Top 8 Best Trading Platform In Canada For 2023

Hannah Collymore
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Reviewed by Randolph Vialva, MBA
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Questrade logo

Questrade

Editor’s Choice

4.5 stars - votes

Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade

Best Free Platform

3.8 stars - votes

BMO Investorline

BMO Investorline

Best For Financial Advice

4 stars - votes
Top 8 Best Trading Platform In Canada

In the past, trading involved enlisting a stockbroker, financial advisor, or portfolio manager, giving them the go-ahead to make a trade, and leaving the details of the transaction up to them. Nowadays, the internet makes the process cleaner, more efficient, and better organized than hiring a stockbroker. With the click of a button, online trading platforms give you instant access to the entire market and the tools you need to buy and sell investments. 

Here is a list of the top online trading platforms in Canada.

Top 8 Best Trading Platforms In Canada For 2023

What Is A Trading Platform In Canada?

A trading platform is a software system used to trade securities. Using a financial intermediary, such as an online broker, the trading platform enables investors to open, cancel, and maintain market positions online. Sometimes, brokers provide online trading platforms for free or at a reduced rate in return for keeping an account funded and/or performing a certain number of deals each month. The top trading platforms combine vast features with affordable prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the 11th biggest in the world with more than $3 trillion in total assets, is mentioned frequently when it comes to investing in Canada. The NYSE and NASDAQ markets in the United States, which are the largest and second largest in the world, respectively, are often accessible to Canadians who want to trade stocks and mutual funds.

How Do Trading Platforms Work In Canada?

Trading platforms allow users to directly access markets over the internet. For most trading accounts, users can open an account online and deposit money into the account after completing the registration and verification process. They can then use the deposit to buy assets like stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and GICs. Your trading platform keeps tabs on every investment you own, keeps you informed of their value, and allows you to sell them whenever you want.

In addition, trading platforms collaborate behind the scenes with investment dealers who hold the actual investments on your behalf. Assets on trading platforms in Canada are safeguarded by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) insurance and are registered with each of the chain’s regulators. The companies in the chain are all governed by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

Read more: Best Stock Trading App In Canada

Questrade logo

Questrade

  • $0 annual fees for users who meet the balance requirement
  • No inactivity fees
  • Low trade costs
  • Solid trading options
Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade

  • Commission-free stock and ETF trades
  • Automated investing platform
  • Fractional stock and ETF shares trading
BMO Investorline

BMO Investorline

  • 80+ free ETFs
  • Solid mobile app
  • Great financial advice
CIBC logo
  • Offer CAD and USD stock options
  • Relatively low trade fees
  • Wide range of account types with no minimum investment
TD direct investing logo

TD Direct Investing

  • Modern, easy-to-use platform
  • Wide range of options to choose from
  • Convenient for TD bank users
Desjardins Online Brokerage

Desjardins Online Brokerage

  • Free ETF trading
  • All major account types available
  • No commission on ETFs, stocks, and mutual funds
RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing

  • User-friendly, advanced platform
  • Great mobile app
  • Practice accounts available
Scotia iTrade

Scotia iTrade

  • Practice accounts available
  • 100+ commission-free ETFs
  • Sustainable investment tools

Top 8 Best Trading Platform In Canada For January 2023

Top 8 Best Trading Platform In Canada

Questrade

Questrade logo

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Read Questrade Reviews

Questrade provides a robo-advisor called Quest Wealth Portfolios as well as self-directed investing through Questrade. You can choose which stocks or bonds to purchase, as well as how much of each asset class you want in your portfolio, with a self-directed investing account. All decision-making rests solely with you.

In contrast, Questwealth Portfolios offers a selection of ETFs for you in a passive investing account based on your own investment objectives and risk tolerance.

  • Relatively low fees
  • Comprehensive professional market research tools
  • Wide range of trading platforms
  • High minimum investment of $1000
  • ETF selling fees
  • Mobile app has low ratings

Questrade charges less than most Canadian online brokers and banks. It lets active traders completely or partially defray the cost of market data fees thanks to rebates granted on membership expenses.

Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade

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Read Wealthsimple Trade Reviews

Wealthsimple Trade is an online brokerage platform that lets users make self-directed trades on major exchange marketplaces in Canada and the US. Buying and selling trades like stocks and ETFs is free of charge because they do not charge transaction commissions. One key selling point of Wealthsimple trade is the lack of minimum investments or minimum balance requirements. This makes it easy for customers to start stock trading with as low as $1.

  • $0 commission-free stock and ETF trades
  • No additional fees
  • Automated investing platform
  • Socially responsible options for investing
  • Unavailability of LIRA, RESP, RRIF, and other registered accounts 
  • Relatively higher Management Expense ratio

Wealthsimple Trade is best suited for beginners to averagely experienced investors and passive investors who prefer self-directed investing using sophisticated technological platforms. Wealthsimple simplifies and clarifies complicated investment procedures while offering its clients cost-effective financial options. 

However, Wealthsimple may not be the best solution for active traders because of the limited financial tools and platforms. Also, experienced and active traders need a good mobile app with a complete variety of comprehensive features may find it hard to go for Wealthsimple.

BMO Investorline

BMO Investorline

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Read BMO Investorline Reviews

BMO investorline provides resources for investors of all levels. Like other trading platforms, BMO investorline lets investors open self-directed accounts. 

The adviceDirect program, however, is BMO Investorline’s key selling point. Users can access a tailored guidance that blends the best of the financial adviser experience with digital technologies. This is available for customers at a minimum investment of $50,000 and an annual fee beginning at $750. BMO investors receive assistance building up their portfolios, continual account monitoring with computer-generated alerts and suggestions, and limitless access to financial adviser counsel.

  • Customer support available on phone and video call
  • No account fee
  • User-friendly platform with informative, educational materials.
  • Relatively higher commission
  • Mobile app has low ratings

Among bank-owned brokerages, BMO InvestorLine often offers the greatest promotions.

BMO InvestorLine is able to provide the convenience of integration with other BMO online services as well as in-branch accessibility with agents, just like other bank-owned online brokerages.

CIBC Investor’s Edge

CIBC Investor’s Edge is the premier online investment brokerage of CIBC. Investor’s Edge offers a choice for Canadians who prefer to handle their own assets. This includes everyone who wants to learn how to handle investments but does not yet know how. 

However, CIBC Investor Edge’s key selling point is pricing. Trades cost $6.95 each, which is the least among the Big Five banks. Also, students or investors between the ages of 18 and 24 can trade without cost. Students over 25 can trade at a discounted cost of $5.95. Additionally, traders with significant volume can sign up for Active Trader Pricing at $4.95 per transaction.  CIBC Investor’s Edge also provides several support options, including customer care by online chat, phone, and email.

  • Relatively low trading fees
  • No minimum investment amount 
  • Wide range of account types 
  • Discounts and no annual fees for certain traders
  • The relatively low trading fees add up after multiple trades
  • Some accounts are subject to annual fees

You’re more on your own with CIBC Investor’s Edge than you would be with a full-service online broker. However, they provide top-notch research resources to guide you. The UI, which was recently updated, is really simple to use. CIBC Investor’s Edge is recommended for anyone who wishes to empower themselves to take charge of their trading account, even if the trading fees might mount up rapidly.

TD Direct Investing

Canada’s largest online brokerage, TD Direct Investing, provides some of the most sophisticated trading tools available. TD Direct Investing online and mobile applications offer a configurable dashboard, sophisticated order types, and access to fundamental market data. This tier charges $9.99 for each trade.

TD Direct Investing provides an advanced dashboard with completely adjustable features for active traders that includes streaming market data and sophisticated market research. Customers that execute 30 or more transactions each quarter are mostly eligible for free advanced dashboard features, and those who execute 150 or more trades per quarter are eligible for preferential pricing of $7.00 per trade.

  • Flexible trading platforms
  • Offers learning and market research centers
  • Best for investors who already bank with TD
  • Relatively high trading fees
  • Limited funding options and leverage

With outstanding market information at their disposal, TD Direct Investing is more of a Do-It-Yourself service. However, the costs are rather expensive, especially when you compare the alternative online non-bank brokers that are accessible.

