What is the Canadian equivalent of...?

A lot of us are moving to Canada from the USA. I’m attempting to put together a list of Canadian equivalents of things we have come to rely on in the USA.

USA Canada
NPR CBC (See @am1’s answer)
Walmart/ALDI/Costco Walmart and Costco both are here. Real Canadian Superstore is Canada’s version of Walmart
Grocery Stores (Safeway/Trader Joes/WholeFoods) Loblaws, Farm Boy (kinda like Trader Joes), Sobeys, Metro, Whole Foods, No Frills (cheaper version of Loblaws), Food Basic (cheaper version of Metro)
Online Delivery: Instacart, Google Express, Amazon, Doordash, Uber Eats Instacart, Amazon, Voila (for groceries), Fresh City Farms (grocery delivery in Toronto), Mama Earth Organics (Organic groceries in Toronto), SkipThe Dishes (food delivery), UberEats, Doordash
Enterprise/Hertz/National car rental
Pharmacy (CVS/Walgreens) Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, London Drugs
Discount Tire
USPS Canada Post
Banks (BofA, Chase, Capital One) RBC, BMO, CIBC, Scotia Bank, TD, Tangerine (See @siddEE’s answer)
Zelle (local $ transfers), Western Union, Remitly, Xoom (international remittance) Interac-e-transfer (local), Xoom etc. (international) (See @siddEE’s answer)
Phone networks (TMobile, AT&T etc. also Ting, Republic Wireless, Cricket, Google Fi etc.) Rogers, Bell, Telus, also: Fido, Virgin Mobile, Koodo, Chatr, Public, Lucky, Freedom Mobile (See @siddEE’s answer)
Broadband internet (Spectrum, Xfinity, Comcast) FiberStream, Beanfield, Bell, Rogers, Teksavvy
Craigslist Kijiji (Though Craigslist also exists but Kijiji is more widely used)

USPS -> Canada Post
Pharmacy -> Shoppers Drug Mart / Rexall

1 Like

CBC is a Crown corporation, NPR is a non profit organization, not sure if they can be compared since one is government owned and the other one is private but yeah I agree there are similarities.

2 (not sure about aldi) & 3 are same here. But there are many Canadian grocery chains.

One of the biggest differences is that you wont find any of the American banks here.


RBC, BMO, CIBC, Scotia Bank, TD are considered the big 5 banks in Canada. Pretty much they all have “new immigrant” offers that waive fees, and provide a few other minimal benefits for the first one-year of banking when you open as a new immigrant.

As it has been almost a year since I landed and opened my initial account with CIBC (which means I have to start paying not-so-cheap fees starting next month), I pretty much moved most of banking activity to Tangerine (a subsidiary of Scotia Bank) as it is an online only bank and doesn’t charge any fees. My experience with Tangerine has also been excellent so far.

TL;DR Brand-name big 5 banks with excellent customer service and satisfaction (think the likes of Chase, BOFA) exist, but so do no-frills online-only banks with equally good customer service.

Building credit history all over again may feel like a let-down, but when you start with a basic credit card they increase your credit limits pretty quickly proportional to your income. Visa, and Mastercard are the predominant options, very rarely do I see Amex, and almost never Discover.

Interac-e-transfer is the equivalent for Zelle. There is an additional step involved with enabling auto-deposit when receiving money, otherwise you will have to answer a security question every time you receive a transfer.

Also for money transfers to India, I used to come across so many platforms in the US (WU, Remitly, Xoom to name a few) that provided competitive rates. Most of them exist here as well, but so far I’ve only used Xoom here in Canada as the others have been a little disappointing in terms of fees and exchange rates. (Feel free to correct me on this)

Major telecom companies are Rogers, Bell, Telus. These companies also run smaller bare-bones options like Fido, Virgin Mobile, Koodo as well as 3G options like Chatr, Public, Lucky. Also, there are some well-established regional providers in some provinces. Freedom mobile is the wild card here, they have unbelievable deals a lot of the times, but are prone to complaints about network strength (less likely the scenario in urban areas though).


@ketcomp I converted this post to a wiki so people can edit and contribute.


Internet Options:

I think in Toronto, Beanfield and Fiberstream are the best options. They offer 1Gbps and 500 Mbps respectively for both Download and Upload for $50/month. Bell and Rogers offer similar speeds but are much more expensive and have terrible Upload speeds.

1 Like

I currently reside in US after soft-landing and planning to move after 1 year or so. I am looking for chequing account and credit card to start building credit score.

Any idea about approval odds of Tangerine credit card as a new PR?

If online-only is not an issue, is there any reason to go for RBC/BMO/CIBS/TD/Scotia vs Tangerine/Simplii?

Appreciate your inputs!

When I first opened my account with CIBC, I went to the branch and opened it in person. Then based on my savings on hand, the teller sold me on a CAD1500 starter credit card which helped me start my credit journey. So I’m unable to comment on if they’d approve your card if you’re applying from the US.

Looking at the criteria for Tangerine credit cards, https://www.tangerine.ca/en/products/spending/creditcard/ I have a feeling that they might follow those eligibility requirements to the word. Even I have been looking to apply for a Tangerine CC; I will keep you posted when I bite the bullet.

The only difference I have observed with Tangerine is that it’s been hard to get ahold of customer service folks during this pandemic (they don’t have chat service, only way to reach them is via phone), whereas if you were with one of the bigger banks you could walk in and get service. For me, I very rarely need help with customer service so this has been working well for me thus far, especially given the fees you save on all kinds of transactions.

1 Like