This year, we collected more internet speed tests than ever before in Canada. This isn’t surprising, since 90% of Canadians are online(Opens in a new window), and 55% of them spend 5+ hours per day on the internet(Opens in a new window). The pandemic only increased that usage, which makes having the fastest possible ISP more important than ever. According to our Canadian readers, these are the fastest ISPs for 2022.
Winners: The Fastest ISPs in Canada
Major Canadian ISPs have jockeyed for the title of fastest for years. Since we started measuring broadband in Canada in 2013, winners have included Rogers, Bell Aliant, and Bell Canada (which absorbed Aliant). In 2020 and 2021, Telus took the top spot. It wins again this year, thanks to a slight improvement in its PCMag Speed Index score from 260.0 to 281.1. It’s not a breakthrough in speed, but it’s enough of an increase to stay ahead.
Telus breaks out its various service offerings in our data, so we can clearly state the ISP’s win is based on its fiber-to-the-home-or-premises connections, which Telus markets as PureFibre. The company’s DSL connections manage a PCMag Speed Index of just 38.7, lower even than satellite provider Starlink (67.1).
Bell Canada is also broken out in our data—that 236.2 second-place spot is for fiber (marketed as Fibe Internet), while Bell’s DSL earns a 50.0 PSI lower down the list.
Those two big fiber players have beaten the cable providers in our results for the last few years. In 2021, Shaw and Rogers each clawed for a middle spot. This year, that’s still the case, but the middle is higher and both see big upticks in speed, as does Cogeco.
The small ISPs that sometimes only service one municipality—or maybe even one neighborhood—tend to be the true heroes of internet velocity (the same is the case in our Fastest ISPs US survey). In the past couple of years, the provider with the highest throughput was Beanfield Metroconnect, located in select buildings (and powering some Wi-Fi hotspots) in Toronto. While Beanfield is still on top with a PCMag Speed Index of 395.9, that’s a slight reduction from last year’s 417.4—which was, in turn, a decrease from 2020.
There’s still enough room for an even faster ISP to slip into the winner’s slot: telMAX, a six-year-old business running almost entirely new infrastructure for its fiber network in small regions of Ontario like Durham and York. telMAX only promises a high speed of up to 1 Gig to its fastest customers, but the provider still manages a 603.3 PSI, the highest of any winner ever in Fastest ISPs Canada. Not many in the US have surpassed that number, either.
In the US, the major ISPs tend to be a bit slower than in the list that takes all the ISPs into account. But in Canada, even a major ISP can make the list of the absolute fastest (the difference being the number of tests required to make the list is a lot lower—only 100). Thus we get Telus fiber service in third place, and Bell Canada is in fifth. Big cablers Shaw and Rogers also make the top 10 across every ISP in the country.
Other smaller ISPs in the top 10 include a few that haven’t appeared before, such as O-Net out of Olds, Alberta in fourth; FibreStream, another fiber provider in Toronto and Ottawa that made a nice showing in our Best Gaming ISPs for Canada in sixth; and Lakeland Networks, found around the Muskoka District in Ontario, placing ninth.
One smaller return contender this year is Valley Fiber headquartered in Winkler, Manitoba, sticking to seventh place despite an excellent increase from 128.9 to 223.2 PSI. Those kinds of increases without movement on the top 10 demonstrate the new and aggressive competition on all sides, which can only benefit Canadian broadband customers.
Canadian Provinces With the Fastest Internet
This is the first time we’ve ever had more than 100 tests come in from the Northwest Territories or Prince Edward Island, so we’re pleased to add those areas to the red heat map indicating high speeds (the darker reds). But those two provinces are underserved, the real high speeds are found on the two coasts.
Years ago, our results favored Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Labrador, but these days British Columbia is the province with true internet momentum. Click through the years below, and then hover or tap each province to see its full PCMag Speed Index.
The top ISPs in each province:
Alberta: O-Net (254.9 PSI)
British Columbia: Telus (236.7 PSI)
Manitoba: Valley Fiber (213.4 PSI)
New Brunswick: Rogers (189.7 PSI)
Newfoundland and Labrador: Bell Canada (205.3 PSI)
Nova Scotia: Bell Canada (159.7 PSI)
Ontario: telMAX (603.3 PSI)
Prince Edward Island: Eastlink (164.9 PSI)
Québec: Bell Canada (227.3 PSI)
Saskatchewan: Shaw (223.2 PSI)
Note: We didn’t get enough tests from individual ISPs in Northwest Territories to rate one.
Canadian Cities With the Fastest Internet
Comparing municipalities based on their internet speed is like comparing them based on their utility providers (and sometimes they’re one and the same). Either way, you want one that doesn’t go out. But with ISPs, you also need speed, which is why we also highlight the top 10 towns in Canada for fast broadband based on the PCMag Speed Index.
As we’ve come to expect, there’s little consistency year to year. The only town to make it in the top 10 in 2021 and 2022 is Levis, Quebec—it was in third place last year with a 474.8 PSI, but dropped to fifth with a 379.1 this year (it’s a Bell Canada town with a Videotron option as well). Levis was also on the list in 2020, and was the fastest, period, in 2019.
The rest of these locations are all new to the top 10 this year. Most are fueled by fiber from Telus and Shaw. Exceptions include Cartwright, Manitoba, which has a lot of connections via Valley Fiber in nearby Winkler; Pickering, Ontario, which has Rogers and TekSavvy users; and West Rouge, Ontario, which has some connections with Bell Canada, Rogers, and even Beanfield Metroconnect. The fact that we can list multiple major ISPs for each of these areas that have such high-speed index scores is a testament to ISP competition in the north.
If you live in a metropolitan area and wonder about the speeds there, click through the arrows on the chart above to see the PSI for the major cities ordered by population. This year, Edmonton is leading the big cities with 197.2, followed by Calgary at 173.2. If you’re in Alberta, it pays to live in a metropolis.
The Methodology of Our Speed Testing
This story is based on results from 281,952 internet speed tests performed in Canada between June 1, 2021, and June 7, 2022, using the PCMag Speed Test(Opens in a new window).
Results are only shown for ISPs or locations (or ISPs in specific locations) that had at least 100 tests (1,000 tests for major ISPs). We look at the average throughput up and down, recorded in kilobits per second, which we divide by 1,000 to get to Megabits per second or Mbps.
We take 80% of the download speed, 20% of the upload speed, and add those numbers to generate the PCMag Speed Index (PSI) for an ISP, or for all the connections in a specific location, or to get very granular, for a specific ISP in a specific location. That index number makes it easy to determine which ISP is the fastest, as well as compare the results from previous years. (For more, read our full testing explainer in The Fastest US ISPs of 2022. The only difference for Canada is in how we define a major ISP: It must reach multiple provinces and have a minimum of 500,000 subscribers.)
If your ISP is missing from our results, run a PCMag Speed Test(Opens in a new window) today by clicking the Go button below. (Disable your VPN and pause streaming video or music for best results.) We’ll include your test in future versions of this story.
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