Television in Canada officially began with the opening of the nation's first television stations in Montreal and Toronto in 1952. As with most media in Canada, the television industry, and the television programming available in that country, are strongly influenced by the American media, perhaps to an extent not seen in any other major industrialized nation outside the U.S. itself. As a result, the government institutes quotas for "Canadian content". Nonetheless, new content is often aimed at a broader North American audience, although the similarities may be less pronounced in the predominantly French-language province of Quebec.
Television in Canada actually pre-dates any telecasts originating in the country, since thousands of television sets capable of receiving U.S.-based signals were installed in homes near the U.S. border between 1946 and 1952. Homes in southern and southwestern Ontario and portions of British Columbia, including the Toronto, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Victoria and Vancouver areas, were able to receive TV broadcasts from Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit or Seattle with the help of elevated outdoor antennas and amplifiers. U.S. television programs, and the networks that originated them, thus became popular in those Canadian cities within range of their signals—and those cities represented a sizable proportion of the total Canadian population. This helped spur development of a specifically Canadian television programming and transmission system during the late 1940s and early 1950s, but at the same time, caused it to develop within American technical standards previously mandated by the FCC between 1941 and 1946.