Complete Guide to Canada Tourist Sim Card 

October 6, 2023

Canada, with its expansive and awe-inspiring landscapes stretching from coast to coast, is a country that commands admiration. As the second largest nation globally, it boasts an abundance of natural wonders. If a trip to Canada is on your horizon, prepare to be captivated by its remarkable diversity and stunning scenery. If time permits, I wholeheartedly recommend exploring as many regions of Canada as possible, for each holds its own unique charm, surpassing the last in beauty.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that traversing Canada comes at a cost. Being a relatively expensive country, this elevated price tag extends to various aspects of your journey, including dining, accommodations, transportation, and, at times, data packages. While you may not have control over the prices of everything, there is a solution when it comes to staying connected without breaking the bank. Continue reading to discover how you can enjoy connectivity in Canada without emptying your wallet

SIM for Canada

SIM for Canada – Purchase Onsite or in Advance?

A few short years ago, securing a SIM card upon your arrival in Canada or any other travel destination was the sole means to access data abroad. However, we’re fortunate to live in a time where alternatives abound, simplifying the process and making it more cost-effective. Today, you have the option to purchase a SIM card before embarking on your journey, and if your device is compatible (which is often the case with newer phone models), you can opt for an eSIM from eSIMple. This eliminates the hassle of swapping physical SIM cards in and out.

When I embark on my travels, I exclusively rely on an eSIM for the following reasons:

  1. Instant connectivity for calls and internet usage upon arrival at my destination.
  2. Retaining my regular SIM card and phone number, eliminating the need for a change.
  3. Accessing the best pricing options available.
  4. Relieving the stress associated with managing physical SIM cards.

SIM for Canada – Top Local Providers and Packages

For those who remain interested in purchasing a SIM card upon arrival in Canada, here are the available choices


Rogers offers a range of prepaid SIM card plans, spanning both monthly and semi-annual options. Their most affordable SIM cards, priced at around $25, provide only a phone number without internet access. For SIM packages with internet capabilities, prices typically range from $30 to $225.

The $225 package stands out as a six-month plan, ideal for individuals with extended stays of up to six months in Canada. This comprehensive plan encompasses 30 GB of data, unlimited domestic calls within Canada, and unrestricted text messaging within both Canada and the United States

Telus: A Range of Prepaid Plans

Telus presents a variety of prepaid packages tailored to new customers, with the option to bundle a smartphone with special packages if desired. The SIM card plans offered by Telus Canada encompass three Talk & Text plans and four Talk, Text & Data plans. Here’s a glimpse at the offerings:

  1. The most affordable plan starts at $15 per month, offering 100 minutes of talk time and unlimited SMS/MMS for a month.
  2. For those seeking an annual plan without internet access, Telus provides a $100 option that includes 400 free text messages and 400 free minutes.
  3. Telus’ SIM plans inclusive of internet access are all monthly subscriptions, priced between $30 and $55 per month. These plans span from 500MB to 8GB of data, all featuring unlimited calls and text messages


Bell offers a range of 6 plans, including two plans without internet access. The options consist of:

  1. Two call-and-text packages, priced at $15 and $25 per month.
  2. Four Talk, Text & Data packages, mirroring Telus’ offerings. These packages span from 500MB to 8GB of data and are priced between $30 and $55 per month. All of these packages include unlimited calls and text messages.
Flag of Canada

Freedom Mobile

Freedom Mobile offers a selection of four standard SIM card packages, along with occasional special offers. The standout deal among these is the special offer, providing an impressive 15 GB of data for $35 per month.

Beyond this, Freedom Mobile presents two monthly plans and two annual plans. Two of these packages are exclusively Talk & Text, with the possibility to add extra data. The internet plans grant access to 1.5GB of data per month for $24 or 12GB of data for an entire year, priced at $179.


For those seeking a SIM card with ample data, PhoneBox SIM packages stand out as an excellent choice. Unlike many other providers, PhoneBox offers a generous 7GB of data for just $35 per month. Their plans feature data allowances of up to 55GB, surpassing most other Canadian providers, though they do not currently offer an unlimited data plan.

PhoneBox presents a total of 7 packages, all featuring unlimited calls and SMS within Canada. These packages vary in price and data allocation, with the most budget-friendly plan offering 25GB for $45 and the next tier at $55 for 35GB. Additionally, they provide two weekly packages that include 2GB or 5GB for just $10 or $19 per week. PhoneBox offers both physical SIM cards and virtual SIM cards


Fido Canada provides a range of 10 package options, including both monthly and semi-annual plans with or without data. The call and text plans are budget-friendly, with a $25 option that offers unlimited phone calls and text messages within Canada.

For those seeking text and internet calling plans, prices start at $30 for a 500MB data allowance. The highest-priced data plan offers 10GB for $75. These data plans are relatively expensive, making them less appealing.

Fido’s semi-annual plans span from $150 to $225 for the entire period, with data allowances ranging from 6GB to 30GB. The semi-annual plans offer better value for your money compared to the monthly plans, but it’s important to exercise self-discipline to avoid using up your data too quickly in the initial months

Choosing the Right SIM Card for Your Canadian Adventure

My recommendation, as mentioned at the beginning of this guide, is eSIMple’s eSIM for Canada.

Not only do they offer the cheapest option, but they also provide reliable service, a helpful tech team (that speaks a wide variety of languages), and a super easy set-up process. eSIMple is great, too, because you can choose data plans tailored to your trip duration and data needs. Tip – Make sure your device supports a virtual SIM before purchasing! Here are the plans for eSIMple in Canada:

  • 0.5GB + 100 minutes free for 3 days – $6.
  • 1GB + 100 minutes free for 5 days – $8.
  • 3GB + 100 minutes free for 9 days – $15.
  • 5GB + 100 minutes free for 21 days – $20.
Flag of Canada on the background of a building in Canada

Is a SIM card really necessary for Canada?

If your stay in Canada exceeds a week, obtaining a SIM card is highly advisable, as it provides a more dependable connection than relying solely on Wi-Fi.

While many major cities in Canada offer free Wi-Fi, it is often an unreliable option. Having a SIM card with a data and call package ensures connectivity regardless of your location. This not only enables you to stay in contact with loved ones and use various apps but also enhances safety by providing access to emergency calls and navigation systems. I recommend opting for eSIM from eSIMple, as it offers a convenient, cost-effective, and dependable solution.

If you prefer to purchase a physical SIM card in Canada, you can find them at major retail stores, international airports, most convenience stores, and the cellular company’s own stores. It’s worth noting that SIM cards sold at airports in Canada tend to be more expensive, so it’s advisable to wait until you reach your accommodation and then visit nearby convenience stores such as 7 Eleven, Dollarama, or grocery stores.

Pro Tip: When buying a SIM card in Canada, remember to bring your passport as it will be required for the purchase.

Where to Purchase a SIM Card in Canada

In Canada, the most basic SIM card typically costs around $10, but this only covers the cost of the physical SIM card itself, and it doesn’t include any data or calling services. Canadian telecommunications providers often separate the cost of the SIM card from the actual cellular plans. To add calling and texting to your plan, you’ll typically need to pay an additional $15, and if you want access to the internet, there will be further charges.

Enjoy Your Trip to Canada!

Whether you’re exploring the big cities or hiking through national parks, you’re sure to enjoy every moment of your time in Canada. To ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible, make sure to arrange a data plan ahead of time.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

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