Compare 5 best trading platforms in Canada for 2024

Our experts have rated and reviewed the best trading platforms in Canada. Compare their top features to find the best online brokers in Canada.
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Updated: Feb 19, 2024
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The Invezz team of expert stock market traders, data analysts, and financial writers frequently test the best trading platforms in Canada. Amongst a range of features, we ranked the top online brokers in Canada according to their affordability, security, and available international markets.

In this article, we answer the question: what are the best online brokers in Canada for Canadian users?

Best stock trading platform Canada 2024

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Our rankings reveal that the best online broker in Canada is AvaTrade .

Having assessed 100+ brokers, this list represents the three services that top our rankings as the overall best trading platforms in Canada. 

Sort by:

1
$ 100
Best offer
9.8
Choose over 100 popular stock CFDs
Buy and Sell Stock CFDs with as little as £100
Zero Commissions - no hidden fees
:
American Express, Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Discover, Mastercard, MoneyBookers, PayPal, Rapid Transfer, SEPA, Visa, WebMoney, Wire Transfer, neteller, , skrill
:
ASIC, FSA, FSCA, MiFID
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
2
$ 100
Best offer
9.9
Open an MT5 account to go long or short on 250 of the largest US, Australian, and European stocks
Instruments in 21 time-frames and 80 pre-installed indicators
Multi jurisdiction regulation by ASIC and VFSC
:
Credit Card, Cryptocurrencies, PayPal, Wire Transfer, neteller, skrill
:
ASIC, CySEC, FCA
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
3
$ 0
Best offer
9.3
Have access to more than 50 exchanges across 30 countries
Invest without commission in US stocks and lots of ETFs
DEGIRO rated among the best online brokers in Europe
:
Bank Transfer
:
FCA

Investing involves risk of loss

Top 5 best online brokers in Canada, reviewed

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1. AvaTrade. Best regulated broker for secure trading

From 0.13%

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

1,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Trade 1000+ CFDs with competitive spreads Regulated by Tier 1 financial bodies across the world Consistently highly rated trading platform on web and mobile Offers social trading through its proprietary AvaSocial platform
Spreads are competitive without being industry-leading Some assets are only available to trade through the MetaTrader software

Overview

We love AvaTrade because it offers powerful trading software to anyone who wants to trade professionally. AvaTrade is a CFD broker where you can trade more than 600 stocks from major global exchanges and all stock trades are commission free. 

AvaTrade integrates with trading software like MetaTrader 4 and 5 and boasts its own bespoke and award-winning mobile app software, AvaTradeGo. AvaTrade has been around since 2006 and is extensively regulated in Europe, Australia, Japan, British Virgin Islands, UAE, and South Africa.

The fees: There are no fees on any stock trading. AvaTrade makes money from the Bid/Ask spread instead. Stock spreads start from 0.13%. An inactivity fee of £50 per month is applicable if you don’t log in to your account for three consecutive months.

Highlights

Visit AvaTrade AvaTrade Review
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2. Eightcap. Best online broker for choice of trading platform

Up to $3.5 RT

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

800

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Low trading fees for CFDs Trade directly from the TradingView platform Regulated by top-tier authorities Leverage up to 1:500 Partnered with multiple proprietary trading firms
Some markets are not available to all regions Customer support does not operate 24/7

Overview

We love Eightcap because you have several trading platforms to choose from. You can choose between MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and TradingView. All of these platforms are favourites among retail traders. With the MetaTrade suite of platforms, you can access lots of technical indicators, custom tools, and expert advisors. 

TradingView with Eightcap allows you to trade directly from your charts while accessing the hundreds of tools and features available. Eightcap has over 900 markets available including stocks, forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. 

The fees: Eightcap is a CFD broker and charges spreads, commissions, or a combination of both. There are two account types available, RAW, and Standard. The RAW account has ultra-low spreads starting from 0.0 pips but charges $3.5 RT per lot. The standard account is commission-free for most assets and spreads start from 1 pip.

