“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right”

- Mark Twain

Best Crimes Shows Based in Canada


Bad Blood was filmed in Montreal, Quebec, and Sudbury, Ontario. The first season was largely set in Montreal, with the second season also including Hamilton, Ontario. The narrative is structured chronologically from the early 2000s, in a real-time fashion, also relying on flashbacks to fill in gaps from the past.

James R Dubro, Pierre De Champlain and William L. MacAdam explained in their article on Organized Crime in Canada that the Rizzuto crime family broke out from the mafia, known as the Cotroni family in the early 1970s. A power struggle then ensued and a violent mafia war in which the Rizzuto family came out on top.


Best Crimes Shows Based in Canada – Bad Blood

The Rizzuto crime family participated in the organized crime and cover most of southern Quebec and Ontario. Nicolò Rizzuto led the Sicilian faction and the Calabrian faction was led by the Cotroni’s. According to Refinery29, the Rizzuto family organized their operations from the Port of Montreal and disturb cocaine and heroin across North America, Asia and Europe. The Rizzuto’s were notorious for their international drug smuggling ring.

His son, Vito Rizzuto (Anthony LaPaglia) was arrested and imprisoned in 2004 for murders dating back to 1981. Following his release from prison in 2012 and his death in 2013, his son Leonardo is thought to be the current leader.

The six-part first season is based off of Business of Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto’s Last War by Antonio Nicaso and Peter Edwards. The series follows Rizzuto and his clan of loyal thugs as they run one of the biggest and most successful international drug smuggling operations out of the Port of Montreal and distribute cocaine and heroin across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Issues develop for the Montreal Mafia when Rizzuto is extradited to the US to serve prison time for his involvement in a 1981 triple murder connected to New York’s Bonanno Mafia. While Rizzuto is away, his right-hand man, Declan Gardiner, takes over the operation. From there unfolds a story of greed and revenge. In the series, Rizzuto square off with adversaries, tries to stay off of the Quebec Superior Court’s radar, struggles to maintain his lucrative relationships with rival crime units and battles growing tensions within the family.

Though much has changed since Rizzuto died in 2013, the Mafia still operates today. In fact, Edwards claimed in a piece he wrote for The Star that “a Rizzuto-related mob hit” took place in Montreal “the night before principal filming began there.”

The series focuses mostly on the period from the early 2000s to 2013. But also has flashbacks to the 80s and 90s. Operating on a different style to other, more flamboyant, gangsters, Vito Rizzuto managed to bring a long period of stability to the organized crime scene. By preferring to keep out of the limelight and by orchestrating a cooperative of the various criminal elements at street level, he wiped out the infighting. Rizzuto’s control of the Police, drug supply, and City Hall politicians (ensuring a vice-like racketeering grip on city contracts) meant that nothing happened without his say so. And so, when he was arrested for a series of murders that took place in the 80s and extradited to America to serve his term between 2004 and 2012 the resulting power vacuum marked the beginning of the end of his reign.


Intelligence is a Vancouver-based crime drama television series created and written by Chris Haddock starring Ian Tracey and Klea Scott that aired on the CBC. Intelligence is layered and substantial series about organized crime and the career cops who watch and manipulate the criminals. It’s about grey areas where the watchers connive and the watched are highly aware. It’s about doing business – any kind of business, legal or criminal – and sometimes it’s about “them and us.” “Them” being the United States, of course.

Intelligence delves into the workings of local crime with international reach. Vancouver crime boss and marijuana smuggler Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracey) plays an informant for the ambitious head of the Organized Crime Unit, Mary Spaulding (played by Klea Scott) in a quid pro quo exchange of information.

Intelligence tells the story of a Vancouver drug lord Jimmy Reardon who has been forced through circumstances to become an informant for the female head of the Pacific Region of CSIS. The tense and atmospheric drama is so complex you have to pay close attention or get lost pretty quickly.


Best Crimes Shows Based in Canada – Intelligence

Jimmy Reardon is at the center of it all. A career criminal from a family of criminals, he has a company to run. He’s the CEO and he has a drug-addicted ex-wife, a vulnerable kid, a dumb brother and a lot of vicious rivals. He’s just trying to grow the business, mind you. Keep people employed, meet the payroll and look for new opportunities. Like you do. The business involves drugs, grow-ops and a strip club, but it’s still just a business.

Within Intelligence, there is small-time crime, major international crime and, mostly, the dangerous trade in information about who is vulnerable. Nobody trusts anyone else. Information is gold. Who’s watching, who’s scamming whom and where’s the payoff? Nobody, neither cops nor under-pressure criminals, is safe.

One of the many story lines in Intelligence focuses on efforts by powerful interests to bring about “deep integration” of the U.S and Canadian political and economic systems. Part of that plot-line is the infiltration of Canadian institutions by U.S. intelligence agents. Intelligence is set in Vancouver, just like Haddock’s two previous series Da Vinci’s Inquest and Da Vinci’s City Hall.

In the Canada US clash the United States every action is focused on profit and economic control: politically – the U.S. has moles all over CSIS and has bribed politicians in every level of government. CSIS was a small fish taking on the sharks in the intelligence community, but it was taking them on and making headway with a mixture of tenacity, a show of international cooperation and good luck. If it wasn’t completely convincing, it made for a nice underdog story in a completely convincing portrait of Canada’s international position in world politics and economics. It is said that there was a lot of pressure to bury / kill the program, despite its popularity in markets around the world.

The show was cancelled in 2008. The cancellation led to allegations that fear of the Harper government played a role in the decision.

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