Between cable providers and IPTV providers, there’s a lot of competition for Canadian TV-watchers — especially in the more urban parts of Ontario. Here are the 8 besr cable TV providers in Toronto.
Top Wired TV Providers in Toronto
A few companies still operate legacy cable TV services, but every TV provider now uses IPTV technology to serve new customers. On the one hand, it allows these companies to offer innovative features like cloud PVRs. On the other hand, IPTV services require an internet connection — which you pay separately or in convenient bundles.
Cogeco Connexion uses a Tivo-based set-top-box and app ecosystem which lets you and your family watch TV throughout the house and wherever in Canada you travel. Although you can record 6 shows at a time, much of the content from each channel is available on-demand.
Cogeco Connexion Contract Terms
You must rent Cogeco’s set-top-box in order to receive its TV service. The rental fees along with installation, activation, taxes and other charges are not included in the promoted prices.
Cogeco Connexion Plans and Pricing
In addition to the mandatory basic channel offering, Cogeco offers four customizable plans and two ready-to-watch plans. All of the plans come with Stingray music channels, video on demand and pay-per-view options.
Basic Channels: For $25 per month, you get 25 local, regional and educational channels.
My Mix: You get the 25 basic channels plus the ability to choose 10, 20, 30, or 40 more channels from the 160-channel lineup. The monthly fee is $56, $66, $73 or $79 depending on how many channels you choose.
Perfect Mix: For $77 per month, you get the 25 basic channels plus more than 30 other channels. These include access to Sportsnet, CBC News, CNN and more.
Ultimate Mix: For $107 per month, you get the 25 basic channels plus more than 40 other channels, including Crave and HBO.
Regardless of which plan you choose, you can expand your content further with premium packs. Crave, NHL French, and several multicultural packs are available.
Rogers Ignite TV
Ignite TV is the IPTV-based service that replaced Rogers’ legacy cable service. The set-top-box and app ecosystem supports third-party streaming services like Netflix and Hayu. All of the plans come with 200 hours of recording space on Ignite TV’s cloud PVR system.
Rogers Ignite TV Contract Terms
You must subscribe to a Rogers high-speed internet service with the associated hardware and fees in order to receive the television service.
Rogers Ignite TV Plans and Pricing
Basic TV Starter: The mandatory starter plan costs $25 per month and comes with more than 35 channels. Optional theme packs let you add French channels, entertainment channels and more. You will have to pay $12 per month to rent the required terminal.
Unlike other TV providers, Rogers does not quote a stand-alone price of the Ignite TV service. It is only available bundled with an internet plan. The Ignite TV pricing listed here is based on an Internet+TV bundle with unlimited data and 150 Mbps download speeds. The pricing includes the Ignite TV box and the Ignite WiFi gateway modem.
Ignite Starter: For $125 per month, you get internet service and 36 channels.
Ignite Flex 5: For $130 per month, you get internet service and 43 channels plus another 5 channels of your choice.
Ignite Flex 10: For $135 per month, you get internet service and 48 channels plus another 10 channels of your choice.
Ignite Popular: For $150 per month, you get internet service and 144 channels plus 46 channels of your choice.
Ignite Premier: For $175 per month, you get internet service and 185 channels plus 87 channels of your choice.
Bell Fibe TV
You can add a Fibe TV when you subscribe to Fibe, Bell Media’s fiber optic internet service.
Bell Fibe TV Contract Terms
You may be charged a $210 installation fee unless you sign a 2-year contract in which case Bell reduces the fee to $60. Early termination fees and other charges are not included in the quoted pricing. All of the quoted pricing is based on paperless billing.
Bell Fibe TV Plans and Pricing
Bell only offers bundled deals for Fibe TV. You must subscribe to the Fibe internet service. All of the prices include the WiFi gateway as well as the PVR set-top-box.
Starter: For $115 per month, you get 50 Mbps download speeds and 30 channels.
Good: For $125 per month, you get 50 Mbps download speeds and 30 channels plus a choice of 10 additional channels.
Better: For $140 per month, you get 500 Mbps download speeds and almost 90 channels.
Best: For $165 per month you get 1 Gbps download speeds and around 135 channels.
A relatively new entrant in the pay-TV field, VMedia entered Canada’s TV market in 2013 as a scrappy underdog battling against the likes of Rogers and Bell.
VMedia Contract Terms
VMedia’s TV service is only available with a VMedia internet subscription. The company does not require fixed-term contracts, but you must use the company’s set-top-box or a Roku streaming device.
VMedia Plans and Pricing
All of the pricing is for the TV service alone. You must pay an additional fee for the required internet service.
The Skinny: Most of the 32 channels in this $25-per-month plan are the local channels and the major Canadian and US broadcast networks.
The Basic: This $40 monthly plan takes the channel count to 45 by adding popular specialty channels.
Premium Flex: For $53 per month, you’ll get about 70 channels. You must choose among the four themes: Classic, Family, Lifestyle or Sport.
Grand Premium: For $71 per month, you get more than 100 channels.
