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Ottawa – July 9, 2019 – Today, The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) published its annual look at the state of the nation’s internet—Canada’s Internet Factbook 2019.

As summer begins across Canada, the survey of more than 2000 Canadians found that 85 per cent had not gone “off-the-grid” (spent more than one-week offline) in the last year, and only one in five had even disconnected for eight consecutive hours.

Key findings

  • Boomers are embracing smartphones. The percentage of those 55+ who browse the web using mobile devices has increased from 24 per cent in 2015 to 57 per cent in 2019
  • Three-quarters of Canadians surf the internet while watching TV
  • 46 per cent of Canadians admit to using their mobile device in the bathroom (and even more were too embarrassed to say)
  • The internet is changing every aspect of our lives:
    • 9 per cent completed their education online
    • 16 percent found a home online
    • 22 per cent found a job online
    • 10 per cent found their spouse online
  • Canadians prefer to buy from Canadian retailers online with 64 percent saying they buy Canadian
  • 45 per cent of respondents provide informal tech support for others in their family
  • Seven in ten internet users say they would be unlikely to purchase a home in an area that didn’t have high-speed internet
  • New Brunswick has lost its crown for having the fastest average internet speeds in Canada. Both British Columbia (52.28 Mbps) and Alberta (52.14 Mbps) surpassed New Brunswick (50.41 Mbps) in 2019.
  • Quebecers are the most likely to seek out Canadian content online with 22 per cent saying they often or always do so. British Colombians are least likely with 39 per cent indicating they never or almost never look for Canadian content online.
  • Average download speeds in urban households are rapidly outpacing rural homes. Between 2018 and 2019, average download speeds in urban areas more than doubled, while rural download speeds grew just over one-and-a-half times.

Executive quotes

“The internet has transformed every aspect of our lives—mostly for the better. Our challenge moving forward is to develop a healthy relationship with the internet and harness it to improve the lives of all Canadians.”

– Byron Holland, president and CEO, CIRA

“We see major leaps in internet connectivity happening all across the country but we still have a ways to go. Considering how critical fast, reliable internet access is to our economy, our communities and our lives, we must keep pushing to ensure Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast are well connected.”

– Jacques Latour, chief technology officer, CIRA

“As Canadians continue to embrace the digital economy, trust becomes more important than ever. We are proud that Canadians continue to identify .CA as a symbol of trust and confidence when doing business online. We look forward to helping connect the thousands of small businesses that have yet to claim their brand online.”

– David Fowler, vice president of marketing and communications, CIRA

Additional resources

About Canada’s Internet Factbook

CIRA developed Canada’s Internet Factbook through an online survey conducted by The Strategic Counsel. The purpose of CIRA’s research is to identify trends in Canadian internet use. A total of n=2,050 adult Canadian internet users (18+) were surveyed in March 2019, and the sample is proportionate-to-population for age, province and gender. Additional data was taken from the M-Lab and global domain industry statistics from Zook, CENTR and

About the Canadian Internet Registration Authority

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services—such as D-Zone DNS Firewall—that help support its goal of building a better online Canada. The CIRA team operates one of the fastest-growing country code top-level domains (ccTLD), a high-performance global DNS network, and one of the world’s most advanced back-end registry solutions.