primarily web-based trading platform. From the web-based platform, it is possible to perform the standard order functions present with most brokers. There is also a mobile app available through the App Store and Google Play. It offers real-time quotes, allowing you to follow and manage all your accounts. You can also move money between your Qtrade accounts and other financial institutions. Plus, you can oversee your watchlists and keep an eye on the stocks you’re interested in trading.

    In terms of access to additional market data, Qtrade also offers Qtrade Streamer which provides 15 minutes of delayed data for $1.99 per month or $14.99 plus exchange fees. For Level 2 depth, the cost is $34.99 per month, plus exchange fees.


    • Online account opening
    • Account dashboard


    • Lack of free resources
    • Outdated platform

    Questrade: Best online broker in Canada for FHSA accounts

    Code : Hardbacon : $50 trade commission rebate; or, $10,000 managed free for a year


    Prices and fees

    Questrade is one of the overall best online brokers in Canada and offers a “self-managed investment price” where you pay a fee of $0.01 per share traded, for a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95. For Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), the purchase is free and the sale works the same way as shares. Options are billed at a cost of $9.95, plus $1 per contract. Mutual funds are also $9.95. Finally, you must make a minimum purchase of $5,000 to buy bonds or guaranteed investment certificates (GICs).

    For active traders

    If you are an active investor, you can choose between the fixed or variable plan. For the fixed plan, you pay $4.95 per transaction on stocks and $4.95 plus $0.75 per contract on options. You buy the ETFs for free and sell them for $4.95. The variable plan charges a fee of $0.01 per share traded, for a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95. That’s $6.95 (plus $0.75) per option contract. You buy the ETFs for free and sell them for $0.01 per share, for a maximum of $6.95.

    ECNs for electronic communication networks may be charged. Rather than including these fees in their trading commissions, they charge them to each investor who incurs these fees. ECN fees do not apply to all trades.

    Account Type and Investment Products

    In terms of account type, you can invest in almost any type of account, with the most popular being a TFSA, RRSP, RESP, margin account, and more. It’s also the first online broker to make the tax-free First Home Savings Account available to users.

    You can purchase all investment products. Like most platforms, you can buy guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, fixed income, options and new issues. With Questrade, you can also trade in the foreign exchange and precious metals markets.

    From your margin account, you can leverage stock trading, short-sell your holdings, trade complex option strategies and also leverage your precious metals trading expertise.

    Trading Platforms

    This online broker also allows you to customize your trading platform based on your desktop vs mobile app preferences, the trading features you want, and how active you trade. You have two main platforms available both on desktop and as a mobile app: Questrade Trading and Questrade Edge, with a third platform for those who want access to global markets, called Questrade Global. The two main platforms both offer relatively the same functionality, but active investors will probably prefer Questrade Edge because they will have access to more options and customization.

    Quest Trading & QuestMobile

    The Quest Trading web platform is very easy to use and gives you a complete trading experience, while its QuestMobile is an app that allows you quickly and easily trade from anywhere, and also does a great job of providing basic trading options. These include quotes, charts, watch lists, news and account management.

    Questrade Edge & Questrade Edge Mobile

    For the Questrade Edge desktop platform, you’ll have many more customization options, including the addition of quick trade buttons, alerts, a profit and loss calculator, filtering, and a list of market participants for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

    You also have the ability to skip the order confirmation window by creating shortcuts on your keyboard. In addition, default order values can be set for stocks and options, as well as order parameters, including order type, duration and route. Questrade offers Morningstar as a resource for information.

    Questrade Edge Mobile is designed as a sleek on-the-go complement to the web-based version. It’s Questrade’s most potent trading tool for mobile use. With its ultra-fast operation and polished interface, it grants access to advanced order options such as bracket orders, multi-leg option orders, and more.

    Questrade Global

    Questrade Global is a much more advanced platform if you’re interested in trading FOREX and CFDs. It’s available as a desktop version as well as an app, allowing you to keep tabs on your investments whether you’re at home or out and about. Questrade Global gives you quick and simple trading access to global markets as well as live charts, economic updates, and alerts.


    • FHSA account
    • Design concepts
    • Chat capacity
    • Multiple options


    • ECN Fees
    • ETF commissions on sell orders
    • Some navigation problems

    Wealthsimple Trade: Best online broker in Canada for zero-commission trading on Canadian stocks

    Wealthsimple Trade
    Wealthsimple Trade
    Get a $50 cash bonus and commission-free trades when you open a Wealthsimple Trade or Crypto account and deposit and trade at least $150.

    Get a $50 cash bonus and commission-free trades

    Prices and fees

    Wealthsimple Trade is another one of the best online brokers in Canada because it stands as an almost cost-free platform and opening an account is fast and easy. Wealthsimple does not charge any commissions and there is no requirement in terms of minimum account balances either. Compared to other online brokers who charge different fees depending on the type of transaction you make, Wealthsimple only charges a fee for currency conversion.

    While Wealthsimple positions itself as a free trading platform, that’s not entirely true. If you trade US-listed securities in Canadian dollars, you’ll be charged conversion fees. That means only Canadian-listed securities are actually free while US securities come at a cost that beginners are probably not aware of.

    Having said that, only a 1.50% conversion fee is charged when you trade US stocks in Canadian dollars and vice versa. This is very little compared to the average of other platforms that charge around 2%.

