top streaming services in Canada

The Best Streaming Services in Canada (Free and Paid)

For this guide, we’ve compared the top streaming services available in Canada (both paid and free options) to help you find the subscription that best fits your taste.

Streaming services have changed how we watch TV in such a profound way. The idea of scrolling through different channels to see what’s on TV feels so distant. Now, scrolling through the different shows available without finding anything interesting has completely replaced it.

If you have stuck around with one streaming service for too long, you might have streaming service fatigue, and if you do, this list is for you.

Streaming services with free options

Streaming service Free features Paid features What to expect
APTN Lumi Online streaming, limited content Access to full library, recommendations ($4.99 CAD) Aboriginal created content
CBC Gem Online streaming with ads CBC News Network, ad-free viewing ($4.99 CAD) Content from Canada and all over the world
CityTV Online streaming with ads No, but you can sign in with TV Provider Full episodes of CityTV shows
CTV Online streaming with ads No, but you can sign in with TV Provider Canadian cinema and documentaries
National Film Board Free streaming online No, but you can purchases films and documentaries to download Canadian cinema and documentaries
TUBI Online streaming with ads No TV shows, movies, and anime

1. Netflix

The original streaming service, Netflix is above all in terms of brand recognition. But how does it truly compare to other streaming services? For some, Netflix has all you will other need. But others may be only looking at this list because they are sick of the selection that Netflix has. Whatever side you are on, Netflix truly has a lot of content.

From watching must-see TV including The Office, Black Mirror & Trailer Park Boys and a wide selection of films including Shawshank Redemption, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood & Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.

While it seems like every streaming service is investing in original content these days, Netflix was the originator of this move and even today, leads the pack with Netflix Original content like The Queen’s Gambit, Stranger Things, and the buzzing Squid Game. With Netflix Original content becoming so successful, these shows have become the main way for the streaming giant to catch the attention of new users while keeping a loyal subscriber base.

Netflix has three tiers of plans suited to different types of Netflix watchers:

  • The Basic Tier allows for viewing on one device in 480p for $9.99/month.
  • The Standard Tier allows for viewing on two devices in 1080p for $14.99/month.
  • The Premium Tier allows for viewing on one device in 4k+HDR for $18.99/month. Netflix is available on basically every operating system and SmartTV system.

2. Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is a great streaming service that anyone with Amazon Prime has access to.

With a wide selection as well as some quality original content, Amazon has quickly established their place in the streaming game.

Amazon Prime has a strong selection of content, including movies like Candyman, Black Widow & Ice Road, and shows including Chicago Med, Star Girl, and American Gods.

Since Prime Video is only accessible to Prime Subscribers, the cost is equivalent to the current rate of a Prime Subscription, which is either $79.00 yearly or $7.99 monthly.

If you sign up now, you can also earn a month of Prime free.

3. Disney+

Disney+ has been a major player on streaming services ever since it’s launch in late 2019. It’s not hard to see why either; the streaming service has something for everyone, from Disney childhood favourites to Star Wars.

Disney Plus has a lot of content, with a lot of it is connected to Disney in some sense. However, this includes IP’s including Marvel, Star Wars, The Simpsons and more. This means you can watch some of the biggest new movies like Black Widow, Cruella & Free Guy; Disney favourites including Frozen, The Incredibles & Moana; and Disney+ original content including The Mandolorian, Loki, & Monsters at Work.

You can pay monthly or yearly with Disney+, at $11.99 and $119.99 each payment cycle, respectively.

4. AppleTV+

AppleTV+ is picking up steam with a large collection of new, star-studded original content. AppleTV+ is available on all Apple devices, in the browser and on a wide range of platforms, meaning you do not need the latest iPhone or any Apple products at all to enjoy Apple’s content.

With original content including The Morning Show (starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon), The Problem with Jon Stewart, and Ted Lasso. You can also select from a wide range of non-original shows and movies including Parasite, Knives Out, and Free Guy, and shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Brooklyn 99 and Seinfeld.

