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Best Free Online Brokers in Canada

Online brokers are websites that allow investors to buy and sell stocks, bonds, and other securities. They typically offer lower fees than traditional brokers, and they allow investors to trade directly from their computer or mobile device.

The best online brokers in Canada are typically the ones with the lowest fees and the most features. Some of the most popular online brokers in Canada are Questrade, Virtual Brokers (CI Financial), Interactive Brokers and Wealthsimple.

All of the major Canadian banks offer some form of brokerage services. Some of the most popular include TD Direct Investing, RBC Direct Investing, and BMO InvestorLine.

Each of these online brokers has its own strengths and weaknesses. Questrade, for example, has very low fees but doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other brokers. Virtual Brokers has great features but higher fees. It really depends on what you’re looking for in an online broker.

Since Wealthsimple came in and disrupted the market with free stock market transactions, National Bank was the first Canadian Bank to offer no commission transactions on non-ETF trades as well. To this day there are only 4 free brokers in Canada.

The List Of 0 Commission Brokers In Canada

  • Wealthsimple
  • National Bank
  • Disnat (Desjardins)

How 0 Commission Brokers Make Money

0 commission brokers make money by charging a spread on each trade. The spread is the difference between the bid and ask price of a security. For example, if the bid price of a stock is $10 and the ask price is $10.25, the spread is $0.25. The broker will make money on each trade by pocketing the spread.

As the old adage says: there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

Our Recommendation

If any of the brokers listed above happen to also be your bank, you might as well go with them as most platforms offer the same services. That said, in our opinion, the best free broker in Canada is National Bank Direct Brokerage. Having traded on each platform, we much prefer the National Bank desktop user experience. Of note, the Wealthsimple mobile experience and the Disnat customer service make them our 2nd and 3rd choice, respectively.

Honorable mention: 

TD Easy Trade currently offers up to 50 free trades per year and Questrade offers a promo of the first $50 in trades for free. While not a free broker per se, the experience can be free for certain users.