Are you getting bored cooped up in the house? Running out of cash? Or just want to run around the 6 carefree with your ‘woes’ like Drake? I got you covered. We scoped out 5 of the best focus groups in Toronto to help curb your quarantine boredom.
Whether online or in-person, below you can find at least one company that suits your side-hustle needs.
New to focus groups? Check out our post here where we give you a rundown on what they are and why they may be the best side gig in town.
Otherwise, keep reading to discover the best options in TO.
Studies you can participate in
As the capital of Canada’s economy, Toronto has some heavy lifters in the financial industry and beyond. The city that birthed superstars like Drake and The Weeknd both borrows and lends much of its culture and capital from New York (only better), so you get many similar opportunities in media, tech and hospitality.
Here are a few possible global companies you can contribute to:
- Marriott International, Inc.
- TD, CIBC, BMO, Scotiabank, Citibank Canada, etc
- Microsoft Canada
- Labatt Brewery
- BMG Music Canada
- Sirius XM Canada
Online focus groups that are worth checking out
If you are looking for opportunities anytime and anywhere, or just want to stay safely indoors until forever (I wouldn’t blame you), online groups are a great option. It’s a good idea to sign up for a couple from this list so you have some variety.
This Californian company offers plenty of online surveys and interviews. They also have a mobile app, so you can literally participate anywhere. Just don’t tell us where you choose, please.
Qualification: Residents of USA & CANADA 16+ only.
2. Branded Surveys
From video surveys to more traditional focus groups, you can get rewarded with gift cards, PayPal, or e-vouchers. Choose your own adventure!
Qualification: Residents of USA & CANADA 14+
3. LifePoints Panel
Is a very easy-to-use survey site with plenty of available surveys and occasional focus groups or bigger interviews. Once you are a member, all you have to do is to wait for the survey invitations to hit your inbox.
Qualification: Residents of Canada and at least 14 years old
4. Opinion Outpost
This platform is mainly a way to share your feedback through online surveys. It has a low payout threshold so if you are looking for fast rewards, this is a great option. You can get paid in cash or gift cards.
Qualification: Residents of Canada and at least 18 years old
5. Leger Opinion
This Canadian based company gives you access to a good number of surveys about interesting and relevant local topics and you will also occasionally get access to bigger studies or focus groups. It also has an app so you can quickly get to the surveys before the maximum number of respondents has been reached.
Qualification: Residents of Canada and at least 13 years old
Top 5 Market Research Companies in Toronto
For the brave folks looking to venture outdoors and make some extra money, here are my recommendations where you should start. I explain my ranking criteria in this post.
1. CRC Research:
With one location downtown, another Midtown, and one more on the way, CRC Research is definitely making accessibility a priority.
They offer taste tests, traditional discussion-style focus groups, and even individual interviews. Opportunities are on a wide range of general consumer goods such as television, cars, drinks, and government services. Pay can vary significantly based on the type of study you choose/qualify for. Online tests typically have the lowest payouts, and focus groups the highest.
CRC is relatively well-known and received, with over 10,000 likes on Facebook. They post studies frequently on their feed. I was unable to confirm registration via email by time of this posting, but they pre-qualify you via a survey upon sign-up. (Which means less work on your end). Give it a go!
2. Decision Point Research:
This company goes by Inclusive Insights for their participant portal. They offer a wide range of unique studies – from usability testing to central location, where you can give live feedback on advertisements.
Pay varies widely, but they list general ranges depending on the type of study. Payout is via email money transfer, check or PayPal, which is nice because you receive cash as opposed to a gift card.
Sign up is easy through a simple form, and they will reach out via phone or email when you qualify for a study.
3. Contract Testing:
This exciting market research company focuses on product testing, primarily food (yum!) They have quite a few locations in Canada and the U.S. In Toronto, they are located at Dufferin St & Sheppard Ave, not far from the Subway.
From their site, they seem to value innovation and inclusivity… you can even bring your kids to test along with you!
You have to sign up before you register. Then they will let you know if/when you qualify for any current studies through email. They offer a minimum of $20-25 per session, which is pretty decent as a baseline.
With focus Groups, shopping studies, usability tests, taste tests, surveys, and shop – alongs, JMRS may have the most diverse group of opportunities on this list.
JMRS is very straightforward in managing your expectations on the application page. However, they aren’t very transparent in terms of pay range or the availability of studies available on their site.
They do have very positive reviews on Yelp and Facebook, but you won’t find much luck looking for studies there either. They were at least courteous enough to let me know that I didn’t qualify for studies at this time.
Of course, you may have better luck.
5. Malatest & Associates Ltd:
Located a few blocks away from David A. Balfour Park (Rosedale), Malatest is currently running studies on hot topics such as traveling during Coronavirus, recycling and waste management, and societal changes after a pandemic.
You will fill out a brief questionnaire upon registration used as a screening tool for future surveys.
They are a relatively small firm with minimal presence online, but they occasionally post opportunities on their Facebook page.
Other Great Focus Group Companies in Toronto
Smart Point Research – SmartPoint Research, 67 Sand Valley Street, Maple, Ontario, L6A 0R9
QUE&A – undisclosed location. Contact via website: https://queanda.ca/
Quality Response – 2200 Yonge Street Suite 903 Toronto, Ontario M4S 2C6 Canada
Customer Foresight Group – 111 Pacific Ave #1513, Toronto, ON M6P 2P2, Canada
Here are a few more companies to try. These are companies that we found but could not verify if they are actively recruiting for participants. We categorize these as blackboxes due to the lack of information available.
Abbott Research & Consulting – 18 Banff Road Toronto, Ontario Canada M4S 2V5
Campaign Research Inc. – 100-2 Toronto Street, Suite 555 Toronto, ON M5C 2B5, Canada
Oraclepoll Research Limited – 42A Shaftesbury Ave Toronto, Ontario M4T 1A2
HEAD RESEARCH – 82 Richmond Street East Toronto, ON, Canada M5C 1P1
So there’s the roundup of our top focus groups in the 6! Have you applied to any of these bunch? Will you?
The taste test one definitely perked my ears up. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!