What are your favourite Canadian TV series of all time?

This year Canada celebrates 150 years as a nation. That’s a pretty big deal and it’s being rung in with a new $10 bill, free passes to our national parks, parades, fireworks and parties all year long.

Here at TV, Eh?, I’m marking the date in a special way and I want you to help me out. Rather than running a poll of the Top 150 Canadian television shows of all time—too unwieldy and shows would be left out—I decided to make a list of homegrown projects that are my favourites. Where do you come in? Go to the comments at the bottom of the page and list your favourites. It can be a simple list of two or three titles, or perhaps you want to go more in-depth and tell me why a program made an impact on you.

However you decide to do it, go ahead and have fun. I’ll keep track of the list and will put them all together into a piece to run on July 1.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Mr. Dressup
Yes, it bothered me—even at a young age—that Casey couldn’t pick anything up with those hands and Finnegan was mute, but Mr. Dressup drew me in all the same. He was friendly, caring and creative, and helped spark the imagination I have today.

It began with Durham County and was cemented by 19-2: Canada could make dark dramas suited for cable television. I’m working my way through the original French series via Netflix, but Bruce M. Smith’s English-language creation is a treasure for its gritty storytelling and wonderfully human characters.

Degrassi Junior High
I haven’t watch Degrassi as faithfully as some, but you can’t deny the series’ importance. It educates viewers without talking down to them and has served as a kicking-off point for a raft of Canadian television writers working in the business today.

It still hurts that Motive was cancelled after four seasons. But rather than dwell on that, I’ll instead think of how great Det. Angie Flynn was at her job. She’s a wisecracking, hard-drinking Vancouver detective who almost always got her woman or man, and had the most enjoyable non-sexual relationship with a co-worker since, well, maybe ever.

Slings & Arrows
The cable comedy has grown better with age. As in my age. Back with it first debuted, I didn’t appreciate the sharp writing and stellar performances from Paul Gross, Martha Burns, Stephen Ouimette, Don McKellar and Mark McKinney. Now I do, thanks to a re-watch on CraveTV.

The Red Green Show
Wonderful and weird, I loved every quirky character at Possum Lodge (though Harold grated on my nerves sometimes) and head oddball Red Green, whose gifts with duct tape are legend.

Wynonna Earp
Emily Andras has done something pretty rare in television: made it fun and dramatic. That opening scene in Season 1, Episode 1, set the tone for a sassy, ass-kickingly fun, spooky, scary and sexy show with a metric tonne of heart.

What are your favourite Canadian television series of all time? Let me know in the comments below.


74 thoughts on “What are your favourite Canadian TV series of all time?”

    1. That was my top 3, but I also liked a lot :
      Due South, The Collector, Rent a goalie, Almost heroes, Seed, Being Erica, MVP, Wild Roses, Cra$h & Burn, The Guard, Flashpoint, ReGenesis, Lost Girl, Sanctuary, Continuum and Dark Matter

  1. I have listed my favourite Canadian TV shows through the years. I believe the are all Canadian. If not, please let me know. Some go way back. Some are current.

    The Friendly Giant
    Uncle Bobby
    What’s for Dinner
    Rookie Blue
    Red Green Show
    Murdoch Mysteries
    This Hour has 22 Minutes
    Rick Mercer Report

  2. – The Beachcombers
    – The Littlest Hobo
    – Seeing Things
    – SCTV
    – Da Vinci’s Inquest
    – 19-2
    – Motive
    – Continuum

  3. There was a time when CBC had Kids in the Hall, Codco and Street Legal all on one night. That was a great night for Canadian TV. Two innovative and edgy comedies from different parts of Canada followed by a great slick sexy drama that got into some issues. ( I did work on Kids as a graphic artist, but I’m speaking here as a viewer)

  4. Wynonna Earp-there are not enough superlatives to describe how much I love this show.
    Lost Girl-my true introduction to how Canadians do genre TV and how special the Canadian are who make it.
    (On behalf of my nephew, a pint-size shout out to his favs: Wild Kratts and Paw Patrol.)

