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Canadian alternatives to Netflix
The best sites similar to Netflix Canada for streaming TV shows and movies.
Netflix is a pretty big deal these days. It’s the dominant provider of on-demand entertainment for millions of people around the world. Unsurprisingly, Canada has taken quite a shine to Netflix’s vast library of movies and TV shows, hitting an estimated 6.7 million subscribers as of April 2018.
This success hasn’t gone uncontested, though. Eager to capitalize on the streaming boom, rival services like Crave, Amazon Prime Video and hayu have emerged to provide Canadians with plenty of choice for getting their streaming fix. Each of these services offers something a little different, distinguishing themselves from Netflix with unique content, extra features or cheaper pricing.
To help you decide whether any of these Netflix alternatives is right for you, we’ve broken down their core features below. We’ve also put together comprehensive guides for many of the services, which you can read by using the links in the relevant section below.
Crave has a solid collection of recent quality shows and recent movies as long as you’re willing to invest in the Movies + HBO add-on.
With a basic subscription you still get access to a variety of series from Showtime, classic HBO shows and more. The Starz add-on brings you even more binge-worthy content, which includes Letterkenney, Seinfeld, The Good Doctor, The Handmaid’s Tale, Billions, Love Island, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Broad City.
- Subscriptions start at $9.99 a month with a 7-day free trial
- Has exclusive rights to HBO, Showtime, Starz
- Also available through a variety of TV providers
- If you want French content, get the Super Écran add-on to enjoy recent movies and HBO hits in French
2. Amazon Prime Video
With an emphasis on original content that you won’t find anywhere else, Amazon Prime Video is one of the best-value alternatives to Netflix.
While the library of blockbuster movies and big-name TV shows available through Amazon Prime Video in Canada could be better, the selection of original content more than makes up for it. With critical darlings like The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle and American Gods available exclusively through Amazon Prime Video, the affordable yearly buy-in is definitely worth it.
- Free as long as you’re an Amazon Prime member, which is $79 annually
- Plenty of exclusive content like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Hunters, Upload and more
- Offers a 30-day free trial
With a vast library of movies and a great collection of TV shows, including original productions, Disney+ is an excellent family-friendly alternative to Netflix.
The streaming service offers content not only from Disney, but its subsidiaries as well. That includes Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic. Subscribers can also finally stream The Simpsons online in Canada.
- Generous library of family-friendly titles featuring TV series, docu-series and movies
- Highlights include The Mandalorian, Frozen II, Onward and Avengers: Endgame
- Subscriptions cost $8.99 a month or $89.99 a year, with no contract
- Great device compatibility, titles available in HD or higher quality, offline viewing
4. Apple TV+
Apple’s streaming service is sleek, affordable and tailor-made for prestige TV lovers. It hosts exclusively original content you won’t find anywhere else from top creators, including Oprah, Steven Spielberg, M. Night Shyamalan and more.
The Apple TV+ platform is home to acclaimed series like The Morning Show, Amazing Stories, Servant and Defending Jacob. You can also watch Home After Dark, Little America, See and Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. The library is small but new titles are added regularly.
- Subscriptions cost $5.99 a month with a 1-week free trial
- Apple TV+ is included for one year when you purchase an Apple device
- Content available in 4K video quality
- You can share your account with up to five family members
5. CBS All Access
CBS All Access lets you watch CBS TV shows, original content and live news on CBSN. If you’re a fan of crime procedurals, you’ll love this one.
Top series include Survivor, SEAL Team and NCIS, as well as classic hits and exclusive original series like The Good Fight and Why Women Kill. You’ll also enjoy the likes of Evil, Blue Bloods, Elementary and Madam Secretary.
- Subscriptions costs only $5.99 a month with a 1-month free trial
- Solid device compatibility
- Indulge your nostalgia with classics like Beverly Hills 90210, The Brady Bunch, Charmed and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman
6. Fubo TV
Made for diehard sports fans, fubo TV lets users stream sports live without cable. It started with a focus on soccer but has expanded to include most sports, such as hockey, football, baseball and cycling.
You can also watch news and shows, with memberships including 30 hours of Cloud DVR, so you can record the games you can’t catch live.
- Subscriptions start at $15.99 a month with a 7-day free trial
- Great device compatibility
- Live access to beIN SPORTS channels, BenficaTV, Fight Network, Paramount Network, GameTV and fuboTV Network
If you love your reality TV, no streaming service gets you more juicy drama than hayu.
For just $5.99 a month, hayu cuts right to the chase by offering nothing more or less than thousands of hours of reality TV fast-tracked from the US.
- Supports a wide range of devices including computers, tablets and smartphones
- Lets you download episodes and watch them offline
- Offers a 30-day free trial
8. Acorn TV
Specializing in British television series, Acorn TV opens you up to a world of mysteries, drama series, documentaries and comedies.