You can expand your channel lineup further with VMedia’s à-la-carte UChoose program. The 160-channel menu has channels that cost anywhere from $3 to $13 per month. The UChoose 5 and UChoose 10 options discount channels when you rent 5 or 10 at a time. Alternatively, the Any Twenty option charges a flat $30 per month and lets you pick 20 channels.
Multicultural channel packs, premium content providers and sports networks are also available for an added fee.
Deploying its own fiber-optic network, Beanfield Metroconnect focuses on residential buildings in urban areas. The no-contract, unlimited internet service promises a more convenient experience than traditional telecommunications companies. However, Beanfield’s app ecosystem is not as well-developed as large TV services with limited mobile streaming available.
Beanfield Metroconnect Contract Terms
You must have internet access to use Beanfield’s TV service, but the company does not require a subscription to its internet service. However, not subscribing to their internet service will result in a $150 installation fee.
Beanfield Metroconnect Plans and Pricing
All of Beanfield’s plans are for the TV service alone. With the internet service, you also get 25 hours of recording capacity on Beanfield’s cloud DVR. Additional recording capacity is available for an extra charge.
Skinny Basic: For $20 per month, you get 30 channels.
Essentials: For $45 per month, you get more than 90 channels
Theme packs and an à-la-carte selection of channels let you tailor your TV-watching.
You can’t get Zazeen’s TV service directly. The company negotiates carriage deals with TV networks and packages them up for regional internet service providers to resell. People living in Ontario must subscribe to Distributel’s internet service in order to Zazeen’s TotalTV plans.
Zazeen TotalTV Contract Terms
Distributel may charge shipping, activation, installation and other fees.
Zazeen TotalTV Plans and Pricing
The first set-top-box is included with each subscription plan. Note that the PVR feature will only work when you attach your own external hard disk drive to the set-top-box.
Starter: You get more than 30 local and US channels for $25 per month.
Premier: You get more than 50 channels, including TSN and Sportsnet, for $50 per month.
Elite: You get more than 80 channels, including specialty channels like AMC and CNN, for $55 per month.
Ultimate: You get more than 100 channels, including AMC and other premium channels, for $100 per month.
TotalTV has optional add-on subscriptions to premium content providers like Crave and Super Écran. There is also an à-la-carte menu that lets you add channels that match your specific interests.
Satellite TV in Toronto
Although some Canadians have legally-dubious subscriptions to US satellite TV providers like DirecTV, the number is declining. Both Shaw Direct and Bell Satellite TV offer more clear-cut ways to get satellite TV in Toronto.
In its last fiscal year, Shaw Direct’s customer base declined by more than 47,000 subscribers. The drop reflects an ongoing trend among urban and suburban populations who prefer IPTV or over-the-top streaming services to the relatively inflexible satellite service. Given Canada’s dispersed rural populations, though, Shaw Direct expects the declines to level out and will continue to offer its space-based TV service.
Shaw Direct Contract Terms
The pricing only reflects the base TV service. You may also find yourself paying hardware, activation and installation fees. Taxes, as always, are extra.
Shaw Direct Plans and Pricing
Shaw Direct provides discounted pricing for the first three months of your subscription after which you will pay the standard price.
Limited TV: This $25 plan provides 56 base channels including the regional Canadian networks, educational broadcasters and mandatory channels. There is no discount on the Limited TV plan.
Extra Small TV: This $70 plan is discounted to $40 for the first three months. You’ll get a 74-channel listing plus the ability to add 5 more channels of your choosing.
Small TV: This $81 plan, discounted to $45, offers 74 channels plus an additional 15 channels. The additional channels include sports channels and major US networks.
Medium TV: This $98 plan, discounted to $50, offers a 162-channel listing plus 30 additional channels. You’ll get channels from multiple timezones to timeshift your TV watching.
Total TV: This $124 plan, discounted to $75, gives you a 162-channel listing plus 79 additional channels.
You can add additional channels with optional theme packs and subscribe to Crave.
Bell Satellite TV
Beaming high-definition TV from two geostationary satellites, Bell Satellite TV has been in business for more than two decades. Although it offers clear benefits for people in rural areas, it’s popularity is on the wane. In 2019 alone, Bell Satellite TV lost more than 85,000 subscribers — nearly 8% of its customer base. However, that still leaves Bell the largest satellite tv provider in Canada.
Bell Satellite TV Contract Terms
Any equipment, installation and activation fees are charged separately from the monthly subscription. Bell TV requires the rental of its PVR hardware.
Bell Satellite TV Plans and Pricing
Bell TV’s pricing reflects a $20 credit that will be applied to your monthly bill for the first year. This is not a 12-month fixed contract so prices could increase during that time.
Starter: The monthly credit does not apply to this $25-per-month plan. You get 30 local, national and US channels including CTV and Fox.
Good: This plan will cost $50 after the $20 monthly credit. You get 74 channels including major networks and popular specialty channels.
Better: For $76 per month (while the credit lasts), you get 112 channels. Most of the additional channels are premier sports and entertainment channels.
Best: For a discounted $111 monthly fee, you get 150 channels which includes almost the entire Bell TV lineup.
Optional add-on packages let you add premium content like Crave or NFL Sunday Ticket.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.