Our selection of top picks is based on the same criteria as our annual Stock Trading Platform Awards. This is updated yearly to reflect changes in the market.
"Best for" picks are those we've evaluated to be best for specific product features or categories – you can read our full methodology here. If we show a "Promoted" pick, it's been chosen from among our commercial partners and is based on factors that include special features or offers, and the commission we receive.
This isn't an exhaustive list of all the trading platforms out there. What's best for you depends on your own investing strategy, budget and financial goals.
The 9 best stock trading platforms in Canada
There are a lot of different trading platforms available if you plan to start stock trading. There are many things to consider when choosing a stock trading app to buy and sell stocks and other securities. We’ve rounded up Canada’s leading stock trading platforms for you to help you find the one that suits your profile best. We’ve compared fees, features and technology to help you find the best stock trading app in Canada and we’ve also covered how to choose one.
Best stock trading platform for trading commodity stocks
Go with this platform if you are an active trading looking for a more in-depth platform.
Look elsewhere if you are not an active trader and have an account balance less than $10,000.
Scotiabank is one of Canada's Big Six banks. Commissions start at $9.99 per trade, although this is lowered to $4.99 per trade if you make more than 150 trades per quarter. It charges an inactivity fee for accounts with a balance of less than $10,000 that do not have at least one commissionable trade per quarter. Here's a cool thing: Scotia iTrade offers a so-called practice account with a fictional portfolio of $100,000 that lets you use the platform and get your feet wet with different kinds of trades using what is essentially play money. Mobile app users weren't impressed with the UI or the overall speed of the experience.
Go with this platform if you want to trade on a bank platform for the lowest commission of the Big 5 Canadian banks.
Look elsewhere if you want to avoid annual fees.
CIBC Investor's Edge is an online brokerage that lets you trade a variety of different investment types through its online trading platform. You'll be able to put your money into registered and non-registered accounts, depending on your preferences. The platform is user-friendly and provides a number of resources to help you get acquainted with using the platform. It also gives you access to plenty of research tools to help you make informed decisions about your investments.
Go with this platform if you are an experienced investor and want reams of information and fancy analytical tools to help you trade.
Look elsewhere if you are a new investor.
The fact that Interactive Brokers promises to take your investing to the next level signals the type of investors the platform wants to attract. In short, it is well suited to those with plenty of experience in online trading and with plenty of money to trade. It offers access to stock markets in 33 different countries and 68 different order types, including stocks, options, currencies and bonds – far more than other brokerage platforms we looked at. Interactive Brokers has a tiered pricing structure when it comes to commissions. Basically, the more you trade the cheaper it becomes. There is a minimum commission of $1 per trade and a maximum of 0.5% of the total trade value. The Interactive Brokers web portal has a detailed educational section, with webinars, videos and even a Traders' Academy. It also offers analytical tools to help you make better trading decisions. The offering is so detailed it may be daunting for beginners. Interactive Brokers even lets you borrow money to buy shares, something a beginning investor should be very wary about doing.
Go with this platform if you want low fees and the ability to trade various types of securities.
Look elsewhere if you want low fees but you aren't ready to start buying anything other than stocks and ETFs.
Questrade is one of the cheapest places to buy and sell securities online in Canada. Compared with Wealthsimple, it offers a much larger selection of securities you can trade, including options, foreign currencies and commodity futures. Questrade does not charge an annual fee and you don't pay any commissions when you buy ETFs. Other trading fees range between $4.95 and $9.95. Questrade offers both a web platform and a mobile app. The latter has not been well received by users, judging by the ratings it has received in app stores. Users complained about prices quoted on the app lagging actual markets and long loading times.
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Go with this platform if you want competitive commissions and access to educational tools and online tutorials.
Look elsewhere if you aren't planning to have a minimum of $25,000 in your account or fund it regularly (since you will incur a quarterly fee).
A well-known investment broker, Qtrade Direct Investing offers an easy-to-use online platform and a mobile trading platform. With low and competitive commissions, you'll also be able to trade 100 ETFs commission free. Plus, you'll get access to a nice mix of independent research tools and online tutorials designed to help you make more-informed decisions about your investments.
