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CBLA-FM is a Canadian radio station. It is the flagship station of the CBC Radio One network, broadcasting at 99.1 FM in Toronto, Ontario. CBLA's studios are located at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, while its transmitter is located atop the First Canadian Place.

Cbc radio one toronto.svg
CityToronto, Ontario
Broadcast areaThe Greater Toronto Area and Central Ontario
BrandingCBC Radio One
Frequency99.1 MHz (FM)
First air date1925
ERP55.1 kW average
98 kW peak
HAAT303.7 meters (996 ft)
Callsign meaningCanadian Broadcasting Corporation Great LAkes[1]
Former callsignsCKGW (1925-1932)
CRCT (1932-1937)
CBL (1937-1999)
Former frequencies910 kHz (AM) (1925-1941)
740 kHz (1941-1999)
AffiliationsCBC Radio One
OwnerCanadian Broadcasting Corporation
WebcastListen Live


CBLA-FM originally aired in 1925 as CKGW at 910 AM, a commercial station owned by Gooderham and Worts. Due to the instability of frequency allocations in North America at the time, the station's frequency changed several times over the next number of years, to 960, 690 and finally clear channel 840. In 1932, the station was leased by the CBC's predecessor, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission. It used the call letters CRCT until 1937, when the station was purchased outright by the CBC and adopted the callsign CBL, moving to a new transmitter facility in rural Hornby. The 650 ft guyed mast that the station transmitted from was for many years the tallest structure in all of Canada.[2] With NARBA in 1941, the station moved to 740 kHz; its former channel, now 860 kHz, went to CFRB (which would relocate to 1010 kHz in 1947), while the 840 kHz clear channel was relocated to Louisville, Kentucky, where it was taken by WHAS. (See Canadian allocations changes under NARBA.)

Between 1938 and 1943, CBL had a rebroadcaster, CBY, to supplement coverage in Toronto. CBY broadcast on 960 kHz, switching to 1420 in 1939 and then to 1010 in 1941. CBY is now CJBC 860, Toronto's Première station.

In 1946, CBL-FM was launched, bringing the CBC's FM network (now known as CBC Music) to Toronto. It originally broadcast on the same 99.1 MHz frequency now used by CBLA, but moved to 94.1 in 1966. (99.1 was vacant until 1977, when it was assigned to the CKO radio network. CKO ceased operations in 1989, and the frequency was again vacant until it was assigned to CBLA.)

CBL established a large low-power relay transmitter (LPRT) network in Northern and Central Ontario during the 1950s and '60s. These transmitters, all on AM frequencies, mainly rebroadcast the CBL signal but also offered some separate regional programming directed towards the regions served by the LPRT network in place of some local Toronto programming. One example of this was the daily Northern Ontario Report, which aired in the late afternoon. Most of these LPRT network transmitters now rebroadcast CBCS in Sudbury or CBQT in Thunder Bay. Some of these transmitters have switched to FM as well, or have been shut down as FM transmitters covering areas served by multiple AM transmitters have signed on.

In 1997, CBL applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for conversion to FM. 740's daytime signal easily covered Buffalo, New York; Erie, Pennsylvania and Youngstown, Ohio. It was also powerful enough to serve as the CBC outlet for the Waterloo Region as well. Its nighttime signal reached much of the eastern half of North America (including three-fourths of Canada). However, radio frequency interference made the station nearly unlistenable in some parts of downtown Toronto. In a controversial decision, the CBC was awarded the 99.1 frequency[3] over Milestone Radio, which had applied to open an urban music station, and which would have been the first station operating under that format in Canada, to serve the city's large black community. Adding to the controversy of the CBC being awarded a station on the FM band in the country's biggest market, 99.1 was believed at the time to be the last available FM frequency in the city. On April 19, 1998, the new FM signal signed on for the first time, and began simulcasting CBL.

On June 18, 1999, the station completed its move to FM, adopting the CBLA calls. CBL remained in operation for an additional day, broadcasting a recorded loop listing alternative FM frequencies for any remaining listeners. The final announcement ran thus:

This is CBC Radio One, broadcasting from the Hornby transmitter at 740 AM. In the Toronto area, we will now move to 99.1 FM, with additional frequencies throughout southern Ontario. This transmitter has served the community well since 1937, and has been at 740 AM since 1941. This is the end of an era in Canadian broadcasting history. Now, signing off, from CBL, adieu.

— Philip Savage, CBC Communications department[4]

The CBC subsequently surrendered two relay transmitters outside the city which duplicated the CBLA signal. In 2000, the CRTC awarded one of the new frequencies to Milestone, who launched CFXJ in 2001, and the other to the Aboriginal Voices Radio Network, who launched CFIE in 2002. The Hornby transmitter was leased to the new occupant of 740, CHWO, in 2001. That station is now known as full service oldies station CFZM.

The Jarvis Street transmitter site was demolished in 2002 to make way for the RadioCity condominium development.

Local programmingEdit

The station's local morning program is Metro Morning, and Toronto's most popular radio show in the ratings since 2004.[5] Now hosted by Matt Galloway, the program was previously hosted by Andy Barrie from 1995 to 2010. Here and Now, hosted by Gill Deacon since September 2013,[6] airs in the afternoon slot. On weekend mornings the station produces Fresh Air, hosted by Mary Ito and heard throughout Ontario. Saturday afternoons the station broadcasts an arts and culture magazine, Big City, Small World, hosted by Mariel Borelli.

The station also produces a second morning program, Ontario Morning, which airs on most of the network's transmitters in Southern Ontario outside of the Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, London and Windsor metropolitan areas. Ontario Morning is currently hosted by Wei Chen. Similarly, the aforementioned Big City, Small World is replaced by CBLA-FM-2 Kitchener-Waterloo's In the Key of C (formerly CBO-FM Ottawa's Bandwidth until its cancellation) on all of the station's rebroadcasters outside Toronto.

