In a Fixed Rate Mortgage, the interest rate is fixed for a specific amount of time. This period of time (the mortgage term) can range anywhere from 6 months to 10 years. Over the course of the mortgage, less of the payment counts toward interest and more toward the principal.
A Variable Rate Mortgage is one in which your interest rate will fluctuate with the Bank of Canada’s prime lending rate. When rates go up, a larger portion of the payment goes toward interest. When rates go down, more of the payment goes toward the principal.