    If you want to skip the conversion fee on US trades, you can open a USD account. Then you’ll be able to trade, deposit, and withdraw in USD without any conversion fees. You’ll only incur conversion fees when you convert money to or from Canadian dollars (CAD). USD accounts also cost $10 plus any applicable taxes per month. If you have at least $100,000 in assets with Wealthsimple, the account fee is waived.

    The rest of the transactions are entirely free. Transaction fees, options commissions, annual fees and account maintenance fees all cost $0.

    Account type and investment products

    Wealthsimple Trade allows you to trade in TFSAs, RRSPs and non-registered accounts. They are currently working on other accounts to be integrated into their platform. In terms of investment choices, you can trade guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, fractional shares, fixed income, options. You can also trade crypto within the app, making Wealthsimple on of the best online brokers in Canada for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

    Trading Platform

    The Wealthsimple Trade platform has been designed primarily for mobile devices. The application is available on iOS and Android. You also have the option to invest via their web platform. It is very simple to learn and use. However, since Wealthsimple is a relatively new online broker in Canada, it lacks many important features. There is very little information about stocks. There are no analysis tools and no way to automatically buy or sell stocks. In addition, you can only trade on Canadian and American stock exchanges. There will be more options in the future, but they will be paid for.


    • Unlimited commission-free transactions at $0
    • User-friendly application
    • No minimum account balance required
    • Easy account setup
    • Can trade crypto


    • RRSP, RESP, RRIF, FHSA and margin accounts are not available.
    • Separate dashboards for Wealthsimple Trade and Wealthsimple Invest
    • Limited security analysis functionality in the application
    • Limited trading tools & analytics

    BMO InvestorLine: Best online broker in Canada for market research

    BMO Investorline Self-Directed

    BMO Investorline Self-Directed

    Invest in different accounts like a TFSA, RRSP, RESP and more!
    - Unlock access to some of Canada's most popular ETF's without commission fees, and take advantage of industry-leading research and real-time quotes;
    - Take advantage of our easy-to-use analysis tools to benchmark, customize, and track your performance.

    Prices and fees

    BMO InvestorLine is an online broker in Canada that charges a standard trading commission rate of $9.95 per trade for all clients. However, there are no commissions charged on certain ETFs. For experienced and active traders, BMO InvestorLine offers a program with additional features and special pricing.

    For example, if you’re an investor who makes over 15 trades per quarter or invests $250,000 or more, the BMO 5 Star Program is designed for you. This exclusive program offers attractive rates and pricing, with members enjoying the benefit of reduced costs. You also get access to professional tools, such as the BMO Active Trader, enhancing their trading experience.

    The program offers industry-leading research to help investors make informed decisions. And to top it all off, members receive dedicated 5-star customer support, ensuring they have the help they need when they need it.

    Account Type and Investment Products

    With BMO Self-Directed InvestorLine, you can invest in guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, ETFs, equities, fixed income, options.

    There are several types of accounts offered by BMO InvestorLine, including: margin accounts, retirement savings accounts (RRSPs, LIRAs, RSPs), RESPs and TFSAs. A popular feature among many investors is that U.S. dollar registered accounts are available at no charge. As mentioned above, many of these accounts may incur fees if balances are below a certain level. For non-registered accounts, the minimum balance to avoid incurring quarterly fees is $10,000 for TFSA and RESP accounts. For RRSPs, the minimum balance to avoid the $100 annual fee is $25,000.

    Trading Platform

    BMO InvestorLine clients can trade using a web browser or mobile app. The web-based trading platform is very similar to the platforms of other online brokers. You can do high-quality research, use analytical tools, track your performance, etc. The research tools allow you to get all the information you need to stay informed. In addition, whether you are a beginner or an advanced investor, the analysis tools are there to help you analyze the data in depth and invest.

    These tools are powered by Trading Central, a leading third-party trading tool that allows you to analyze potential investments in detail. Once you have analyzed your investments and completed the necessary research, you can trade stocks through the Self-Directed Investments service.

    Finally, once you have completed your transactions, the Self-Directed Investments service provides you with tools to track your performance. BMO InvestorLine also offers mobile trading through its mobile investing application. The broker offers Morningstar and S&P Global Ratings as resources for information.



    • Online account opening
    • In-depth account information
    • Stock Picks / ETFs
    • Poor customer service
    • High Commission
    • Performance problem on cell phones

    CI Direct Trading: Best online broker in Canada for self-directed dividend reinvestment

    CI Direct Investing
    CI Direct Investing
    Discover your perfect investment match.
    Manage your finances effortlessly with a user-friendly website and mobile app.
    Control your financial future with personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor, tailored to your needs and goals - all within your budget.

    Prices and fees

    CI Direct Trading (formerly Virtual Brokers) is the DIY trading platform offered by CI Direct Investing. Their commission plans offer investors a price of USD $0.01 per share with a range of between USD 1.99 and USD 7.99 “per ticket” for equity transactions. For active traders who trade more than 150 trades per quarter, the price is fixed at $3.99. Combined with the commission-free purchase of ETFs and the 150 commission-free buy and sell ETF transactions, CI Direct Trading offers a competitive price to investors.

    “Per ticket” pricing means that you are charged by the management of a trade in a particular security. For example, if an investor buys 200 shares of TSLA at 11:00 am and then buys another 500 shares of TSLA at 2:00 pm on the same day, the total commission charged would be 700 shares x $0.01 = $7.00 (as opposed to 2 commission fees charged for 2 trades.).

