Over the years we have had great luck in recovering some elusive gems which were  thought long lost (the Caramilk Devil commercial, the Turnbull Leafs game, “Getzky!”, etc.) , however there still remains lots of absent classics out there. This list is only a small snapshot of what we are looking for at any given time. It would be great to bring some of these golden eggs home and post them online for all to relive!

1. CITY TV PLANET OF THE APES WEEK PROMO, MARK DAILEY, 1980s
At least twice a year in the 1980s, CityTV would run “The Planet of the Apes” week, where they showed 2 films night (including omnibus versions made from the TV series). I vividly recall Mark Dailey’s trademark excitement as he announced APES week on City, accompanied by clips of Chuck Heston’s classic dialogue and other Ape-tastic mayhem from the pulpy series. High hopes for this turning up somewhere, as lots of people taped these films, but alas, nothing so far.
2. MCCAIN FRUIT PUNCH, ROBERTO ALOMAR, 1993
Just why this one remains in limbo is a huge mystery; it aired almost non-stop in 1993, and everyone of a certain age recalls it (”Who’s your favorite pitcher Robbie?”). It was followed up with another, less memorable Alomar spot later in the year. We’ve found that one, but it’s the original we’d like to resurrect.
3. REPORT CANADA, TVOntario, 1970-1980s
This ultra low-budget, one set wonder aired every afternoon on TVOntario for FOREVER, and had a haunting, piano-led theme song which most TVOntario fans could sing aloud for all eternity. Heather Conkely aka Aunt Agnes was the host, and she discussed elements of Canadian history, geography, and other stuff which probably bored the pants off us as children but would be fantastic to see again. We think she would also show drawings of Canada which viewers had sent her, but that could be the cheating memory at work…
4. WUTV SIGN OFF, 1980s
More often than not, WUTV seemed to suffer more onscreen technical difficulties than any other broadcaster in the 1980s. Their sign-off, which was cheap and cheerful to begin with, often fell apart under the weight of their technical snafus. Could it be from control operators drifting off to sleep on the job?
5. DOCTOR DATOR/JUDITH MERILL POST-DOCTOR WHO CHATS, TVOntario, 1970s-early 80s
TVOntario got away with screening cult UK sci-fi institution DOCTOR WHO by filling out the 30 minute slot with scientific discussions led by Doctor Dator during the Jon Pertwee era, and noted Sci-Fi author Judith Merill during the Tom Baker era. These discussions were often more bizarre than the episode which proceeded them, and you can imagine someone of Merill’s candor playing it strait after watching 22 minutes of tin-foil aliens menacing cardboard sets.
6. HOUSE OF LORDS COMMERICALS, 1980s
FOUND!
7. COMMANDER TOM’S WORLD, WKBW, 1960s-80s
There are a few clips of WKBW Weatherman/Hero Tom Jolls out there on Youtube, but as yet no one has found the psychedelic intro or outro which Sunday morning viewers may recall brought them DAVID & GOLIATH, PROFESSOR KITZEL, and many other cheap-as-chips station filler.
8. TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK/HAMMY THE HAMSTER, Global TV, 1970s-80s
Another early morning institution, the colour episodes of Hammy haven’t turned up anywhere. You can find the B&W originals from the UK, and the rebooted YTV series from the 1990s, but nothing of  70s/80s variant which ran alongside THE TOOTHBRUSH FAMILY and HERCULES.
9. BOOGIE, CityTV, 1970s
The original ELECTRIC CIRCUS was roughly the same idea (sweaty in-studio dancing; risqué outfits), only it was sound tracked with disco and not R’n’B.
10. MONSTERS WE KNOW AND LOVE, CityTV, 1970s
There has been a renewed interest of late in the late-night Horror movie hosts of yonder, yeomen station Weathermen or eccentric personalities who got in character to host Public Domain horror films such as NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in cramped sets. CFMT’s ALL NITE SHOW & it’s host Chuck the Security Guard have been well documented, but it has come to our attention that at one time in the mid-1970s CityTV had its own Horror show and host. Footage of this could well be the holy grail!
11. YTV LAUNCH NIGHT
FOUND!
12. TEN FORWARD, TRILLIUM COMMUNITY 10, early 1990s
Community Access TV produced lots of so-awful-they-are-awful gems over the years, but you’d be hard pressed to find something more bizarre than TEN FORWARD. Two grown men in Star Trek uniforms, sat in one presumes their Mother’s basement, on a cardboard set in front of a green screen, hosting a 2 hour call-in show about the minutiae of STAR TREK trivia. As you might imagine, the show was often derailed by abusive crank callers (it aired at midnight on Fridays), but the passive aggressive nature of the hosts more than justified some of the rancor. A true Scarborough legend!
13. ACTION ADVENTURE THEATRE, WUTV, 1980s
Saturday afternoons in the early 1980s meant one thing on WUTV – badly dubbed, pan-and-scanned, tatty prints of Kung-Fu and Godzilla movies on ACTION ADVENTURE THEATRE! Mostly notable for its offensive theme song (“Turning Japanese” by the Vapors), this slot was many people’s first introduction to the fine work of Toho and the Shaw Brothers, whose work is now thankfully available uncut and in proper aspect ratio on Blu-ray and DVD.
14. METRO TORONTO ZOO COMMERICALS, early 1980s
Fondly recalled jingle-heavy spots which showed glimpses of the long defunct Monorail, alongside the groovy 70s design which has now mostly been renovated. You could practically smell the African Pavilion through the screen.
15. BINKLEY & DOINKLE PSAs, 1970s
FOUND!
16. ELMER THE SAFETY ELEPHANT PSAs, 1970s
Everyone remembers Elmer’s flag on the pole (if your school kept it safety record up), but sadly the old Elmer street wise Public Service Announcements remain lost to time.
17. TVOntario ID Slides, 1970s-90s
Gorgeous artwork usually accompanied by John DeLazzer’s familiar voice intoning “This is TVOntario.” We have uncovered a lot of these, but recall there being many variants.
18. SUPERCHANNEL LAUNCH NIGHT, 1983
On the evening of February 1, 1983, Canadian TV was forever changed with the launch of Pay-TV. Superchannel did it up proper with a screening of STAR WARS, and two hosts who were beyond excited at the prospect. This event was legendary, possibly even more so for those who’s parents opted not to splash out on Pay-TV.
19. C-CHANNEL, 1983
Debuting alongside SUPERCHANNEL and FIRST CHOICE in 1983, this Pay-TV service promised the finest in Arts & Entertainment; 4 months later it was off the air. Pretty much any recordings from this channel would shed much needed light on what went wrong… was it too intellectual? Too dry? Too boring?
20. CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO PSAs, 1980s
Like mini-horror films, these PSAs scarred an entire generation. Illustrating in graphic detail how construction site mishaps result in mutilation and disfigurement (and death, of course), what is most strange is how they ran in constant rotation during afterschool cartoon slots, thus ensuring many young kids becoming traumatized for life about losing an eye to nail shrapnel.
21. REC ROOM, YTV, 1988-89
YTV’s 2nd in house production (after YTV ROCKS), this late night show spotlighted music videos but had an anarchic bent which led to some pretty memorable stunts. Known for launching the career of Janice McKay, later to become the very first YTV PJ!
22. THE ADVENTURES OF TIMOTHY PILGRIM, 1970s, TVOntario
Gritty, shot in Toronto sci-fi show about a time travelling kid. Was paired with TVO’s other spooky sci-fi serial READ ALL ABOUT IT! for late afternoon reruns in the mid-1980s. We have a copy of this, but it is almost unwatchable. Would be great to give this show the attention it deserves!
 23. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION – TV VERSION, 1980s
FOUND!
  24. BLUE JAYS BANTER, 1970s-80s, CKCO

