Police said he was on line when they raided his Halifax apartment.
Their investigation began with a tip to Revenue Canada's border intelligence division several months ago, said regional intelligence officer Ed Osborne.
"It indicated that an individual in Halifax was involved in exchanges of this kind of material", he said.
Halifax regional police are working with customs officials and U.S. police in an ongoing investigation, said Const. Gary Martin.
Police yesterday displayed Friedman's collection of about 50 computer disks, two computers, an electronic image scanner, stacks of magazines with nude male torsos on the cover, and 40 to 50 videotapes with titles like Tickle Trilogy, Secret Boys Club, Abducted, and Slaves for Hire.
They also say they seized 233 catalogued photos, 31 of which were "self-images" of Friedman posing nude and exposing his genitals.
Martin called the seized material "extremely disgusting". He said not all of the pornography seized involved children, and some was probably legal.
"We have everything there from plain pictures of movie stars to young children involved in sexual acts .... It covers just about every avenue of pornography that is out there, from bondage to our main concern, which is child pornography", he said.
Martin said the vast majority of the material police found was either downloaded or ordered from the Internet.
"Pornographic" Polaroid photos of children were also seized, but Martin said police have been unable to identify any of the children as metro residents and have no evidence Friedman took the pictures.
"We're doing everything within our power, especially locally, to see if any of our local children have been involved", he said.
He said police have, or will, make contact with any place where Friedman may have met kids.
Martin said Friedman will be tracked down if evidence is uncovered to warrant further charges.
He said charges against Friedman of distributing child pornography could eventually come from another jurisdiction.
"Right now we just didn't have any information to lay charges in Canada", Martin said.