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Best Tourist eSIMs for Canada in 2024

A trip to Canada is always a good choice. But whether you want to visit its bustling cities, steeped in history and diverse culture, or traverse the vast wilderness spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific, one thing is certain, you should always stay connected.

Keeping connected during your travels these days has never been easier. On top of having the regular option of buying physical SIM cards from a SIM card store, these days you can also rely on a mobile virtual network operator as well as the latest eSIM technology. All you need to do is make sure your phone supports this technology, buy your eSIM online, scan a QR code with instructions, make sure you have toggled the “Data Roaming” option on, and enjoy the feeling of being online 24/7.

However, not all eSIM providers are created equal, and finding the right one can make a significant difference in your travel experience.

In this guide, we will delve into the realm of tourist eSIMs for Canada in 2024, exploring the top providers that offer seamless connectivity, flexible plans, and reliable service across the country. Whether you are seeking unlimited data for streaming your adventures, a local phone number for easy communication, or lightning-fast speeds to upload those Instagram-worthy photos, there is an eSIM solution tailored to your needs.

My recommendations are based on real-world, first-hand testing across various countries and continents, ensuring that you get the best connectivity and value for your Canadian journey. 

Let's embark on a virtual tour of the top tourist eSIM providers for Canada: Airalo, Alosim, Holafly, and Nomad.

Airalo

Airalo has solidified its position as a leader in the eSIM market since its launch in 2019, especially during a time when eSIM compatibility was still a novelty for many devices. Today, it stands out as the largest eSIM provider, boasting coverage in over 200 countries and territories, although some are considered duplicates.

My journey with Airalo began with installing their eSIM on my dad's phone, marking my initial foray into the world of eSIM technology. At that time, eSIM-compatible devices were not as prevalent, and many, including me, still had prehistoric mobile phones that required a physical SIM card, but Airalo's pioneering approach made connectivity seamless. 

Nowadays, you can simply scan a QR code and have your eSIM activated. Funny how times change so quickly! But, back to Airalo.

What sets Airalo apart is its penchant for giving each country's eSIM a unique name, adding a touch of personalization to the experience. This naming convention resonates with travelers seeking not just connectivity but also a sense of familiarity with their digital companion.

In Canada, Airalo offers three distinct eSIM options:

Tuque Mobile

Tuque Mobile provides reliable connectivity across the country, ensuring you stay connected whether you are exploring the bustling streets of Toronto or immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Banff National Park. 

There are six options to choose from, the most popular being the Canada/Tuque Mobile 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 18 CAD. Tuque Mobile allows you to connect to Bell Canada (5G), Rogers Canada (4G) & Telus (5G). If you want to know more about which network is the best, follow my Canada SIM card buying guide.

Americanmex

This eSIM bridges the borders between the United States and Mexico, catering to travelers with itineraries that extend beyond Canada's borders. Released just before my summer trip in 2023, this eSIM offers five options, with the North America/Americanmex 10 GB eSIM for 30 days being popular among travelers at 46 CAD.

Powered by Orange France, the Americanmex eSIM provides access to Bell Canada, Rogers Canada, and Telus networks, with Bell Canada and Telus Canada offering 5G NR access for faster speeds. 

I have already used the Americanmex eSIM in Canada and the US, and hopefully by the end of May, you will be reading all about my experience with it in Mexico, so stay tuned for that!

Discover(+)

Airalo's Discover and Discover+ eSIMs offer global coverage, including Canada and over 120 other countries. The Discover(+) eSIM, with a validity of 365 days and 5G NR access in many places, brings significant enhancements compared to its predecessor.

This upgraded eSIM also includes an Austrian (+43) phone number, offering enhanced communication options. While the Discover+ variant may be slightly pricier (up to 20 CAD more), its benefits, like extended validity and improved connectivity, make it a worthwhile investment.