    There is a quarterly inactivity fee of $24.95. This fee can be waived if you make at least one commission-generating transaction worth at least $6.49 in a quarter, if you are under 26 years of age, if you have at least $5,000 combined across all accounts, or if you are a registered charity.

    Account type and investment products

    CI Direct Trading offers customers the ability to trade on both registered and non-registered accounts. In addition, you can trade guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed income, options and new issues. Registered accounts include TFSAs, RRSPs, RRIFs, RESPs, LRIFs and LIFs, among others.

    The non-registered account offered by this online platform in Canada is called the “All in One” account, which is a combination of equity, options, margin and short accounts.

    Investment Plans

    A standout feature of that makes this one of the best online brokers in Canada are the trading programs available for different types of investors. CI Direct Trading offers 4 different programs: Kick Start Investment Program (KIP), Student Benefit Program, Self-Directed Dividend Purchase Plan (Self-Directed DPP), and a Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP).


    KIP is tailored for young Canadians and is an automated purchase plan that does not charge trading fees or commissions. Every month, a pre-determined amount is automatically transferred from the user’s bank account to their trading account, which is then used to buy up to five different Canadian or U.S. stocks or ETFs chosen by the client. Plus, students or recent grades within the last 2 years aren’t charged any yearly fees.

    Student Benefit Program

    For students still in school or trying kick-starting their career, every penny counts. With the Student Benefit Program, people under the age of 26 do not have to pay any account administrative fees.

    Self-Directed DPP

    Unlike a traditional Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIP), the Self-Directed Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP) lets you decide where to reinvest your dividends. With this program, your dividends are gathered into a single fund. This accumulated fund is then automatically used to buy the stocks or ETFs that you’ve selected.

    Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP)

    The Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP) uses your dividends to automatically buy shares on the market. Unlike a Self-Directed Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP) which collects dividends in a separate account, a DPP buys or sells shares in the same account. Plus, while a Self-Directed DPP only works in non-registered accounts, the DPP can be used in any account.

    Qtrade Direct Investing
    Qtrade Direct Investing
    Offer: Get up to $150 cashback (low-hurdle and quick-pay) . Use Promo code: OFFER150. Conditions apply. Offer ends in October 31, 2023.

    Get up to $150 cashback

    Trading Platforms

    CI Direct Trading offers many more trading platform options than most other online brokers. The standard web-based platform is recommended for its simplicity and efficiency. You can view your purchasing power, net equity, margin and open orders on the same page before you trade. The dashboard allows you to trade stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, GICs and new issues, with a simple layout designed to get the job done quickly.

    The standard mobile application platform is recommended for its ease of use. It allows you to trade from anywhere. The platform is fast, secure and reliable. You can view your account details, transactions and positions, and transfer funds in and out of your accounts.

    Both standard platform are free, with more advanced platforms designed for advanced traders for a cost. Developed for professional traders, the desktop based PowerTrader Pro was originally only available to institutional level investors but is now available for active traders for US $250. With PowerTrader Pro, you can enter, manage and route complex options orders to designated execution destinations. The Complex Options module includes order management and selected risk controls. Free quotes are available for those who trade complex options.

    RealTick EMS costs US $400 and is designed for brokers who require quick and transparent access to global liquidity and advanced real-time analysis. This trading platform provides you with centralized access to aggregated liquidity and tools to dynamically manage positions, portfolios and trading risks in the global equity, futures and options markets.

    ITS TraderLite costs US $580 and is recommended for custom configurations. The platform enables high-performance trading in all Canadian markets. It allows you to configure various displays depending on how you want to work. It also offers a wide range of benefits including a small system footprint, U.S. market data, U.S. order entry capability, friend trading capabilities and registered broker functionality.


    • Video FAQ Account opening process
    • Account
    • Management Resources
    • Self-direct dividend reinvesting


    • Poor customer service
    • Management team not responding

    TD Easy Trade: Best online broker in Canada for first-time traders

    Prices and Fees

    TD Easy Trade is an app-only platform designed for new traders. You don’t need any experience to get started and the app is exceptionally straightforward and easy to use. Simple “how to” videos teach you how to trade and understand investing while you grow your portfolio, and you can ask questions during their free Learning Lab classes.

    There are no account fees and no minimum amount required, allowing you to start trading quickly with whatever amount you’re comfortable with. This online broker gives you 50 free stock trades each year plus unlimited free trades on TD ETFs. After your first 50 stock trades, you’ll pay $9.99 each for both US and Canadian stocks. 

    Type of account and investment products

    Account types are limited to just three: TFSA, RRSP, or an unregistered personal account. Each account automatically comes with both CAD and US currency components, allowing you the opportunity to save on currency conversion fees by holding both currencies in your account. 

    When it comes to investment products, the selection is extremely limited. You can only trade Canadian and US stocks, TD ETFs, and American Depository Receipts (ADRs).  

    Trading Platform

    TD Easy Trade is only available as a mobile app. It is designed for new and younger traders with little to no experience who prefer the convenience and accessibility of trading on a mobile phone or other smart device. In addition to in-app learning resources, you can also set investing goals. Decide what you want to achieve with your money, pick a plan that fits your goal, and discover how different investment products can help you reach that goal.