It could be wise for Canadian investors who don’t bank TD to investigate these alternative non-bank online brokers, which are less expensive and provide more features. For current TD clients who want to invest fast and feel secure, this is a fantastic place to start.

Desjardins Online Brokerage

Desjardins Online Brokerage

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Read Desjardins Online Brokerage Reviews

Desjardins online brokerage offers different platforms for different levels of investors. Desjardins Online Brokerage provides a Disnat Classic platform that is simple to use and straightforward for most investors. Trades cost $6.95, which is a fair price, and real-time market data is provided.

For active traders, the Disnat Direct platform is recommended because it excels in terms of pricing. Depending on share value and amount, clients using Disnat Direct pay between $4.95 and $6.95 for the first 29 transactions of the month and just $0.75 for each extra trade.

  • All major account types available
  • Great for users who bank with Desjardins
  • No commission on ETFs, stocks, and mutual funds
  • Great customer service
  • Quarterly inactivity fees
  • No educational resources
  • Outdated platform and mobile app

Also known as Disnat, Desjardins online brokerage is one of the first discount brokerages in Canada. Although it is still popular, its overall performance is far from spectacular when compared to Canada’s top online brokers. To maintain all of their financial services under one roof, investors who conduct their normal banking with Desjardins may pick it as their online brokerage. However, we believe that committed index investors or high-frequency day traders can have better solutions available. This is due to Disnat’s inactivity costs, some of the other expenses, unfavorable app ratings, and the relative lack of resources.

RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing

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Read RBC Direct Investing Reviews

RBC Direct Investing is an online broker that offers all the usual features of online trading platforms, like interactive brokers and Questrade. Users can invest in a wide range of investment kinds with RBC Direct Investing, which also provides all registered accounts, gives access to tools and research, and has both browser-based and mobile trading apps. The technology is reliable, and beginners may use a practice account and instructional resources. RBC direct investing is best set aside as an alternative online trading platform because it has no particular strengths and weaknesses. 

However, some aspects of RBC Direct Investing stand out. It gives affords the opportunity to pay trading costs using RBC Rewards points and the community, a type of online social network that connects investors with one another.

  • Quick and efficient customer support
  • No minimum deposit required
  • Quality educational resources
  • No options for withdrawals and deposits
  • Outdated mobile trading platform

Feel free to give RBC Direct Investing a try as they provide excellent account opening, cutting-edge research, and educational materials. Customers who already bank with RBC have access to a quick, simple, and entirely digital account opening process. Outstanding educational materials offer a wealth of pertinent and practical tools. Customer support responds quickly and appropriately. However, there are some negatives. Only the US and Canadian markets are covered by the product range, money transfers cannot be made using credit/debit cards or electronic wallets, and the mobile app is in dire need of an upgrade.

Scotia iTrade

Scotia iTrade

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Read Scotia iTrade Reviews

With a wide variety of tools available to get started, Scotia iTrade is a fantastic option for beginner investors. Young investors (those under the age of 26) can save up to $200 per year on administrative costs, while newcomers to Canada can take advantage of Scotiabank StartRight, which offers 10 free transactions. All users get access to instructional materials and tools, and Scotia iTrade allows you to establish a practice account before you begin so you may test out online trading risk-free.

  • Good all-in-one solution for financial products
  • Good for beginners
  • Sustainable investment tools
  • High trading fees compared to other big banks
  • Bad reviews for their customer service and mobile apps

Overall, Scotia iTrade is very comparable to most other brokerage solutions. The platform offers great account options at relatively moderate costs. Like most other major banks, Scotiabank provides lower costs and unique advantages to active traders and investors with large balances. However, Scotia iTrade struggles with both their mobile app and customer support, which are both major issues.

How To Choose A Trading Platform In Canada?

