How Many Canadians are Online and What are They Doing? [Statistics]

They are always outdated, but statistics show the vast, wide open market that Canada offers to online businesses.  They demonstrate trends and growth, while providing some road signs to direct us down the right marketing route.

We anticipate new Canadian statistics for 2011 to be released in the Fall of 2012, with numbers expected to increase above those listed here.

Percentage of Households with Home Internet Access, 2010

Region Percentage
Canada 79
Newfoundland and Labrador 74
Prince Edward Island 73
Nova Scotia 77
New Brunswick 70
Quebec 73
Ontario 81
Manitoba 73
Saskatchewan 76
Alberta 83
British Columbia 84

Note: The Canadian Internet Use Survey did not include the three territories.
Source: Table prepared by the Library of Parliament using data obtained from Statistics Canada

Online Activities From Any Location, 2010 (% of Internet Users)




Window shopping or browsing for information on goods or services


Electronic banking (e.g., paying bills, viewing statements, transferring funds between accounts)


Reading or watching the news


Travel information or making travel arrangements


Visiting or interacting with government websites


Searching for medical or health-related information


Using social networking sites


Researching community events


Using an instant messenger


Downloading or watching movies or video clips online


Obtaining or saving music (free or paid downloads)


Searching for employment


Formal education, training or school work


Listening to the radio online


Obtaining or saving software (free or paid downloads)


Playing online games


Downloading or watching TV online


Researching investments


Making telephone calls online


Selling goods or services (e.g., through auction sites)


Contributing content or participating in discussion groups (e.g., blogging, message boards, posting images)


Source: Stats Canada.

It’s unfortunate that the Territories weren’t included because remote populations rely more heavily on the Internet and mail order.

Remote areas in general are a crucial part of why Internet business has so much potential in Canada.  Canadians are spread out over an area that is larger than the US, creating a unique niche with limited competition.  Winning sales in remote geographic locations  can be as simple as offering the best deal on shipping charges.

Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Lauren Time

Now that’s what I’m talkin about! Canadian business info is a rarity, thank you.


Very interesting statistics!   I think it’s understandable that we are online more than most considering the boost in online occupations. I recently found an infographic discussing Canadians Time spent online I hope the readers enjoy – Great Post!

Ron LaForest

It’s tough to nail down what people are doing but it’s an interesting set of statistics that I’d like to see expanded.


Please keep bringing this information to the table. I spend so much time looking for Canadian statistics. Such a great idea for a website.


That information is so helpful for marketing plans, thank you

Interesting stuff. It’s nice to have Canadian statistics even if they’re only indicators of what is actually happening. Thanks for keeping us posted.