    As your experience and comfort level grow, you’ll want to consider switching to a different online broker with more advanced features, a better selection of accounts and investment products, as well as lower fees. However, if you want to stay with TD, you should consider switching to their feature-rich platform TD Direct Investing


    • No investment minimums to get started
    • No account fees
    • 50 free stock trades per year
    • Unlimited TD ETF trades
    • Dual currency accounts
    • Free learning resources


    • Accounts are limited to TFSA, RRSP, and personal 
    • Can only trade stocks, TD ETFs, and ADRs
    • After your first 50 free stock trades each year, each one will cost you $9.99
    • Not many research tools

    National Bank Direct Brokerage: Best online broker in Canada for big bank zero-commission trading

    Prices and fees

    Back in late 2016, the National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) was the first Canadian brokerage to offer commission-free trades on ETFs for investors buying over 100 shares. This was aimed at making investing more accessible to the retail investor. This online broker is now one of the cheapest for active investors and their offer for young investors is rather attractive.

    There are no commission fees when you trade stocks and ETFs. For investors making more than 100 transactions per quarter (every 3 months), they can pay as little as $0.95 per transaction. As for young investors between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, they have commission prices as low as $4.95 per transaction and get 10 free transactions per year. Investors holding a bank account with the National Bank have discounts on transaction fees, which cost them $6.95.

    Another price advantage is the commission on the sale and purchase of ETFs. All purchases and sales of U.S. or Canadian ETFs are eligible for free commissions. The only requirements are that you must have a minimum of 100 ETF units in the transaction and that you receive your documents electronically.

    All accounts with less than $20,000 as of May 31 must pay a $100 account maintenance fee. However, you can avoid these fees if you make more than 5 trades per year, if you have an Investcube account, if you are an active investor making more than 100 trades per quarter, if you are a young investor between 18 and 30 years old, or if you have subscribed to a promotion for professionals.

    Type of account and investment products

    With this online broker in Canada, you can trade in a registered or non-registered account. You can trade U.S. and Canadian equities, guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, fixed-income securities, options and new issues.

    At the registered account level, you can save in a TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, or RESP. However, like most online brokers, you cannot invest in registered accounts on margin. Otherwise, you can invest with cash, margin, or short-selling in a non-registered account.

    Trading Platforms

    National Bank Direct Brokerage offers two platforms. The Market Q platform is offered to active investors. With this platform, you can monitor quotes in real-time, create dynamic charts, take advantage of advanced fundamental and technical analysis functions, customize your interface and create personalized alerts.

    The classic platform is available to all investors. With it, you can monitor your investments, conduct your transactions with complete peace of mind, consult stock quotes, access decision support tools and benefit from analyses by National Bank Financial experts. National Bank Direct Brokerage offers Morningstar and Trading Central as resources.


    • New-look
    • Seminar series
    • MarketQ


    • Service Levels
    • Educational Resources
    • Account information is too basic

    Friedberg Direct: Best online broker for CFDs on stocks

    Prices and fees

    Friedberg Direct does not charge commissions. They make money from the spread. Also, after 3 consecutive months of inactivity, a $50 fee will be deducted from your account. If you continue not to use your account for 12 consecutive months, an administration fee of $100 will also be deducted. This is to compensate for the cost incurred to make the service available, even if it is not to be used.

    Account Type and Investment Products

    Friedberg Direct offers a product that is uncommon with most other Canadian online brokers: contracts for difference (CFDs). CFDs are financial instruments that allows you to take advantage of price fluctuations without actually buying the stock. You do not physically own the asset whose price difference you are trading. For example, if you think the price of crude oil will rise tomorrow, you can buy a crude oil CFD. With Friedberg you can trade CFDs on stocks, but also on bonds, commodities and some options, in addition to trading currencies on FOREX.

    Trading Platform

    Friedberg Direct is powered by AvaTrade Technology. This means that you are actually trading on Avatrade’s platforms, with its tools:

    • WebTrader (user-friendly platform)
    • MetaTrader 4 (suitable for beginners and advanced traders)
    • MetaTrader 5 (state-of-the-art tools, automated trading, etc.)
    • Mac Trading (for Mac users)
    • Ava Options (for calls and puts orders)

    All trading platforms offered by AvaTrade are free of charge. So you can use more than one. You can also request a demo before opening your account.

    Each platform has its own set of tools, but in general you will find all the popular technical indicators available on any: moving averages, Fibonacci, etc. You will also be able to draw your own trend lines and support and resistance levels. Because every platform is different, it might be good to test them out before committing to a specific platform.


    • Almost free of charge
    • CFD and FOREX trading


    • No registered accounts (TFSA, RRSP, etc.)

    Interactive Brokers: Best online broker in Canada for active traders

    Prices and fees

    Interactive Brokers comes with a complicated fee structure depending on what asset you’re trading and in what currency. Since Interactive Brokers’ main clients are professional and institutional investors, they have bet on commissions at the lowest possible price.

    There are two basic pricing systems which include tiered pricing and fixed pricing. As the name suggests, tiered pricing commissions will decrease based on the volume you trade. It also depends on the trading exchange as well as clearing fees. 

    If you buy up to 300,000 shares per month, the amount is $0.008 per share. This reduces to $0.005 per share for monthly trades between 300,001 and 3,000,000. The platform charges $0.004 per share between 3,000,0001 and 20 million shares traded each month while the fee is $0.003 per share for monthly trading volumes higher than 20 million. US-listed ETFs are free to trade.

