Pure Canadiana: Retro faves you can stream on CBC Gem

Celebrate pure Canadiana with this collection of classics from the true north strong and free… and funny.

Celebrate pure Canadiana with this collection of classics from the true north strong and free… and funny.

(Retro Faves)

Don't you just love when your favourite show from the past suddenly appears on a streaming service? And for free! Yup, CBC Gem has you covered with these classics you might have once watched (or wanted to) that you can enjoy. 

So get your snacks ready and binge-watch these nostalgic dramas and comedies.

Kids in the Hall

True Canadian-style comedic weirdness in all its glory. Kids in the Hall is a sketch comedy troupe that, more often than not, puts bizarre, unique, and insane twists in their skits which satirize cultural trends.

The Newsroom


CBC had The Newsroom before HBO did. Just saying. First broadcast in the mid-'90s, our version is a half-hour comedy-drama set in the tumultuous TV newsroom world of George Findlay, the overbearing regional news director who is solely motivated by casualty statistics which will improve his ratings. And all he really cares about is his sex life, his lunch orders and his personal image within the network's bureaucracy. 

Made in Canada


Greed. Backstabbing. Comedy. What a recipe for disaster. Made in Canada (which aired in the late '90s) is a dark comedy about the Canadian TV industry that follows the story of Richard Strong (Rick Mercer), an ambitious and amoral television producer. The series showcases the behind-the-scenes and inner workings of a production company that makes bad but profitable television shows.

Da Vinci's Inquest


Vancouver cop turned coroner, Dominic Da Vinci pursues the mysteries behind death in a world where there are no simple solutions, no perfect people, and where each death poses more questions than he can answer.

Due South


Due South aired mid-to-late-'90s but now it's available on CBC Gem. Set in Chicago, the series follows the adventures of a Constable Benton Fraser (Paul Gross), an RCMP officer who is affiliated with the Canadian consulate but works with Detective Raymond Vecchio (David Marciano) of the Chicago Police Department to solve crimes.

Kenny vs. Spenny


Kenny vs. Spenny was the funniest reality game show on TV! These two guys who face each other in various competitions will do anything to win their challenges. An even funnier twist, the loser of each challenge/episode must perform an act of humiliation, usually selected by the winner. What could possibly go wrong?!

Being Erica

A funny and magical dramedy series where the classic fantasy of revisiting the past offers thirtysomething Erica Strange a chance to come to terms with her choices in life. In the first episode, Erica meets a mysterious therapist who sends her back in time to relieve a notable highschool regret and it's a rollercoaster from there.



In the world of spy games, intelligence is bread and butter. This crime drama series follows Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracy), one of the top organized crime bosses in the city, who is forced to work with Mary Spalding (Klea Scott), the director of the Organized Crime Unit — after being offered immunity. So if you like The Blacklist, you might just like this one too.



Kristin Kreuk may be a big city powerhouse lawyer in our CBC series Burden of Truth but did you know her acting debut was in one of our other shows, back in 2001? Yes, that's her in Edgemont, an award-winning teen drama that has become "that" show — the one that defined a whole generation of Canadian teenagers.

The series tackles everything from romance, intrigue, jealousy, and every other complicated adolescent scenario to racism and homosexuality.

Slings and Arrows


In this comedy, the legendary theatrical madman, Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross), returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure, to assume the role of an artistic director after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver Welles (Stephen Ouimette).

Da Kink in My Hair


Da Kink in My Hair, a hilarious sitcom centers on Letty's, a salon in Toronto's Caribbean community, Eglinton West — the kind of neighbourhood place where women go to let their hair down in more ways than one. 



Camelot is a historical-fantasy-drama television series based on the Arthurian legend. But did you notice Burden of Truth's Peter Mooney? Yup, that's him on that pic up there so be sure to watch it on CBC Gem.

More retro faves you can find on CBC Gem:

Da Vinci's City Hall

Durham County

Republic of Doyle

The Englishman's Boy

The Tudors

… and feature films

The Red Violin

Being Canadian


Watch the compilation trailer here:

What is CBC Gem and how can you access it?

CBC Gem is a free streaming service available as an App for iOS and Android devices, on television via Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast and the website. CBC Gem offers thousands of hours of live and on-demand programming — current episodes and past seasons of comedies, dramas, documentaries and more.

FAQs and more information about CBC Gem, here.