When choosing an online trading platform in Canada, consider the platform’s main features, fees, ease of use, and customer support. Learn more about these factors below

  • Ease of use: Using a trading platform with complicated navigation can make the whole trading process overwhelming. Hence, selecting a trading platform with a good user interface and great user experience is very essential to increase your efficiency. Some platforms even provide assistance and lessons to get you started.
  • Features: Consider the trading options a platform allows and if they fit into your personal trading goals. While some platforms let you trade options, others do not. Additionally, some services let users exchange cryptocurrency. 
  • Cost value: Like most other services, trading platforms charge a fee. Depending on the company, the cost of the trading platform may include transaction fees for each trade you make as well as monthly or yearly membership costs. To avoid spending more than necessary, make careful to check the costs levied by several platforms before choosing one.
  • Customer support: Having access to a platform’s customer service is very important. In order to ensure that you can obtain the assistance you want when you need it, look for Canadian trading platforms that offer customer care through phone, email, or live chat. You can also read through customer reviews to see how responsive the customer assistance is.
  • Security: In general, security is a big concern when it comes to financial assets. When choosing an online trading platform in Canada, verify that the platform you choose has effective security measures in place to safeguard your assets and personal data on an ongoing basis. Watch out for the type of encryption they use, the broker’s security policy, and if they implement multi-factor authentication.

Sign Up For A Trading Platform In Canada

To sign up for a trading platform in Canada, apply to open an account after choosing the trading platform.  If the platform is run by your bank, you can easily register by logging into your banking portal. The following KYC (know your client) details are often required when requesting an account with an investment services provider:

  • Your name, address, and phone number
  • Identification documentation
  • Employment information
  • Evidence showing you are of legal age in the province where you reside
  • Evidence of your previous trading experience
  • Platforms targeted towards more seasoned investors may need you to demonstrate your expertise, although many platforms are accessible to first-time investors.
  • Your bank account information to enable transfers 

After completing the registration, you can start trading as soon as you have money in your account. However, note that there might be a minimum deposit requirement.

Final Thoughts

There are several trading platforms In Canada, and each one has benefits and drawbacks. It is up to you to balance the pros and cons and take into account the features you need. Considering all of the expenditures is essential because commissions and fees differ. You should be able to choose the ideal Canadian trading platform for your requirements by keeping all of these considerations in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which trading site is best for students in Canada?

The only platform on this list that offers a special student rate is CIBC Investor’s Edge, but it’s only accessible to students who have a linked, paying bank account. Instead, eligible students might check out Desjardins Online Brokerage’s Brokerage promotion, which features free trades and reduced fees for investors 30 years of age or younger.

Which trading site is best for beginners in Canada?

Beginner traders should opt for a platform that is simple to use and comprehend. These elements have led to Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade being two of the most well-liked stock trading platforms for beginners in Canada. Wealthsimple Trade offers straightforward, commission-free trading whereas Questrade offers minimal commissions and a comprehensive range of services.

Are some Canadian trading platforms free?

Yes, some trading platforms like Wealthsimple Trade offer services without any commissions. However, note that there is a 1.5% conversion fee. 

Is day trading legitimate in Canada?

Yes, day trading is legitimate in Canada. However, there are guidelines that must be observed. Most importantly, investment income made (or lost) through day trading is not treated as capital gains for tax purposes but rather as business income (or loss). This indicates that your profits will be taxed at your marginal income tax rate.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Collymore
Hannah Collymore, MBA
Business Advisor
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Hannah is a seasoned writer based out of Pennsylvania. With years of experience in various writing niches, she provides SEO and on-demand content for Businesses in all industries

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

He is an organized and creative thinking sales management professional with experience in outside and inside sales in various markets. Working as freelancer in the Greater Boston Market, he moved to St. Louis and became an Account Executive, then a Sales Manager managing and coaching 12 sales reps covering a nationwide territory. He has developed his team with a combination of consultative selling and value before price coaching mindset which has won him a President’s Cup and many other financially rewarding awards at RICOH. His most recent role as a Continuous Improvement Manager provided insight into the importance of delivering a quality product in alignment with the value and reputation of his organization. It further enhances the aspect of selling on value as opposed to price.