  5. I love lists so thanks for this. My Top 75 Canadian series of all time are:

    Anne of Green Gables (the original miniseries of the 80s)
    Road to Avonlea
    Orphan Black
    North of 60
    Rookie Blue
    Fraggle Rock
    Wynonna Earp
    X Company
    Degrassi Junior High/High
    Hockey Night in Canada
    Mr. Dressup
    Made in Canada
    Wind at my Back
    Workin’ Moms
    Neon Rider
    Anne of Green Gables (the new CBC series)
    Jozi H
    Sharon, Lois and Bram & The Elephant Show
    Book of Negroes
    Wild Roses
    The Odyssey
    Canadian Idol
    Degrassi: The Next Generation
    Instant Star
    Hard Rock Medical
    Republic of Doyle
    Breaker High
    The Raccoons
    Student Bodies
    Fred Penner’s Place
    Care Bears
    Kim’s Convenience
    Mixed Blessings
    Inspector Gadget
    This Life
    Chesapeake Shores
    Hardrock Medical
    Mohawk Girls
    When Calls the Heart
    The Littlest Hobo
    Degrassi: Next Class
    The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin
    Rick Mercer Report
    Strange Empire
    Street Legal
    Katts and Dog
    Are you Afraid of the Dark?
    Moose TV
    Emily of New Moon
    Falcon Beach
    Love it or List It
    Masterchef Canada
    Nothing to Good for a Cowboy
    The Guard
    Kids in the Hall
    Cold Squad
    Life with Derek
    Moccassin Flats
    Street Cents
    Under the Umbrella Tree
    Property Virgins
    The Border

    1. Nice list. Here are a few of mine, mostly oldies.
      – The Trouble With Tracy
      – Red Green/Comedy Mill/Smith and Smith (basically any S&S production)
      – Party Game
      – You Can’t Do That On Television
      – The Dini Petty Show
      – The Pig and Whistle
      – Canadian Bandstand
      – The Elephant Show
      – A Gift to Last (Gordon Pinsent mini-series)
      – Definition/Beat The Clock (Game shows count, right)
      which reminds me of Front Page Challenge, and that other one that pitted twoteams of high school students against each other. The name escapes me.
      I could go on but I’ll stop here.
      Oh! I just have to add Saturday Night at the Movies with Elwy Yost. Really miss him.

  6. Love your site sir! How come I have not seen FALCON BEACH mentioned!?!?! Wish they would do a reunion show.
    -Wild Roses
    -Kids in The Hall

  7. I LOVE Canadian TV! It’s always been a staple in my house. Some of my favourites (current and years past) have been:
    Schitt’s Creek
    Wynonna Earp
    Orphan Black
    Due South
    F/X: The Series
    Forever Knight
    La Femme Nikita
    The Border
    Once A Thief
    Lost Girl
    Rookie Blue
    Being Erica
    Mary Kills People

  8. So many great titles listed already!

    As for mine, I’d have to say:

    Series/Mini-Series that had a direct impact on my career:
    -The Boys of St. Vincent
    -Duplessis’ Orphans
    -Where the Spirit Lives
    -Once upon a Hamster/Tales from the Riverbank aka Hammy Hamster

    As a fan:
    -Workin’ Moms
    -Street Legal
    -Anne of Green Gables (original mini-series)
    -Kids in the Hall
    -Slings and Arrows
    -Friendly Giant
    -Mr. Dressup
    -Passe Partout
    -Made in Canada
    -Combat Hospital

      1. MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives only lasted a season.
        The Border was good and could have gone for another season. I think Denis McGrath wrote for it.

    1. Yeah…Boys of St Vincent was disturbing. I remember the controversy over that one. Got blacked out in some regions. On a lighter note, Littlest Hobo and Mr. Dressup have the best theme songs!

  9. 1. X Company
    2. X Company
    3. 19-2 French
    3.5 PURE, which has just been cancelled. Thanks CBC. Not
    4. Anne of Green Gables/The Sequel/The Continuing Story
    5. Being Erica because it helped me get over depression
    6. This Is Wonderland because no-one has mentioned it yet. 3 seasons.
    7. Flashpoint
    8. X Company
    9. Cardinal because it’s new
    9. I’ve watched most of the others mentioned here. Too many to mention
    10. X Company which should be required viewing and belongs on the big screen
    11. Les filles de Caleb
    12. Last but not least…X Company

    1. Love your list :)
      I’m a huge fan of X-Company as well.
      Other favorites:
      – Heartland
      – Unnatural History
      – Whitchblade
      – Forever Knight
      – The War Next Door
      – Cybergeddon Web Series

      1. Pure was not renewed for a second season. If Hulu wants to put money into a second season, it’s up to them.

  10. I have many shows that I like and out of all of them, I’ll highlight two that I regard as ground-breaking.
    After years of American programs with courtroom settings, Street Legal was the first to show how the Canadian system worked. Within the personal lives of the characters, it dealt with issues of feminism, mixed-race relationships, and schizophrenia, just to name a few.
    For a more recent show, it has to be X Company. I can’t name a series that had me living from one week to the next with such anticipation. We learned something about our history that had been mostly ignored. In this age of social media, we were able to connect with other viewers from around the world as well as the actors and creative minds involved.

