The best forex brokers in Canada offer access to foreign exchange markets with oversight from a trusted regulator, such as the IIROC. The top accounts also offer tight spreads on forex pairs with the CAD, alongside competitive commissions, margin trading, and user-friendly platforms and apps.
This guide explains how to compare forex brokers that accept Canadian traders in 2023. We have also reviewed and ranked the best forex brokers in Canada directly below to help you get started.
What Is A Canadian Forex Broker?
Forex brokers in Canada provide local traders with access to the global FX market. Here, brokers execute buy and sell orders on currency pairs, such as the USD/CAD, on behalf of their clients.
FX trades can be executed through desktop software, web-based terminals, and beginner-friendly mobile apps. But importantly, each forex broker in Canada offers different tools, investing conditions, pricing structures, and regulatory oversight.
After the Bretton Woods system was established during World War II, Canada’s currency was allowed to float freely between 1950 and 1962, when it briefly adopted a fixed rate until 1970, before moving back to a free-floating system.
In 1971, the Foreign Exchange Control Order designed a legal framework to control foreign currency, while the Exchange Fund Account handled Canada’s gold reserve, overseen by the Minister of Finance and Governor of the Bank of Canada.
In recent years, the Canadian forex market has grown in popularity, with the Canadian dollar (CAD) now enjoying its position as the sixth most traded currency in the world.
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) oversees all investment dealers and trading activity in the Canadian financial markets, including online forex brokers.
To operate in Canada, forex brokers are normally required to become Dealer Members of the IIROC.
Firms also have to comply with the relevant provincial legislation.
IIROC-regulated forex brokers typically offer greater client security and fund protection vs firms with offshore regulation, this includes access to the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which can reimburse traders to the tune of $1 million in the event of broker insolvency. IIROC also safeguards retail traders by investigating fraudulent brokers and limiting forex leverage for retail investors (up to 1:50).
Note, due to the complex regulatory structure in Canada, which spans national and provincial requirements, some international forex brokers that accept Canadian traders are based elsewhere but conform to Canada’s key rules.
How Forex Brokers In Canada Make Money
Forex brokers in Canada make money through two main fee structures:
The spread of an asset is the difference between the bid and ask prices, which forex brokers in Canada can either charge as a fixed or free-floating fee. Fixed spreads provide a guaranteed price of trading, whereas variable spreads will change with market volatility and liquidity. Variable spreads can often be much lower than fixed ones, especially at liquid times, although fixed spreads may be better during times with fewer active investors.
Spreads are displayed as a bid exchange rate vs an ask exchange rate. For example, a CAD/USD pair quoted at 1.1000/1.1002 means that you could buy USD with CAD at a rate of 1.1000, but you could only sell at a rate of 1.1002.
The spread is thus 1.1002 minus 1.1000, which equals $0.0002, or 2 pips.
Popular Canadian forex broker, Questrade, offers competitive pricing on their 110 currency pairs, with spreads from as low as 0.8 pips under normal market conditions and a target spread of 2.5 pips on USD/CAD.
The other main fee to be considered is commission, charged by many forex brokers in Canada. Commission fee structures may vary, presented either as a flat fee, such as $5 per round per lot or as a percentage of the position value, such as 0.5%.
The cheapest forex brokers in Canada will charge low spreads and commissions, which is beneficial for high-volume traders like scalpers.
Additionally, some Canadian forex brokers may impose charges like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.
Always familiarise yourself with the broker’s terms and conditions before opening an account. If you are unable to find this information, reach out to the firm’s customer service team for a full fee catalog.
How To Compare Forex Brokers In Canada
There are multiple factors to consider when selecting the best forex brokers in Canada, especially given the individual nature of every client’s goals and needs. To break down the decision, consider the following:
Leverage among legal forex brokers in Canada is limited to 1:50.
This is slightly higher than that allowed in the US or Europe, where it is capped at 1:30.
Leverage allows you to open a bigger position size than your account balance would normally allow. However, limited leverage is put in place to minimize the amplified risk of losses.
Aligned to IIROC rules, Canadian forex brokers must provide each retail client with a copy of the leverage risk disclosure statement and receive confirmation that the client has acknowledged receipt.
