Cable in Canada has a very long history going back to the 1950s and is somewhat different than most other countries.
Good synopsis of cabel in Canada, Wayne (except "second channel service' the predecessor to CTV, started in 1961.)
One analog related note, though -- although cable TV started in the early fifties in areas that couldn't get American channels well, in other areas it realy took off in the late sixties with the advent of colour TV in Canada (1966). For example, in Montreal, many people without cable were happy to use a single channel 3/5 market special yagi to get CBS and NBC from the states. (If they really wanted ABC, then they got cable, since only the cable company could get reliable reception of ABC from Mt Washington on channel 8 200 miles away, when there was a CBC (later CTV) station in Cornwall 60 miles away.) For local channels 2, 6, 10, 12 (CBC english and french, CFTM french and CTV), people would usually use rabbit ears. This was fine for black and white, but the ghosts in colour made the signal unwatchable. People were faced with the choice of adding a local antenna to their TV mast, or giving up and paying Cable TV or Redifussion (later NAtional Cablevision, and finally Videotron) for more channels. At only $4/month, it wasn't a big stretch.
Fast forward to 2009, and now, if you live on the GTA, you get almost all the American and Canadian networks (except Achannel and TVO) OTA in digital, with no image destoying ghosts.