Best online trading platforms in Canada


If you're looking for the best trading platforms in Canada, you're not alone. A growing number of investors are switching to self-directed online brokerages and trading platforms. By empowering investors to manage their own portfolios, online brokerages have exploded in popularity.

Are all online trading platforms equal?

Online brokerages let you trade a wide variety of equities, ETFs, mutual funds and more with your trading account. However, they are not all equal. Each platform has its own pros and cons. That's why it’s a good idea to think about your needs as an investor to find the best trading platform for you. On this page, you will find information that can help you compare some of the popular discount brokerages in Canada.

Listed in alphabetical order:

BMO InvestorLine

A self-directed service offered by Bank of Montreal (BMO). It was launched in 1988 and moved online in 2000.

CIBC Investor’s Edge

CIBC Investor’s Edge is the discount brokerage arm of CIBC. CIBC started building its brokerage business, by acquiring a majority stake in Wood, Gundy & Co. in 1988, then picking up Merrill Lynch & Company’s Canadian retail brokerage business in 2001.

Questrade

Questrade is a Canadian online brokerage, which was founded in 1999 by Edward Kholodenko with three partners.

RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing is the brokerage arm of RBC, or Royal Bank of Canada. It is one of the oldest banks in Canada. 

Scotia iTRADE

Scotia iTRADE is Scotiabank’s online brokerage. In 2007, Scotiabank acquired the boutique brokerage TradeFreedom Securities Inc., and ETrade Canada in 2008, increasing its scale in the Canadian online investing market.

TD Direct Investing

TD Direct Investing is the Canadian online brokerage offering of "TD Bank Group" "TD". It was first launched as TD Green Line Investor Services in 1984 and launched WebBroker in 1996 - Canada's first online brokerage platform.

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple Inc. is a Canadian online investment management service. It was founded in September 2014 by Michael Katchen and is based in Toronto.

Identifying the best online trading platform for you

There are a number of factors that can help you find an online brokerage that's aligned with your goals. Here are a few attributes that you may use to compare. 

Pricing: Each platform has its own pricing structure. Think about your investment strategy as you go through the section below.

Brokerage

Account min

Transaction Fees

Admin Fees (Reg Ac)

Admin Fees (Non-Reg Ac)

Inactivity Fee

BMO Investor Line

$0

  • $9.95 flat fee per trade for stocks and ETFs
  • Options – flat fee + $1.25 per contract
  • Mutual Funds - $0 (but early redemption fees may apply)
  • No TFSA fees
  • $25 per quarter for other registered accounts when the account value is less than $25,000

$25 per quarter when account balance less than $15,000

$0

CIBC Investor's Edge

  • $0
  • $6.95 flat fee per equity trade
  • Options – flat fee + $1.25 per contract
  • Mutual Funds - $6.95
  • TFSA & RESP - No fee
  • Other registered accounts – $100 pa when account value less than $25,000

$100 pa when account balance less than $15,000

$100 pa

Questrade

  • $1000
  • Stocks -$0.01 per share with a minimum charge of $4.95, and a max of $9.95 if you trade 995 shares or more
  • ETFs – follow same structure as stock except you can buy for free.
  • Options - $9.95 + $1/contract
  • Mutual Funds – $ 9.95 per trade

No fee for registered accounts (TFSA/RRSP/RESP/RRIF)

No fee

$0

RBC Direct Investing

  • $0
  • Stocks & ETFs - $9.95 flat fee per trade
  • Options – flat fee + $1.25 per contract
  • Mutual Funds - Buy or switch orders: 1% of the gross trade amount (maximum $50 per trade, charged in the fund’s denomination currency)
  • Sell orders: No commission

$25 per quarter where assets are less than $15,000 across all accounts

$25 per quarter where assets are less than $15,000 across all RBC Direct Investing accounts

$0

Scotia iTrade

  • $0
  • $9.99 flat fee per trade for stocks and ETFs
  • Options – flat fee + $1.25 per contract
  • Mutual Funds - $9.99 (+$65 for trades placed by telephone reps)
  • TFSA – No fee
  • RESP - $25 per year if all accounts hold less than $15,000
  • RSP - $100 per year if fewer than 12 trades per year