With 12 options available, the Discover 20 GB eSIM for 365 days is popular among travelers at 69 CAD. It works with Bell Canada, SaskTel (in Saskatchewan only), and Telus networks, with 5G NR support on Bell Canada and Telus.

For a detailed list of countries covered, check out my ongoing Airalo Discover+ eSIM review for comprehensive insights into maximizing your connectivity.

Airalo eSIMs for Canada Summarized

Here is a quick overview of the characteristics of each Airalo eSIM covered in this section:

Tuque Mobile

  • Can be used in Canada only
  • Priced between 6 CAD and 33 CAD
  • Six variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 30 days)
  • Offers 5G NR access on select supported networks
  • Does not include a phone number

Americanmex

  • Can be used in Canada, Mexico & the United States
  • Priced between 6.50 CAD and 46 CAD
  • Five variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 10 GB for 30 days)
  • Offers 5G NR access in Canada (and the United States) on select supported networks
  • Does not include a phone number

Discover

  • Can be used in Canada and 120+ countries worldwide
  • Priced between 9 CAD and 69 CAD
  • Six variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 365 days)
  • Offers 5G NR access in Canada (and numerous other countries) on select supported networks
  • Does not include a phone number

Discover+

  • Can be used in Canada and 120+ countries worldwide
  • Priced between 15 CAD and 89 CAD
  • Six variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 365 days)
  • Offers 5G NR access in Canada (and numerous other countries) on select supported networks
  • Includes an Austrian phone number
  • Offers up to 200 international minutes and 200 international SMS to any country worldwide, including those the eSIM cannot be used in

This summary helps you compare and choose the Airalo eSIM that best suits your travel needs and preferences in Canada and beyond.

Alosim

Alosim, from AffinityClick, stands out for bundling its eSIMs with a Hushed app redemption code, offering up to 30 international minutes or 50 international SMS with each purchase. This makes it unique among eSIM providers, providing added value and convenience.

Alosim's eSIMs cover over 170 countries, including Canada, and come with American, British, and Canadian phone numbers. This combo deal ensures seamless connectivity and cost-effective international phone calls without switching SIM cards.

Alosim has two eSIMs that can be used in Canada: Canada and North America.

Canada

Alosim's Canada eSIM offers six choices, with the Canada 5 GB eSIM for 30 days being the most popular at 18 CAD. This eSIM grants access to Bell Canada, SaskTel (Saskatchewan province only), and Telus networks.

On the Telus network, you can enjoy 5G NR access for faster speeds.

North America

Alosim's North America eSIM was introduced after the summer of 2023, offering connectivity across Canada and the United States. With four options to choose from, the North America 1 GB eSIM for 7 days is popular at 8 CAD. This eSIM provides access to the same networks as the Canadian eSIM.

Additionally, each Alosim North America eSIM purchase includes a Hushed phone number, adding value and convenience to your connectivity package.

While I plan to test the eSIM in Mexico in May 2024, I may not return to North America this year, as my focus shifts to exploring Latin America. However, I previously used Alosim's Canada and United States eSIMs last summer, and reviews for those experiences are coming soon. Stay tuned for insights on how the North America eSIM performs in these countries.

Alosim eSIMs for Canada Summarized

Here is a summary of the characteristics of each Alosim eSIM covered in this section:

Canada

  • Priced between 6 CAD and 49 CAD
  • Six variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 30 days)
  • Offers 5G NR access on select supported networks
  • Includes a free +1 (American or Canadian) phone number through Hushed
  • Allows for up to 30 international calls and/or 30 international SMS (within Canada or from Canada to any other country)

North America

  • Can be used in Canada, Mexico & the United States
  • Priced between 8 CAD and 50 CAD
  • Four variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 10 GB for 30 days)
  • Offers 5G NR access in Canada on select supported networks (and the United States)
  • Includes a free +1 (American or Canadian) phone number through Hushed
  • Allows for up to 30 international calls and/or 30 international SMS (within Canada or from Canada to any other country)

Holafly

Holafly offers two types of eSIMs for use in Canada: Canada-specific eSIMs and North America eSIMs. Known for its extensive coverage, Holafly stands out for providing unlimited data eSIMs in over 160 countries, with approximately 100 of them offering unlimited mobile data options.

