How to Cut the Cord in Canada – 5 easy steps

I understand – getting rid of your Cable Subscription feels like crazy idea and you are worried that you will be left with nothing and then have to go back and get it hooked up again. For years, I threatened to get rid of my Rogers Cable TV because I was tired of spending $67 every month only to watch a handful of channels once in a while. But like you perhaps, I kept my cable subscription simply because I didn’t know how to get rid of cable without missing out on my favorite TV shows, movies, and live sporting events. I spent a lot of time searching online for information and guides on how to cut cable, but they were all very technical and hard to follow.

Believe it or not, getting rid of cable is extremely easy and it doesn’t require any advanced technical skills. Since getting rid of my cable I have had a lot of my friends ask me how I did it and what I thought about the entire experience so I decided to create this site and explain it in plain language to help others – like you!

Step 1 – Get an HD antenna

Most people don’t realize just how many FREE TV stations they can get with a quality digital antenna. Chances are that you’re in range of great over-the-air (OTA) broadcast channels. Many of the most popular TV shows, local sports games, and local news come on OTA TV in high definition. I have written a short piece on Digital Antenna’s and my experiences – HERE.

Step 2 – Get a set-top box streaming device

In order to watch content from Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services, you’ll likely need to get a set-top box (unless you have an expensive smart TV or one of the newer generation video game consoles). Set-top boxes, also known as streaming devices, are small consoles that connect to your TV’s HDMI port and let you watch your favorite shows, movies, sports, and live events through various streaming apps. Think of this as your cable box replacement. I prefer Apple TV because the setup is straightforward however if you want to look at the various streaming devices I have a page dedicated to that right HERE.

In general I prefer set-top boxes (e.g. Apple TV, Roku 3, Google Nexus Player, etc.) over the streaming sticks (Google Chromecast) because they are much more powerful and can load apps faster for a better viewing experience.

Step 3 – Choose your streaming services

A streaming services is where you use your Internet connection to access TV shows, movies, and sporting events available on free and paid streaming services.

It’s important to note that, while there might be some overlap, not all streaming services offer the same content. Netflix is pretty much a given, for $9 bucks a month you get lots of movies, lots of TV shows and you pay only one price for the entire month. If you want to watch every episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” – all 10 seasons – then fill your boots!

Here are some of the most popular free streaming services:

  • YouTube
  • Crackle
  • Vimeo
  • PBS

Step 4 – Rent or Buy shows and movies

Sometimes, there might be a TV show or movie that you really want to watch, but you can’t find it on the major streaming services. This happens to me on occasion, but honestly, it’s pretty rare these days with the abundance of content available through the top streaming services. In these situations, you can rent or buy the content digitally in HD (high definition) or SD (standard definition) through Apple iTunes. I know that it may seem like a pain that you have to buy a show but think of it the same way you rent a DVD or if you ever bought a TV show Season on DVD – there is a lot of bang for the buck.

Step 5 – Cancel your cable contract

When you call your cable provider to cut the cord, you want to reach their cancellation department quickly so you aren’t bounced around. Here are the phone numbers for a few of the major companies:

  • Bell TV – 1-866-676-2048
  • Cogeco – 1-855-414-0005
  • Rogers – 1-877-559-5202
  • Shaw Cable – 1-888-472-2222
  • Videotron – 1-877-512-0911

When you make the call, have your last bill ready so you can easily reference your account number.

NOTE: Be prepared for their last ditch efforts. Don’t fall for their “retention” offers (that often require a new contract).  You have to keep in mind that if you cut the cord and after a few months for some reason you really are not happy – then you can just sign up again and will get the benefit of any special promotions and new equipment.  

So keep it brief and cordial. You don’t owe them anything, you’re just ready to move on to a cable free life.

VERY IMPORTANT: There’s one last way they can get you – the equipment. Be sure to follow their instructions carefully and return their equipment on time. They will charge you a fee if you forget to return it within their timeframe. If possible, try to return it in person at one of their retail locations. Finally, get a receipt when you mail it back or drop it off.