Get up to $150 sign-up bonus. Use promo code BONUS150. Conditions apply. Ends June 30, 2023.
Go with this platform if you want an easy-to-use platform with low trading commissions and plenty of investment options.
Look elsewhere if you don't want to pay an annual fee to maintain your account.
BMO Investorline is not the cheapest, nor is it the most feature-heavy online platform available to Canadians, but it does achieve a nice middle ground. The platform charges a flat fee of $9.95 per trade and slaps annual fees on accounts of less than $15,000. However, there is no minimum account balance requirement. On BMO Investorline you can trade stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, GICs and bonds. BMO Investorline has both a web portal and a mobile app, which is not rated well in the big app stores. Users complained about the equity search function not working properly, among other things. Like the other trading platforms affiliated with Canada's big banks, BMO Investorline makes both its own and third-party investment research available to users. This means you can do a lot of reading about the stocks you like if you have the time to wade through it.
Go with this platform if you don't plan on making a lot of trades.
Look elsewhere if you want low fees from a big 5 bank.
There is nothing that makes TD Direct Investing really stand out from the other trading platforms we looked at. Like BMO Investorline and Scotia iTrade, it is affiliated with a large, long-established Canadian bank. It charges a standard commission of $9.99 to trade Canadian and US stocks and an annual fee of $100 for accounts with a balance below $15,000. This is the priciest commission rate among platforms we compared, though it does list mutual funds as being commission-free. TD Direct Investing lets you invest with a non-registered cash account, as well as TFSAs and RRSPs. It also offers margin accounts that let you borrow money to invest. TD Direct also makes the equity research from TD's investment banking operations available to users. TD Direct Investing doesn't have a dedicated trading app, but the functionality is built into TD Bank's main app.
Go with this platform if you want commission-free trading from a Canadian bank.
Look elsewhere if you want to trade on a mobile app.
National Bank is the first Canadian bank to eliminate commissions when you trade stocks, ETFs and options. You don't need a minimum balance to get started with an account, but if your account is worth less than $20,000 you will be charged the annual $100 account fee. and you can sign up in a matter of minutes. You can also take advantage of margin trading with competitive interest rates on this platform. National Bank Direct Brokerage doesn't have a mobile app, so you can only access the platform online.
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Go with this platform if you are just starting out with investing and want a commission-free option for buying standard securities like ETFs.
Look elsewhere if you want to trade more complex securities like options.
Wealthsimple is all about low fees. It does not charge any commissions on trades. And you can make as many trades as you like, free of charge. There are no annual fees or account minimums. It is one of the lowest-cost trading options available to Canadian investors. Wealthsimple stacks up favourably against the other platforms we looked at when it comes to educational resources and tools, with various savings calculators, articles and investor masterclass videos to teach you the basics. If there is a catch, it's that you are limited in the types of securities you can trade, as Wealthsimple offers mostly stocks and ETFs. You can open a non-registered account, RRSP or TFSA. There is a mobile and web platform, and the app received some of the highest user ratings among platforms we looked at.
Get $25 when you open a Wealthsimple account and fund at least $150.
We’ve chosen the best online stock broker trading platforms on this page based on an independent set of criteria. None of these picks are sponsored – we also take into account providers and cards that we aren’t partnered with – so that our selections are chosen without bias. We take these factors into account when choosing our top picks:
Fees and commissions.
Types of securities available.
Types of trades supported.
Mobile/desktop support and user interface.
Additional notable features offered such as research tools, educational resources, practice accounts, etc.
No single trading platform will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before picking an online brokerage.
How to find the best trading platform in Canada for your needs
When searching for the best stock trading platform for you, ask yourself the following questions:
What type of stock trader am I? Are you a casual trader, an active trader or an experienced investor? From the user-friendliness of a platform to the level of market research and educational tools that come with your account, it’s important to find an investment service that works with your trading needs.
How often will I trade? If you buy or sell shares infrequently — say, 1-2 times per month or less — you’re likely more of a casual investor. With a higher trading frequency comes the need for an online investing platform that offers an affordable tier structure and an extensive range of features.
