The following online dating sites are considered the best dating sites in Canada (not including niche dating sites). The heavy hitters of Match.com and eHarmony are massive world-wide as well as here in Canada. POF (based in Vancouver) is another site that has a very high number of members not only in Canada but world-wide. OKCupid, another free dating site, is a smaller site but one with an impressive matching system. The final dating site on the list is Lavalife (based in Toronto), considered one of the original Canadian dating sites. Learn more about each, below.
Match.com is considered one of the biggest dating sites in the world. It is likely the largest paid dating site among Canadians, and is an industry leader in terms of features. It costs nothing to create a full dating profile and search the full database of available singles. Likewise, sending a ‘wink’ is free as well. Once you want more meaningful communication a membership payment is required.
Pros: Large selection of Canadian members; Feature rich; Available on mobile; Full searching control; Extensive matching algorithm in place.
Cons: Busy interface.
eHarmony takes a different approach from typical dating sites. First, you fill out an extensive survey before your profile becomes part of the site. Second, you don’t search the site yourself. Instead eHarmony provides a list of matches to you – for you to decide to pursue or not.
eHarmony is considered a more ‘serious’ dating site. One that is using an algorithm to match people based on compatibility, based on the survey questions you answer when you join. If you’re looking to put serious effort into finding someone to marry, eHarmony should be on your list of dating sites to try.
Pros: Large selection of Canadian members; Guided compatibility.
Cons: Relatively long sign up process; Must wait for matches to be sent to you.
POF, formerly known as Plenty of Fish, is the largest free online dating site world wide, and considered the largest dating site in Canada. It’s based out of Vancouver and has grown from humble beginnings to a site that has dominated multiple markets world wide.
Creating a profile and communicating with others on the site is absolutely free of charge. The browsing experience includes ads on every page you visit (although the mobile experience is ad free). To browse without seeing ads, and to unlock other advanced features (see when your email is read; receive upgraded profile placement; upload more photos; and more), there is a membership fee you can pay.
Pros: Huge selection of Canadian members; Available on mobile; Extensive advanced search options.
Cons: Ads shown while browsing are mostly of low quality; Many members may be less serious to find a meaningful relationship due to the lack of payment required.
OkCupid is a free dating site popular among Canadians. This dating site is fairly unique among the many sites that are around. One main difference is that an extensive Question and Answer feature drives the matching algorithm. The more questions you answer, the better you’re matched. Also, you can see how others answered the same questions as you did. It provides great insight into a person before you even begin communicating with them.
The site does contain advertising, but that can be removed with a membership payment (which also includes ad-free browsing; message filters; advanced search parameters – like body type and question answer; browse invisibly; know if your message has been read; and more).
Pros: Large selection of Canadian members; Available on mobile; Large photos in search results; Q&A-driven providing incredible insight on other members; Up to date site design; Painless sign up.
Cons: Ads shown while browsing (unless you upgrade); Many members may be less serious to find a meaningful relationship due to the lack of payment required; Photo required to view full photos of others (fair is fair!).
Lavalife is considered one of the original online dating sites for Canadians. Based in Toronto, it’s still kicking after all these years. You can choose to add your profile to any of the three streams (“Dating”, “Relationships”, and “Intimate”), depending on what you’re seeking.
Lavalife pretty much sticks to the basics of a dating site including advanced search options, but has one unique feature: the “Backstage”. With this, members can choose to show select photos to only certain people – instead of to everyone who views the profile.
Members can create a profile, browse other profiles and send a note of interest (a ‘like’) free of charge. Unique to Lavalife is the ability to respond to an email or IM free of charge as well. To initiate written communication, however, a paid membership is required.
Pros: Decent selection of Canadian members; Can respond to messages for free; If you initiate conversation others can reply free; Can purchase add-ons for enhanced profile promotion; Video in addition to photos on profiles.
Cons: Matching seems fairly basic; Ads during browse promoting chat line services.