A marketplace may be an exchange, a quotation and trade reporting system, or an alternative trading system in Canada.

A marketplace is a facility that:

  • brings together buyers and sellers of securities or derivatives
  • brings together the orders for securities or derivatives of multiple buyers and sellers
  • uses established non-discretionary methods under which the orders interact with each other and the buyers and sellers entering the orders to agree with the terms of each trade

For a complete definition of a marketplace, please refer to section 1(1) of Ontario’s Securities Act.

Exchanges and alternative trading systems (ATS)

Marketplaces, including exchanges and  alternative trading systems (ATS), trading securities or derivatives are subject to the following rules:

In Ontario, these rules do not apply to marketplaces trading commodity futures contracts.

Marketplaces, exchanges and ATSs


Facilities that bring together orders of multiple buyers and sellers


Perform regulatory functions, such as: 

  • market making
  • regulating issuers
  • regulating participant conduct through setting and enforcement of established requirements

Recognized or exempt as exchanges by the OSC.


Do not perform regulatory functions.

Registered as an investment dealer by the OSC and is a member of IIROC.


A marketplace is generally considered to be an exchange if:

  • regulates issuers
  • provides a guarantee of a two-sided market
  • sets rules for marketplace participant conduct
  • disciplines participants for non-compliance with those rules

An exchange is subject to the recognition requirements under Ontario’s Securities ActOntario’s Commodity Futures Act (if trading commodity futures contracts), or both.

Alternative trading systems (ATS)

An alternative trading system (ATS) is a marketplace regulated under Ontario’s Securities Act and NI 21-101NI 23-101NI 23-103, and their related companion policies. As an investment dealer, it is also regulated by IIROC.

An ATS provides a facility which brings together orders from buyers and sellers, which interact in an established, non-discretionary manner and the buyers and sellers agree to the terms of a trade.

For a complete definition of an ATS, please refer to section 1(1) of Ontario’s Securities Act.

Unlike an exchange, an ATS does not:

  • require an issuer to enter into an agreement to have its securities traded on the marketplace
  • provide—directly or through one or more subscribers—a guarantee of a two-sided market for a security on a continuous or reasonably continuous basis
  • set requirements governing the conduct of subscribers, other than conduct in respect of the trading by those subscribers on the marketplace
  • discipline subscribers other than by exclusion from participation in the marketplace