    Account Type and Investment Products

    Interactive Brokers Canada offers registered plan accounts such as RRSPs, TFSAs, CAD and USD non-registered accounts, formal and informal trusts, margin accounts, and more. RRSP and TFSA accounts are available in both Canadian and U.S. dollars, but direct cash deposits to registered accounts are only available in Canadian dollars.

    In addition, a quarterly maintenance fee of $12.50 applies to RRSP accounts. There are also certain restrictions on RRSP accounts that are not common with other online brokers, such as the lack of Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) support.

    You can invest in all kinds of investment products with Interactive Broker. For example, you can invest in derivatives, exchange-traded funds, stocks, fixed-income securities, options, foreign currency, and more.

    Trading Platform

    The most popular Interactive Brokers platform is the desktop-based Trader Workstation (TWS). It offers absolutely everything, including global assets. Although TWS is not designed for new investors, it ranks among the best platforms offered by an online broker in Canada. Watchlists can include stocks, individual options, futures, forex, warrants, etc. You have 494 column customization options. IBot, also available in TWS mobile, uses an artificial intelligence database to quickly respond to customer requests via chat.

    A disadvantage of TWS is the action search function. It is tricky because of the wide range of securities available for trading. For example, if you type “TSLA” for Tesla, you will get a large number of possible results, which can be confusing for novice investors.

    For less experienced investors, Interactive Brokers offers the web-based ” Client Portal” platform. This platform includes all the basic functionality needed to invest in a core portfolio. It is much less robust but much easier to use. IBKR Mobile lets you easily monitor your account and make trades from a mobile device like your phone or tablet, and IBKR is a mobile app that lets you make international trades from a mobile device as well.


    • A seamless online-to-mobile experience
    • Product availability
    • World Trade


    • Online platform designed for experienced traders
    • U.S.-centric formulation and messaging
    • Not designed for the average investor

    TD Direct Investing: Best online broker in Canada for learning resources & self-directed RDSP

    Prices and fees

    TD Direct Investing has a standard commission price of $9.99 per transaction. Unlike other brokers, there is no deposit or minimum number of transactions to obtain this price. For active investors make at least a 150 trades per quarter, the cost per transaction is $7.00. For regular traders, Options trading has a cost per transaction of $9.99, plus $1.25 per contract, and $7.00, plus $1.25 per contract for active traders.

    Although all investors can have a price of $9.99 per transaction, clients with a balance of less than $15,000 are subject to a $25 administration fee that is billed quarterly. You can waive this fee under certain conditions: complete a minimum of 2 commission-generating transactions in 6 months, have a TD Direct Investing registered account or be enrolled in a pre-authorized contribution plan of $100 per month or more.

    Account Type and Investment Products

    TD Direct Investing offers both registered and non-registered accounts. Registered account types include TFSAs, RRSPs and RESPs. It’s also one of the only platforms that provides self-directed Registered Disability Savings Plan accounts. For non-registered accounts, TD Direct Investing offers cash and margin accounts. If you want to trade options and short sell, a margin account and approval is required.

    To manage currency conversions in registered accounts, TD Direct Investing has set up a “U.S. Dollar Money Market Scanning and Trading” service. The service automatically routes the funds required to settle the transaction through a U.S. dollar money market fund, so that a client does not pay the currency conversion fee. They have also extended the service to dividend payments so that customers receiving payments or making dividend purchases in U.S. dollars do not have to pay additional conversion fees.

    In terms of investment products available, you have several choices including guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, fixed income securities and options.

    Trading Platforms

    You can choose between 4 platforms.

    The WebBroker online trading and investment platform is the most popular. It has several trading tools, market data and research reports to help you manage your investments online. With WebBroker, you can create a diversified portfolio of stocks, exchange-traded funds, options and bonds in the Canadian and U.S. markets.

    The TD application allows you to monitor the performance of your portfolio, keep up to date on market events, learn and trade on the go. The home screen is customizable to help you access investment features. Instant real-time quotes are free, including company profiles, fundamentals, news and charts for stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and option chains. You can access the TD Direct Investing Learning Centre for training for all levels of investors. Finally, you can set up price and volume alerts directly on your cell phone.

    The advanced dashboard platform allows you to take it to the next level. You’ll be able to take advantage of real-time market data, analytical tools and advanced trading capabilities.

    You’ll have access to U.S. and Canadian equity and options trading with streaming real-time market data, news and charts. Advanced order types include conditional orders, cross-segment option strategies and option transfers. Finally, you will have access to a wide range of trading and application parameters that can be customized to suit your personal preferences.

    The thinkorswim platform (powered by TD Ameritrade) is for advanced investors. With its professional-quality tools and resources, the thinkorswim trading platform offers a global, live Tier II advantage in US equity and options trading. The trading platform is fully customizable, with real-time streaming of Level I and Level II American equities and options data. You can trade multi-component option strategies (maximum of four). When you activate your account, the minimum deposit is US$25,000. To trade options, you must maintain a balance of US$25,000 in each account.

    TD offers Morningstar and TD Economics as resources for information.


