As with all of its sister networks throughout the world, Nickelodeon airs programs aimed at children and young teenagers. YTV and Treehouse TV, have also carried Nickelodeon programs for many years, under output agreements with Viacom. They continue to do so, since they have near-universal coverage across Canada on both basic analogue cable and digital satellite TV, whereas Nickelodeon is limited to digital distribution and, unlike YTV, has only one national feed that services the Eastern Time Zone.
Nickelodeon is one of two Viacom-branded networks owned by Corus; CMT is jointly owned by the two companies.
In September 2008, Corus Entertainment was given approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a specialty channel named "YTV OneWorld", described as " a national, English-language Category 2 specialty service that would offer programming from around the world targeting children aged 6 to 17 and their families. The schedule would include programs devoted to entertainment, humour, travel, games and science and technology."
In September 2009, Corus announced it had reached an agreement with MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom, to launch Nickelodeon in Canada as a domestic channel. The channel was launched as Nickelodeon on November 2, 2009 at 6 a.m. using the "YTV OneWorld" license. Jacob Two-Two was the first show broadcast. On the day of the channel's launch, Discovery Kids (which Corus also owned) was shut down and replaced by Nickelodeon on most cable and satellite providers after the final episode of Aquateam ended. Because it is legally a distinct service, cable and satellite companies had to reach new agreements with Corus in order to carry Nickelodeon, as Discovery Kids operated under a different license.
On April 9, 2013, Telus Optik TV launched Nickelodeon HD, a high definition simulcast of the standard definition feed. It was later launched on June 25, 2013 for Rogers Cable and added to Bell Fibe TV's service on October 25, 2013.
On September 22, 2015, Corus Entertainment announced the launch of Nickelodeon GO, an app that allows viewers to watch the channel live, as well as stream shows from its American counterpart. The app is currently available for iOS and Android platforms, but requires a subscription to Nickelodeon from a cable or satellite provider.
Nickelodeon primarily serves as a vault channel for original programming seen on its American counterpart, with most of Nick's current programming airing on YTV. The channel airs a mix of both contemporary (Avatar: The Last Airbender, iCarly and The Haunted Hathaways) and classic series (Rocko's Modern Life, Hey Arnold!, and Kenan & Kel) the latter of which are mostly broadcast on weekends and late-night. During the daytime hours, the channel carries a Nick Jr.-branded block of preschool programming, with its shows broadcast commercial-free. To fulfill Canadian content requirements, the channel also airs series sourced from Corus' other kids channels.