AOL’s new Canadian portal puts it all together

Click here to watch a promo for the new aol.ca design - will open in a new window

AOL Canada is redesigning its portal, aol.ca, to offer Canadian visitors the same improvements introduced to aol.com last September.

The changes, which AOL says are “coming soon”, look good. They extend the portal concept beyond content and services provided by AOL, enabling you to manage a wide range of online activity from what the company obviously hopes will be your homepage.

At aol.ca, you’ll be able to:

  • preview e-mail from other providers such as Yahoo and Gmail without having to leave your AOL homepage
  • preview updates from social networks including AIM, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter
  • customize the left-hand navigation column by adding links to any sites
  • read content from other sites and services, via a built-in RSS reader
  • customize themes, to change the page’s appearance

AOL, which is being split off from Time Warner Inc., is working hard to be the ultimate online destination. That’s a huge change from the company’s origins as a dial-up internet service provider which sought to keep its customers inside the proverbial “walled garden” of its own content.