In comparison to other Streaming Services, Apple TV costs only $5.99 per month. Sign up now and you can get 1 week free, or 3 months free if you buy an eligible Apple device. Streaming platforms that Apple is available on includes Roku, fireflyTV, GoogleTV, Samsung SmartTV, Platstation, Xbox and more.

5. Crave

Crave is a Canadian streaming service owned by Bell with an exceptional selection of movies and shows to choose from.

Crave has quite the selection of content, including content from HBO, Starz, and HBO Max originals. From incredible TV shows from The Wire, Letterkenny and Ru-Paul’s Drag race to movies including The Martian, Good Will Hunting and Scooby Doo.

Crave only costs $9.99 a month, however, Crave also comes in packages, with Crave + Movies & HBO costs $19.98 a month, and with the prior package with Starz added costs $25.97 a month.

If you sign up now, you can get 1 week free. Available on Roku, AppleTV Gen 4, Chromecast, Amazon Firestick, PlayStation, Xbox One, Android phones and tablets, iPhone and iPad, & Android TV.

6. YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a different streaming experience than the others listed. Instead of offering television and movies, YouTube premium offers an improved YouTube viewing experience.

Features enabled by YouTube Premium include listening to a video’s soundtrack or narration while your off the YouTube app or your phone is locked and downloading videos for watching offline.

Finally, the YouTube Premium experience is ad free, so users can watch long videos without being annoyed by ads every couple of minutes.

Although an improved YouTube experience sounds like a good deal for $11.99/month, this is not the ideal streaming service if you’re looking for a platform to watch movies and TV shows.

This service will make more sense if you’re a heavy YouTube user who watches hours and hours of videos every month.

7. Hayu

Are you a reality TV lover? Hayu is an NBC operated streaming service that only has reality TV. However, Hayu has an extensive selection of reality TV, from dramatic to the creative, and the romantic to the interesting.

With shows including Love Island, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the make-up competition show Face Off, and Real Housewives series from all over North America, Hayu is where reality tv addicts can get their fix.

Hayu is not expensive for reality TV fans, coming in at only $5.99 CAD / month, with a 7 days free trial if you just want to check it out, since you can cancel any time. Best of all, your experience with Hayu is completely ad free.

8. Paramount+

Paramount Pictures is one of the most famous production studios in the states. Paramount+ is the production company’s own streaming service, with some of the company’s best television shows. Formerly known as CBS All Access, Paramount+ also features content from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and BET.

Watch some of your favourite Paramount movies and TV shows, including NCIS, Survivor and Hawaii Five-O. The service also features origin programming, including a new iteration of the famous anthology The Twilight Zone narrated by Jordan Peele, as well as The Good Fight, a spin-off of the acclaimed series The Good Wife. Finally, users with Paramount+ have access to live CBS news for world news and political coverage.

Paramount+ costs just $5.99 CAD monthly, so it is very doable to sign up to sign-up for Paramount+ as well as some of the other more comprehensive streaming services as well. If you want to try Paramount+ out, you can enjoy the first 7-days free.

9. Shudder

Do you like being scared? Shudder has got you covered for all your horrifying, grotesque, and eerie desires. This streaming service specifically features horror movies, so you can get your horror fix with films from throughout the genre’s history and across the world.

Truly horrific movies including The Hills Have Eyes, Audition, and the original Japanese Ring; horror classics including Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Night of the Living Dead and Carrie; and even critically acclaimed films including Snowpiercer, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Ex Machina.

Subscribers to Shudder can pay annually, billed $56.99 per year which works out to $4.75 monthly, or month-to-month, paying $5.99 per month. If you sign up now, you can get 7 days free to check it out.

If you don’t like or don’t watch horror movies, Shudder is not the streaming platform for you. However, for horror movie aficionados, you could have a blast with this one.

10. MUBI

Are you a film buff, or just enjoy acclaimed films from throughout history and all over the world? If so, MUBI might be a great streaming service for you. With a new film, every single day, cinephiles will always have something to watch on MUBI.

