The digital age has taken over and it is taking television with it. With YouTube and other online streaming sites, the internet gives independent filmmakers a chance to gain an audience and make themselves known. Here are some of the top award-winning web series that are both shot in the city and produced by Toronto based film production companies. So show your support for the six and check them out!
Photo cred: Teenagers Web Series
Teenagers, follows a group of Canadian teens through the trials and tribulations of sexuality, love, conflicts, and tension while they try to figure it all out on their own. The web series is filmed in Toronto and directed by emerging filmmaker, Mathew Murray, who also attends York University for Film Production. It stars Degrassi alumni Chloe Rose and Raymond Ablack, along with Dana Jeffrey, Emmanuel Kabongo, Allyson Pratt and Nykeem Provo. The show resembles the likes of the UK television series Skins with its controversial issues, raunchiness and flat out realness.
Photo cred: Haphead
The Haphead web series is based in the year 2025 in Hamilton, Ontario, where technology allows people to become inserted into video games. The series was created by Toronto based filmmaker Jim Munro while also filmed in Toronto and the GTA. The story features protagonist Maxine as she lives with her single dad and works at a factory making haptic inputs, a video game component that places humans into their favorite video games. With the help of her friends, Maxine manages to get a hold of a haptic cable which she uses to escape into the virtual world of a bunny ninja game.
Photo cred: Guidestones
3. Guidestones: Sunflower Noir
Guidestones is a mystery series that joins two Journalism students along their investigation of an unsolved murder case and the conspiracies that follow. These budding journalists must travel to various parts of the world in order to unlock clues in this cryptic case. The series is produced by Toronto's own 3'oclock.tv and iThenic, as well as filmed in various locations in Toronto, New York, Europe, and India. This suspenseful series is filled with shocking revelations and a clue revealed at the end of every episode.
Photo cred: Linda Thoroughbred
4. Whatever, Linda
Based in the 1970s, newly divorced Linda is living in New York and must face the angst of being a 30 year-old single woman. At the stroke of luck, she receives a job as a receptionist for a top brokerage on Wall Street. Tired of being the underdog, Linda and her new co-workers develop a plan to make them as rich as their clients. A classic dramedy, the show stars Toronto based actress and filmmaker extraordinaire, Hannah Cheesman, who not only plays Linda but is also the co-creator of the award-winning series. Cheesman attended the University of Toronto, where she pursued Spanish and Latin American studies.
Photo cred: Ruby Skye P.I
5. Ruby Skye P.I
Filmed and based in Toronto, Ruby Skye P.I conveys the detective work of young Ruby Skye, a curious girl, with a bright imagination and a fascination for solving mysterious cases. Although the show is geared towards a much younger pre-teen audience, it is great to see the success of this locally produced series.
Photo cred: Space Janitors
6. Space Janitors
The Space Janitors web series is a sci-fi comedy about just that, janitors in space. All seasons have been shot in Toronto and it has received a few awards for its outstanding digital media production and comedic value. While it may sound a little corny, it gives the perspective of the little guys, Darby and Mike in all their crazy misadventures as they keep the space station spick and span.
Photo cred: Asset the series
Eric Blair is unknowingly arranged to do undercover business for the CIA as they feel he is their last hope of catching the leader of an arms cartel, Valentin Lazerey. As a tactic to reveal his motives, they set Eric up to rekindle a former relationship with his high school girlfriend Nadja who is now married to Valentin. With no formal training or weapons, Eric must risk his life to help the CIA in their mission. The Asset web series is produced by the Toronto based indie film production company, Irradiated Panda.
Photo cred: Time Baristas
8. Time Baristas
This hilarious time travel series was filmed in and around Toronto. It is a comedy about two nonchalant roommates, Evan (a budding law student) and Ryan (a lethargic stoner and engineer student), as they unwittingly travel through time with their broken coffee machine. While the two friends travel through time, they witness a sinister moment of their future. With the help of their trusty time machine Evan and Ryan must try to figure out how to prevent this traumatic occurrence from happening.
Photo cred: Out With Dad
9. Out With Dad
Fifteen year old Rose comes to terms with her sexuality while also trying to figure out how to come out to her single dad, Nathan. Out With Dad deals with the struggles of a young girl in her coming of age. It also addresses a parent's perspective of understanding and offering reassurance as their kid comes out. Created, directed, produced and written by Torontonian filmmaker Jason Leaver, Out With Dad has won countless awards for a topic that resonates in the hearts and lives of many young teens in the LGBT community.
Photo cred: Davey's Diary
10. Davey's Diary
This series is a comedy that revolves around Davey, an awkward guy trying to find his way in the world. As Davey tries to discover himself, he encounters some odd people and makes a few friends along the way. The star of the show, David Emanuel is a Toronto native who attended York Univerity to study French and has since gone on to produce and write this quirky online show.
Photo cred: Meghan Sagesse
11. Degrassi Webisodes
After rumors of cancellation, it is no secret that Degrassi is officially moving to Netflix and The Family Channel. The show follows Canadian high school students as they live through the anxieties of teenage hood. But alongside the regularly televised episodes, there are Webisodes that dive deeper into some of the juicy conflicts of our favorite Degrassi students. Hopefully they'll keep up with these online bits following the move.