What is the Toronto Internet Exchange (TorIX) ?

The Toronto Internet Exchange Community (TorIX) is a not-for-profit Internet Exchange Point (IXP) located in a carrier hotel at 151 Front Street West in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1998, TorIX currently has 186 members ("peers"), peak traffic rates of 170 Gbit/s, over 1 Tbps of provisioned peer ports, and is the largest IXP in Canada. According to Wikipedia's List of Internet Exchange Points by Size, TorIX is the 12th largest IXP in the world by numbers of peers. The Exchange is organized and run by industry professionals in a (mostly) voluntary capacity. It is accessible directly in two separate locations within the building, at facilities operated by Equinix and Cologix, or via the building's meet-me-room. Leaf nodes available only to in-suite customers of Neutral Data Centres and Accelerated Connections will be online in early 2015. Expansion to other locations within the city is under analysis.

High-profile members of TorIX include Google/Youtube, Akamai, Facebook, Bell Aliant, Allstream, CANARIE, CBC, CIRA, CloudFlare, Cogeco, Distributel, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, Eastlink, GTAnet, iWeb, LARG*net, LeaseWeb, Limelight Networks, LinkedIN, Magna International, Microsoft, the Ontario Research & Innovation Optical Network (ORION), OVH, Peel District School Board, PostMedia (National Post), Primus, RISQ, Rogers, Shaw, Sheridan College, Softlayer, TekSavvy and WINDmobile.

The IX is Ethernet-based and currently operates two primary core nodes, using Cisco Nexus 7010 switches, which provide fiber 1GE, 10GE ports and 100GE ports. In addition there are several edge nodes, using Cisco 7606 and Cisco ME3600X switches, which are used to terminate local GE copper connections.

Peers connect to the Layer 2 fabric (a shared VLAN), and use IPv4 & IPv6 addresses provided by TorIX to connect with each other, utilizing the BGP routing protocol to exchange their IP routes between one another. Port speeds of GigabitEthernet (GE), Ten GigabitEthernet (10GE) and Hundred GigabitEthernet (100GE) are available, including in multi-port bonded configurations. Single-mode fiber is required, and peers can connect from anywhere in the building via the meet-me-room. Peers do not require a physical equipment presence at 151 Front St. W., but interconnections must happen there.

TorIX is a layer 2 service. No routing facilities run by the Exchange exist. The routing of packets is performed by the individual member routers.

The speed of a peer connection is only limited by the port type (GE, 10GE, 100GE). TorIX charges an annual fee for interconnection, not for the amount of traffic sent or received through the Exchange. Fees are put toward operatiing costs and future equipment purchases. We encourage peers to maximize their use of the Exchange by using the TorIX BGP route-servers and/or adopting routing policies which promote their traffic to flow over the IX rather than their priced-per-megabit Internet transit links. In terms of value, "eye ball" networks can see between 10% and 50%, or more, of their traffic shift from their expensive Internet transit links, and instead travel over the IX. Content providers see value in TorIX due to the large membership and "eye balls" those members represent.

For more information or general questions/comments/concerns, we can be reached at:

peering [at] torix.ca