Understanding The Canadian Stock Exchange

Unusually, there is no Canadian Stock Exchange in the way that there is, for example, an exchange in London that serves the United Kingdom. Instead, Canada has had several exchanges upon which companies can list and investors can buy and sell. Over time, the TSX has become the dominant exchange handling the bulk of transactions.

However, in days before the speed of light, worldwide communications that we now enjoy, just one stock exchange in a nation the size of Canada would have been very difficult for many to access.The multiple time zones of Canada combined with telephone dealing (as was once the case) meant that some parts of the country were rather isolated from the market.

A most investors would know, the main exchange is the TSX - or Toronto stock exchange. There is also, however, a TSX Venture Exchange - CDNX - which serves the public side of the venture capital market. The Venture Exchange was initially formed by the merger of the Alberta stock exchange (ASE) and Vancouver stock exchange (VSE).

Until 24th November 2000, there was also a Winnipeg stock exchange. This merged with the above mentioned Canadian Venture Exchange. The Canadian Dealing Network has also merged with the CDNX.

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Since Canada has such an abundance of natural and mineral wealth, it makes sense that there should be a specialist exchange to serve these companies. This is National Gas Exchange - NGX - and serves the entire North American natural gas market. It is also a leading player in North American electricity contracts. Needless to say, this offers an additional limited role to Canada in the 'Great Game' that is the world's energy markets.

There was a Montreal stock exchange - now known as the Bourse de Montreal - which could trace it's roots back to the 1830s which made it the oldest Canadian stock exchange. Housed in the Tour de la Bourse - one of the tallest buildings in Montreal - it was originally formed in the Exchange Coffee House. These days it is a futures exchange, handling complex derivative, futures and options contracts.

In 1926 the 'Montreal Curb Market' was established to enable small and high risk 'junior' stocks. This enabled the exchange to grow significantly.

Life was not smooth for this Canadian stock exchange though. In February 1969 the building was attacked with a massive bomb that wounded 38 people. It was planted by organisations that wanted a free Quebec, the exchange and it's building represented Canadian and English power and authority.

On 10th December 2007, it was announced that the Montreal market would be acquired by TSX for C$1.31 billion.

To read more about Canadian stock exchange issues, please visit the following pages:

The Toronto Stock Exchange

Specialist Knowledge Required For The Canadian Stock Exchange