What will I be trading? While stocks are a very commonly-traded security, you may also want to buy and sell other securities such as bonds, currencies, options and futures. Also consider whether you want to trade domestic securities, international securities or a combination of the two.
What will it cost me? Besides ongoing management and account maintenance fees, consider trading fees and whether you can get these fees waived or reduced if you satisfy certain criteria.
How to compare the best stock trading platforms
Before signing up for a brokerage account, consider factors that include:
Fees. This is the big one. Look beyond what trading commissions a platform charges and ask about account minimums, transfer fees and costs for other securities.
Available securities. Some platforms offer a wide range of securities, while others specialize in only one or two. Make sure the platform you pick can cater to your trading interests.
Research tools. Beginners may want a platform with educational resources, while active traders will need robust analytics tools.
Types of trades supported. Consider the options available when you are buying or selling shares. In addition to present-time trades, can you also hedge against risks by placing market orders, limit orders or stop orders?
Mobile support. Most trading platforms offer mobile trading support, but apps typically aren’t as robust as the desktop version of the platform. If you prefer to trade on your mobile device, check investor feedback in Google Play and the App Store.
Customer feedback. Explore customer feedback in places like the Better Business Bureau and Reddit to find out what investors really think about the platform.
Your personal needs. If you’re just a casual investor, do you really need an investment platform that offers a lot of bells and whistles? On the other hand, some platforms aimed at beginner traders may not have all the features an experienced investor needs.
Compare stock trading platforms
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Best stock trading platforms if you want to trade with an online brokerage
If you’ve signed up for a platform that doesn’t offer you everything you need, you have options! You may have outgrown your current platform’s functionality and need something more. Or maybe your current platform doesn’t offer you everything you were promised. Or maybe your priorities have changed since you opened your account and first started trading. No matter the reason, you can switch stock brokers once you find one that better suits your needs.
Once you find a broker you like, you can easily transfer your account(s) to switch trading platforms. Usually, you request an institutional transfer through the receiving institution. You can request the transfer to take place one of two ways in order to switch stock brokers:
In-cash: Your holdings are sold and the cash proceeds are then transferred (within the account) to the receiving institution. This can trigger capital gains, since you are liquidating your position.
In-kind: Your account remains invested and nothing gets liquidated or sold. The assets are transferred as-is to the receiving institution. However, usually this involves a period of time in which the assets are “frozen” during transit — you aren’t able to sell them while they are in transfer and the assets are therefore immune to market fluctuations (up or down).
Regardless of the method you choose, your funds (or holdings) never leave the account. So transferring a TFSA, for example, does not count as a TFSA withdrawal and will not impact your contribution.
The downside of switching trading platforms is that most brokerages charge a transfer-out fee when you leave them. These fees can run anywhere between $125 to $175 per account. Some institutions will reimburse the transfer fee charged by the relinquishing institution if you transfer over an account worth a certain value.
Frequently asked questions
It really depends what your needs are. Some apps focus on simple trades like ETFs and individual stocks at little or no cost. Others let you buy more complex securities and offer tools that help you analyze your investments, but cost more. Once you determine what features are important to you, you can choose the best stock trading app for you.
Again, it depends on what kind of investor you are. All of Canada’s so-called Big Six banks offer trading platforms, though some like TD Bank don’t offer a dedicated app for it.
You can open a stock trading account by filling out an application with the broker through their website. You may also be able to sign up by downloading a mobile app. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll need to link your bank account and fund your brokerage account to start trading.
Once you’ve opened an account with the broker of your choice, investing online is as easy as funding your portfolio, searching the ticker symbol of the stock you want to buy, and then placing an order.
There are several online stock brokers that are suitable for beginners. However, one of the most popular on the market is Wealthsimple since it offers no commissions, no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. The main downside is that it provides relatively few research or educational tools. Consult the table above to explore your options.
Yes, you can buy US stocks listed on US exchanges if you go through a brokerage that provides access to exchanges outside of Canada. These include brokers such as Wealthsimple, Questrade and Interactive Brokers (for more advanced traders). Check out our guide on buying US stocks to learn more.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.
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