MUBI features a rotating cast of films, from historically important pieces of cinema to modern films making waves across the world. MUBI currently featuring films from auteurs including Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Nicholas Winding Refn, and more.

Subscribing to MUBI has two tiers: You can pay $11.99 per month, or pay $83.88 yearly, the latter working out to $6.99 per month. If you want to try MUBI out, you can also get 7 days free.

11. CBC Gem

For streaming amazing content from Canada and around the world, including your CBC favourites. CBC Gem is a truly great streaming service with a little bit for everyone, with films, television shows, news, and live TV from CBC stations across Canada, with much of the content available for free!

Including Canadian favourites including Schitts Creek, Kim’s Convenience, Heartland, and Sort Of; a surprising amount of British television including Sherlock, Luther, and the original The Office; and even further favourites from across the world including Freaks and Geeks, Downton Abbey, and Dragon’s Den.

You can watch CBC content on the CBC Gem app available for free on platforms including iOS, Fire TV, and Android. CBC Gem Premium also enables you to watch exclusive the CBC News Network, ad-free, just for $4.99 a month. If you sign up now, you can enjoy 1 month of premium for free.

12. Acorn TV

If you are like my family and obsessed with British television, Acorn TV is a great streaming service for your needs.

With British TV favourites new and old as well as Acorn Exclusives, you will not run out of content from the UK anytime soon.

With a range of mysterious British content, including Midsomer Murders, Murdoch Mysteries, and Doc Martin, those into the drama and intrigue British TV is famous for.

Acorn TV is available for subscription at only $7.49 per month. If you want to see if Acorn TV is a fit for you, you can watch free for 7 days.

13. Tubi

With so many streaming services available in Canada, you may be facing the difficult choice of finding the best for your money. However, there are some great streaming choices that are completely free! Tubi is one such free, legitimate place to watch TV shows and movies.

Tubi has everything, like TV Shows for the family like 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Masked Singer, and Alf; Critically acclaimed movies like Call Me by Your Name, Memento, and Whiplash; and Anime including One Punch Man, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure & Naruto.

How does Tubi pay the bills? You will see advertising during your viewing, however Tubi boasts that it shows “fewer ads than cable” and its true. Just download Tubi for free on Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon TV, or many, many other supported devices. No subscription required!

14. DAZN

DAZN is one of the best places online to view sports. Whether a fan of football, baseball, soccer, MMA or many other sports, DAZN is a one stop shop for all your live event, highlights and sports related original content.

DAZN is the zone for sports fans of all sorts. With NFL Games Pass and MLB network, 2 of the big 4 American sports leagues are covered with DAZN. Soccer or football fans can enjoy the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Major League Soccer and more are viewable on DAZN. Other sports including Tennis, Basketball, Cricket, Bowling, Boxing and Extreme Sports can be streamed through DAZN.

DAZN is on the pricier side comparatively to other streaming services, however for a one-stop place for so many different sports, many will find it worthwhile. DAXN costs 20 dollars per month, or 150 per year, both options with a first month free.

15. CTV

While likely on our TV sets as a satellite or cable channel (if you still have those), CTV is also online with a large collection of their best shows and movies.

The shows available on CTV’s site include great Canadian content Orphan Black, Corner Gas and The Amazing Race Canada; shows from across the world including Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, & The Daily Show; and a handful of great movies including Muppets from Space, Ali, and Battle Royale.

You can watch shows on CTV with no account for free, although signing up for CTV gives you access to even more shows, as well as stream fees of channels you have access to. If you a subscribed to CTV on your TV, you should have mostly everything available to you. However, CTV Movies and CTV Throwback is content available for all.

16. CityTV

City TV also has free streaming of their programs online with ads. CityTV lets you watch shows on demand or the live channel, both online.

With a wide range of shows, including reality TV including the Bachelor & Canada’s Got Talent, and series loke Law & Order & Bad Blood. The selection is very daytime TV, but overall the selection is somewhat diverse.