Highlights

Visit Eightcap Eightcap Review
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

3. Degiro. Best for 0% commission on US stocks

...

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

...

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Low trading fees No minimum deposit required Segregated client funds
No US customers No forex or cryptocurrencies offered for trading Limited educational resources

Overview

We love Degiro because it offers a simple trading platform so that you can trade quickly and easily wherever you are. Degiro offers stock trading on 50 stock exchanges in 30 countries, including the US, UK, and all leading European markets, with free stock trading on all US stocks.

Degiro has won 86 international awards and is one of the largest companies in Germany. All its services are available online or via the Degiro app. The website also boasts a huge range of educational material, including an Investor’s Academy, to help you get started.

The fees: All stock trades come with a €1 handling fee. US stock trading has no other fees, UK stock trading costs $1.75, and European stock trading costs €3.90. The rest of the world costs €5. A core selection of ETFs are free to trade, other global ETFs cost €2 plus a €1 handling fee. Derivative trading costs €0.75. There are no inactivity, deposit, or withdrawal fees.

Highlights

Visit DEGIRO DEGIRO Review

Investing involves risk of loss

4. Pacific Union. Best for social trading & customer support

pacific union logo

...

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

...

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

70+ forex pairs and 200+ financial assets available to trade Extremely low minimum trade sizes Multilingual support in 18+ languages
Minimum withdrawal of $100 Fewer assets than many competitors

Overview

We love Pacific Union because its beginner friendly platform comes loaded with lots of educational content, including how to guides and video learning. Pacific Union offers over 200 stock CFDs for some of the world’s biggest companies.  

It’s an award-winning broker and has a proprietary social trading application that makes it easy for beginners to follow the strategies and positions of the platform’s top traders. Pacific Union uses the popular Metatrader 4 software alongside its mobile and web based apps. Traders can choose the amount of leverage they want to use, all the way up to 500:1.

The fees: Commission starting at 0.1 points is charged on select stock CFDs across all account types. Spread starts at 0.5 points and applies to all stocks. Swap charges for holding a trade overnight vary depending on size.  

Highlights

Visit Review
Contracts for Difference (CFDs) trading carries a high level of risk to your capital and can result in losses, you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. CFDs trading may not be suitable for all investors, please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved and take appropriate measures to manage it.

How we chose the best stock trading platform in Canada

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Our reviewing panel is made up of industry experts, including our Data Analyst, Dan Ashmore, CFA, our Senior Editor of News, Harsh Vardhan, and expert trader, Prash Raval. The panel also includes an independent fact checker, Richard Stutely.

Here are the key factors that played into our final ranking of the best stock brokers in Canada.

  • Fees. We prioritised Canadian brokers that charge low trading fees, don’t charge for deposits or withdrawals, and don’t charge any hidden fees.
  • Device availability. An online trading platform that is available across all devices as a mobile app deserves a boost. In a mobile world, you need the best stock trading app in Canada to work across mobile, tablet, and desktop. 
  • Platform security. All of the online trading platforms we recommend are regulated by respected financial institutions and provide investor protection in the event that anything goes wrong.
  • Free demo accounts. All the best stockbrokers in Canada should offer the chance to test their service before you pay for it. We gave the brokers with the best demo accounts a boost in our rankings.
  • Access to global markets. International stock brokers in Canada that allow you to invest in global markets, particularly popular ones like the United States, scored well in our reviews.
  • Trading and analysis tools. Stock trading platforms that offer analysis tools make it easier to do all your research and trading in one place. Any broker that offered this convenience scored well.
  • Third-party integrations. You might want to use a piece of downloadable, third-party software like MetaTrader 4, MT5, or cTrader to place your trades. The best trading software in Canada should integrate with these services and those that did so received a higher ranking. 
  • Customer reviews. Finally, we looked into customer reviews, to make sure that we only recommend the best investment platforms in Canada where the majority of Canadian customers had a positive experience.

Find out more about how we rate, rank, and review platforms.

