Dating can be tricky at the best of times, but online dating makes meeting new people easy and convenient. However, navigating dating sites comes with its own set of challenges, and Canadian sites are no exception. As such, we’ve put together a list of the best Canadian dating sites on the web.
Online Dating in Canada
If you’re living in Canada, you may be happy to know that many of the most popular dating sites in the United States are also popular in Canada. Like our southern neighbors, Canada is a melting pot of people, so you’ll be able to find a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and cultures on any reputable dating site.
That said, “reputable” is the keyword here. While the internet has brought many people together, it’s worth being cautious when it comes to dating online. Whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or a short-term hookup, several dating websites fit the bill and have plenty to offer.
In Canada, online dating is hugely popular. Therefore it’s easy to find potential dates on some of the largest and most well-regarded online dating sites in the world. In fact, the apps and websites that are the most popular in Canada are generally the same as those used in the US.
In this article, we’ll discuss five of the best Canadian dating sites. For those living in major cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, and Edmonton, you’ll soon discover there’s a vast membership base or, as they say, “plenty of fish in the sea.”
You may also like our other article: Dating a Canadian man.
What to Look for In a Dating Site
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk briefly about what makes a dating site respectable. Some things to look out for include an easy to navigate interface, lots of active members, and a decent male-to-female ratio. Let’s take a look at some of these aspects in a bit more detail.
Large Membership Base
While smaller sites can be okay–every site has to start somewhere–it’s a good idea to start with a dating site with a large membership base, at least for your area. For those just getting started in the online dating world, a large membership base can help ensure you’re able to find quality matches and avoid scams.
When a dating site is too small, it may be because there are issues with it. Or, the site doesn’t cater to your area. In either case, there are plenty of dating sites to choose from, so there’s no reason to settle for one that might not have any quality matches for you or that seems a little too shady.
Whatever dating site you choose, it should have a user-friendly interface. From the moment you land on the page, you should be able to navigate around intuitively and even begin looking for potential matches.
The profiles on the dating site should be detailed and include plenty of pictures. Signing up should be easy, and creating your own profile should be a detailed process that’s easy to do but enables you to showcase your accomplishments, goals, and who you are.
If a dating site is difficult to use or too confusing, there’s too much room for error. Not only should you be able to build an accurate profile intuitively, but reaching out to potential matches should be a comfortable and straightforward process. In other words, if the site’s functionality gets in the way of its content, it may be time to look elsewhere.
One of the most important aspects of any dating site is communication. How do matches connect? In addition to basic messaging, are there other ways to reach out? The best dating sites have various communication methods and some standard social media features, like favorites and likes.
That said, privacy is paramount on the internet. As such, if a dating site includes a call feature or video chat, be sure the site has your privacy in mind. For instance, some dating sites have a secure call feature that enables you to connect and speak with someone without sharing your personal phone number.
Unique Site Features
Every dating site has its own style that tends to attract a certain clientele. They also have unique features that help them stand out and improve the overall user experience. Plus, if you see a feature that appeals to you, there’s a good chance that the same feature might appeal to your potential matches.
Look for dating sites that offer add-ons for your profile and personality quizzes. With online dating, the more information you can share, the more likely you will find matches. Some sites have various personality tests you can take to truly show who you are, including psychology tests and relationship needs assessments.
Some sites also host online events, such as speed dating or fun activities. You can attend cooking and mixology classes, museum tours, and evening events where members meet at a local bar or restaurant.
Respectable Male-to-Female Ratio
One of the things to look out for when it comes to online dating sites is the ratio of men to women. In general, sites where men are looking for women and women are looking for men should have a reasonably even ratio. If they don’t, this is a potential red flag.
That said, most of the largest dating sites have an even mix. However, many niche sites can lean one way or the other. Of course, sites designed for different kinds of relationships are going to be geared towards the appropriate population.
Top 5 Best Canadian Dating Sites
When seeking the best dating site for you, it’s crucial to do a little research. You’ll also need to assess yourself, your needs, and the type of relationship you’re looking for. Some sites, such as Tinder, are geared towards short term relationships, while others, such as Match, are designed to help you find a serious, long-lasting relationship.
Match.ca is one of the best dating sites in Canada. It’s popular and features a wide range of people from different backgrounds. It features a streamlined design that is simple to navigate and is focused on building long-term relationships and adding to its significant count of couples who met on Match and ended up getting married.
How Match.ca Works
First, you’ll need to create a profile that includes your gender, birthday, and match gender. From there, you can begin browsing right away, but before you reach out to anyone, you’ll want to finish building your profile.
Match.ca features nine pages of initial questions. These include questions about your appearance, lifestyle, personality, interests, and more. You’ll also be asked to describe what you’re looking for in a match. From there, Match will have you start by choosing three profiles that appeal to you so that the site can get a feel for the type of profile that piques your interest.
Once you’re signed up and have built your profile, you can dive into the many features the site has to offer. To begin finding matches, there is a search feature that enables you to browse profiles according to simple qualifications or more complex ones.
Searches can be performed for everything from those who share your birthday to more narrow search terms such as age, lifestyle choices, and appearance. Of course, there’s also a shuffle feature that brings up random profiles you can like and dislike.
With a free membership, you can browse and send out flirts. However, you won’t be able to speak to anyone. For that, you’ll need to pay a membership fee, which will then enable you to chat online with other members and favorite the profiles you like.
Unfortunately, Match.ca does not have audio or video capabilities. For that, you’ll need a separate app.
