I'm focusing mainly on phones, that aren't usually carried by a telecom company in Canada, like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Pocophone F1, Blu, Any of the other Chinese brands, Nokia, etc.
Does it work with LTE?
How fast is it?
Any software issues?
I have a OnePlus One and have had no issues. Love it now that I'm on LineageOS and have control of my OS updates. I have several family members using newer models of OnePlus and they all like their phones. Of course there are software issues here and there as with any phone but OnePlus is custom ROM friendly so at least you have a choice.
My wife and kids all have Nexus phones purchased outright from various non-carrier vendors. I'm in the process of replacing a dead Nexus 5X and I may go with a Pixel 2 XL or a OnePlus 6.