Vintage TVOntario Images

by Joey deVilla on January 3, 2009

Here’s a nostalgia trip for those of you who watched TVOntario during the late seventies and early eighties: a montage of images from its daytime educational shows. Did any of you ever watch Parlez-Moi, Write On!, H&G Mysteries, Bits and Bytes or Math Patrol?

Montage of stills from TVOntario's educational shows from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Images courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesse January 3, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Hi! Great memories, but please you have to tell me the name of the show with the boot. I’ve been looking for the name of that show for YEARS. Please email me, or comment back!

Joey deVilla January 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm

@Jesse: The show with the boot was called Readalong:

Title card for 'Readalong'.

There’s a site that has more stills from the show here.

Rebecca January 3, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Funny – for reasons beyond my understanding, I had the theme song to Fables of the Green Forest stuck in my head the other day. All of those images remind me of my childhood – the only one missing is that reading program set in a department store after hours (there was an old security guard, a mouse that spoke in rhyme (Muffy?) and Jeff the mannequin.)

Marion January 3, 2009 at 8:29 pm

I’m not from Ontario, but do remember those puppets, especially the Pierre Trudeau and Rene Levesque ones. Do you remember the name of the show? And was that the show with the Gnu Gnews? (Although some days I worry I imagined the Gnu Gnews.)

Joey deVilla January 3, 2009 at 8:45 pm

@Marion: You’re thinking of The Great Space Coaster, which was not a TVOntario show, but a syndicated show that appeared on UHF stations in the early eighties. Here’s its intro sequence:

The gnu of which you speak is Gary Gnu, shown below:

And I can’t mention The Great Space Coaster without posting the video for the Family Guy parody:

Keith January 4, 2009 at 12:49 am

Rebecca: The show in the department store was Today’s Special.

Readalong was first aired the year I was in kindergarten. They used to show it in the morning and then repeat the same episode in the afternoon.

Bits and Bytes was on for the first time shortly after we got a home computer. I remember the content seemed a little Mickey Mouse to me at the time, but I still kinda wish that glowing animation style was available in a user interface–especially with the voiceover.

Light & Dark January 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Oh. My. God.
Billy Van and Bits and Bytes.
Now I know why I ended up in tech!!

Lisa in Toronto January 4, 2009 at 10:55 pm

For me the Metric Report with Heather Conkie is the unforgettable 1970s TVO program.
I still don’t really get hectares though … but that isn’t her fault.

Eric January 6, 2009 at 11:36 am

I was trying to describe “Write On” to some friends the other day. I remember the KISS makeup-ed rock star episode and his song about commas splices, and the episode where Mr. Morton was a vampire who always punctuated with colons, with his fangs, and could only be weakened by the sight of a sentence needing a semi-colon, which he couldn’t do.

Danielle September 11, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Can someone tell me the name of the one with the kangaroo? It was something about counting and he was a detective? There is a picture of the beginning of the show above.

Gord October 13, 2009 at 3:16 am

There was a small movie about a boy who decovered a clock that struck 13 and he would go back in time what was the name of it

Craig October 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I think the kangaroo was Sydney and the show was Math Patrol.

James July 31, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Jesse: the name of the show is Readalong.
I have several episodes on VHS tape that I once did a video trading project with some years ago.
If anyone out there is interested in getting episodes, please email me at “” and we can work something out.

I do really love this website as I have seen some other shows like Polka Dot Door, and Sharon Lois & Bram’s Elephant Show through TV Ontario back in those days.

Gabe December 16, 2017 at 7:27 am

TVO is Gone Forever

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