One of Match’s stand-out features is the sheer number of hosted events and activities. Members are free to attend Match-sanctioned events at local restaurants and pubs. Plus, there are a ton of online activities so that couples can start with a virtual date taking cooking classes or learning about photography.
Match.ca has two membership levels: Free and Premium. Free users can browse, create a profile, and receive messages. On the other hand, Premium members can live chat and message anyone.
There are also a couple of extras you can get, including an option to boost your profile to make it more visible to other members and an incognito mode that enables invisible browsing.
Here is our more detailed Match review.
Eharmony is one of the most well-known dating sites in the world, and for a good reason. It was founded by Neil Warren, a professional psychologist who has written close to a dozen books on love and marriage. As such, eharmony is similar to Match.ca in that it’s designed for those seeking a serious relationship.
How eharmony.ca Works
If you’re looking for a short-term hookup, eharmony may not be the best site for you. (Don’t worry; we’ll get to those sites in a minute.) However, it has some of the best features available and is beautifully designed. Overall, it’s an excellent, user-friendly site.
To get started, you’ll need to create an account and a profile, including your name, location, gender, and match gender. Eharmony will then ask you to complete a personality survey. This test takes about 30 to 40 minutes and asks you to answer questions on a sliding scale from 1 to 7.
In this way, you’ll build a detailed profile for yourself based on well-researched psychological studies. Questions include things like your values in a relationship, your emotional patterns, and how applicable a word or phrase is to you.
Finally, you’ll write about your passions, interests, and what you are most grateful for. You’ll also be asked to fill out basic things like your education and what you do for a living. From there, you can add more depth to your profile by filling in more information about yourself or moving on.
Interestingly, unlike popular dating sites like Match, eharmony does not provide a search feature. Instead, your personality test results will be compared to the results from other members and their profiles presented to you.
Then, members can communicate with each other via eharmony’s chat feature. Plus, you can send smiles to profiles you like. Eharmony also has a secure call feature that enables you to speak with other members without sharing your personal phone number.
Eharmony stands out from the crowd with some amazing features, particularly its Guided Communication system. This feature is meant to make communicating with others safe and less-awkward than it can be.
You can send and share things with other members, such as what makes or breaks a relationship for you. You can also answer quick questions to break the ice and help focus communication on what matters most. The goal is to make the process of reaching out to potential matches as smooth as possible.
With a free account, you can browse and view your potential matches, but you won’t be able to communicate with them. For that, the Basic plan enables you to message other members, view their profile pictures, and see who has viewed your profile. There’s also a TotalConnect plan that offers deeper personality analysis and the Secure Call feature.
Here is our more detailed eharmony review.
Tinder is a popular choice in Canada for those who are dating right now and aren’t ready for a long-term relationship. Tinder is a mobile app that is easy to use, simple, and takes a casual online dating approach.
How Tinder Works
Tinder is best known for its “swipe right” feature. To get started, download the app, and create a simple profile. You’ll be asked to write a short bio and upload up to nine photos to display, and that’s about it (although there are places to put your occupation and education level).
To find potential matches, you select a distance from your location, anywhere from 1 to 100 miles away from where you are. Tinder will then display the profiles of other users, which you can browse through quickly.
When you view a profile, you have the option to swipe left or right. Left means you’re not interested, and the app will move on to the next profile. However, if you swipe right, that means you are interested in the profile. Then, if you swipe right for someone who also swipes right for you, you’ve found a match.
Profiles that are a match can communicate with each other by a simple chat feature. From there, it is up to you and your match what you’d like to do next. The chat feature also includes a library of gifs to spice things up.
That said, it’s important to understand that what you choose to do with a potential match is entirely up to you. Tinder has a system for reporting messages and misleading profiles, but the level of information you choose to share with your matches is your decision.
What makes Tinder unique is its casual approach to dating. It serves as a simple tool for bringing people together, but not much else. For this reason, it’s crucial to guard yourself against potential scammers.
Tinder is a free app that anyone can use. It enables you to browse and swipe other users and try some of its premium features on a limited basis, such as Super-Liking someone, which shows that you are very interested in them and notifies them that you have swiped right on their profile.
You can also upgrade to Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. With Tinder Plus, you get more Super-Likes, while with Tinder Gold, users can see who has liked them before they swipe.
Here is our more detailed Tinder review.
Some other sites worth considering if you’re planning on dating online in Canada include OKCupid and Plentyoffish.com. OKCupid lies somewhere between Match and Tinder as far as features are concerned, while PlentyOfFish is a free site that makes its money through ads rather than membership fees.
OkCupid has been around since 2004 and is designed for the 25 to 35-year-old range who want more than a casual hookup but are still having fun in the dating scene. It matches people together using advanced algorithms designed by Harvard math students.
Signing up for OKCupid is a simple process, and browsing potential matches are done by swiping through profiles (similar to Tinder). Free members have access to all of the main features, but you can sign up for a Premium account to use advanced search filters and to block the ads.
Here is our more detailed okCupid review.
If you want to check out other popular dating sites and apps, here are the best dating apps many singles like.
Plenty of Fish is a large dating site that is free for all users. However, to make up for this, it has a lot of ads. While the site has a large membership base, the overall quality of those using the site is less than the paid sites we’ve mentioned above.
That said, you can upgrade for ad-free browsing and to make your profile a priority in search results. For some, Plenty of Fish is an excellent place to start if you’re hoping to find someone in Canada.
Here is our more detailed Plenty of Fish (POF) review.