  11. My favourite Canadian TV shows (of all time– perhaps this is a partial list, here goes:)

    Street Legal
    Murdoch Mysteries
    Orphan Black
    Bomb Girls
    X Company
    Blue Murder
    DaVinci’s Inquest
    The Hour
    Still Standing
    Strange Empire
    Air Farce
    Corner Gas
    Slings & Arrows
    Just For Laughs
    This Is Wonderland
    The Eleventh Hour
    Nothing Too Good For A Cowboy
    Combat Hospital
    Mary Kills People
    Red Green
    Jake & The Kid (1990s)
    The Hilarious House of Frightenstein
    Paradise Falls
    Tom Stone
    Seeing Things
    The Associates
    The Rez
    Friday Night! With Ralph Benmurghui
    Test Pattern (MuchMusic—remember?)
    Twitch City
    4 On The Floor (The Frantics)
    Life & Times
    On The Road Again
    Conversation with Peter Gzowski
    The Beachcombers
    The Raccoons
    The Edison Twins
    Video Hits
    You Can’t Do That On Television

  12. In no particular order:

    Due South
    Republic of Doyle
    Stargate (SG1, SGA)
    Murdoch Mysteries
    Rookie Blue
    Slings and Arrows
    Chasing Rainbows
    Did I mention Due South?!?
    Saving Hope
    Sue Thomas FBeye

    And that’s just a few!

  13. Most memorable
    – The Beachcombers
    – King of Kensington
    – George (1972)
    – Swiss Family Robinson (1976) with Chris Wiggins
    – The Forest Rangers
    – The Friendly Giant
    – Mr. Dressup
    – Definition (Game show)
    – Just Like Mom
    – Smith and Smith
    – Anne of Green Gables (1985)

    Most recent faves
    – Continuum
    – Motive
    – Murdoch Mysteries
    – Working Moms

  14. My top 3 are Slings and Arrows, SCTV and the 80s era Anne of Green Gables. More recent … I still miss the weirdness of Call Me Fitz and want to know what happened to Jimmy Reardon on Intelligence.

  15. Lost Girl – This show showed acceptance of all and made it okay to be who you are! Magnificent acting and storyline!

    Wynonna Earp
    Being Erica when Cassidy was in the story

  16. A few of my favourites:

    Puppets Who Kill – Airing on The Comedy Network in the 2000s, it differentiates itself from other adult puppet shows by focusing on Dan Barlow (Dan Redican) and the ex-con puppets he takes care of in a halfway house. It’s not afraid to refer to Canadian subjects, yet has an intelligence missing from other TCN shows of the period. This is also one of the first shows Bob Martin worked on (he plays Cuddles the Comfort Doll).
    Ed the Sock’s This Movie Sucks! – The show is a cheapjack attempt at mimicking Mystery Science Theater 3000, yet I enjoyed it in the early 2010s after the first few episodes, once it nailed its format down. I still think it needs to be revived in some form, especially given the new version of MST3K.
    SCTV and Kids in the Hall – No explanations necessary for these two.
    Spliced! – A children’s cartoon from Nelvana. I can’t explain why I watched/enjoyed it in my late 20s, yet it deserved a better fate in the US. It aired on qubo at 4:00 AM after a bunch of Filmation reruns. It fared better on Teletoon, yet despite Corus owning Nelvana and part-owning qubo, the show never gained the traction needed for more seasons. It was a victim of budget more than performance.

  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_Canadian_television_series

    There’s been 100s and 100s, too many to list.

    All my best favs were mentioned already, so I’ll pick Intelligence to single out because John Mann of Spirit Of The West, our top fav band, was in some of the episodes, and we got to talk to him after one of SOTW’s gigs about the show, and he said what we’d been suspecting of why the show was killed. He said, paraphrasing, “The Americans killed the show because the show was exposing they own, control, and run everything in Canada to their and U.S. benefit and harm of Canada, and their agenda to eventually erase Canada altogether”.

    p.s. my wife and I went to see “The Grand Seduction” in Niagara Falls last night for the April 19th Canada-wide 150 celebration of Canadian movies. Wow, a really Great movie !!