Vintage CKCO talk show with over 400 episodes that aired over 14 seasons, which ended when CTV lost the television rights to Blue Jays games.

 25. THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BEANS BAXTER, CHCH & GLOBAL, 1987

Created by “Savage” Steve Holland, this teenaged sub-James Bond comedy series was one of the first comissioned by the fledgling FOX network, and amazingly carried by both CHCH 11 and Global TV. Somehow it has managed to fall through the cracks, with nary a repeat or DVD release in sight.

 

   26. ONTARIO – YOURS TO DISCOVER, Various, 1980s

Perhaps the most effective, patriotic series of pro-Ontario spots ever comissioned by the Government, pretty much every child of the 1980s remembers these, each sung by a different vocalist and full of fist pumping imagery which sealed YOURS TO DISCOVER as our provincial mantra – forever.

   27. WHAT ON EARTH? 1970s-80s, TVOntario, YTV

“What on Earth” was a series of short films which used stamps and a scary narrator to explore emotions. We remember them from the early days of YTV (1988) when their schedule was such that NFB shorts, PSAs and various other weird things would show up between programs. They all have the copyright date of 1970. Any info on these would be muchly appreciated, as no one (even the programmers who bought them!) have any idea where they came from…

   28. PIERRE BURTON’S MY COUNTRY, YTV

Another mainstay from the 1970s which showed up daily on YTV in it’s first year (at 3:30pm, right before THE TOMORROW PEOPLE fact fans!), this boring show was 30 minutes of Pierre Burton freestyling about Canadian history. Only now we reckon it wouldn’t be boring, it would be illuminating…