Initially, Holafly introduced a North American eSIM, albeit at a higher cost of 54 CAD for 6 GB of data valid for 15 days. However, the company later expanded its offerings to include unlimited data eSIMs for Canada, aligning with its existing offerings for Mexico and the United States since June 2022.

Canada-specific eSIM

Let's delve into Holafly's Canada eSIM offerings. There are five unlimited data eSIM plans available, with the most popular being the Canada unlimited data eSIM for 20 days, priced at 54 CAD. It is worth noting that Holafly's Canada eSIMs are among the priciest in this guide, but they offer unlimited data plans.

However, starting from mid-2023, Holafly's unlimited data eSIM plans (excluding European ones) are speed-restricted to 18 Mbps, which can be slower in some areas. Canada was one of the first countries where I noticed these speed restrictions.

While 18 Mbps is decent, other eSIM providers mentioned in this guide offer faster speeds at lower prices.

When using the Holafly Canada eSIM, you will be on the Rogers Canada network, with speeds up to 4G/LTE.

North America eSIM

Now, let's dive into the details of Holafly's North American eSIM.

The North American eSIM likely underwent a revamp between September and November 2023. Compared to its Europe counterpart, the North American eSIM comes at a higher price point.

For instance, both eSIMs offer a maximum validity of 90 days. The Europe eSIM is priced at 99 CAD, which isn't too steep considering it covers 32 countries. On the other hand, the North American eSIM costs 214 CAD.

Despite the higher cost, opting for the North American eSIM can still be more economical than purchasing multiple country-specific Holafly eSIMs.

There are eight options available, with the North America unlimited data eSIM for 7 days being a popular choice at 34 CAD.

The speed restriction that applies to the Holafly Canada eSIM also applies to the Holafly North America eSIM.

Holafly eSIMs for Canada Summarized

Here is a summary of the characteristics of each Holafly eSIM covered in this section:

Canada

  • Priced between 27 CAD and 54 CAD
  • Five variants available (unlimited for 5 days – unlimited for 20 days)
  • No 5G NR access
  • No phone number included

North America

  • Can be used in Canada, Mexico & the United States
  • Priced between 27 CAD and 214 CAD
  • Eight variants available (unlimited for 5 days – unlimited for 90 days)
  • No 5G NR access in Canada or any other country
  • No phone number included

Nomad

Nomad offers three types of eSIMs for use in Canada: Canada-specific eSIMs, North America eSIMs, and Global eSIMs.

Unlike the (digital) nomad lifestyle, Nomad the eSIM provider has shown significant improvement in recent years. It has expanded its coverage to include more than 160 countries while also lowering prices where possible.

Although Nomad is not an eSIM marketplace, it sells eSIMs powered by various partners. This diversity can result in “duplicates” of the same eSIM variant in some countries due to different partner offerings, although Nomad has been reducing duplicates upon request.

Overall, Nomad offers a wide range of eSIM options for travelers, making it a versatile choice for those seeking connectivity in Canada and beyond.

Nomad Canada

Nomad offers five eSIM options for Canada, with the most popular being the Canada 10 GB eSIM for 30 days (eSIM Go), currently priced at 25 CAD during the sale period. 

If an eSIM is powered by eSIM Go, you can access 5G NR on some or all supported Canadian mobile networks. However, if it is powered by another operator, you will be restricted to 4G/LTE.

The choice of operator also determines which Canadian mobile networks you can access. For detailed network information, you can check the Nomad Canada eSIM product page.

Nomad North America

Nomad's North America eSIM is designed for use in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, offering comprehensive coverage across these countries.