    • Self-directed RDSP
    • In-depth market information
    • Analyst Overviews
    • Multiple options


    • Account Management Services
    • Mix-up in banking integration
    • Limited mobile resources

    Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat): Best online broker in Canada for French-speaking Canadians

    Prices and fees

    Formerly called Disnat, Desjardins Online Brokerage is an online broker in Canada provided by Desjardins. With Disnat Classic, you can trade stocks and ETFs for free. For options, you pay $1.25 per contract, for a minimum of $8.75. Most mutual funds are commission-free. Finally, fixed income securities are at a minimum of $50 per transaction. Inactivity fees are $30 per quarter. However, you pay no fees if the value of the portfolio is $15,000 or more, if 6 transactions were made in the last 12 months or if one of the following plans is held: RRSP, RRIF, RESP.

    At the Disnat Direct level, stocks and ETFs are also commission-free as well as most mutual funds. For options, you pay $1.25 per contract for a minimum of $8.75. Finally, fixed-income securities are at a minimum of $50 per transaction. Inactivity fees are the same as for Disnat Classic, with the same conditions for removing them.

    Account type and investment products

    Desjardins Online Brokerage offers a selection of non-registered and registered accounts. Regular accounts at Disnat include cash accounts (available only with Disnat Classic), margin accounts, margin option accounts and short selling accounts. Registered accounts offered by Desjardins include RRSPs, TFSAs and RESPs, as well as LIRAs, RIFs and LIFs. While most types of registered accounts are available to Disnat Direct and Disnat Classic clients, RESPs are only available to Disnat Classic clients.

    You can invest in a variety of investment products such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed income securities, options and new issues.

    Trading Platforms

    Disnat offers two platforms. The Disnat Classic platform is a simple web-based platform. Customers can conduct transactions, check account balances, monitor order status, create watch lists and conduct basic and technical research.

    Disnat Direct offers several platform options for active brokers. Their standard offering, DD Web, is comparable to many other online brokerage web browser-based platforms and the Disnat Classic platform. Depending on the platform and whether or not a client wishes to trade the TSX-V, the cost of data ranges from $35 to $105 depending on the data platform you choose.

    The good news is that discounts are offered on data costs depending on your trading volume. The Market Q data platform is free if you make at least 10 trades per month, and the more expensive Market Q data platform level 2 is free if you make at least 41 trades per month. This highlights why Disnat Direct is an active broker product. Disnat offers Morningstar as a resource for information.


    • Available in French
    • Wide range of customer seminars
    • Disnat Reports (GPS)
    • Search for stocks


    • Basic account information
    • Basic Navigation Design

    CIBC Investor’s Edge: Best online broker in Canada for CIBC clients

    Prices and fees

    CIBC Investor’s Edge has established a standard commission price of $6.95 per trade. They also introduced a student-friendly pricing structure that reduced the standard commission price to $5.95 per transaction and waived the annual fee associated with account balances under $10,000. Young investors under the age of 25 with a CIBC Smart Start chequing account enjoy commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs.

    There is also an active investor price of $4.95 per transaction for individuals or households making at least 150 transactions per quarter. A unique feature pools assets per household to take advantage of the Active Investor offers.

    An account maintenance fee of $100 is charged annually for balances under $25,000. This fee is waived for individuals who also hold a registered account such as an RRSP, RESP, RIF, LIF or LIRA. The price of standard options is $6.95 + $1.25 per contract. Active Broker Options are priced at $4.95 + $1.25 per contract.

    Account Type and Investment Products

    CIBC Investor’s Edge offers clients the ability to trade online in both non-registered and registered accounts. For registered accounts, CIBC Investor’s Edge offers the TFSA, RRSP and RESP accounts. There is an administration fee of $100 per year for RRSP accounts that do not meet the minimum balance threshold of $25,000. However, TFSAs and RESPs do not have an administration fee. CIBC Investor’s Edge can hold U.S. dollars or Canadian dollars in their registered accounts.

    You can invest in these investment products: guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed-income securities, options, initial public offerings, precious metals, structured notes, and Canadian Depository Receipts (CDRs). CDRs make it easy to buy shares in US companies in Canadian dollars and act as hedge against currency fluctuations.

    Trading Platform

    You can transact from the online platform as well as from the mobile application. The standard web-based platform provides most of the essential functions for order entry, trade execution notification, alerts, daily market reports, watch list creation and monitoring, as well as basic charting and fundamental research.

    Their platform is comparable to most standard online trading interfaces. The mobile brokerage application is available on iPhone and Android. CIBC Investor’s Edge offers Morningstar and Thomson Reuters as a resource for information.

    Investor’s Edge is a valuable tool packed with information and tips to help you optimize your investments. It lets you track popular stocks and themes based on trusted news sources, blogs, and social media. It offers resources for technical analysis, allowing you to identify new opportunities for stocks and ETFs, and lets you keep track of analyst performance.

    It also provides access to expert insights from top economists, tax experts, and investment analysts through various media like articles, videos, and webinars. Signing up for newsletters provides a comprehensive look at market movements.


    • Share commissions
    • FX Transfers
    • Market Notifications


    • Management team not responding
    • Transactional processes

    Scotia iTRADE: Best online broker in Canada for ESG investing tools

    Prices and fees

    Scotia iTRADE has set its standard commission price at $9.99 per transaction. Active investors are also eligible for commissions of $4.99 per transaction, subject to a minimum of 150 transactions per quarter. For options trading, the cost is $9.99 plus $1.25 per contract. Finally, for clients who make more than 150 transactions per quarter, the cost of trading options is $4.99, plus $1.25 per contract.

