As a student, you'll find ways to trim wherever you can. Well, even if you're working you might also think twice of spending the extra $. Here's one tip you can use for your entertainment needs. Instead of subscribing to expensive cable channel providers like Eastlink or Bell, pay the extra for a decent broadband connection (ensure you're getting at least 5Mb/s or more). With high speed internet, you can watch your favourite shows online at anytime you want. What's more, you don't have to worry about missing a particular show at a particular time. You simply have to visit the website to replay the show. Now, if you're into the flat screen TV and don't do online, then you might want to just get a digital dish and digital converter to hook up to your TV because basic channels are free anyhow - just like TV3, RTM, and 8TV back home. But better than that, they actually screen up to date shows. My only beef on TV channels are that they have extra long advertisement. Here are some links to sort you out if you choose the internet route.
Under the Showcase brand of Media products are a suite of channels to fill your appetite, simply head to http://shawmedia.ca/brands/default.asp and lo' and behold, you'll see a list of channels like Global, Showcase, Foodnetwork, SliceTV, HGTV, History Channel. (Note: some of the links are just website for the channel but do not have any streaming services)
And if you're heard of CTV, they are under another BIG media giant in Canada - Bell Media. There's no point going to each of their specific channel sites as they usually consolidate everything under http://www.ctv.ca/. Besides, they don't let you see everything for free only - although they are a some fair bits too as they have to compete for advertising space with the rest.
Last but not least the RTM equivalent of Canada is CBC. Play around with this link, http://www.cbc.ca/player/. You be surprise as sometimes they do have quality series too. Although some of the series have very dry Canadian sense of humor to it, so its hard to appreciate.
All major media mentioned above have their own news channel too. I prefer CBC, http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/watch/ as they seem to have a broader spectrum of things as well as better local coverage for each provinces.
So, there you go, before you decide to sign the dotted line for a 2 year or 3 year deal for cable, think again.