Citizen Engagement

TVO provides a valuable public service, connecting Ontarians to the information, analysis, and diverse perspectives they need to engage with the issues that matter in their communities and around the world.

TVO Citizen Engagement

TVO’s Current Affairs Offerings

TVO offers thoughtful, expert-informed current affairs coverage and analysis to Ontario audiences, and has been a trusted source of information during the pandemic.

The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Hosted by Steve Paikin and Nam Kiwanuka, The Agenda with Steve Paikin is Ontario’s leading daily primetime current affairs show. This must-see program for public conversation explores a broad range of critical issues—from the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement here in Ontario, to the economy and public policy, as well as COVID-19 coverage that connects audiences with expert insights and updates. Articles and Analysis

On, our journalists and contributors write balanced, in-depth articles and analysis that inform and engage citizens, while providing critical local context. Throughout 2020-21, the team maintained a laser focus on the impact and implications of COVID-19, producing hundreds of articles and segments on the subject, including a weekly roundup of pandemic news from across the province.

Ontario Hubs

TVO’s Ontario Hubs is a province-wide network of trusted on-the-ground journalists who explore issues from local perspectives and ensure that underrepresented voices are amplified and heard. Hubs journalists are based in Thunder Bay, Kingston, Sudbury, London, and Ottawa. This year, we launched a new Hub in the Hamilton-Niagara region.

Our Ottawa-based Hub is dedicated to Indigenous stories. Launched in 2019, in partnership with Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, all articles and videos published through this Hub are focused on Indigenous peoples, issues, and stories from across Ontario. Many Indigenous Hub articles are translated into Indigenous languages such as Ojibwe, Cree, and Mohawk. 

Ontario Hubs is delivered in partnership with local colleges and universities, and connected through ORION, Ontario’s fibre-optic network connecting research and educational institutions across the province. It is made possible by philanthropic gifts from the Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust, Goldie Feldman, and the generosity of other TVO supporters.


TVO’s podcasts connect Ontarians to the ideas and issues that matter to them in a convenient format they can enjoy anytime, anywhere. This year, we were proud to broadcast season four of the#onpoli podcast. Originally scheduled to run for 16 episodes, #onpoli now stands at more than 100 episodes as hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath continue to explore the unprecedented challenges facing Ontario.

Three of our other popular podcasts returned for new seasons in 2020-21: The Agenda with Steve Paikin (in podcast format), On Docs, and Word Bomb. In addition, Steve Paikin recorded TVO at 50, a limited series in honour of TVO’s anniversary, and we launched a new podcast, Unascertained—a six-part series that delves into the troubling death of Soleiman Faqiri in an Ontario prison.

Audience Growth in 2020-21

Audience Growth in


TVO’s readers, listeners, and viewers have access to the highest quality current affairs coverage through an Ontario lens. That quality is what sets us apart and has driven this year’s meaningful audience growth, which exceeded our key targets:

  • +45%


growth in number

of page views

(~ 9.9 million)

  • +10%


growth in digital
video views

(~ 27.2 million)

  • +125%


increase in Ontario
Hubs page views

(~ 833,000)

TVO Citizen Engagement

Special Initiatives and Events

By working together with partners like the Toronto Star and Ryerson University, and hosting important events, TVO’s current affairs team is able to make a greater impact and engage more Ontarians in the political, economic, and social fabric of this province.

The Democracy Agenda  

Launched in January 2021, The Democracy Agenda is a partnership between TVO and the Toronto Star. Through bi-weekly episodes of The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TVO, and accompanying columns by Steve in the Toronto Star, current and emerging threats to democracy are examined, as well as possible solutions.   

Green Party Leadership Debate 

This year, The Agenda with Steve Paikin hosted the federal Green Party leadership debate in June 2020. Moderated by Steve Paikin, TVO was the only broadcaster to host this debate, which was also livestreamed on TVO’s Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube platforms. 


The Agenda with Steve Paikin partnered with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario for their annual conference in August 2020 and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association’s annual conference in January 2021. Both events featured TVO’s Steve Paikin, Nam Kiwanuka, and Jeyan Jeganathan as interviewers, panel hosts, and conference guides. 

Understanding the Public Policy Process

This year, partnered with Ryerson University’s Leadership Lab to present the innovative digital documentary Dive: Student Aid, an interactive and in-depth ‘case study’ chronicling the creation, implementation, and ultimate withdrawal of free tuition in Ontario.

Ontarians Are Watching Ontario Stories on TVO

More than 1.2 million viewers tuned into TVO Original TRIPPING the Rideau Canal on its premiere weekend in April 2020. The documentary is the first in a series of ‘slow TV’ documentaries that are both visually-rich travelogues and highly educational.

TVO’s short videos about our province are also popular. Main Street Ontario and Name That Town introduce viewers to the history, people, and local landmarks that make Ontario communities unique. To date, they have been streamed more than 3.5 million times.

TRIPPING the Rideau Canal - Trailer

TVO Citizen Engagement

TVO Documentaries

TVO’s documentaries tell compelling stories about our province, our country, and our place in the world. With hundreds available for streaming 24/7 at, Ontarians can explore social, political and current affairs issues from a diverse range of perspectives.

Our documentary programming engages Ontarians with the stories that matter, like this year’s TVO Original Striking Balance, which took our audience on a tour of Canada’s unique UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, and the TVO Original Political Blind Date (season four), which brings politicians with different points of view together.

Our Documentary Audience

TVO remains the most-watched channel in primetime for documentaries in Ontario, outperforming all other Canadian and US broadcasters like National Geographic, Discovery, CNN, and PBS. These outstanding results reflect our commitment to commissioning and acquiring only the highest quality films.

On YouTube, our viewership is also strong. This year, these TVO Original top-performing premieres streamed over 2.3 million times on the platform:



“What an outstanding, powerful show...Your documentary really showed the heart and soul of great people, and the loneliness and isolation so many have suffered.”

Rhonda, long-term-care worker, 

on Dispatches From a Field Hospital

 Dispatches From a Field Hospital - Trailer

TVO Citizen Engagement

Beyond Documentaries 

TVO encourages deeper engagement by publishing articles on and producing segments on The Agenda that complement our documentaries. Ontarians get a truly comprehensive picture of the people and issues shaping our world.

Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, we packaged a 12-documentary (series and one-offs) for a theme week dedicated to sharing Black stories. The week was anchored by the three-part series African Renaissance. Hosted by the journalist Afua Hirsch, African Renaissance brings together historical insights, cultural heroes and extraordinary art, music and dance, and explores how Kenya, Ethiopia, and Senegal are becoming the powerhouses of African culture. The package was supplemented by related articles on and segments of The Agenda with Steve Paikin

COVID: Inside Stories

Hosted by Globe & Mail health reporter Andre Picard, COVID: Inside Stories is a four-documentary package we aired to mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. The lead documentary featured was TVO Original Dispatches From a Field Hospital, which covered a MASH-style field hospital erected in Windsor to isolate and treat elderly patients who tested positive for COVID-19. The package was supplemented by related articles on and segments of The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

Logo: TVO Annual Report Summary 2020-21
Browse the Report:


Broadcast Channels

Cable channel 2 (may vary in some areas); Rogers channel 2; Rogers HD channel 580; Bell Fibe TV HD 1209; Bell Fibe TV SD 209; Bell Fibe TV 265; Shaw Direct 155

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