Trading platforms can make or break your experience in the forex market. If a platform has slow execution speeds, you may miss out on the best opportunities. On the other hand, a platform with advanced tools and complex interfaces can overwhelm a beginner.
Two of the most trusted and well-renowned platforms offered by most forex brokers in Canada are MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5). They offer a range of in-built indicators, customizable charts and graphs, access to algo bots plus various timeframes, order types, risk management tools and more.
Some Canadian FX brokers may offer different commercial or proprietary platforms. If this is the case, ensure there is a good range of charting tools, indicators and analysis options, as well as any additional services you may require. Forex.com for example, offers a bespoke webtrader and mobile app.
The benefits include 70+ technical indicators and 50+ drawing tools. Alternatively, forex brokers that accept Canadian residents may also provide access to TradingView charts.
For beginners, Canadian forex brokers that offer copy trading services or access to step-by-step platform guides will rank highly. For more advanced investors, consider platforms with algorithm support, advanced strategy builders, and comprehensive analysis tools.
It could also be worth testing out a platform that you haven’t used before in a simulated environment. Demo accounts give you the flexibility to practice trading risk-free whilst learning the features and functionality of the terminal.
If you have a good idea of which currency pairs you want to explore, take a look at a forex broker’s product list to see what they offer. While major pairs like USD/CAD are often provided, minor and exotic pairs like AUD/CAD or CAD/ZAR are less common.
Nonetheless, a good forex broker in Canada should have a wide range of currency pairs with competitive spreads and commissions.
Aside from spreads and commissions, prospective forex investors should consider the kind of strategies they might implement when comparing online brokers as this can also impact the associated fees and costs.
The best forex brokers in Canada will provide a transparent fee structure, with all applicable costs outlined before clients commit to a live trading account.
For Canadian residents with an account denomination other than CAD, be aware of currency conversion fees each time you add or withdraw funds from your account.
As outlined above, the main financial regulatory body in Canada is the IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada).
However, each region has a local agency.
For example, forex brokers in Ontario are likely to be overseen by the Ontario Securities Commission.
Using a licensed and regulated broker is advisable to minimize risk and ensure adequate legal protections.
Remember though, many international brokers will have separate regulatory oversight depending on where they are based and operate.
Scroll to the website footer to find this information or reach out to the broker’s customer service team. AvaTrade for example, operates in Canada in collaboration with a division of Friedberg Mercantile Group Ltd, which is regulated by IIROC.
Another important factor when choosing forex brokers in Canada is the payment options available for deposits and withdrawals.
Other, more secure methods, such as bank wire transfers, can take up to five working days.
Canadian forex brokers that accept transfers from some of the biggest banks in the country, such as the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), may offer favorable processing times.
Consider registering for a local payment method if you are planning on making regular deposits to forex brokers in Canada.
Not only may you save time, but it may also ensure cheaper deposit and withdrawal fees.
On the other hand, some forex brokers in Canada may require a high deposit amount in the region of $1000 to open an account, though they often provide tighter spreads and additional features.
The ability to trade on the go can open up more opportunities in the Canadian forex markets, which are open 24 hours a day, five days a week.The top forex brokers in Canada should offer mobile apps available to download on Android and iOS devices.
Making use of mobile platforms allows you to conduct technical analysis, monitor positions and execute orders without being tied to a desk.Look out for those with all the features and functionality of their PC-based options, with compatible zoom and scroll compatibility for smaller screens.
Final Word On Forex Brokers In Canada
The quality of forex brokers in Canada has grown over the years as the market has become more popular.Nowadays, the top forex brokers in Canada are supported by both the IIROC and local financial watchdogs.And while the range of forex brokers in Canada makes narrowing your choice down to the top 5 or 10 brokers harder, consideration of platforms, fee structures, range of currency pairs including the CAD, and additional features should aid your decision.
Use our list of the best forex brokers that accept Canadian traders to get started.
Should I Pick Any Forex Broker That Is Accepting Canadian Clients?
While many forex brokers in Canada accept local clients, your decision should be more considered than that.
<Key factors include IIROC regulation, support for your strategies and competitive fees, platforms and bonuses. You can also find reviews of Canadian forex brokers with websites like ours.