    Scotia iTRADE charges a quarterly $25 inactivity fee to customers who have less than $10,000 combined in all their iTRADE accounts. To avoid paying this fee, investors can make at least one commission-generating trade per quarter or hold a registered account.

    In terms of account maintenance fees, for non-registered accounts, you pay $25 per quarter if no chargeable transactions have been made during the quarter. For TFSAs, there are no fees. For the RRSP, it’s $100 per year and free if one of the following conditions is met: maintain a balance greater than $25,000 or make at least 12 transactions per year. Finally, for the RESP, the fees are $25 per year or exempt if you meet one of the following conditions: maintain a balance of more than $25,000 or make at least 12 transactions per year.

    Type of account and investment products

    Scotia iTRADE offers online trading in both non-registered and registered accounts. For non-registered accounts, Scotia iTRADE offers both cash and margin accounts. Margin accounts to be used for short selling where options trading requires additional approval and minimum capital requirements.

    For registered accounts, Scotia iTRADE offers TFSAs, RRSPs, and RESPs. Registered accounts such as RRSPs are available in both U.S. and Canadian currency, but note that U.S. account types have a quarterly fee of $30 per account. Investors with RRSP accounts who have less than $25,000 in total in all their accounts and who make fewer than 12 commission-generating trades per year are subject to an annual fee of $100.

    Trading Platform

    Scotia iTrade offers a desktop and mobile trading platform. For the web interface, the platform allows fundamental and technical analysis, charting and watch list tracking. They also have an order entry and review system that allows multiple orders to be managed.

    Their advanced trading platform, FlightDesk, is designed for advanced or active brokers. FlightDesk is available in two versions, the standard version and the premium version.

    The premium version offers level 2 streaming quotes, option chain trading and advanced option analysis. Data pricing for both the standard and premium versions of FlightDesk is based on the amount of assets and the number of transactions. It is free for those who trade more than 30 times per quarter and $79.95 per month for the FlightDesk premium service for those who trade less.

    For mobile users, Scotia iTRADE offers a mobile application on IOS and Android. There is also an iPad application. The broker offers Refinitiv and Thomson Reuters as resources for information.

    A standout out feature that makes Scotia iTrade one of the best online brokers in Canada is it’s unique sustainability insights. This platform was the first to give self-directed investors access to sustainable investing tools to help you find investment ideas that match your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values.

    They’ve partner with Sustainalytics to provide insights and offer detailed ESG performance ratings for over 1,200 companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Russell 1000 Index. These ratings consider factors like labor relations, use of clean energy, commitment to green initiatives, and adherence to ethical business practices.


    • Exclusive ESG investing tools
    • Account Management Services
    • Inventory Reviews
    • Banking integration


    • Poor customer service
    • Management team not responding
    • Minimum resources

    RBC Direct Investing: Best online broker in Canada for people who bank with RBC

    Prices and fees

    RBC Direct Investing’s stock commission is $9.95 per transaction, regardless of the value of your account or how actively you trade. You can also purchase options with a cost per transaction of $9.95 plus $1.25 per contract. With a standard cost regardless of trade volume, there is no complicated tiered or surprise pricing to worry about.

    Inactivity fees are charged quarterly to those with a balance of less than $15,000. You can waive this fee in several ways. Clients who deposit a minimum of $100 per month into their RBC Direct Investing account as part of a pre-authorized contribution plan, those who make a minimum of 3 commission generating transactions per quarter, those who have a group RRSP with RBC Direct Investing, those who are eligible for the RBC Royal Circle Direct Investing program, those who currently have a student banking package (or have done so within the past 5 years) and clients who have an RBC VIP Banking package can all have their quarterly inactivity fee waived.

    Account Type and Investment Products

    The types of accounts offered by RBC Direct Investing are non-registered and registered accounts. For non-registered accounts, RBC Direct Investing offers cash and margin accounts. These registered accounts include TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs and RRIFs. With the exception of RESP accounts, all other accounts are dual currency, which means that if you trade in U.S. stocks or U.S. dollars, no conversion is required between Canadian and U.S. currency. For registered accounts, you cannot use margin. Options trading in registered accounts is limited to the purchase and sale of options.

    You can invest in guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, fixed income securities, options and new issues.

    RBC Direct Investing also offers practice accounts for RBC clients as well as RBC Direct Investing clients. The accounts are funded with $100,000 in practice money and individuals can use a cash or margin configuration to get their hands dirty.

    A nice feature of the RIB Direct Investing platform is the ability to link it directly to your existing RBC bank account. This allows you to instantly fund your trading account and gives you a holistic view of your financial profile in one convenient place.

    Trading Platform

    With their rather standard platform, you find investments using interactive tools. You can network with other investors, find investment ideas and share your experiences within the investment community. You can link your goals to your accounts, tracking and reporting on your progress and adjusting your investments as needed. You can access any information you need through the Morningstar research tool.

    Their Trading Central technical analysis tool helps you identify investment trends and find new opportunities. In addition, you can use the interactive charting tool to more easily identify trends or historical patterns.

    Finally, you can set up and manage notifications to track the progress of your investments, develop quote lists for the investments you are interested in, and stay informed of important events that may affect your investments using the calendar. RBC offers RBC Capital Markets and Morningstar as resources for information.


