In order to rent a car you must have a credit card as well as a valid driver’s license.
Driver’s licences and permits fall under Provincial jurisdiction so you must check this out based on where you intend to live. In Ontario, if you’re new to Canada, have been driving for more than two years, and come from the United States, Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Korea or Japan, you are allowed to exchange your driver’s licence for a Canadian one without taking the road test. However, you must pass the knowledge and vision tests for your province.
All other newcomers applying for a licence, who originated from countries not mentioned above, must present a valid foreign driver’s licence, pass a vision and written knowledge test regarding their province or territory’s traffic rules, pay all applicable fees and provide acceptable proof of identity in order to obtain a Canadian licence.
I suggest obtaining an International Drivers Permit or Licence in your home country which allows you to drive in some Provinces. Generally, you are allowed 3 months driving with the international licence. This includes those who want to rent a car.
While on the subject of driving, please do check out our driving section on the website it will tell you how you can save up to 40% on insurance in Canada IF you get documents before you leave!