Photo: Courtesy of CIRA

CIRA Finds Canadian Businesses Increasingly Going Online

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has reported that Canadian businesses are rapidly starting up new e-commerce websites and pivoting to online in the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

CIRA says that in May 2020, Canadians registered a record number of .CA domain names, making it the biggest single month in the more than 20-year history of the .CA registry. This continues a trend seen since the beginning of the pandemic, says CIRA, as Canadians start new businesses, build personal websites, and pivot to online services.

In May 2020, 54,129 .CA domain names were registered, an increase of 38% over May 2019 (39,319). 

According to an informal poll of 213 .CA registrants over the two-month period, 40% were creating a new business website; 15% were building an e-commerce website; and 17% were creating a personal website.

Hundreds of new .CA businesses and organizations have been launched in the past few months, both directly related to the pandemic and beyond, including, an organization working to provide masks, gloves, and other supplies to frontline workers;, a BC-based business helping small cafes across Canada to sell their beans;, a movement of volunteers across Canada providing fabric masks and scrub caps to front line workers in need;, an Ottawa-based bacon delivery service;, an online e-commerce space for artists to host their creations;, a Toronto-based community café that embraces local makers and products;, a crowdsourced wiki of Canadian products and services developed by students at the University of Victoria.

This is the second straight month of double-digit growth as April 2020 saw an increase of 28% over the previous year (40,922 to 52,196). From April 1 to May 31, 2020, CIRA recorded its best-ever two-month period with a total of 108,018 .CA domains registered. Ontario recorded 47% of all .CA registrations over the two-month period, followed by British Columbia (18%) and Quebec (15%).

“It is remarkable to see how Canadian businesses are adapting to a time of crisis,” says Byron Holland, President and CEO, CIRA. “We are seeing thousands of companies across Canada embracing e-commerce, curb-side pickup and other new business models that leverage the power of the internet. With so many economic indicators heading downward, we’re excited to see that the online economy is playing a huge role in keeping Canada working.