Introduced in June 2023, Nomad's North America eSIM has set a standard that other providers like Airalo, Alosim, and Holafly have followed shortly after.

Powered by eSIM Go, this eSIM allows you to access 5G NR in Canada, providing fast and reliable connectivity.

With five options to choose from, the most popular being the North America 5 GB eSIM for 30 days at 20 CAD, Nomad's North America eSIM offers affordable and flexible plans for travelers.

I have personally used the Nomad North America eSIM in Canada and the United States, and detailed reviews will be available soon.

Stay tuned for my upcoming review of its performance in Mexico, scheduled for late June/early July, as I explore multiple countries in Latin America during that trip, which may cause a slight delay in publishing the review due to the extensive testing required across various locations.

Nomad Global

Nomad's Global eSIM is a standout among eSIM providers, offering coverage in up to 136 countries, including Canada.

While it may be pricier compared to Airalo's Discover(+) eSIMs, it has garnered a dedicated fanbase- including my dad and his fellow truck driver friends, who heavily rely on Google Maps. 

The Global eSIM comes in two plans: the 109 Countries Plan (Truphone/1Global) and the 136 Countries Plan (eSIM Go). The latter offers 5G NR access in many countries, unlike the former.

Each plan features three eSIM options: 1 GB for 7 days, 3 GB for 30 days, and 5 GB for 30 days. The Global 5 GB eSIM for 30 days (136 Countries), priced at 57 CAD, is the most popular choice out of six options.

While the short validity and higher prices may pose challenges for frequent world travelers, Nomad's Global eSIM remains a reliable option for those needing extensive international coverage without the hassle of multiple eSIM purchases.

Nomad eSIMs for Canada Summarized

Here is a summary of the characteristics of each Nomad eSIM covered in this section:

Canada

  • Priced between 6 CAD and 25 CAD (on sale)
  • Five variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 30 days)
  • 5G NR access on select supported networks
  • No phone number included

North America

  • Usable in Canada, Mexico & the United States
  • Priced between 9 CAD and 53 CAD
  • Five variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 30 days)
  • 5G NR access on select supported networks in Canada (and in Mexico and the United States)
  • No phone number included

Global

  • Usable in Canada and 108/135 other countries globally
  • 109 Countries Plan (powered by Truephone/1Global) and 136 Countries Plan (powered by eSIM Go) available
  • Priced between 19 CAD and 57 CAD
    • 109 Countries Plan: 25 CAD – 45 CAD
    • 136 Countries Plan: 19 CAD – 57 CAD
  • Six variants available (1 GB for 7 days – 5 GB for 30 days)
    • 109 Countries Plan: 1 GB for 7 days, 3 GB for 30 days & 5 GB for 30 days
    • 136 Countries Plan: 1 GB for 7 days, 3 GB for 30 days & 5 GB for 30 days
  • 5G NR access on select supported networks in Canada (and numerous other countries)
    • 109 Countries Plan: no 5G NR access
    • 136 Countries Plan: 5G NR access on select supported networks in Canada (and numerous other countries)
  • No phone number included in both plans

Overview of the Best eSIMs for Canada

I have traveled to lots of countries, some of which I visited multiple times, so I had the opportunity to discover, try out, and review different eSIM providers so you don’t have to! In the end, choosing the best eSIM for your trip to Canada and neighboring countries depends on your specific needs and preferences. 

If you are looking for affordable options with ample data, Nomad stands out with competitive pricing and various data plans, especially during sales. For those prioritizing unlimited data or longer validity, Holafly offers comprehensive coverage and extended durations, ideal for longer stays or frequent travelers. Airalo and Alosim provide versatile choices, including 5G NR access and phone numbers for added convenience. 

Enjoy your next trip to Canada and neighboring countries with a reliable eSIM tailored to your needs. Remember, all you have to do is choose your pick, scan the QR code, activate data roaming and stay connected to your loved ones from miles away.