25 account fee is charged if combined accounts add up to less than $15,000

$25 fee if you don’t make at least 1 trade per quarter

TD Direct Investing

  • $0
  • $9.99 flat fee per trade for stocks and ETFs
  • Options – flat fee + $1.25
  • Mutual Funds - $0 (but early redemption fees may apply)

$25 per quarter if the total balance in your TD Direct Investing account is less than $15,000. However, this fee can be waived with TD's household program

$25 per quarter if the total balance in your TD Direct Investing account is less than $15,000. However, this fee can be waived with TD's household program

$0

Wealthsimple

  • $0

Stocks - $0

ETFs - $0

$0

$0

$0

Education and Support: A platform is only as good as the support it offers, and education is crucial for investors who are just getting started.

Brokerage

Education

Support

BMO Investor Line

  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Branch level support

CIBC Investor's Edge

  • Articles
  • Videos webinars
  • Online help centre
  • Chat

QuesTrade

  • Articles
  • Webinars 
  • Online help centre
  • Phone

RBC Direct Investing

  • Investing academy with articles and videos
  • In-person
  • Seminars
  • Telephone support from licensed representatives,
  • RBC Community online forum

Scotia iTrade

  • Webinars and videos
  • Articles
  • Interactive learning modules
  • Telephone support from licensed representatives
  • Online FAQs

TD Direct Investing

  • Articles
  • Training videos (curated learning paths)
  • Webinars
  • Masterclasses (interactive live tutorials)
  • Direct Investing Index
  • Online help centre
  • Telephone support from licensed representatives

Wealthsimple

  • Articles/guides
  • Phone support
  • Chat
  • Email

Trading Platforms: This is the interface you interact with. Good platforms offer robust features yet remain easy to navigate. Here's what the various platforms offer on desktop and mobile. 

Brokerage

Mobile App

Trading Platforms

Advanced Platform for active traders

BMO Investor Line self-directed

The BMO Invest app lets you:

  • Place trades
  • Monitor account activity
  • Access quotes and watchlists
  • Get real-time data
  • Make foreign exchange transactions
  • Access advanced charting
  • Set up alerts

BMO Investorline lets you:

  • Place trades
  • Track performance
  • Research securities
  • Access analyst ratings, screeners and watchlists
  • Access trading tools such as value analyzer and technical insights

BMO Market Pro provides access to:

  • Realtime streaming
  • Level II quotes
  • Global Data
  • Alerts
  • Customized watch lists
  • Customized charting

CIBC Investor's Edge

CIBC Mobile Wealth lets you:

  • ·Make trades
  • Access quotes charts and watchlists
  • Track performance
  • Transfer funds
  • Review transactions

CIBC Investor's Edge lets you:

  • Make trades
  • Manage your accounts
  • Check performance
  • Research securities using research tools
  • Access screening tools
  • Access technical analysis resources and advanced charting tools
  • Use advanced order entry types
  • Build personalized watchlists and alerts

Questrade

Quest Mobile lets you:

  • Make trades
  • Research securities
  • Move money
  • Monitor portfolio performance
  • Access news, historical info and charting

Questrade Trading lets you:

  • Make trades
  • Manage your accounts
  • Monitor portfolio performance
  • Research stocks
  • Access basic charting, quotes, watchlists, and research tools

Questrade Edge provides access to

  • Advanced order types
  • A customizable trading environment
  • Research tools from TipRanks, Trading Central, and Morning Star

RBC Direct Investing

RBC Mobile App lets you:

  • Place trades
  • Look up stock quotes
  • Monitor investments
  • Manage watchlists
  • Transfer funds
  • Single sign-on access to RBC Rewards, RBC Wallet and RBC Dominion Securities

RBC Direct Investing lets you:

  • Make trades
  • Access real-time streaming data with Level 2 quotes
  • Set up watchlists and alerts
  • Research securities using interactive tools, pre-defined screeners, sector and industry analysis
  • Access research from Morningstar technical analysis
  • Access advanced tools to visualize trends 
  • RBC Direct Investing's active trader program allows you to access:
  • Level 2 Quotes
  • Premium research from Morningstarand RBC Capital Markets

Scotia iTrade

ITrade App lets you:

  • Create a watchlist
  • Place trades
  • Transfer funds
  • Get real-time quotes, charts, news, and option chains
  • Access research and analysis

Scotia Online lets you:

  • Buy and sell Canadian and U.S. equities, ETFs, and options on major North American exchanges, as well as mutual funds, new issues, and fixed income Research reports
  • Access real-time stock alertsCreate Screeners
  • View enhanced charting

Scotia iTrade FlightDesk provides access to:

  • An advanced, customizable platform
  • ·Real-time data on level 1 and level 2 assets
  • Research and news
  • Realtime streaming of quotes & option chains for US and Canadian securities
  • Customizable charts

TD Direct Investing

TD App lets you:

  • Place trades
  • Monitor performance
  • Access a customizable home screen
  • Access real-time snap quotes including company profiles, fundamentals, news and charts for stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and option chains
  • Access the Learning Centre for education
  •  Set up price and volume alerts
  • Access watchlists

WebBroker lets you:

  • Access market & analyst research reports
  • Take advantage of technical analysis tools with charting, pattern recognition and alerts
  • Create screeners
  • Access real-time level 1 market data
  • Access advanced order types
  • Buy/sell in one-click
  • Access the Learning Centre for education
  • Personalize your homepage
  • Review performance reports

Advanced Dashboard provides access to:

  • Equity Scanner
  • Heat maps
  • Trade finder
  • Advanced charting
  • Earnings Analyzer
  • Option chains
  • Advanced options
  • Analytics
  • Analyst evaluations
  • Streaming real-time level I and II market data

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple Trade app lets you:

  • Place trades,
  • Access real-time, on-demand quotes and unlimited price alerts
  • Deposit up to $1,500
  • View trending stocks by different markets and categories

Wealthsimple trade lets you:

  • Place trades,
  • Access real-time, on-demand quotes and price alerts
  • Deposit up to $1,500
  • View trending stocks by different markets and categories

Wealthsimple Trade Plus provides access to:

  • Real-time market data (snap quotes)
  • USD accounts with no foreign exchange conversion fees 
  • Unlimited price alerts
  • Deposit up to $5,000 instantly

Account types offered: This is yet another factor to consider when trying to identify the online brokerage that is best for you. Does the platform offer registered and non-registered accounts? Are there any other account types that could be a good fit for you?

Brokerage

Registered accounts

Non- Registered accounts

Locked in

Corporate and non-personal

USD Accounts

BMO Investor Line

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF
  • Cash
  • Margin
  • Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Restricted Locked-in Savings Plans (RLSP)
  • Locked-In RSP (LRSP)
  • Locked-In Retirement Income Fund (LRIF)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Trusts
  • Estates
  • Associations
  • Corporations
  • Investment clubs or partnerships
  • Personal holding companies
  • No

CIBC Investor's Edge

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
  • Prescribed Retirement Income Fund (PRIF)
  • Cash
  • Margin
  • Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Locked-In RSP (LRSP)
  • Locked-In Retirement Income Fund (LRIF)
  • Corporate or Partnership
  • Investment Club
  • Formal Trust
  • Estate

Yes (except RESP)

QuesTrade

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Retirement Income Fund (RIF)
  • Cash
  • Margin
  • Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Locked-In RSP (LRSP)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Corporate
  • Partnership
  • Investment Club
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Individual or Joint Informal Trust
  • Formal Trust
  • Individual or Joint foreign exchange and contracts for difference
  • Yes

RBC Direct Investing

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
  • Prescribed RRIF (PRIF)
  • Cash
  • Margin
  • Locked-in Retirement Accounts (LIRAs)
  • Restricted Locked-in Savings Plans (RLSPs)
  • Locked-in Retirement Income Funds (LRIFs)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Restricted Life Income Fund (RLIF)
  • Corporate
  • Partnership
  • Holding company or any other entity
  • Yes except RESP