More about online stock brokerages in Canada

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What products can I trade with a Canadian stock broker?

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You can trade stocks from Canada, or invest in leading companies from around the world. Here’s a breakdown of what (and how) you can trade with online brokers in Canada.

Stocks

  • Canadian stocks. One option is to simply buy and sell stocks that are listed in Canada. This is normally the most straightforward option for Canadian residents, as you can buy shares in any company that’s listed on a Canadian stock exchange.
  • US stocks. Some of the best known companies in the world are listed in the United States. The best online brokerages in Canada will also let you invest in stocks that are listed on the NYSE or the NASDAQ exchange in the US, but it depends on the legal restrictions in Canada.
  • International stocks. You may also be able to buy shares in companies that are based in the rest of the world. The best international brokers in Canada offer global stocks, but it may be a limited selection. If you want to buy equities from outside Canada or the US, check that those stocks are available through your trading platform before signing up.

Exchange traded funds (ETFs)

ETFs (exchange traded funds) are investment funds that pool money together from lots of different investors and use it to track a particular index, like the S&P 500. The best index funds in Canada provide easy access to the country’s top performing stocks. For a more targeted approach, you may want to invest in the S&P/TSX Composite index.

Mutual funds

Mutual funds are professionally managed investments. You buy shares in the fund through an investment platform and the manager decides what to invest it in. 

Mutual funds and ETFs are similar, but the former are managed by a professional who tries to beat the market, while the latter buy and sell stocks automatically based on a set of fixed criteria. The best stock broker in Canada allows you to invest in stocks from Canada, as well as ETFs and mutual funds.

Futures and options

Futures and options contracts involve making an agreement to purchase a stock in the future at an agreed price. They’re favoured by stock traders and can be used as a way of speculating on how you think a company’s price might change in the future.

Other assets

To invest in other financial assets from Canada, you may be better off using a different type of trading platform. For example, for trading currency pairs you want one of the best forex brokers in Canada, for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the best Canadian crypto exchanges. The best CFD brokers in Canada offer a range of financial assets, including many of the options above.

Product AvaTrade assets Eightcap assets DEGIRO assets
Stock CFDs 612 600+
ETF CFDs 61
Forex CFDs 108 40+
Crypto CFDs 20 250+
Index CFDs 31 10
Commodity CFDs 19 4
View more > Visit AvaTrade > Visit Eightcap > Visit DEGIRO >

How to buy stocks in Canada

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Every stock trading app in Canada is designed to help you invest with the minimum of fuss. 

Follow this six step guide to learn how to buy shares online in Canada for the first time.

Step 1. Find a Canadian broker

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Compare the best online stock brokers in Canada and choose your favourite from the list at the top of this page.

Step 2. Create an account

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Once you’ve chosen the best broker Canada, set up a trading account by supplying your email address and password. Fill in personal details like your name and address.

Step 3. Verify the account

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Before you use an online trading platform in Canada you need to verify your identity. Upload a copy of your driving licence or passport to do this. The verification process can take up to 24 hours, but is often much quicker than that.

Step 4. Deposit money into your brokerage account

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You can make your initial deposit via a card payment, bank transfer, or an alternative payment method. Many online trading platforms accept PayPal and similar e-wallets, but you should check this ahead of time.

Step 5. Search for a stock and place your trade

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Find the stocks you want to trade using their ticker symbol. Enter the details of your trade, and hit ‘buy’ to execute it.

Step 6. Monitor your investment

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Check up on your investment regularly. Use the latest news and market research to help you decide when to sell your shares and lock in a profit or loss.

Quick answers to key questions

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Yes, stock trading is completely legal for Canadian residents and citizens over the age of 18, subject to financial regulations. 

Individuals can legally trade shares listed on Canadian stock exchanges like the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), TSX Venture Exchange, Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), as well as purchase international stocks listed on foreign exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange, and more. 

Various types of securities trading, like options, futures, ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds, are permitted based on eligibility.

How are trading platforms and brokers regulated in Canada?