For $7.49 a month, you can watch the best of British TV from the comfort of your own home. Compatible on a range of devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, Android mobile and tablets, Chromecast, laptops, desktops and tablets via browser.
- Costs $7.49 a month or $74.99 a year
- Watch shows like Loch Ness and Midsomer Murders
- Access Acorn TV original productions like Queens of Mystery, Pitching In and London Kills
9. Sundance Now
Offering a big selection of indie movies, binge-worthy TV shows and hand-picked documentaries, Sundance Now has a collection of sophisticated and eclectic content.
If you’re looking for access to unique content, Sundance Now may be the right streaming service for you. For $6.99 a month you can access hundreds of indie films, documentaries and TV shows via web, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast.
- Save with an annual membership, which works out to $4.99 a month
- $6.99 a month with a monthly membership
- Offers a seven-day free trial
Shudder is a niche service catering to horror fans, with shows and movies that make the genre proud. The platform hosts horror, thrillers and suspense stories such as The Valley, Born to Kill, Creepshow, The Core, Blood Machines, Confessional, Daniel Isn’t Real, Bliss and The Room.
Users also get access to Shudder original productions, live streaming events, podcasts and Shudder TV.
- Subscriptions start at US$5.99 a month or US$56.99 a year with a 7-day free trial
- Extensive catalogue of horror content, including shows and movies
- Available through a wide variety of devices
Organize your music, movies and TV shows and shop for the ones that you want. Streaming radio is also available with iTunes Radio.
iTunes provides a central location to download, not just music, but movies and TV shows too. There are thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from, so you can catch up on your favourite episodes at any time.
- Works on Mac, PC, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV
- iTunes Radio is free
- Gift cards are available to send to friends and family
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Which Internet TV provider offers the highest streaming quality?
The highest streaming quality currently available is 4K Ultra HD. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video both support 4K streaming, though only for select titles – mostly original content rather than traditional Hollywood fare. To stream in 4K through Netflix, you’ll need to purchase the top-tier subscription options, while Amazon Prime Video offers 4K streaming by default with its standard subscription. Apple TV+ offers titles in 4K video quality as well. So does Disney+ on selected titles.
Just keep in mind that streaming in 4K can chew through quite a large chunk of data: On Netflix, an hour of 4K streaming uses up roughly 7GB.
How much do these alternatives cost compared to Netflix?
A basic Netflix subscription will set you back $9.99 a month, but this only gets you the ability to stream to 1 device at a time and limits you to streaming in SD. A standard package costs $13.99, which gives you access to HD and 2 screens at the same time, while a premium plan buys you 4K quality and simultaneous streaming on 4 screens for $16.99 a month. Crave isn’t far behind Netflix, with a pricier subscription than some other streaming services, especially if you get the add-ons.
hayu, Acorn TV and Sundance Now have the clear price advantage on Netflix, charging just $5.99, $7.49 and $6.99 a month respectively. The catch here is that hayu only allows you to stream to one device at a time and both have a much smaller content library than Netflix. Your choice of viewing is also limited, as hayu has a library filled with only reality TV content and Acorn TV has a library stocked with British content. Sundance Now has a focus on indie films and documentaries, which is suited toward the viewer with eclectic taste. The same goes for Shudder, another niche streaming service.
Newer players like Apple TV+ cost less than Netflix, but you won’t get the same generous library. Disney+ comes with a large content catalogue and doesn’t break the bank. At the end of the day, it all depends on which type of content you like to watch.
Which shows and movies do Netflix’s competitors offer?
Content is king in the streaming video space and Netflix has a sizeable lead on the competition in terms of the number of TV shows and movies it offers. That said, quality is always more important than quantity and there are plenty of top-notch titles available exclusively on Crave, Amazon Prime Video and Sundance Now.
Here’s a comparison of some of the top shows available on each service:
|Netflix||Stranger Things, Prison Break, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, Black Mirror, Master of None, 13 Reasons Why|
|Crave||Letterkenney, Seinfeld, The Good Doctor, The Handmaid’s Tale, Billions, Love Island, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Broad City|
|Apple TV+||The Morning Show, Defending Jacob, Home After Dark, Little America, Servant, See, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet|
|CBS All Access||Survivor, NCIS, SEAL Team, The Good Fight, Evil, Why Women Kill, Blue Bloods, Elementary, Madam Secretary|
|hayu||The Real Housewives of Orange County, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Hills, Vanderpump Rules|
|Amazon Prime Video||Transparent, The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, American Gods, This is Us|
|Sundance Now||Gaza Surf Club, The Bureau, Travel Man, Boyhood, Laurence Anyways, Capote, Shoah, On The Road|
|Shudder||The Valley, Born to Kill, Creepshow, The Core, Blood Machines, Confessional, Daniel Isn’t Real, Bliss, The Room|
|iTunes||The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Pretty Little Liars, Downton Abbey, Revenge, State of Affairs, The Real Housewives|
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