Scotia iTrade

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
  • Cash
  • Margin
  • Cash optimizer investment account (COIA)
  • Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Corporate
  • Partnership
  • Investment Club
  • Unincorporated Organization (Charity or foundation)
  • Trust or Estate Account
  • All registered accounts support US dollar transactions except RESP

TD Direct Investing

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Retirement Income Fund (RIF)
  • Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
  • Cash
  • Margin
  • Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Yes 

Wealthsimple

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA
  • Cash (Taxable account)
  • Offered only with Wealthsimple plus

Securities Offered: The term securities refer to the financial instruments or investment types that you can buy and sell. This is another important parameter as it lets you bring diversification to your portfolio. Here's the list of securities you can trade in across different brokerages.

Brokerage

Securities

BMO Investor Line

  • Stock
  • GICs
  • Bonds
  • Options,
  • Mutual funds
  • ETFs

CIBC Investor's Edge

  • Stock
  • GICs
  • Fixed income
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • ETFs
  • Structured notes
  • IPOs
  • Precious metals

Questrade

  • Stock
  • GICs
  • Fixed income
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • Foreign exchange
  • ETFs
  • Structured notes
  • IPOs
  • Bonds
  • International equities
  • Precious metals
  • Contract for Differences (CFD)

RBC Direct Investing

  • Stock
  • Fixed income Securities
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • ETFs

Scotia iTrade

  • Stock,
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • ETFs
  • GICs
  • Bonds
  • New issues

TD Direct Investing

  • Stock
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • ETFs
  • GICs
  • Bonds
  • New issues
  • Structured notes

Wealthsimple

  • Stocks
  • ETFs

Market data and research tools: When investing in a company, it is essential to know about the company's history and its growth prospects. Having access to reliable and timely market data can help you make informed decisions and grow your portfolio over the long term. Research tools, on other hand, can help you track and screen the companies as per your investment criteria. Here are some of the research reports and tools offered by the different brokerages in Canada.

Brokerage

Research report

Tools

BMO Investor Line

  • Real-time market data and reports
  • Analyst rating 
  • Screeners
  • Watchlists
  • Alerts
  • Value analyzer
  • Technical analysis tool,

CIBC InvestorEdge

  • Research reports
  • Real-time market data
  • Analyst ratings
  • Watchlists
  • Advanced charting tools
  • Technical analysis resources
  •  Screeners

Questrade

  • Real-time market data and research reports
  • Additional cost for enhanced (advanced) market data packages that includes live streaming, real-time data
  • Goal Tracking
  • Watchlists
  • Alerts
  • Charting tools
  • Screeners
  • Portfolio score & simulator

RBC Direct Investing

  • Real-time streaming quotes
  • Research reports
  • Screeners
  • Sector & industry analysis
  • Technical analysis
  • Advanced charting tools

Scotia iTrade

  • Analyst research centre provides research reports and stock ratings
  • Real-time market data
  • Goal Planning
  • Technical analysis tools (Screeners, watchlists, Alerts)
  • Sustainable investing tools
  • Account management tools 

TD Direct Investing

  • Analyst Centre provides research reports and analyst ratings
  • Real-time market data 
  • Goal Planning
  • Technical analysis tools (Screeners, watchlists, Alerts)
  • Charting tools
  • Peformance reporting

Wealthsimple

  • Real-time quotes
  • Price alerts

On a final note

With a growing number of online trading platforms out there, you have so many options to choose from you compare the online brokers listed above, think about the features and offerings that are important to you.


Ready to start investing on your own?

We offer two services for self-directed investors: TD Direct Investing with a variety of platforms and advanced tools; and TD Easy TradeTM, a simple, streamlined, mobile-only, trading app.


The information contained herein has been provided by TD Direct Investing and is for information purposes only. The information has been drawn from sources believed to be reliable and last updated in July 2022.


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