Canadian TV Shows that Capture Life in Canada

Happy couple watching a Canadian TV show while eating popcorn.

When you think of Canada, snow, ice hockey and maple syrup probably come to mind. While those things are Canadian to the core, one part of Canada that most people overlook is the TV shows. Canada has some of the best TV shows out there. Fans from across the world enjoy watching Canadian TV shows. No matter what type of show want to find, Canada has got something for you. From older western shows to newer sitcoms, here are a few of them that capture life in Canada.

Anne of Green Gables (1985)

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is one of the most iconic Canadian books of all time. It is no surprise that since the book was published in 1908, multiple film adaptations have popped up. Many of these adaptations have captured the heart-warming tale in an entertaining manner while still staying true to the novel. 

However, there is one adaptation that stands out. The 1985 adaptation of Anne of Green Gables has captured the hearts of millions of Canadians and is cherished by fans across the world. It manages to perfectly capture life in Prince Edward Island during the early 1900s. The TV show is about the life of a 12-year-old orphan named Anne who is adopted by two elderly siblings, Mathew and Marilla. The ageing siblings wanted a young boy to help out on their farm but instead received a girl, Anne. Marill and Mathew did not welcome Anne at first because she wasn’t a boy. However, she manages to win the hearts of her adoptive guardians and eventually the people of her town, Avonlea.

The whole series is available on a streaming service called GazeboTV. Another option is checking out your local public library. Since it is such a popular show, you will likely find the title in your local library.

Check out the trailer for this iconic Canadian TV show.

Learn About Canadian History Through TV Shows: Frontier (2016)

Let’s face it. History is not the most exciting subject out there. Students learn about the North American fur trade but most children don’t even give the topic a second thought. The Canadian TV show, “Frontier”, is trying to change that. The show brings attention to a part of Canadian history that is usually overlooked.

This TV show takes the audience back in time to the North American fur trade and the powerful Hudson’s Bay Company. It follows the thrilling adventures of the rebellious Declan Harp. Declan Harp was an employee at the Hudon’s Bay Company before he became an outlaw. Join Declan as he undertakes his quest for revenge against the very company he used to work for. All three seasons of Frontier are available on Netflix. Keep in mind that the show has some violence in it, so it is aged 16+. Click here to access the trailer for the show

Western Canadian TV Shows: Heartland (2007)

Heartland is another show that is based on a book. This Canadian TV show takes place near the rocky mountains of Alberta in Heartland Ranch. It follows the teenage protagonist, Amy Fleming, and her family who run the ranch. After Amy’s mother passes away, it is up to Amy and her sister to revive the bankrupt family ranch.

This show gives a good insight into life in the Albertan countryside. The show is full of scenic shots that cover the wide expanse of the Rocky Mountain Foothills. Heartland offers a good view of country life as well as an interesting storyline that is easy to follow.

Heartland is available to watch on Netflix. If you do not have a Netflix subscription, you can also watch all 15 episodes on CBC Gem for free. Click here to access the complete series for free. If you would like to check out the trailer first, click here.

Canadian Sitcom Shows: Kim’s Convenience (2016)

The cast of the hit Canadian TV show Kim's Convenience.
This Canadian TV show was filmed in Toronto, Ontario

Kim’s Convenience is a great sitcom that touches upon some of the amazing things about Canada. This Canadian TV show is about a Korean family that immigrated to Toronto, Ontario and opened a convenience store. Kim’s convenience combines comedy with real-life elements that make the show fun, engaging and overall, entertaining.

What makes this show so great is that it gives Canadians a look into different cultures. It shows how different and at the same time, how similar Canadian families can be. Fans from different backgrounds have been able to relate to the family dynamics of a family that just happened to be Korean-Canadian. 

You can watch Kim’s Convenience for free on CBC Gem by clicking here. If you have a Netflix or Prime Video subscription, you can also watch the show there. If you want to get an idea of what the show is about first, check out this video.

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Schitt’s Creek (2015)

Another great Canadian TV show that happens to be a sitcom is Schitt’s Creek. The show follows a once-wealthy family that went completely broke. The only asset that the Roses could keep was a small town by the name of Schitt’s Creek. The Roses had bought the town as a joke but now they had no choice but to move into it, leaving behind life as they know it. Join the Roses as they struggle to adapt to their new modest lives with their two spoiled children.

CBC Gem also offers Schitt’s Creek to watch for free. You can access the show for free by clicking here. You can also watch the show on Netflix and Prime Video if you have a subscription to those streaming services. If you would like to watch the trailer first, you can also do that by clicking here.

Whether you want to get a glimpse of life in Canada, learn a bit about cultural and historical aspects, or just be entertained, these Canadian TV shows cover it all.

For more information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page. We’ll help you to settle in Canada successfully!