Since October 2005, Here and Now has begun at 3 p.m. on CBLA's main transmitter in Toronto, unlike most CBC Radio One stations whose local afternoon programs begin at 4 p.m. However, the station's rebroadcast transmitters outside of Toronto air regular CBC network programming for the first hour and join Here and Now in progress at 4.

CBLA's rebroadcaster in Crystal Beach, which serve areas within commuting distance of Toronto, normally air Metro Morning instead of Ontario Morning, but otherwise abides by the schedule used by other rebroadcasters – it carries neither the 3 p.m. hour of Here and Now, nor any other specially-scheduled programming specific to the Toronto area. (For example, special weekend editions of Metro Morning aired on CBLA during the 2010 G20 Toronto summit; however, the Crystal Beach and Paris transmitters carried a morning show originating from Ottawa, as did CBLA's other rebroadcasters outside Toronto.)

In September 2011, the CBC announced plans to launch a new local radio service for the Kitchener-Waterloo area beginning in fall 2012, re-using the existing transmitter, CBLA-FM-2 89.1 FM in Paris.[7][8] On November 7, 2012, the CBC applied to the CRTC to convert CBLA-FM-2 to a self-sustaining FM radio station, which would carry national CBC Radio One programs, along with a minimum of 12 hours and 30 minutes a week of local programming.[9] The new station commenced programming on March 11, 2013,[10] but was later forced to resume rebroadcaster-only service in April, due to a misunderstanding of the application details and the conditions of the repeater license.[11] The new station received full approval from the CRTC on April 25, 2013.[12] Prior to its sign-on, CBLA-FM-2 carried the same schedule as the provincial CBLA feed, apart from Metro Morning (Kitchener-Waterloo, like Crystal Beach, is also within commuting distance of Toronto).


CBLA-FM has the following rebroadcasters.

Rebroadcasters of CBLA-FM
City of license Identifier Frequency Power Class RECNet CRTC Decision
Bancroft CBLA-FM-5 99.3 FM 269 watts A Query 2014-488
Crystal Beach CBLA-FM-1 90.5 FM 319 watts A Query 98-428
Haliburton CBLY-FM 92.3 FM 50 watts LP Query 89-765
Huntsville CBLU-FM 94.3 FM 70,000 watts C1 Query 92-783
Maynooth CBOD-FM 89.3 FM 110 watts A1 Query 89-612
Orillia CBCO-FM 91.5 FM 5,200 watts B Query 88-487
Owen Sound CBCB-FM 98.7 FM 100,000 watts C1 Query
Parry Sound CBLR-FM 89.9 FM 180 watts A1 Query 92-783
Penetanguishene CBCM-FM 89.7 FM 2,800 watts A Query 98-27
Peterborough CBCP-FM 98.7 FM 10,170 watts B Query 98-516
Shelburne CBLA-FM-4 102.5 FM 2,600 watts A Query 2001-157
Wingham CBLA-FM-3 100.9 FM 11,800 watts B Query 99-192

In the 1970s, the CRTC approved the CBC's application to change the frequency of CBOD 1230 to 1400 kHz and later moved to 89.3 MHz in 1989. [13]

In 1986, the CRTC approved the CBC's application to change the frequency of CBLY 710 to 1400 kHz [14] and later moved to 92.3 MHz in 1989.

On July 4, 2014, the CBC submitted an application to convert CBLV 600 to 99.3 MHz; this was approved on September 23, 2014.[15] In March 2015, the call sign CBLA-FM-5 was chosen for the new FM transmitter to replace CBLV.[16][17] CBLV was one of the last AM low-power relay transmitters to rebroadcast CBLA-FM Toronto.

Former rebroadcastersEdit

  • Kitchener-Waterloo - CBLA-FM-2 89.1 - A former repeater of CBLA-FM what is now a local CBC Radio One outlet serving the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

Former callsignsEdit

CBLA is a former callsign of a defunct CBC radio transmitter in Atikokan, as well as the defunct CBLR in Red Rock that now belongs to CBLA's rebroadcaster in Parry Sound.


  1. ^ Meaning of call letters
  2. ^
  3. ^ Decision CRTC 97-362
  4. ^ Fybush, Scott (1999-06-19). "CBL, Adieu". Archived from the original (MP3 audio news story) on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
  5. ^ Renhart, Anthony, "Andy Barrie battles Parkinson's; Popular CBC radio host comes out ‘as a guy with a disability'", Globe and Mail, June 29, 2007
  6. ^ "Gill Deacon named host of Here and Now". CBC News, May 31, 2013.
  7. ^ Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2011-09-26). "CBC to introduce new local service to Kitchener-Waterloo". Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  8. ^ Rubinoff, Joel (2011-09-27). "CBC to expand radio and internet presence in Kitchener and Waterloo by fall 2012". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  9. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-616, CRTC, November 7, 2012
  10. ^ "CBC launches new Waterloo Region station March 11". CBC News, January 22, 2013.
  11. ^ "CBC temporarily takes KW morning show off air". CBC News. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  12. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-203, English-language FM radio station in Paris and licence amendment for CBLA-FM Toronto, CRTC, April 25, 2013
  13. ^ The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, on October 18, 1975 · Page 47 Decision CRTC 78-473
  14. ^ Decision CRTC 86-985
  15. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-488, CBLA-FM Toronto - New transmitter in Bancroft, CRTC, September 23, 2014
  16. ^ Canadian Radio News recap for February, 2015 Archived 2016-09-15 at the Wayback Machine (under call letter data),, March 1, 2015
  17. ^ CBC Radio station list - Ontario,

External linksEdit