  18. 1. SCTV
    2. Kids in the Hall
    3. Trailer Park Boys
    4. Corner Gas
    5. Kenny vs. Spenny
    6. Wok With Yan!
    7. Letterkenny
    8. Schitt’s Creek

  19. Mr. Dressup
    King of Kensington
    Tiny Talent Time
    Party Game
    Trouble With Tracy
    Hilarious House of Frightenstein
    Due South
    Davinci’s Inquest
    Davinci’s City Hall
    City Limits
    Wind At My Back
    Sue Thomas F.B.Eye
    Murdoch Mysteries

  20. I haven’t seen all that many Canadian TV shows but Twitch City is one of the best TV shows I have seen in any country. An obvious nod to Kids in the Hall and SCTV. Though it’s current, Orphan Black is a jewel that we will treasure long after it has disappeared from the airwaves.

  21. I’m not going to rank them but off the top of my head I’ll say these are my favorite Canadian shows.

    – Reboot
    – The Raccoons
    – Continuum
    – Billable Hours (I still quote this show all the time, underappreciated and hilarious)
    – The Stargate TV shows (frequently campy as hell but still enjoyable)
    – 19-2
    – Speaker’s Corner
    – Flashpoint
    – jPod
    – You Can’t Do That On Television

  22. X COMPANY all the way. The acting, the writing, costumes, the cinematography, the directing, everything about this series was perfection.

  23. Let’s face it Canadian tv programs is so far behind,,,,, every wknd fr the past 8-9 yrs they keep going to the same place In The basement and show the same movies over and over and over again , come on get it in gear your a few years behind, with the multiple movies made you Can you something you never showed before, don’t be lazy !
    And the nerve to charge us big dollars for re-run after re-run ,,, sad ! How flipping dare you don’t we pay enough for everything else, I can’t bend over much more!
    Pathetic! to think your not able to think outside the box when it comes to selection!

    Good bye Canadian programming!

  24. The Beachcombers
    – The Littlest Hobo
    – Seeing Things
    Live it up
    Republic of Doyle
    Schitts Creek
    This hour has 22 minutes
    Friendly Giant

  25. 1) Da Vinci’s Inquest — watching this series grow from a rather standard procedural to a deeply layered, serialized drama was fantastic. Still bummed the whole series isn’t available on DVD.

    2) Intelligence — it still pains me that this series was cut short after only two seasons.

    3) Due South — in its prime, it was deftly able to be laugh-out-loud funny one moment, heartbreaking or thrilling the next. And its skewering of both American and Canadian stereotypes was superb.

  26. Let’s see. My favorite Canadian TV shows, in no particular order, are: Republic of Doyle, The Listener, Lost Girl, Beachcombers, The Littlest Hobo, La Femme Nikita, Forever Knight, Blood Ties, Neon Rider, Bitten, Combat Hospital, Dark Matter, Killjoys, Due South, Innerspace, Haven, Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Sanctuary, Katts and Dog, Once a Thief, Primeval: New World, Reboot, Psi Factor, Remedy, Smith & Smith, Sue Thomas: FB Eye, Degrassi Jr High, Degrassi High, and Wipeout Canada.

  27. Beachcombers
    Littlest Hobo
    Friendly Giant
    Corner Gas
    This Hour Has Seven Days
    Front Page Challenge
    … and more I’m sure. Not necessarily in that order.
    Can you guess my age group??? LOL

  28. Starting with childhood favourites and working up to the present..
    Mr Dressup
    Sharon, Lois and Bram: The Elephant Show
    Fred Penner’s Place
    Neon Rider
    Sue Thomas: F B Eye
    Corner Gas

  29. Hey,

    My faves are: Traders, DaVinci’s Inquest, Murdoch Mysteries, Night Heat, Corner Gas, Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy, King of Kensington, and, when I was a kid, Hilarious House of Frightenstein and Mr. Dressup.

    Love Canadian TV, eh?

  30. Republic of Doyle, Fraggle Rock, Traders, and does anyone remember Read All About It?

    1. Oh man, I totally forgot about “Read All About It” but that was definitely one of my faves as a kid! Thanks for mentioning it.

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