7 TV Series Where Canada Gets to Play Itself
We don’t produce as much TV as our neighbours to the south, but when we do, we punch above our weight. Here are a few of our favourite Canadian TV shows, shot and set in Canada.
The series is ending after a fifth season, but what a fun ride it’s been. We’re going to miss the proud and blunt Appa and his store in Moss Park on Toronto’s east side. We’re also going to miss Umma’s funny meddling in family and church, Janet’s bristling against her parents’ overparenting, and Jung’s role as the prodigal son. But all good things must come to an end—and besides, Simu Liu is going to be a superhero.
It’s fitting that the most critically acclaimed TV show of all time is about rich people being humbled and stuck in small-town Ontario. Shot in Goodwood, east of Newmarket, Schitt’s Creek is basically Canada’s answer to Arrested Development. Except more people watched it. And now you can tour Goodwood and see places like Bob’s Garage or Rose Apothecary for yourself.
Dog River may not be real, but if you’ve ever spent time, or even grown up, in places like Schomberg, Ont., Turner Valley, Alta., or Kindersley, Sask., you know just how real Dog River can be. Much of the humour comes from genteel small-town mannerisms and a certain amount of recognizability.
People who love Heartland really, really love Heartland. Maybe it’s the rolling foothills and the Rocky Mountains, maybe it’s Amy’s special ability to heal injured horses, or maybe it’s the romance and drama that permeates life on the ranch. Renewed for a 14th season, this comedy-drama shows no signs of slowing down.
Trailer Park Boys
To Canadians, there isn’t a show more famously Nova Scotian than Trailer Park Boys. Funnily enough though, plenty of international fans don’t know that the show is Canadian, instead thinking that it could take place in their own local trailer park. It ran for 14 seasons, plus a bunch of movies, specials, and an animated spinoff, so it looks like we’ll be seeing Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles pulling off goofy little capers for years to come.
A funny thing happened when Letterkenny was added to Hulu: Americans found out that Canadians aren’t always polite, boring, and buttoned down. Sometimes, they’re rude, witty, and profane. Thanks to the show, filmed in and around Sudbury, Ont., Americans are celebrating “super soft” birthdays, putting together buck and does, and trying to figure out the best way to prevent degens from upcountry. You’re welcome, Yanks. Now start stocking all-dressed chips, figure it out.
You’d be forgiven for losing track of all the different versions of Degrassi that have aired over the years. Named for Toronto’s Degrassi Street and firmly set in the city, Degrassi has given fans a realistic and unsentimental look at the life of teenagers. Also, it’s served as the launching point for stars such as Stephen Amell, Nina Dobrev, Stephan James, Landon Liboiron, Stacey Farber… and… we feel like we’re forgetting someone. . .