You need to sign in using your TV service provider to watch shows on demand on CityTV Now, but you can watch LiveTV without an account.

17. The Roku Channel

The Roku Channel is an underrated streaming service available on any Roku stick, but did you know The Roku Channel is available on other platforms too? This free streaming service has a selection of great shows on Samsung Smart TV’s and FireTV too.

With a list of TV shows that includes Hell’s Kitchen, Unsolved Mysteries & the original 21 Jump Street, as well as a selection of intriguing movies including The Runaways, The Lobster, & Foxcatcher.

18. The Criterion Channel

The Criterion Collection commits itself to preserving and maintaining cinema from throughout history. Now you can get the Criterion viewing experience at home through the Criterion Channel.

With the Criterion Collection’s focus on international, groundbreaking, and influential cinema, the selection available is varied and diverse. Currently, you can watch a range of films from the Bride of Frankenstein to Eraserhead to Do The Right Thing. You won’t necessarily find the latest blockbusters, but you will be exposed to the world of cinema just beyond.

With a monthly subscription of $10.99 USD per month, which as of writing will cost you $13.67 per month, or a yearly subscription of $99.99 USD per year ($124.33 CAD as of writing). This could be pricey for some, but with the exclusive movie content that Criterion provides, it will be worth it.

19. National Film Board of Canada

The National Film Board of Canada, or NFB, has plenty of films and documentaries from indie Canadian creators, including Indigenous, immigrant, and LGBTQ2+ creators, all for free viewing.

There are more than 3,000 productions available on the NFB website, including works by Cordell Baker, Chris Landreth, Ryan Larkin, Richard Condie, Ishu Patel, and Caroline Leaf. Most of these are available in both English and French.

You can also download content on the site for a slight charge whether you wish to use it for personal or institutional use.

 

20. APTN lumi

The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network has tonnes of Aboriginal-created content able to stream on lumi, the network’s new streaming service. Movies, TV shows, Documentaries and live streams of Special Aboriginal events.

You can watch content through an account with either Lumi Basic, a free plan, or Lumi Premium, with unlimited access to the entire site’s content and extra features at $4.99/month.

21. Fubo TV

Fubo is sports and competition streaming service that is a great choice for sports fans.

You can steam soccer content for Ligue 1, Serie A and Canadian World Cup Qualifiers, Baseball content from Major League Baseball game coverage and MLB tonight; and Fighting content including the World Series of Fighting, ONE Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA.

Even better, each fuboTV account includes Cloud DVR storage for saving events and other content on any device. There are three different payment schedules you can choose from: paying $14.99 monthly, paying $29.99 every 3 months, or $99.99 every year.

You can view on three different devices. Available on iOS, android, amazon fireTV, Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

22. CuriosityStream

Documentaries are great sources of entertainment and education. If you are looking to stream intriguing, informative docs, Curiosity stream is a great streaming service to add to your arsenal.

What does CuriosityStream have? It has documentary shorts and long-form films discussing countless concepts and themes.

There are two payment schedules and two different subscriptions for four prices total. For standard High Definition, you can pay $2.99/month USD or $19.99 USD/year. For Premium 4K viewing, the cost comes to $9.99 USD/month to $69.99 USD/year.

23. FlixFling

For even more movies, Flixfling has a solid selection, from classic films, forgotten favourites, and new buzzing films.

How does Flixfling work? You can buy or rent individual films for a flat price, or you can also subscribe to specialty channels for a monthly price, where you can access the content included an unlimited amount of times.

However Flexfling costs $7.99 at a flat price. While the selection might not have exactly what you are looking for if you have a specific film in mind, the selection is diverse.

If Flixfling seems interesting to you, you can get it on Android, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Chromecast, fireTV, Roku, Samsung TV and more.

24. HotStar

HotStar is a free source of Indian content on the web. From Bollywood films to KKR Cricket matches, with content from all over India in nine different languages.