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Securities trading platforms and brokers are primarily regulated provincially in Canada. For example, in Ontario, investment dealers must register with and are regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)

The OSC enforces rules around brokerage capital requirements, audit standards, fair practices, conduct, and more. Nationwide oversight is provided by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization Canada (IIROC), which sets rules for dealer practices, and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which insures accounts for up to $1 million in case of fraud or bankruptcy. Overall, regulations help uphold the fairness and safety of capital markets.

On top of that, many online brokers in Canada are based elsewhere but regulated to operate internationally through institutions such as CySEC (the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission). Here are the best online brokers in Canada and where they’re regulated across the world.

Region AvaTrade regulators Eightcap regulators DEGIRO regulators
Africa FSCA
Asia FSA
Australasia ASIC ASIC
Europe CBI, MiFID, CySEC FCA, CySEC
International BVIFSC, FRSA
North America
South America
View more > Visit AvaTrade > Visit Eightcap > Visit DEGIRO >

What are the common costs and fees for using the best online brokers in Canada?

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A few costs are involved: commission fees charged per trade range from $4.95 to $9.95 at most online discount brokerage firms, higher at full service brokers. ECN fees may apply for routing orders off the exchange. 

Exchange fees like TSX transaction fees apply per trade. Account maintenance fees are around $25 per quarter or more. Additional fees for registered accounts like RRSPs/TFSAs may apply. Real-time streaming data fees if opting in. You may also be charged annual fees or management fees depending on your account type.

Overall, costs range from 0.1% to over 1% depending on the account type, trading activity, and online brokerage pricing model.

Asset AvaTrade fees Eightcap fees DEGIRO fees
Stock CFDs From 0.13%
ETF CFDs From 0.13%
Forex CFDs From 0.9 pips
Crypto CFDs From 0.15% over market
Index CFDs From 0.03 over market
Commodity CFDs From 0.0015 over market
View more > Visit AvaTrade > Visit Eightcap > Visit DEGIRO >

Another way an online broker in Canada might charge you is via the spread. The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price of an asset and effectively serves as a commission the broker is charging you on top of the market price. The smaller the spread, the better value you’re getting from your broker.

Here’s a comparison of the spreads across the top Canadian trading platforms.

Product AvaTrade spreads Eightcap spreads DEGIRO spreads
Stock CFDs From 0.13% From 1.2 pts
ETF CFDs From 0.13%
Forex CFDs From 0.9 pips From 0.0pips
Crypto CFDs From 0.15% over market From 0.5%
Index CFDs From 0.03 over market From 1.2 USD
Commodity CFDs From $0.0015 over market From 0.12 USD
View all tradable assets > Visit AvaTrade > Visit Eightcap > Visit DEGIRO >

In addition to trading fees and spreads, there may be other charges for using your online broker account. These can include inactivity fees, where you’re charged if you don’t use your account for a period of time (usually 3-6 months), as well as overnight fees, which only apply if the broker is also a CFD platform, or even an account maintenance fee.

Here’s a look at the types of fees different brokers in Canada charge, to give you a complete picture of the cost of trading with the top brokers in Canada.

Fee AvaTrade fees Eightcap fees DEGIRO fees
Trading fees No Yes
Inactivity fees Yes No
Rollover/overnight fees Yes Yes, on certain assets
Withdrawal fees No Yes, for certain payment methods
Spreads Yes Yes
Conversion fees No Yes, currency dependent
View more > Visit AvaTrade > Visit Eightcap > Visit DEGIRO >

What is the minimum capital needed to start trading stocks in Canada?

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While opening an account with a minimum account balance of $250 at some brokers is possible, a minimum of $2000 or more is recommended when starting out with real money. With $2000, investors can build a balanced portfolio across 8-10 stocks rather than just 1 or 2 companies. 

This provides more diversification and ensures costs from commissions or fees don’t immediately eat a large portion of capital. More capital, like $5000+, is ideal but $2000 can get you started if needed.