    • Connects directly to your RBC bank account
    • Free Level II quotes
    • Education section of the magazine
    • Market information


    • Outdated design
    • ETF Commissions
    • Account notifications

    HSBC InvestDirect: Best online broker in Canada for international trades

    Prices and fees

    HSBC InvestDirect charges $6.88 per transaction for North American equity transactions. For options, the commission is $6.88 plus $1.25 per contract. Active investors who make more than 150 trades per quarter, they are charged $4.88 for equity trades and $4.88 plus $1.25 per contract for options.

    Account type and investment products

    HSBC InvestDirect is one of the best online brokers for global traders. As a foreign based bank with brokerages all over the world, you get unrivaled access to 30 domestic and international markets. To cut down on currency conversion expenses, you can trade in up to 10 different supported currencies.

    You can invest in registered, non-registered, foreign currency, and other types of accounts. For registered accounts you have access to TFSAs, RRSPs, RRIFs, RESPs, LIRAs and LRSPs and finally LIFs and LRIFs. However, with these registered accounts, you cannot use margin.

    In addition, options transactions in registered accounts are limited to the purchase and sale of options. That is, you cannot make any option postings. In non-registered accounts, you can make advanced option transactions and shares can also be sold short.

    Trading Platform

    HSBC InvestDirect offers mobile trading for iOS users through the HSBC Canada app, as well as a web-based platform. With the web-based platform, you can identify trends or patterns through trading volume and price changes, use pre-defined search filters to narrow your search, find funds that are suitable for your portfolio using pre-defined search filters, or create your own filters to search for specific fund categories.

    You will also have access to real-time stock prices, custom lists, market charts and economic indicator tracking. Finally, you will have access to several investment management and financial planning tools.


    • Access to global markets
    • Share commissions
    • Multi-currency accounts


    • No mobile platform for Android users
    • Poor service levels
    • Educational Resources

    The key takeaways

    So which one is the best online broker in Canada? That depends on your needs, goals, budget, and preferences. If you are looking to access the financial markets, you know it’s a fairly easy and inexpensive process due to a variety of online trading platforms that are available right now.

    Every online broker is optimized for a certain type of client which includes the average retail investor, brand new traders, as well as a professional day traders and even a passive investor. Every broker on this list charges a different fee and choosing the right platform requires due diligence on the part of the investor in order to get the most bang for your buck.

    All the brokerages mentioned here have described their portfolio of products and services on the website. You can easily understand the kind of tools and resources a platform offers. However, it might also make sense to open a brokerage account for free and test a particular platform before diving in completely. You can access these platforms on various devices to see if their interface is user-friendly and if it ticks most of your boxes.

    Investing in equities is one of the best ways to create long-term wealth and identifying the best online broker in Canada for your needs is the first step in this process. It’s imperative to use all the tools and resources provided by the online broker which will help you reach your financial goals, especially if you are an active investor.

    FAQs about the best online brokers in Canada

    What is the best online broker in Canada for trading?

    The best online broker in Canada for trading depends on the type of trader you are. The most popular options include Qtrade for all types of investors, Wealthsimple Trade for crypto and commission free trading, as well as Interactive Brokers for very active/professional traders. TD Easy Trade is the most popular bank-owned platform for brand new traders.

    Which online broker is best for beginners?

    Wealthsimple Trade is often recommended for beginners due to its user-friendly interface and zero commission fees on trades, while TD Easy Trade is incredibly popular for easy-to-use mobile app and learning resources.

    How to choose an online broker in Canada?

    Make sure you compare features like trading fees, account types offered, customer service quality, ease of use, and the broker’s reputation. Also, consider whether the broker offers educational resources if you’re a beginner and whether or not you prefer to trade on a desktop or smart device. To reduce unnecessary risk, choose an online broker that is registered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

    How to transfer shares from one broker to another online?

    Contact the broker where you want to transfer your shares to. They will typically have a transfer form you can fill out, and you will need to open an account where the shares will be deposited. Then, contact your current brokerage to initiate the process and submit the required information from the new brokerage. Your current broker will likely charge a transfer fee, but many online brokers in Canada will cover this fee for you in order to attract new business. Ask the new brokerage if this is an option for you.

    Which online broker has lowest fees in Canada?

    Wealthsimple Trade offers zero commission trades, making it one of the best online brokers in Canada with the lowest fees.

    What is a discount broker?

    A discount broker offers lower commission rates compared to traditional brokers because they offer fewer services, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they offer fewer features or less quality. For example, independent online brokers like Questrade and Wealthsimple are not big banks with physical locations and traditional banking services. Their overhead costs are lower so they are able to pass the savings onto investors while delivering a quality trading platform suitable for many types of investors. Discount brokers are a good choice for people who prefer to make their own investment decisions.

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    About The Author: Heidi Unrau
    Heidi Unrau is the senior Finance Journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she got her first bank job as an entry-level teller. She moved up the ranks to Credit Analyst, Loans Officer, and now a Personal Finance Writer. In her spare time, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to Freakonomics podcasts, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a pint of Häagen-Dazs. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, she's in the hot tub or arguing with her husband over which cash back card to use for date night. She’s addicted to coffee, crypto, and obsessively checking her credit score on Borrowell. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada, loves her free Tangerine bank account, and will never cut back on Starbucks. Like ever.

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