This streaming service has plenty of exclusive content from some of the main filmmakers in India, as well as a great selection of TV content, including live news in seven Indian languages.

Subscribers can watch HotStar content on Roku, Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android and iOS devices, as well as through web browsers.

Subscribing to HotStar costs only costs a yearly fee of $49.99 CAD.

 

25. Sundance Now

Sundance now wants to bring their film festivals to your homes, with Sundance Now. This streaming service brings you critically acclaimed and independent cinema from all over the world to the comfort of your living room.

Sundance Now features tonnes of films, including some that have grace the Sundance festival’s circuit. With films including Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Theory of Everything, and Ex Machina.

Sundance Now can be subscribed to for $6.99 monthly or $59.99 for a year’s subscription. Available on iPhone, AppleTV, Android, Roku, fireTV and Chromecast.

26. Crunchyroll

If you are a big anime fan, you are likely already subscribed to Crunchyroll. With tonnes of Anime series, Manga, and even Games, Crunchyroll is your one stop spot for all your anime needs.

CrunchyRoll has a strong selection of anime series, including One Piece, Attack on Titan & Naruto. You can also read many manga titles online like Attack on Titan and Genshin Impact.

CrunchyRoll has a few different subscription choices to choose from. The fan tier costs $7.99 with a stripped-down functionality, but still unlimited access to Crunchyroll’s entire library ad-free. The Mega Fan tier allows for streaming on 4 different devices at once, as well as offline viewing, for $9.99/month or $99.99/year. Watch Crunchyroll on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and more.

27. BritBox

Britbox is an excellent streaming service with hours and hours of British content, ad-free.

This streaming service created by the BBC and ITV plc is currently available in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, and South Africa.

There is a large selection of British content over a wide selection of genres.

This includes crime series like Father Brown & Midsomer Murders, comedy programs like Mr. Bean & Fawlty Towers, and dramas like Downton Abbey and Line of Duty.

You can subscribe to BritBox for $8.99/month or $89.99/year. You can download BritBox on Roku, Samsung, firetv, apple TV, iOS, Android or on your computer.

Frequently asked questions about streaming services

What is a streaming service?

Streaming services are online services that allow you to stream content online. In this article, we mainly discussed TV and movie streaming, however streaming services for music, podcasts and video games also exist.

Crave vs Netflix: Which one is the best streaming service for Canadians?

Whenever I get a question like this, my answer always depends. In this case, your entire preference will rely on your taste and the selection of content available. Price might be a consideration, but the price between Netflix and Crave is close and thus will likely not be a significant consideration in terms of ultimate preference.

If you are asking about our humble writer’s opinion, Crave, with its selection of HBO content, slightly gets the edge over Netflix’s slightly lesser Canadian lineup.

Does Crave include HBO Max?

HBO Max is HBO’s own streaming platform, which is unavailable in Canada currently and is separate to Crave, which has the Canadian license to many of our favourite HBO programs including HBO Max originals.

How to contact Netflix Canada?

Through Netflix’s site, you can access a phone number or online live chat to talk with Netflix support.

How much is Netflix a month?

Netflix has 3 tiers: Basic, Standard & Premium. The Basic plan offers 480p resolution and 1 streaming device at a time, and costs $9.99. The Standard plan offers 1080p resolution and allows you to stream with two devices at a time, and costs $14.99. The Premium plan offers 4K + HDR resolution on up to 4 different devices at once, all for $18.99.

How to cancel Netflix?

You can cancel Netflix through the Account menu on the website.

Which streaming service has local channels?

CBC Gem, CTV and CityTV all have streamable content online with access to your local channel of each respectively.

How does Prime Video work?

If you have a subscription to Amazon Prime, you have access to Prime Video. You can also subscribe to additional premium and specialty channels through Prime Video.

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About the author

Sam Beetham

Sam Beetham is a writer who has accomplished his childhood dream of rating things professionally. When not gazing deeply into the LCD display, he can be found cooking, designing DND dungeons or working on music with his band.
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