Product AvaTrade minimum trade Eightcap minimum trade DEGIRO minimum trade
Stock CFDs No limit 1 share
ETF CFDs No limit
Forex CFDs No limit 0.01 lots
Crypto CFDs No limit Variable
Index CFDs No limit 1 share
Commodity CFDs No limit 0.01 lots
View more > Visit AvaTrade > Visit Eightcap > Visit DEGIRO >

What stocks can Canadians trade?

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Canadian brokerages provide access to invest in all stocks listed on the major Canadian stock exchanges like the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX and TSX Venture), Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), Neo Exchange (NEO), and Canadian Alternative Trading Systems (ATS). This allows trading the full gamut of public Canadian companies across sectors.

Brokers also provide access to thousands of international stocks listed on major foreign stock exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange (LSE), and exchanges in Asia and Europe. This provides Canadian investors with exposure to leading global companies.

Beyond just stocks, other securities Canadians can trade through brokers include ETFs, mutual funds, options, bonds, GICs, currencies, CFDs and cryptocurrency, depending on the platform. Canadians have a wide selection of securities to create a diversified portfolio.

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Some of the best stock trading platforms used by Canadian investors include.

  • Questrade. Popular for low commissions and free ETF purchases.
  • Wealthsimple Trade. Excellent for beginners with no commissions.
  • TD Direct Investing. Good value from a leading Canadian bank.
  • RBC Direct Investing. Comprehensive research and market data.
  • BMO InvestorLine. Advanced tools and $6.95 equity trades.
  • CIBC Investor’s Edge. Good research with bank integration.
  • National Bank Direct Brokerage. Discounted trades with good platforms.

How are capital gains on stocks taxed in Canada?

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In Canada, capital gains are subject to tax when you sell a stock at a higher price than purchased for. However, only 50% of the capital gain is taxable at your marginal income tax rate. 

The remaining 50% is tax-free. Any capital losses can be deducted against capital gains to lower taxes owed. For dividends, Canadian companies issue eligible dividends which receive preferential tax treatment through tax credits. Overall, taxes are quite favourable for trading within Canada.

What is the difference between trading in Canada and trading in the United States?

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When trading in North America, understanding the differences between Canada and the United States can significantly impact your investment strategy. As a Canadian investor, it is important to stay informed about the differences in Canada trading platforms. 

Available instruments

Canadian investors have access to a comprehensive selection of stocks, ETFs, options, and some fixed-income products. However, there are a few platforms that may limit access to penny stocks or exotic options compared to the US. 

In the United States, it is easy to access a wide spectrum of tradable instruments, including penny stocks, micro-cap stocks, complex options spreads, and futures contracts. 

Trading fees

With many Canadian brokers, fees can vary, but generally tend to be higher than in the US, especially for low-volume traders. Transaction fees, account fees, and inactivity fees are common.

In the US market, fierce competition among brokers has driven down trading fees significantly. Many platforms offer commission-free stock and ETF trades.

Trading platforms

While there are several popular local Canadian platforms including Wealthsimple Trade, Questrade, Qtrade Investor, and Interactive Brokers Canada, the US market boasts a wide choice. US-based platforms like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade may have limited access for Canadian residents.

In the United States, traders and investors can access various platforms catering to different needs and experience levels. Robinhood, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Interactive Brokers, and E*TRADE are some of the top examples.

Exchange rates

Currency exchange rates add another layer of complexity when trading across borders. For example, many of the world’s largest companies are based in the United States. Canadian investors may be hit with currency conversion charges when investing in companies like Apple, Amazon, or Microsoft.

Choose a trading platform in Canada

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Fact-checking & references
Risk disclaimer
James Knight
Editor of Education

James is the Editor of Education for Invezz, where he covers topics from across the financial world, from the stock market, to cryptocurrency, to macroeconomic markets.... read more.

Prash Raval
Financial Writer

Prash is a financial writer for Invezz covering FX, the stock market and investing. For over a decade he has traded spot FX full time while... read more.